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Beyond the Gaming Principle Beyond the Gaming Principle – Annual conference Beyond the Gaming Principle that aims at intertwining the worlds of art, gaming and theory.

Frag collective and Academy of Fine Arts in Pague invite you to the 2nd annual conference Beyond the Gaming Principle that aims at intertwining the worlds of art, gaming and theory.

This year will present three key guests. British theorist and an author of Playstation Dreamworld or more recently Dream Lovers, Alfie Bown, will confront us with the question: can the Left actually play today?

Videogames and cultures of play scholar, Laura od de Beke, is addressing the problem of anthropocene and environmental perspective in gaming.

Renowned Austrian group and a pseudo-marxist guerrilla, Total Refusal, will present their work with and against the dominant combative and warlike elements in mainstream games.

Together with Czech participants of the conference (Vít Bohal, Kateřina Kovandová, Frag collective, No Fun collective) we will address how games reflect upon the ongoing discourse and atmosphere of crisis.

In recent years we have witnessed not only covid-19 pandemic, war in Europe, or tightening of economic and political condition, but also opening of various discourses critical of the current crisis.

In the conference we do not seek to continue in depressive positioning, doom-scrolling of problems, rather we seek ways to articulate and further politicize the feelings and conditions of critical times; or in other words how to game the crisis in both totally serious and playful ways.

It is in this perspective that games are a critical medium – in the sense of a medium of current crisis.

Stream and archive of conference on
AVU stream Day 1
AVU stream Day 2 (Now)

Time schedule

26. 1. Auditorium AVU

12:00 – 13:30
Laura op de Beke
Kateřina Kovandová

14:00 – 15:30
Alfie Bown
Vít Bohal

16:00 – 17:30
Total Refusal
Conference position
(Hauer, Janoščík, Takáč, Trhoň)

17:30 – 18:30
All quests discussion

19:00 Afterparty

27. 1. Digilab AVU

(next to main building AVU)

No Fun collective
FRAG collective

League of Legends
Casual Tournament

From 12:00
Group reading,
Curated selection of
games from Itch

From 13:00
VR session & Talks
13:00 Viktor Švolík
14:00 Barbora Tauerová
15:00 Andrej Boleslavský
16:30 Vojtěch Radakulan

Commented LOL Finals

Amateur League of Legends tournament is being held on 27th of January at Academy of
Fine Arts in Prague (Digilab, located in the School of Architecture next to the main
building of AVU)
Do not hesitate and apply with the team of five.
The final battle in the summoner´s rift will be accompanied by real-time analysis of a
professional gaming commentator.
Whose nexus will last?
Registration form for tournament on 27th

Laura op de Beke

Frostpunk and the Temporalities of Environmental Crisis.

Laura op de Beke is a PhD fellow at the university of Oslo. Her dissertation looks at Anthropocene temporalities in videogames in order to understand a new structure of feeling particular to these times, characterized by a sense of protracted crisis, anxiety over the future, apocalypticism as well as techno-futuristic hope. This research is part of a larger interdisciplinary project in critical time studies called Lifetimes. Laura is also the founder of the environmental humanities reading group Un-earthed, and in her spare time she designs larps and other roleplaying games.

Alfie Bown

Does the Left Know How to Play?

Play - from childhood to videogames - is about transgression and the establishment and enforcement of rules. Without them, desire cannot function and pleasure cannot be yielded. Since 1968, the Left has been divided by rule breakers and rule makers - but they both miss the point that there is no desire without limit and that play is a critical part of collective social life.

Kateřina Kovandová

The reactors are slowly dranin' away the planet's life. And one day... that will be that. The planet will die." Final Fantasy VII is one of the most beloved games of all time. First coming out in 1997, it tackles a bunch of serious topics, and saving the planet from a power-hungry corporation is just one of them. With the first part of its remake released in 2020, it again raises a question: What can gaming teach us about our world?

Vít Bohal

On Virtual Transference: Avatars, Agency, Actionability

The talk will aim to present the so-called Rubber Hand Experiment as a phenomenal prototype which underpins the transference between a human player and their virtual avatar. Following the hypothesis of the Phenomenal Self Model of Thomas Metzinger, the exposition will show how notions of agency and actionability transfer to the virtual sphere and help to generate the illusion of transference and focalization within (not only) virtual space.

Total Refusal

Total Refusal is a Pseudo Marxist media guerilla that appropriates video game Spaces.
Next to artistic and educational projects, they are theoretically interested in underlying ideologies that are baked into gameplay and narrative structure.
Robin Klengel and Jona Kleinlein will present their work and also give inside in their practice and thought.

No Fun Collective

These endeavors aim to close the gap between artist-made videogames and the general public. Its name, inspired by the eponymous essay written by the game theoretician and developer Bonnie Ruberg, provides an imaginary hint to the rigid binary videogame discourse, dividing them into fun and serious games.

Future Research Art and Gaming Collective (FRAG)

Is a collective of artist, theorists and gamers based on Academy of Fine Arts, Prague. We aim at pushing the gaming experience from its professional or entertainment confines to provide us with meaningful strategies for contemporary world and art.

VR Section & Talks

Viktor Švolík

The main focus of Viktor's interest is the investigation of the social, material and physical dimensions of human collective consciousness. He tries to see its unknown properties, with trust that its latent omnipresence and the interconnectedness of its units. On conference we will experience VR project UHELNÁ / TURÓV. The work deals with the topic of landscape transformation and the powerlessness of intervention. Specifically, it monitors the area of the northern Czech-Polish-German border in the territory of the municipalities of Václavice, Uhelná and Bogatynia. The plot unfolds through recorded locations on the way to the mine. From the beginning, the viewer walks through paths and signposts accompanied by a dense forest and colourful atrocities,
towards the end of the video the natural motifs diminish and rather trenches and plains associated with sounds from an industrial zone are depicted. Uhelná / Turóv

Barbora Tauerová

How to plan cities of the future? Is a civic participation that takes place in a VR voice chat different from one that takes place in a public forum in city hall? How does your avatar feel when moving though the virtual gardens? Questions like these we had to tackle when designing Spectra - a city for the future that lives across places and realities, linking existent and emergent urban spaces. The Spectra community is building a city for the future: a mixed-reality metropolis to help us imagine future urban spaces we actually want to live in, and to practice tackling the toughest environmental, technological, and civic challenges we’ll face this century.

Andrej Boleslavský

Andrej Boleslavský is a digital artist purposing technology in the fields of new media art, virtual reality, light installations, and physical computing. During the conference, he will cover his VR works that take inspiration from contemporary dance, choreographic thinking and digital technologies. He will focus on considerations and challenges while creating in the context of a small artistic production.

Vojtěch Radukalan

Former winner of Jindřich Chalupecký Prize for young artists will present his interactive project. A game for three players about a never-started nuclear power plant in Lower Austria. It is played on PC, with virtual reality glasses and a microphone. There are three of you. A robot, a mask and a narrator. Everyone has their own role and way of communication. Either you will hurt each other and everything will end badly, or you will listen to each other and find another way out. Profile on CJCH channel