Georgia Tech and SCAD Announce the Art History of Games Conference

The Savannah College of Art and Design and the Georgia Institute of Technology Digital Media Program will host the first Art History of Games conference Feb. 4-6. The three-day public symposium will bring together experts in game studies, art history and related areas of cultural studies to investigate games as an art form. The conference will be held at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Rich Auditorium in midtown Atlanta, courtesy of the High Museum of Art.

Art History of Games
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Matthew Maloney, digital animator and associate dean for the SCAD School of Film, Digital Media and Performing Arts, described the Art History of Games conference as timely. “Games and art have connections going back to the early 20th century, but the subject is not very well explored," he said. "While there is much discussion on whether games are art, it is often limited to comparisons to Hollywood cinema rather than contemporary art. This symposium will provide a venue for artists, scholars and game developers to expand on games as a form of art as well as set the path for conversations going forward.”

The conference offers attendees access to leading artists and academics in the gaming industry with panel discussions, presentations and Q&A sessions. Prominent game designers scheduled to speak include John Romero, a creator of iconic titles such as “Wolfenstein 3D” and “Doom”; Brenda Brathwaite, who recently received the Vanguard Award for her game “Train” at IndieCade; and Ian Bogost, associate professor at Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and founding partner of the award-winning independent video game studio Persuasive Games.

“Games are a part of human culture. They have been for millennia, and we can study them for many reasons: to make better ones and to learn to plumb their depths as players, for example. But perhaps the most important and least common reason is this: to understand their role in our lives,” said Bogost.

In addition to speaking at the conference, Jason Rohrer, creator of the critically acclaimed “Passage”; Tales of Tales, the dynamic duo behind “Path”; and Eric Zimmerman, co-founder of gameLab, also will premiere newly commissioned art games.

Other notable speakers are Christiane Paul, adjunct curator of new media arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Henry Lowood, Stanford University’s curator for the history of science and technology collections and film and media collections; Michael Nitsche, digital media scholar and assistant professor at Georgia Tech; and John Sharp, SCAD interactive design and game development and art history professor. Jesper Juul and Frank Lantz also plan to participate in the conference.

The conference is organized and chaired by Bogost, Nitsche and Sharp.

To see a complete list of featured participants and register to attend, visit www.arthistoryofgames.com or call 404.253.2759 for more information.

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