Alexander Pfeiffer

Mag. Dr. Alexander Pfeiffer, MA, MBA startete seine  Games-Spezialisierung 2004 mit der Anwendung von spielähnlichen  Prozessen im Wissensmanagement klassischer Unternehmen. Seine  akademischen Abschlussarbeiten befassten sich mit MMORPGs, E-Sport,  in-Game Advertising und Advergames. Im Rahmen der Dissertation  beschäftigte sich Pfeiffer mit der Fragestellung, ob wir nicht bereits  in einer ludischen Gesellschaft Leben. Seit 2010 leitet er das Zentrum für Angewandte Spieleforschung an der  Donau Universität Krems. Er hält Beteiligung an der Picapipe GmbH,  welche sich u.a. mit beyond-state-of-the Art Technologien in der m Wissensvermittlung beschäftigt und B & P EmTech ltd. in Malta. Dieses  Unternehmen ist aktiv daran beteiligt Malta zum führenden EU Land im  Bereich Blockchain-Technologie zu transformieren.

Das dezentrale Spiel: Warum Blockchain und Spiel perfekt zusammenpassen.

Keynote,  Sonntag 21. Oktober, 10:30 – 11:30

Blockchain ist das Schlagwort der Jahre 2017/2018. Die Marktkapitalisierung begann mit 13 Milliarden US-Dollar im Januar  2017, erreichte im November 2017 über 200 Milliarden US-Dollar, danach Anfang 2018 ihren Höchststand von fast 800 Millionen US-Dollar und  brach wieder auf 200 Milliarden US-Dollar – im Zeitraum rund um die  FROG 2018 – ein. Kryptowährungen wie Bitcoin und seine Technologie  “the blockchain” (hint: es gibt mehr als eine Blockchain) rücken immer mehr für Regierungen, Regulierungsbehörden, Banken, Großunternehmen und Start-ups in den Mittelpunkt des Interesses. Es scheint, dass jeder etwas “mit Blockchain” tun muss. Es fühlt sich irgendwie genau wie der Gamification-Trend Anfang 2010 an, und deshalb ist es – ähnlich wie bei Gamification – auch wichtig, dieses spezielle Thema zu entmystifizieren, um am Ende des Tages konkrete und funktionierende
Projekte zu starten. Für Dr. Pfeiffer ist Blockchain und Spiel „die perfekte Verbindung“.
In seiner Keynote werden folgende Bereiche behandelt:

  • Das Belohungsspiel, die Jagd nach dem nächsten Block
  • Blockchain und eSports
  • Blockchain-Token als Ersatz für zentralisierte “In Game Währungen”.
  • Aufbau des kompletten Gaming-Ökosystems auf Blockchain-Basis
  • Mining (in und außerhalb eines Spiels)
  • Das Spiel auf Twitter, der Handel mit den Nachrichten, das Metriken- und Manipulationsspiel.

Elisabeth Secker

Elisabeth Secker joined the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) as Managing Director in January 2018. Due to her prior function as Deputy Head of the Division Protection of Minors at the joint management office of the German media authorities in Berlin, she gained extensive experience in the field of Youth Protection of minors in the media. Before her position at the German media authorities she worked as Public Affairs Consultant for leading IT-companies in Berlin after finishing her studies in Communication Sciences at the University of Salzburg.

Youth Protection in Games: Current Challenges and New Debates

Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 17:30 – 18:00

The German Entertainment Self-Regulation Body (USK) is responsible for German youth protection  for digital games and apps. In the year 2018, that means reconciling federal law and state law applying different rules, depending on whether a game is released physically or can be downloaded. In times of mobile gaming and digital storefronts this duality requires new ways of thinking, while carefully transitioning established youth protection practice into modern approaches.

In the course of the last years, the USK has taken different steps to be one step ahead of the paradigm shifts that are taking place right now: It has become a founding member of the International Age Rating Coalition IARC.  IARC brings national rating authorities like USK together with global digital storefronts like the Google Play Store, enabling millions of apps to be rated on release, each reflecting the respective local age rating norms. Also, USK has partnered with Nintendo to certify the first law-complying Youth Protection System on a console, making it easier for families to set up safe environments to play.

At the same time, the way USK rates specific types of contents always has to reflect the contemporary ethical and moral standards of society, so new debates and changing perspectives always have to be implemented in whatever the newest technical framework for Youth Protection might be. A very recent example is the decision to apply the german law of social adequacy  within games – meaning that NS-symbols like swastikas can be allowed in educational and art context.

Elisabeth Secker will talk about the mulidimensional challenges USK is facing, with questions regarding Youth Protection ranging from technology to society.

Jürgen Bänsch

Jürgen Bänsch is Director Public Policy and Government Affairs of PEGI S.A., the organization that manages the pan-European age rating system for video games PEGI.

Jürgen is leading PEGI’s public policy and government affairs program on behalf of 1500+ member companies. He oversees the establishment of a co-regulatory framework that can address societal concerns related to video games and is built on close cooperation with European Institutions and Member States.

Jürgen’s previous professional background includes positions in the European trade and the telecommunications sectors. Jürgen is fluent in 5 languages and holds masters in History and in Political Science from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

PEGI, the European system of harmonised age ratings for video games

Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 17:00 – 17:30

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) was founded in 2003 as a self-regulatory age rating system for video games. The system was set up as part of the industry’s commitment to protect minors and to build trust with consumers by ensuring that reliable information about video game content is provided in a responsible manner.

Today, PEGI is used and recognised throughout Europe – PEGI rated products are marketed in more than 38 countries – and it has the enthusiastic support of the European Commission. It is considered as a model of European harmonisation in the field of minor protection and consumer transparency.

Jürgen Bänsch, PEGI’s Public Policy & Government Affairs Director, will give insights into how PEGI was established and how it developed into a system of harmonised content rating rules for games throughout Europe and beyond.

Markus Meschik

Markus Meschik is a social worker and head of “Enter”, an NGO dedicated to the counselling of families and institutions on the topic of digital games in education. He is an expert for the “BUPP” of the Federal Chancellery and is currently working on his PhD- Thesis on excessive gaming behaviour and related media education strategies at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz.

Continue? – About excessive gaming behaviour and the handling of related phenomena in education

Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 16:00 – 16:30

The increasing popularity of digital games as a pastime among a great many children, adolescents and adults poses new challenges for pedagogical and social professions and also is a cause of concern for many guardians.
Critical aspects such as addictive potential as well as potentially problematic financing models and gambling elements in digital games also need to be considered and adequately addressed in pedagogical practice.

As part of my dissertation I am creating a survey of studies on on addiction in digital games and exploring existing media education strategies of guardians. The aim is to explore these strategies and, based on those, develop conceptual guidelines that can support educators and parents in successful media addicition prevention in particular and media education in general.

Mathias Lux, Michael Riegler, Pål Halvorsen

Dr. Mathias Lux is Associate Professor at the Institute for Information Technology (ITEC) at Klagenfurt University. He is working on user intentions in multimedia retrieval and üroduction, semantics in social multimedia systems, and interactive multimedia in the domain of video games. In his scientific career he has (co-) authored more than 100 scientific publications, serves in multiple program committees and as reviewer of international conferences, journals and magazines on a regular basis, and has (co-)organized multiple scientific events. Mathias Lux is also well known for the development of the award winning and popular open source tools Caliph & Emir and LIRE for multimedia information retrieval. He has integrated image indexing and retrieval features in the popular Apache Solr search server and his system is for instance powering the WIPO Global Brand Database. At Klagenfurt University he has established a lively community of game developers and enthusiasts who meet at regular events and game jams.

Dr. Michael Alexander Riegler is a senior researcher at Simula center for digitalisation (SimulaMet) and Oslo University. He received his PhD from Simula Research Laboratory/University of Oslo in 2017, and a Master’s degree (with distinction) from Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. His research interests include: medical image and video analysis and understanding, image processing, image retrieval, parallel processing, gamification and serious games, crowdsourcing, social computing and user intentions.

Dr. Pål Halvorsen is a chief research scientist at Simula center for digitalisation (SimulaMet), a professor in computer science at University of Oslo and CEO of ForzaSys AS. His research interests are in the area of system support for medical and sport technologies including for example system-level optimizations, distributed systems, image and video analysis and sensor data processing.

E-Sports and Audience: Challenges for Broadcasting on the Example of  Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 15:00 – 15:30

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (short CS:GO) is a popular e-sports that has been around for years now. Tournaments are organized by the ESL, Valve and other major players and professional teams can earn their living with sponsorships and prize money. Moreover, popular tournaments are watched by hundreds of thousands viewers. In CS:GO matches two teams of five players try to overcome each other in a military setting. Typical matches last for an hour and more and each of the players generates a video stream resulting in ten and more hours of video, not all entertaining and informative for the audience. In this talk we focus on how CS:GO matches and their video streams relate to traditional sports broadcasting, what the challenges for summarization are and give an outlook on how computer science and multimedia research in particular might help.


Felix Schniz

Felix Schniz graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in English and American studies from the University of Mannheim, where he subsequently joined the master’s programme Cultural Transformations of the Modern Age: Literature and Media. With a thesis exploring the metamodern tendencies of the third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line (2012), he concluded the programme with excellence. Today, Felix Schniz is a PhD candidate and research assistant at AAU Klagenfurt. The focus of his dissertation are experiential dimensions of videogames. He furthermore is the director of studies for the master’s programme Game Studies and Engineering founded in 2016 and current head of the Klagenfurt Critical Game Lab.

To Save What’s Gone – Videogames as Eulogy

Keynote, Saturday, 20th October, 14:00 – 15:00

A growing number of independent games explore matters of loss, death, and remembrance. The genre of walking simulators, first and foremost, is prone to take players onto sojourns into lives gone, incidentally exploring strategies of memory and coping amidst virtual funerary monuments.

With this conference paper, I explore the narrative and mechanic features used in the portrayal of grief in walking simulators. I highlight that the very gameplay conventions for which the genre is often patronised, combined with features of unreliable and fragmentary narration, create an ambience of encouraging mystery that eases the coming to terms with the departed. In conclusion, I juxtapose my research insights with contemporary traditions of grief in the western societies and argue for the consideration of new modes of obituary.

Works Considered thus far                                                                                               

  • Giant Sparrow. 2017. What Remains of Edith Finch. West Hollywood: Annapurna Games.
  • Tale of Tales. The Graveyard. Bellevue: Valve Cooperation.
  • The Chinese Room. 2012. Dear Esther. Brighton: The Chinese Room.
  • The Chinese Room. 2016. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Brighton: The Chinese Room.

Emir Bekitc


Emir Bektić is a graduate student at the Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt, Austria. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in English and American studies, with his thesis exploring the psychological concept of locus of control in the game The Stanley Parable. He is currently enrolled in the Game Studies and Engineering Master’s Degree where his main interest revolves around the representation of historical artifacts and events in games. Other academic fields of interest are anglophone literature and film.

Are You Sure You Want to Exit Without Saving?
A game-preservation research project

Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 12:30 – 13:00

As the medium of games keeps growing ever-larger and with the industry producing them ever-growing, one would be justified to look to the future of games with a great deal of enthusiasm. However, this brings forth the danger of forgetting about the valuable past of the gaming industry and, in turn, losing a large number of relevant artifacts. The research conducted here thus focuses on the preservation of games, primarily through archiving. The goal is to analyze various methods of storing and maintaining games and the systems they are played on, with a practical application planned for the upcoming University of Klagenfurt Gamelab archive.

Wilfried Elmenreich

Wilfried Elmenreich is Professor of Smart Grids at the Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. He studied computer science at the Vienna University of Technology and in 2008 received the venia docendi for technical computer science. In 2007 he moved to the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt as Senior Researcher. After a visiting professorship at the University of Passau Elmenreich in 2013, he followed the call to the University of Klagenfurt. Wilfried Elmenreich is a member of the Senate at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Counselor of the IEEE Student Branch, and is involved in the master program on Game Studies and Engineering. He is the publisher of several books and has published over 150 articles in the field of networked and embedded systems. Elmenreich researches intelligent energy systems, self-organizing systems and technical applications of swarm intelligence.

Making a Game in One Hour

Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 12:00 – 12:30

Since the availability of programmable home computers, making computer games has become an achievable dream for gamers. Making a game, however, has always meant investing a tremendous amount of effort where people work on a project for weeks, months or even years. While game engines and game maker programs can help with this, the increasing complexity of computer systems has made it even harder to make a game in a reasonably short time. In recent years, game jams have started to break this habit by requiring teams to create a game prototype during one weekend. For instance, in the Ludum Dare game jam you are required to single-handedly produce all content, including assets, within 48 hours. But even faster paced game jams, like the weekly One Hour Game Jam, demonstrate that people are able to produce a small game prototype in around one hour. While these fast jams are definitely a great exercise for future game designers, they also teach us more: Firstly, they promote easy to use tools, which not only benefit the experienced speed coder but also the casual game programmer. They might not make a game in one hour, but probably making a game in half a day would be a great achievement for most people. Secondly, there is clear application in education, since typically month-long programming projects do not fit into common curricula, hourly lessons introducing a compact project with an interesting outcome is exactly what is needed to motivate pupils and teachers. Thirdly, while creating a small project in one hour may appears to be cowboy coding, it actually requires some software engineering skills to be able to identify the necessary steps to build a prototype and to properly identify a reasonable time budget for each part, like drawing, coding, level design and testing.

Daniela Bruns

Daniela Bruns works as a University Assistant at the Department of Media and Communications at the Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt in Austria. She holds a bachelor in Economics and a diploma in Media Theory and Cultural Studies from the University of Klagenfurt. Her main research interests include Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, Game Design and Video Games between escapism and activism.

Negotiating Fun and Seriousness: Towards a Learning/Gaming Experience of Popular Video Games

Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 11:30 – 12:00

The distinction between entertainment and serious content is still very present in the European society, which especially applies to the sector of video games. Although video games got integrated in higher culture through their connection to art, literature and as a medium for political critique, the popular ones often remain unnoticed when it is about to offer more than just fun and entertainment. The category of “serious games” approves this proposition in contrast to the lack of genres like “serious books” or “serious films”. This presentation explores strategies of artistic/political games as part of popular games in the context of a learning/gaming experience to open up a discussion about their potential of activating the gaming community to participate in a critical dialogue.



René Reinhold Schallegger

René Reinhold Schallegger was trained in English and American Studies, as well as French, with focus on literary criticism and cultural studies at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (Austria), and Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge/UK). Currently, he is Assistant Professor for British-, Canadian-, and Game Studies at Alpen-Adria-Universität and has just finished his post-doctoral thesis entitled “Choices and Consequences: Videogames, Virtual Ethics, and Cyber-Citizenship”. His most recent publications is The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual, and Meaning in the Medium (McFarland 2018).

Challenging Challenge – Towards a Redefinition of Games

Keynote, Saturday, 20th October, 10:30 – 11:30

Since the beginning, game studies have widely associated (video-)games with the notions of challenge and conflict, expressed in the essentialisation of fail states, the overcoming of obstacles, and player skill. While earlier, more philosophical or anthropological texts that paved the way for the new field did not give these elements such critical importance, when the conflict between narratologists and ludologists subsided, the latter mostly prevailed. I would like to challenge the notion of challenge as an integral and essential component of the definition of the medium. I will use examples from videogames that already function differently and suggest ideas for alternate ways to conceive of and design (video-)games.