In this year, we received 204 amazing works by international artists from 40 countries. The selection committee nominated 25 of them and our independent jury honored the most forward thinking, genre pushing works with one of the 5 awards, presenting a total of 7.000€ in prizes. To support the creation and accomplishments of a-mazing future projects, our collaboration with Humble awarded one additional prize to deserving artists, presenting 15.000€ and an exclusive deal to create a Humble Original.
We thank everyone who submitted and encourage everyone to look at all nominations, honorable mentions and submissions. As every year, the selection is hard, but our artists entries excellent. So without further ado - The winners of the 9TH INTERNATIONAL GAMES AND PLAYFUL MEDIA FESTIVAL are:
Brave Mouse Cartographer I by common opera is outstanding as an ambient freeform multiplayer game that lets its players decide the rules of engagement when building their map. Any number of people can contribute to the creative process, observe it, and join or leave at any moment. The brave mouse continues the journey of exploration regardless, but the core of this experience still revolves around connecting to others' input and personal exploration, rather than being machine-driven. - rayzones
This work gave us a series of serene, beautiful, haunting moments that felt both like a dream and a memory of a real place once visited in childhood. Through the sparse interaction and constraints on movement to the music and delicate visual style, this experience achieves exactly what it sets out to do, creating a real Digital Moment. - Owen Hindley
Knife Sisters by transcenders media is a beautiful and atmospheric game that uses topics like BDSM and occultism to create an intimate experience about consent, manipulation, sense of self or who we really trust. Its amazing art style and excellently written characters won us over easily and makes it a great winner for the Long Feature Award. - Sarah Rudolph
Without being an immigration simulator, Enric Llagostera's game tackles the topic of the immigration selection processes and all the discourses attached to it. You could read articles about it in newspapers or watch a few documentaries as well, but Cook Your Way invites you to perform it by yourself so you can get a fragment of reality to better understand the absurd logic behind the system it depicts and critics. Cook Your Way starts with a very common topic - cooking - and offers us a playful physical interface to perform it. Before you realise it, you are already caught into a system about economical labours and the production of cultural stereotypes within the immigration discourses. Is it still a game or reality? - Simon Bachelier
This year, we are awarding the Humble New Talent Award for the third time. In addition to all the other wonderful Awards, we invented this special and diverse Award in collaboration with Humble Original to empowers emerging game creators from around the world. This award is an opportunity to highlight new global talents, whose work made a lasting impression on us and the world. The winning team agrees on publishing their game with Humble Original, with a supportive funding of 15000$ for development. This years Humble New Talent Award Winner is pushing forward all aspects towards arthouse games. Their games are pure poetic and political by nature. Digital poems on the intersection of postcolonial writing and playful fiction. Making brilliant use of video game spaces as sites of discourse, resistance and record of the presence. The decision obviously was a hard one - all the nominees are great authors. With this Award we wanted to create a spotlight to a game developing country with a lot of political controversy which is far more complex nowadays than in most other countries. - Thorsten S. Wiedemann
Nightmare Temptation Academy is profound, brave, shocking, beautiful, and singular on many levels. It is the type of challenging experience, tackling exceptionally difficult topics without shame, and a type of inspired bravery that demonstrates how far games have come for artists and how much further they can still go. This is the type of work that we love to see in this medium. - Nathalie Lawhead