October 6, 2011, 6.30 PM
swissnex San Francisco
Next Level Health: How Games Improve Health and Healthcare
October 13, 2011, 5.30 PM
swissnex San Francisco
The Swiss Game Design exhibition highlights the technological and creative potential of game design in Switzerland and provides visitors with insights into both the artistic and technical aspects of game creation. Don’t miss this opportunity to get an inside view of Switzerland’s emerging games industry and test out some of its best new games.
The Swiss game design scene has grown up in recent years, boosted by the establishment of the game design course at Zurich University of the Arts and others. Switzerland has also exported pioneering commercial game designers to the United States, among them Christian Scheurer and Ru Weerasuriya, who have have worked on films such as Titanic and as illustrators and matte painters for computer games including Lord of the Rings, Final Fantasy, and World of Warcraft and Okami. This exhibition pays homage to these pioneers and spotlights the scene’s emerging leaders, including Florian Faller and /Adrian Stutz, the developers of GIANTS Software GmbH, and many at the forefront of the mobile games field.
Learn about how Swiss mobile technologies like DMM (Digital Molecular Matter) by Pixelux and CityEngine by Procedural are applied in the international game and film industries, and how fields as diverse as medicine and architecture are benefiting from game-related Swiss expertise at research institutions such as MIRALab in Geneva, EPFL, and ETH Zurich. It’s actually quite common for game developers to work with universities and research labs, in particular on so-called serious games. The therapy game software Gabarello v 1.0, for instance, is being developed by Zurich University of the Arts in collaboration with the University of Zurich’s Children’s Hospital and Institute of Neuropsychology for the motor rehabilitation of brain-injured patients.
As much as the Swiss Game Design exhibition focuses on Switzerland’s technological developments related to game design, so too does it emphasize the playful and artistic elements of gaming. Examples from visual and media art supplement the exhibition and help viewers take a reflective and critical look at computer games. Works by collectif_fact and performance artist Yan Duyvendak, for example, explore the contrast between everyday reality on the one hand and the seductive power of computer-generated images and stories on the other.
The exhibit’s multimedia components allow audiences to try out a number of games, while four short films on selected firms and artists (Disney Research Lab, GIANTS GmbH, bitforge Ltd, Yan Duyvendak) give an impression of what it means to work in the gaming industry and show just how wide the range of tasks and talents required actually is.
Swiss Game Design was designed and implemented on behalf of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia by House of Electronic Arts Basel. The exhibition is part of Pro Helvetia’s GameCulture program, which aims to draw attention to the social, economic, and aesthetic aspects of computer games and explores the characteristics of the genre as a new art form.
The San Francisco installation of the exhibition is made possible by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, and the US-wide program ThinkSwiss-Brainstorm the Future. As a leading country in science, research, and technology, Switzerland is working with its American counterparts to address key global topics such as sustainability to better understand trends and arrive at solutions.
Photo: Myleen Hollero