GAIA Online Talk or Workshop Open Call

GAIA returns to the internet September 2024!

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The online version is not merely a warm up to the in-person edition (which will take place in September 2025 in Barcelona) but a highly-accessible version of GAIA, for anyone around the globe who might not be able to attend the in-person meetups, and a way to gather larger parts of our growing community.

We are now working on a program to share knowledge between game arts organizers and curators and would love to have your input. If you feel like being an active part of these online sessions this is your opportunity to propose a talk or activity! You can fill in now the Open Call Form. For inspiration check out the programming at our previous online edition.

The deadline for submission is May 6th, 2024.

We welcome established as well as emergent game culture producers, curators, community organizers, art curators and museum professionals, streamers, critics, academics and all professionals who are working, or intend to work, with videogames as cultural objects. 

This year GAIA is being produced by Luján Oulton (Now Play This), Jim Munroe and Marie LeBlanc Flanagan (Game Arts International Network), and Shalev Moran. Visit our newly updated GAIA website for more info.

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Union Myths vs Realities & Japan Visit

Unionisation efforts have made big headlines in the news lately, but how much do game developers really know about unions? This is one of many questions we asked for If You Don’t Like the Game, Change the Rules, a comic and white paper that discuss unions, worker co-ops, and labour issues in the Canadian game industry. Over the next few months we’ll be posting little excerpts while we’re touring the project.

Marie LeBlanc Flanagan will be in Japan with free copies of the comic in the coming weeks. Mon. Dec. 11 she’ll be in Tokyo (details here, including livestreaming info) launching the comic as part of Gæmz and Sat. Dec. 16 she’ll be in Kyoto (details here) doing a comic launch and zine workshop. (For further tour stops and to invite us to your community, see the bottom of the post!)

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Co-op Myths vs Realities & Vancouver Visit

What do game developers know about worker co-operatives and their possibility to reimagine how labour is structured? This is one of many questions we asked for If You Don’t Like the Game, Change the Rules, a comic and white paper that discuss unions, worker co-ops, and labour issues in the Canadian game industry. Over the next few months we’ll be posting little excerpts while we’re touring the project.

Join Marie LeBlanc Flanagan in Vancouver on Saturday, November 18 to pick up your free copy of the comic! Marie is speaking as a keynote speaker for Creative Campfire and will be hosting a conversation about exploring alternative labour structures like co-ops and unions to encourage radical change in the industry! Register for Creative Campfire tickets here. (For further tour stops and to invite us to your community, see the bottom of the post!)

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Change the Rules Launch

Update: Marie will be hosting the Change the Rules! GDC panel on Thursday March 21, Room 215 South Hall at 4-5pm, followed by a open-to-all discussion in the Yerba Buena park from 5:15-6:15pm.

We will be launching our comic and white paper on alternative modes of videogame production Friday Sept. 29 4-6pm in Montreal at Concordia (LB-103, 1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.) (Facebook event). Physical copies will be available for free at the event, and we’ll be livestreaming the event and have released the PDFs online for our international friends below. The discussion will feature Saleem Dabbous (KO_OP), Jess Marcotte (Soft Chaos), and Carolyn Jong (Game Workers Unite Montréal and Vodeo Games).

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Applications Open for GAIA 2023

The third Game Arts International Assembly will be happening June 5-7th, 2023 in Toronto, Canada. With a participant cap of 20, GAIA is an intimate symposium for game art curators and game community organizers to level up their professional development and connect with their international peers. In addition to on site talks sharing personal experiences, playful workshops, and practical sessions, GAIA will include field trips to different locations in the city. 

From GAIA 2019 in Buenos Aires
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Playful Questions: An Open Discussion Series

In GAIA’s fallow year we want to plant some seeds for our 2023 (hopefully in-person) symposium with a casual open discussion series. We asked some folks in the game arts community what questions they’re wrestling with these days… 

Shalev wondered How do you find your people once you immigrate to a new place?
Louie inquired How do you create a sustainable workshop or communal space?
Gwen mulled over How do you get other cultural workers into games?
Jim struggled with How do you work collaboratively in a fractured community?

Come and chime in! These are not GAIA sessions — they will be very informal 1 hour online hangs where our hosts will be asking a question they don’t know the answer to. We’ll do them every last Saturday of the month for as long as people have questions to play with. (You can suggest one here for later in the year!) 

The first one will be Saturday Jan 29th at 11AM EST. (Subscribe to the gcal here for this and future months as the exact time will change to accommodate different time zones).

This series is a project of the Game Arts International Assembly, organized by Luján Oulton (Game on! El arte en juego), Jim Munroe and Marie Claire LeBlanc Flanagan (Game Arts International Network). Illustration: Marie Claire LeBlanc Flanagan.

Looking back on GAIA 2021

This year’s symposium had over 300 attendees check out over 18 hours of programming over the past few months. We heard fascinating perspectives from speakers from 21 countries and feel like we shared some important conversations!

Will you help us make future editions of GAIA even better? Fill in our 3-minute feedback form to help shape our shared future.

You can discover or revisit all the sessions in our doodle documentation — there’s one delightful page for each.

(Fullscreen recommended, click the >> button then select Presentation Mode.)