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Virtual Workshop | Games Canon & Games History

Feb 13, 2024 | 09:30 AM - 06:10 PM

Organised by Dîlan Canan Çakir (Freie Universität Berlin/EXC 2020), Research Area 5: "Building Digital Communities", Anna Kinder (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, Forschungsverbund Marbach Weimar Wolfenbüttel) and Andreas Rauscher (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Hochschule Kaiserslautern Virtual Design, AG Games). 

The selection of computer games varies not only with regard to the profile of the institution, but also in relation to format, accompanying material, and in particular the consoles which are used. For pragmatic reasons, collecting institutions establish specific criteria for the cultural objects to be collected. How can these criteria be defined for a collection of games in order to achieve a documentation of game history that is as broad, varied, and diverse as possible? Is it possible to transfer the debates about the canon found in literary and film studies, as well as related practices such as retrospectives in cultural centers and film museums, to games? Which are the milestones of game culture? What approaches lend themselves to games, and how are they different from other media and archival practices? What, beyond the code or game board, should be archived in game collections? What is of interest in terms of game mechanics, technology, and narrative? What are the dependency relations between software and hardware? Can the history of games be written in national terms? What does a pluralistic game history or a game history from below look like? These questions will be discussed in the five sections of this workshop.


9:30 |  Introduction: Dîlan Canan Çakir, Anna Kinder, Andreas Rauscher

10:00 | Focus 1: Game Collection Criteria, Chair: Andreas Rauscher

James Newman: Remembering and Forgetting: Reflections on Doing Game History

Stefanie D. Kuschill & Peter Podrez: The German Games Archive – The Analog Game Collection, Its Criteria and Potential for Intermedial Research

Rudolf Inderst & Daniel Martin Feige: Computer Games. 50 Central Titles. A Workshop Report in Theory and Practice.

11:20 | Focus 2: Accessibility, Chair: Melanie Fritsch

Timo Rouget: Beyond Books: An Educational Canon of Video Games for Schools

Markus Spöhrer: Disability and Video Game History: Ken Yankelevitz's Accessible Controllers

13:30 | Focus 3: Milestones in the History of Games, Chair: Dîlan Canan Çakir

Astrid Ensslin: Canonizing the Uncanonizable: Insights from Digital-born Literature

Mirek Stolee: A Cross-Media Escape Game Canon: Historiographical and Archival Considerations

Matthias Oborski: A Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures. How Text Adventures Utilise the World’s Most Powerful Graphics Engine

15:00 | Focus 4: Games and Canones, Chair: Anna Kinder

Björn Blankenheim: How to Not Write a Canon. On Other Means of Collecting Material.

Victoria Mummelthei: Ephemerality and Experience: Questioning the Imperative of Archiving and Canonizing Video Games

Mario Donick: Instead of a Canon: How to Include East German Games in a Collection of German Computer Games

16:20 | Focus 5: (Historical) Game Collections, Chair: Anke Finger

Beat Suter: LINEL ? a Swiss Game Publisher

Joy DuBose: Milestones of History and Culture: "This War of Mine"

Susana Tosca: Game History, the Question of Genre

The event will be accessible via this Zoom-Link: 


Time & Location

Feb 13, 2024 | 09:30 AM - 06:10 PM

The event will take place online.

Further Information

Call for Papers

Deadline for applications: 15 November, 2023

Contact: Dîlan Canan Çakir, dilan.cakir@fu-berlin.de
Registration: Birgit Wollgarten, forschung@dla-marbach.de