Dramaturgy of violence? – Or why games are also art !

Prof. Dr. Micheal Bhatty
There is growing public awareness of computer games – ›games‹. And yet it is difficult for more classically ori- ented art lecturers and artists to recognise games as a form of art – after all, aren’t games technological prod- ucts, trivial, often violent ›fun‹? Is this the case? Or do games exist that can ‘also’ be comprehended as art – forty years after the emergence of interactive scenarios? Or perhaps games are even more than that?

Can ‘serious games’ conserve art and make it more experienceable if employed in the area of experimental archaeology and interactive museums? In his lecture, Michael Bhatty will highlight the synergies, convergences and divergences of media and technological contents that can be found in today’s games and interactive narrations, as well as the paths this young art and media form will take. Hence cross-connections are made between Shakespeare and Tolkien, between Kurosawa and Jackson, which show that literature, theatre and film also faced clichés and prejudices, whilst it was lateral thinkers in the East and West who promoted it to an art form.

Michael T. Bhatty (*1967) wrote his first scripts and produced his first science fiction films on Super 8, based on films from his youth such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien and Planet of the Apes, at the age of twelve. In the early 1990s, while studying for his Magister in Art, Literature and Media Science at the University of Osnabrück, he staged short fantasy films with intricate and rapidly mounted battle choreographies, such as the skinhead doc- umentation Skintonic.

In 2000, Michael Bhatty started working as a concept author and consultant in the IT and Games industry. As Lead Game Designer at Ascaron Software/ Entertainment GmbH, he helped build up a division for action and ad- venture games there, and devised such titles as the internationally acclaimed action role game ›SACRED‹ (2004), before leading the development of casual games such as ›MOORHUHN – Piraten‹ from the end of 2005 as Chief Executive Producer at Phenomedia Publishing GmbH.

At the beginning of 2007, he established ›Michael Bhatty Entertainment‹ in order to offer his expertise as an in- dependent producer, game director and author, and to realise his own projects. In 2010, he became the first pro- fessor of Game Design on the Digital Media Production course at Macromedia University for Media and Commu- nication in Munich, where he teaches his new concept of game designer as author and director.