Project Lead of the SNF Ambizione research project “Horror – Game – Politics”. Researches the History of Political Ideas in Video Games. Studied History and Political Sciences at the University of Vienna and at the Université de Paris IV- Sorbonne. Wrote his Ph.D. in History of the Political Communication at the University of Frankfurt am Main and at the University of Trento.
The Austrian games industry and the free market economy 1991-2006. A political history of ideas.
FROG 2020 – Keynote
The Austrian games industry was particularly successful with business simulations and construction games. In these games we got to know the beautiful new economic world of the post-cold war period in a playful way: Capital had to be increased, production expanded, profits maximised and competition eliminated. During their heyday, the Austrian developer scene were honoured with state and federal awards, and Austrian politicians presented themselves to the press together with “their” shooting stars. After various bankruptcies, takeovers and company dissolutions, the young model entrepreneurs disappeared just as quickly from the collective memory. It is remarkable that this peak phase of Austrian game production took place at the same time as a political transition phase of Austria, which has not yet been studied much. After the end of the Cold War, Austria joined the European Union. In addition to the paradigm shift in foreign policy, there were also far-reaching changes on the social and economic policy side. For example, the privatisation of Austria Tabakwerke, Telekom and Post took place between 1991 and 2006. In addition, Austrian federal governments have adopted several austerity packages since 1995. It can therefore be said that the development of the Austrian game industry took place in a time of political and social change. In this sense, it is necessary to examine whether the games that emerged can also be read as a sources of direct contemporary Austrian history.