Wrangling Genre Complexity with Polish Video Games

Sat Apr 06 2024 at 04:00 pm

ul. Próżna 7/9, 00-107 Warsaw, Poland | Warsaw

Austriackie Forum Kultury \/ \u00d6sterreichisches Kulturforum Warschau
Publisher/HostAustriackie Forum Kultury / Österreichisches Kulturforum Warschau
Wrangling Genre Complexity with Polish Video Games
Playtest and talk
Wrangling Genre Complexity
The many buckings of a video game – and how to keep them in check
With Felix Schniz (University of Klagenfurt) and Benjamin Hanussek (Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology)
Organisation: Austrian Cultural Forum Warsaw, Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology, PJAIT Game Lab
To make sense of a video game beyond its entertainment value, we must draw on a surplus knowledge of its components and traits, their origins, and even popular cultural references that constantly cross-reference one another. The question many will have now, however, is: why should we even care in the first place? By setting my personal gaming biography and one of its key experiences – a playthrough of Adrian Chmielarz’s cult-classic Gorky 17 – in dialogue with contemporary game studies, my talk unleashes the beast that is the analysis of video game genres onto its audience. Innovative but forgotten in the corpus of research literature, Gorky 17 is a striking metaphor for the challenges of contemporary video game research and design alike. It features a balanced palette of mechanics (that current designers have forgotten), atmospheric game world aesthetics (that players seek elsewhere today), and a well-paced single-player campaign (that nobody remembered after the year 2000). Nevertheless, all of these elements are central components that highlight the local and global cultural impact of Gorky 17, which paved the way for current blockbuster games, and which bear, in their unique composition, a valid lesson for future game designers. Without an over-emphasis on the term’s many theoretical roots but rather a light-hearted take on genre models, historiography, and applied methodology, I elaborate on how we can meaningfully contextualize the many games like Gorky 17 that shaped video game history.
Dr Felix Schniz is the co-founder and program director of the master’s program Game Studies and Engineering at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and American studies from the University of Mannheim, where he subsequently joined the master’s programme Cultural Transformations of the Modern Age: Literature and Media. After asking ‘What is a Videogame Experience?’ in his dissertation, his contemporary research focuses on the meaning of experience, genre theory, and the importance of subjectivity for the research of analogue games, video games, and virtual worlds.
Benjamin Hanussek works as a Localization QA Specialist at Wargaming, a leading game developer and publisher known for "World of Tanks". Drawing from his previous experience as an educator and researcher in Game Studies, he continues to engage with the community by organizing events related to games and culture on behalf of the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Warsaw.

06.04.2024 (Sat.)
Playtest from 5 p.m., discussion at 7 p.m.
Austrian Cultural Forum Warsaw
Próżna 7/9
Free admission / In English

Event Venue & Nearby Stays

ul. Próżna 7/9, 00-107 Warsaw, Poland, ulica Próżna 7, 00-107 Śródmieście, Polska,Warsaw, Poland

Sharing is Caring: