Leading German university hosts video-games conference

Harz University of Applied Sciences to host conference to inspire the games designers and digital creators of tomorrow

Taking place for the second time on the 16th and 17th of June, the ADD ON conference is organised by students and is set to feature top-class speakers from across the games industry. The event in Wernigerode has been conceived as part of the Games Developer Network.

Speakers at the event include David Wessman, who worked on the Star Wars: X-Wing series for Lucas Arts, and Dr Mata Haggis, who was involved with titles like Burnout Paradise and Aliens Vs. Predator. Also in attendance will be Tim Schwartmann (aka Tim Latka) and Lukas Schmandt (aka Idealz), stars of the e-sports scene and some of the world’s best FIFA players.

“With this conference, we are creating an important link at the practical level,” says Dominik Wilhelm, Professor of Media Informatics, Applied Game Concepts and Applied Games. “As an alternative to international conferences, we are bringing the experts to the Harz region and therefore creating an effective personal networking platform for the students, interested visitors, developers and companies.”

A cross-sectoral approach is also on display at ADD ON, and at Harz University itself. Students on the Masters in Video Game Design, for instance, are drawn from a variety of fields including media design, computer science, sociology, biology, journalism and geology. These varying backgrounds feed into the overall ethos of the course, ensuring a diversity and variety of experience and execution.

With this conference, we are creating an important link at the practical level – Dominik Wilhelm, Professor of Applied Game Concepts

This approach works was demonstrated at this year’s German Computer Game Prize. The “nGlow” project by students from Harz University of Applied Sciences achieved third place in the “Young Talent Award Concept” Category.

Media and game concepts can be used in a range of different industries. “Serious games”, which convey education and skills through playful methods on an interactive and vivid basis, are in particularly high demand. A current project at Harz University of Applied Sciences, for example, is addressing the topic of sustainability. In cooperation with business psychologists and environmental technology, an interactive smartphone game has been developed which focuses on the topic of water. An interactive nature adventure trail is created in the Brocken region and users then get to learn how changes in the ecosystem have a long-term effect. 

For more information about the bachelor’s degree programme in Media Informatics as well as the master’s degree programme in Media and Game Design, visit www.hs-harz.de/studium.