Let’s play peacefully!

Grand finale: cooperation project “Peace Jam” was presented to the public at Millerntor Gallery in St. Pauli

Hamburg State Councillor Dr. Eva Gümbel (3rd from left) visits the "Peace Jam" Games Kiosk on the opening day of the Millerntor Gallery.

Conflict resolution on the PC or gambling for peace: That’s what “Peace Jam” is about. Students and lecturers of the programme Interactive Illustration and Games of the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) Hamburg and researchers of the IFSH jointly developed video games on peace and security policy issues.

Now there was the grand finale: From 13 to 16 July, the project participants presented their games in the Millerntor Gallery, a popular cultural festival in Hamburg. At the St. Pauli football stadium, all festival visitors could try out the video games. The Hamburg State Councillor for Science, Research and Gender Equality and IFSH Chair of the Board of Trustees Dr Eva Gümbel were also present at the opening on Thursday night. The project managers, Dr Janine Pawelz (IFSH) and Prof. Dr Mareike Ottrand (HAW), explained what the project “Peace Jam” is about: “The aim of the games is not to outsmart or destroy the opponents as it is usually the case in the world of video games. On the contrary, the aim here is to turn opponents into allies and to achieve a joint goal by helping each other.”

The game developers showed a great deal of creativity and humour. They created prototypes for new computer games such as “Pear Pressure” or “Weakbeak”. The common idea of these video is that the main characters – be it a pear or a wounded peace dove – are looking for non-violent and cooperative solutions. Only together can the protagonists solve their riddles and puzzles and overcome obstacles. The German television station NDR reported on the “Peace Jam” project and concluded: “The shared message of the game developers and peace researcher is charming and even profound without being moralizing. Maybe this is the beginning of a new trend.”

About “Peace Jam”:
“Peace Jam” is a joint project of the IFSH and students and lecturers of the Interactive Illustration and Games programme at the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) and the Millerntor Gallery. More information about the project can be found here (in German).

The project is part of the horizontal research focus “doing peace!” at the IFSH. More information about “doing peace!” can be found on the project page.