Foundation for Digital Games Culture (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur)

The Foundation for Digital Games Culture (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) develops and initiates projects and measures that make games accessible as a cultural asset, educational medium, and driver of research and innovation. It was jointly initiated by the German Bundestag and the German games industry in 2012. The foundation’s efforts are supported by a high-calibre advisory council whose 14 members come from areas including German Federal Ministries, the Supreme Youth Protection Authorities of the German federal states, colleges and universities, and the games industry. In keeping with its focus on research, education and culture, the foundation implements numerous research and pilot projects. The following offers a few selected insights into the work done by the foundation in 2021.

In the field of research, in summer 2021 the foundation organised ‘Erinnern mit Games’ (Remembering with games), a digital conference held in collaboration with the German Cultural Council and supported by the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ Foundation). The conference sought to answer a question: what might games be able to contribute to education in the field of history and politics in terms of cultural themes of remembrance? Following the event, the foundation published the ‘Games und Erinnerungskultur’ (Games and remembrance culture) online database, a digital reference work presenting selected games that deal with key events of German and European history in various ways. Additional entries were made to this database thanks to support from the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism. In November 2021, the foundation also worked with Charité Berlin to organise the Healthcare Game Jam, an event format that helped foster the development of seven game prototypes designed to motivate young people to pursue a career in medicine and raise awareness of the important contribution that specialists make to the field of healthcare.

As part of its efforts in the field of education and research, in 2021 the foundation launched the ‘Games machen Schule’ (Games at school) initiative. As part of this initiative, in autumn 2021 a model project supported by the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family set out to determine whether – and how – digital games could be employed in scholastic instruction. In addition, in spring 2022 a thematically related six-month feasibility study was started in North Rhine-Westphalia with the support of the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Schools and Education.

As part of its efforts in the field of education, the foundation has also enabled more than 3,500 children and adolescents to participate in cultural education through its ‘Stärker mit Games’ (Stronger with games) initiative. The programme is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Furthermore, the foundation collaborated with Bildung & Begabung to once again hold the academy for the GamesTalente youth support programme entirely digitally. As part of ‘Projekttage Games – Berlin/Brandenburg’ (‘Games project days – Berlin/Brandenburg’), an event sponsored by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the foundation also afforded over 500 pupils valuable insights into careers in the games industry.

In the field of culture, in spring 2021 the foundation worked with the Goethe-Institut to hold ‘Game ’n’ Train Mixer Online: India’, a new digital version of the cultural exchange programme for German and international game developers. In addition, August saw the finals of the second season of the ‘Quartet of Game Culture’, an event series supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. As the awards office for the German Computer Games Awards and the gamescom award, the foundation has also been responsible for the submissions process and jury deliberations for two key games awards in Germany for many years now.

For further information, please go to www.stiftung-digitale-spielekultur.de