Video Games Culture

Analysing and exploring the culture surrounding video games

Video games are an incredible, evolving art form offering emotional attachments, moral exploration and team building opportunities unlike those of any other mediums. This year, the main theme of the track will be looking outwards: how video games and other cultural mediums interact and evolve together. Game culture is still growing, and we want to explore how it influences other mediums and how they shape it in return. The track will host panel discussions, academic talks and an extra special evening of micro-talks from our good friends at VideoBrains.


Access All Areas: disability, games and good design - 10.00am - 11.15am
Do our attitudes toward ‘play’ stand in the way of accessible games, and can game design evolve and adapt to be more inclusive? Exploring the assumptions about games, gamers and disability, and how play can be better for everyone.
Panel: Hannah Bunce, Maki Yamazaki, Ian Hamilton

Academic talks about games - 6.45pm - 8.00pm
Short talks from our academics.
- Understanding Game Systems as Characterization - with Seb Atay
- The Problem with 'Adult' Games - Ashley Brown
- Restless Dreams and Shattered Memories: psychoanalysis and Silent Hill - Ewan Kirkland


The Rise of eSports: the good, the bad and the toxic - 3.15pm - 4.30pm
Drawing crowds of millions and prize pools worth tens of millions, there’s no doubt that esports have become a big thing. We take a look at what’s driving the recent popularity of esports and their relation to traditional sports, including what should be taken from them and what should be avoided.
Panel: Mat Jones, Emily Gera, Jake Tucker

Intro to Interactive Fiction: The community, culture and basics of Twine (with Creative Writing) - 6.45pm - 8.00pm
Games are still an evolving medium, and as with all mediums they benefit from the work of many creators. Thankfully, due to the efforts of awesome people, a number of tools exist to allow us all to contribute! Twine is one of these tools - simple to use and great for making interactive fiction; we’ll show you how to get started with it.
Panel: Gemma Thomson, George Buckenham, Maki Yamazaki, Mary Hamilton

Videobrains: 9 minutes; 9 talks; 9 worlds! - 8.30pm - 9.45pm
VideoBrains is a monthly event which hosts an evening of talks about any and all aspects of making, playing and generally enjoying games. This extra special edition will feature 9 microtalks, each just 9 minutes in length, from guests who are confident in their rapid-fire speaking!
Hosted by Jake Tucker


Relationships in Games: influences from tabletop role-playing - 3.15pm - 4.30pm
More and more games are making an increased effort to create interesting, multi-faceted characters who have involved, nuanced relationships with each other. But there’s still a way to go and there may be a few lessons to learn from TRPG. Ben and Helen will start with a talk on what games can learn from TRPG before the panel continues with a discussion on relationships in games.
Panel: Ben Meredith, Helen Gould, Meg Jayanth, Ashley Brown

Imaginary Museums: make-believe exhibitions for game design and culture - 6.45pm - 8.00pm
From video to board to pervasive, the design, culture and politics of contemporary games are often notably lacking within major museums and galleries. Come join a selection of curators, designers and critics as we champion the objects and experiences from the medium that we feel deserve to be exhibited and preserved, the sort of things that don’t always sit comfortably on white walls or in glass cases. Armed with felt tips and ideas, we’ll be imagining what strange new space such exhibits and artefacts could possibly call home.
Panel: Marie Foulston, Sophia George, Holly Gramazio, Rob Morgan

Fireside chat: In conversation with Meg Jayanth - 8.30pm - 9.45pm
Our usual, end-of-con wind-down session returns! After a hard weekend of geekery, come hear Jenni Goodchild chat with Meg Jayanth about… well, whatever they want to talk about, really. Hopefully some of that will be games.