Students Abroad: Excursion to Basel

Prof. Olia Lialina (left) with New Media Students at HEK Basel

In winter semester 2021/22 New Media professor Olia Lialina and the students of The Pace of Interaction semester project went to Basel, to HEK, House of Electronic Arts to visit the exhibition Radical Gaming – Immersion Simulation Subversion.

The international group exhibition Radical Gaming presents a selection of artists who investigate the structures, technologies and aesthetics of a global gaming industry. Their works are characterised by a particularly unconventional approach to employing the immersion and interaction inherent to video games, whose common narratives and stereotypes they subversively undermine. It invites visitors to play with games that challenge gaming tropes -in particular the stereotypes of virility and the logic of competition- as well as our understanding of what it means to interact and to program interaction.

After a guided tour through the exhibition, the students had several hours to immerse in the projects and explore the ways artists subvert mechanics of virtual reality and other extended realities to make the view notice them and their own role as a player. Games are the environments to narrate and to investigate, to uncover and criticize, there are rooms for nostalgic as well as absolutely futuristic experiences.

“It was a great and very timely dive. The industry tells us now it is time we all should become creators of the Metaverse. Which makes the role of new media designer more and more close to game designer, How to create meaningful, non-manipulative but still exciting interfaces for the future interactions? The exhibition was a great entry point to think about it”, Prof. Olia Lialina concludes the visit.


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