Games and Politics

Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 to Saturday, 21 Oct 2017

Eduardo J. Aboitiz Sandbox Zone, 3/F George SK Ty Learning Innovation Wing, Areté

Politics and video games share the limelight in an interactive exhibition presented by the Goethe-Institut Philippinen (German Cultural Center) in partnership with the Ateneo Art Gallery. Entitled “Games and Politics”, the exhibition features 18 politically-themed video games on different consoles and will open on Tuesday, Sept. 12 in the new Areté building at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in Quezon City.

The exhibition examines how video games unfold their political potential and is composed of games that tackle issues like gender politics, migration, state surveillance and the morality of war. One game on PC entitled This War of Mine was inspired by the 1992-95 Siege of Sarajevo and takes place in an urban war zone. Players however do not take on the role of soldiers as in most war games, but as civilians struggling to survive. Meanwhile, a body-bending game entitled Perfect Woman critiques female stereotypes by showing that womanhood can be a contortion act. Standing in front of an Xbox One Kinect, players sync their arms and legs with the poses of a woman on-screen.

Games and Politics’ opening week will also feature a panel discussion on Wednesday, Sept. 13 where speakers talk about how video games impact politics and society. The panel will include Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino and the “celebrity shrink” Dr. Randy Dellosa among others. The discussion will be moderated by news personality Nikki Veron Cruz together with media and culture specialist Christian Huberts whom the Goethe-Institut is flying in from Berlin especially for the occasion. Huberts will also hold a public lecture on the political potentials of video games on Thursday, Sept. 14. Both lecture and panel discussion will take place at the ADMU.

The exhibition side events will shift to the College of St. Benilde (CSB) on Oct. 6 to 7, for a 24-hour Game Jam, an impromptu game development competition for which the Goethe-Institut is giving away as grand prize free trips to Germany. Organized with FlipGeeks.com, the competition is open to all video game developers, amateur or professional. The registration period is from Sept. 12 to 22 and is done on-line via the Goethe-Institut website at Goethe.de/Manila.

Games and Politics is produced by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with Germany’s ZKM | Center for Art and Media. For more information on the exhibition and its side events, visit Goethe.de/Manila or send your inquiries to program@manila.goethe.org.