Next Level - Festival for Games
Since 2010, the NRW KULTURsekretariat has been showing interactive and participatory models of digital game culture and highlights their potentials and prospects, but also their risks. Long since the "Next Level - Festival for Games" has proven to be the only resonance room for a focused examination of art and culture of digital games established.
After three years each in Cologne, Dortmund and Düsseldorf, the first festival run at the UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein in autumn 2019 marked the successful start of a multi-year cooperation with the city of Essen and the Zollverein Foundation on digital change, involving many other partners and supported by the NRW Ministry of Culture.
The next edition of the festival will present new trends and technologies from the world of gaming with a broad spectrum of exhibitions and installations, adventure courses and performances, workshops and workshops, lectures and discussions from 26 to 28 November 2021.
The programme is again aimed at gamers of all ages, players from the games industry, people responsible for art and culture, media artists, actors from the field of game studies, journalists, media educators, teachers, parents and children.
The eleventh "Next-Level" edition in total and the second one at Zollverein, in the new design, was scheduled for mid-November 2020. However, due to the culture lockdown in autumn 2020, the festival, which had already been completely planned, had to be cancelled at short notice despite a sophisticated safety and hygiene concept.
With the substantial support of the NRW Ministry of Culture, a significant expansion of the festival compared to 2019 was planned: with considerably extended room capacities and a greatly expanded programme, advertised by diverse digital activities.
An interactive course with trend-setting games was planned as the festival centre. The performance programme, which included multimedia video walks, performative installations and process-oriented, intermedia music performances that involved the audience in the artistic design process, was to be given a large space.
In addition to this, a symposium was conceived which was to focus on the highly topical issues of digitality, ecology and value with new playful formats of communication.
Possible adoptions of individual themes and programme items will be included in the festival planning for 2021.