This year, the conference on «gamez & ruleZ» sets the focus on Digital Biedermeier.
In recent years, especially during and after the Covid pandemic, images, film, design and, above all, game worlds have emerged that promise an ideal world. As once in the Biedermeier era, people seem to retreat into beautiful little lovely worlds with actions free of any politics. In the game sector, this has led to the genres like «Cozy Games» or «Wholesome Games». These games have been doing the rounds for a few years. They celebrate relaxation, seclusion and nostalgia. Is this an apolitical and non-reflective, even reactionary, view of the world in current game design? Is it rather used as a clever or cynical meta-perspective, as a mirror reflection of the (post?)-pandemic world? What is at the core of this fascinating phenomenon and what are the implications for our society, that obviously needs this kind of digital seclusion? And how do we understand these phenomena in design, culture and politics?
These and other questions will be addressed in the two-day conference «gameZ & ruleZ - Mechanics of Digital Biedermeier in Games and Culture». Our conference connects this recent phenomenon (and genre) with cultural, political, and community-building research questions and builds a bridge between game design and academic approaches for a fruitful analysis of a surprisingly modern complex of topics.