Due to construction work in Gorky Park, we recommend you use the entrance from Leninsky Prospekt.

DESCRIPRION

Conceived as part of the exhibition The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100, Game Club is open from June 28 until December 1 as a free, public game club where visitors can play video games related to the themes of the exhibition.

Video games are arranged in two age groups: 12+ and 18+. Through the interactive and immersive experience video games offer, topics such as survival, alternative utilization of scarce resources, and adaptation to new species and worlds are explored.                                                             

An extensive public program includes a series of Let's Play events run by artists, art and culture critics, and game studies experts, which will also be live-streamed.

POST-APOCALYPSE AND DYSTOPIA

Like the exhibition The Coming World, post-apocalyptic video games look into life after a planetary disaster and offer various scenarios for survival after our usual environment and social order have disappeared.

Apocalypse in this context does not mean the end of the world as such, but rather the end of life as we know it, a paradigm shift. Post-apocalyptic life is often imagined as dystopian because the apocalypse is brought about by humanity’s destructive wat of life, which is an important lesson for survivors.

The apocalypse offers humans an opportunity to look back at their mistakes, discard their history, and choose a more mindful, natural, environmentally and human-oriented development scenario in a space free from the rules of the past. Often, the path that the protagonist has to take lies through chaos, new extremes, and anti-human regimes.


The Void

Ice-Pick Lodge, 2018
18+

Filled with symbolism and philosophy, this role-playing game is set in the dark, dangerous world between life and death. The player needs to collect color, which represents life energy, to survive and be reincarnated.


Pathologic 2

Ice-Pick Lodge, 2018
18+

The sequel to Pathologic (2005) is a survival thriller set in an ancient steppe town consumed by a deadly plague.


This War of Mine

11 bit studios, 2014
18+

Inspired by the Siege of Sarajevo (1992–1996), this survival game is focused on the civilian experience of surviving in a besieged city during a violent civil war. 


Inside 

Playdead, 2016 
13+

The protagonist of this atmospheric puzzle platformer is a boy trying to survive in a dystopian world.

OTHER LIFE FORMS

Conversations about ecology and protecting the environment require a shift of focus from humans to non-human life forms. Seeing the world from the point of view of another creature or even an inanimate object helps us to reconsider our values, understand the true needs of our planet, and establish a healthier and more honest relationship between humans and nature. It is difficult to imagine a better way of switching perspectives than by playing a video game.

Along with real non-human agents, game developers often turn to imaginary life forms such as vampires, hybrid creatures of the future, aliens or creatures with a different chemical make-up. The use of non-human characters may help us overcome our anthropocentrism, broaden our horizons, and try to imagine how humans might react to an encounter with a creature from an alien world.


Botanicula

Amanita Design and Jaromir Plachy, 2011
12+

Controlling a protagonist who can be a glow-worm, a mushroom, a poppy capsule, a twig or a feather, players explore various locations inside a tree, solve puzzles, and try to save the last seed from evil parasites.


Another World

The Digital Lounge and Éric Chahi
18+

As a result of an experiment gone wrong, a young physicist finds himself in a different dimension, where he has to use all his resourcefulness to fight the hostile creatures that inhabit the alien universe. This is a re-release of the cult platformer action-adventure game made in 1991.


Orchids to Dusk

Pol Clarissou, 2015
12+

This short, contemplative wandering experience invites the player to think about the fleeting nature of life and the acceptance of death while controlling an astronaut who is living the last minutes of his life on an alien planet.


Even the Stars

Pol Clarissou, 2014
12+

Experience the fast pace of time and everlasting loneliness while traveling through space in this meditative contemplative game.


Mu Cartographer

Titouan Millet, 2016
12+

In this indie game by French media artist Titouan Millet, players search for life on Mars: walking, running or driving a retro car and enjoying spectacular views.

ECOLOGIES

One of the main challenges of the environmental crisis is its invisibility. Global changes are hard to track, and planetary issues cannot really be captured in a few images. Video games are one medium that can convey the scope of environmental issues and direct the player toward creative solutions, including in real life.

Video games allow players to create simulations of complete worlds. These simulations have their own rules and in exploring them players can transform large and complex systems.

It is no wonder that video games are increasingly used to speak about environmental issues. How can we survive on this planet and avoid a global disaster? How do we satisfy the needs of all agents that inhabit it without depleting its resources? What is the current ecological agenda and what can actually be done?


Eco

Strange Loop Games, 2018
12+

In this multiplayer simulation game the goal is to build a civilization that will be able to divert a meteorite without destroying the planet’s ecology.


Block’hood

Plethora Project, 2017
6+

This simulation game invites players to build a neighborhood and experiment with unique ecosystems that form in the urban landscape.


Seed

AVAVT, 2019
6+

The simple online game created over a weekend for Ludum Dare festival shows the long-term effects of deforestation.


Lichenia

Molleindustria, 2019
6+

Molleindustria is an independent collective which uses game algorithms to explore urgent social and political issues. Lichenia invites players to think about the Anthropocene, sustainable development, and distribution of resources while watching a mysterious ecology, where civilization grows like a garden.


Shelter / Shelter 2

Might & Delight, 2013/2015
12+

Shelter and Shelter 2 challenge our anthropocentric perspective by allowing the player to become a badger or a lynx trying to feed and protect their cubs. Beautiful pastel and polygonal settings conceal many dangers. In order to survive, animals have to be cruel and strong.


ISLANDS: Non-Places

Carl Burton, 2016
6+

Carl Burton’s indie game explores non-places: mundane objects and locations we would not necessarily notice in everyday life reveal themselves as islands offering a different perspective on the logic of their existence. The speculative ecologies of non-places transform the distanced glance of the user into an attentive and meditative visual experience.

GAME STUDIES PARTNER

How to take part

Game sessions are 90 minutes, but if no one is waiting you can play for longer.
If you want to play a video game you are unfamiliar with, please ask a Game Club staff member for help.

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