“It’s a twisted reversal of augmented reality, a terrifying Cronenberg movie yet to be made.” Vice
‘Fascinating. I’d seen no end of supposedly radical, tech-themed art, but never before had I encountered anything that brought living, biological organisms into direct, corrosive contact with virtual reality. I realised I had seen something that might have truly radical consequences – not just for art, but for everything.” The Long and the Short
‘Opening shortly after the Brexit referendum, The Games Europe Plays tastes like a bitter disappointment and as a high-head challenge. It is a testament to the importance of open European borders, a stand for international dialogue in the arts and culture and for shared research towards common aims.” Juliet Art Magazine
In 2016 The Games Europe Plays brought to Londoners a selection of independent and innovative games made in Europe to experience and play. Coordinated by the Finnish Institute, The Games Europe Plays was a series of three exhibitions, events and talks inviting developers, makers, academics from Europe to meet and debate with the London audience. The project was covered by BBC Click World Service, Vice, BBC News, The Long and the Short and more (see the end of the article for selected Press Coverage).
An interactive and playful exhibition, The Games Europe Plays at the Finnish Institute in April 2016, showcased the most exciting independent digital games for young people (4+) and families as part of the London Games Festival. It presented games by Gigglebug (Finland), Toca Boca (Sweden), Tine Bech (Denmark/UK), Peter Lu & Lea Schönfelder (Germany) and Amanita (Czech Republic).
Exploring our body from its hidden micro bacteria to its digital incarnations, The Games Europe Plays – BODY<>TECH at the University of Greenwich in July/August took a playful look at how digital technologies are helping us to heal but can also disturb our wellbeing. Presenting the works of interactive artists and game makers from the UK and continental Europe, the show envisioned how we will inhabit and take care of our virtual and physical bodies in the future. It presented the works of Anna Dumitriu with Alex May (UK), Ivor Diosi (Czech Republic), Marco Donnarumma (Italy), Blast Theory (UK), Designswarm (UK) and Grendel Games (Netherlands).
The last stop of our series was at Nesta’s FutureFest in September, where The Games Europe Plays presented ‘Molding the Signifier’ an installation by Ivor Diosi (Czech Republic), speaker by Marco Donnaruma (Italy) and supports the performance of athletes into FutureFest’s new digital commission, Collective Reality (UK).
The Games Europe Plays has showcased the best of EU gaming from full-bodied gaming interactive installations as well as screen-based games and apps. The exhibitions presented an immersive, playful journey through the most innovative gaming experiences from Europe today offering the audience the opportunity to envision how gaming is used today and can be used in the future.
‘The Games Europe Plays’ has been conceived and developed with curator Ghislaine Boddington to give visibility to the booming and vivid European gaming scene within the UK and to envision future scenarios in which gaming experiences are at the centre of work and play.
The Games Europe Plays is a EUNIC London project, produced by the Finnish Institute and body>data>space. Supported by the British Council and Arts Council England presented as part of the London Games Festival Fringe official programme, at the University of Greenwich and Nesta’s FutureFest 2016. With additional support from the Czech Centre, the Danish Embassy, the Goethe-Institut London, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Swedish Embassy. Picture credit: Toca Boca
BBC Click on BBC World service
‘The Games Europe Plays’ / Tuesday 6 April 2016 with Presenter Gareth Mitchell. The episode is 8 minutes long, broadcasted on BBC World service. You can listen to it here (at 9:35m): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03pc3my
VICE / The Creators Project
‘Bacteria Genome Dresses and Judgmental Robots Probe Tech Boundaries’ / 28th July 28 2016, a review by Kevin Holmes. http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/bacteria-sequence-dress-exhibition-games-europe-plays
A preview of FutureFest including Molding the Signifier / 16 September 2016 http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-37391369
The Long and the Short
‘Is this the way they say the future’s meant to feel? Review: An art critic experiences the installations at FutureFest’ / October 2016, by Digby Warde-Aldam http://thelongandshort.org/forecasts/future-art
Juliet Art Magazine
‘Posthuman Body and Interactivity: an international project in the time of Brexit’ / 31st August 2016, review by Laura Boggia, http://julietartmagazine.com/en/posthuman-body-interattivita/
‘The Games Europe Plays – Innovative EU Gaming for Young People’ / 8 April 2016 a review by Maria Fonsecca. http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/exhibition-the-games-europe-plays/