After long discussions the German Kulturrat, the umbrella organisation of the German cultural associations, today welcomed the federal association of game developers GAME, as their latest member. The rationale behind this move: Games are sponsoring all kinds of arts and artists, from designer to script writer to composer; they all benefit from the burgeoning industry.

Despite this somehow strange reasoning (games being “Kultur” because they help to sustain other arts instead of being accepted as cultural artefacts in their own right) Malte Behrmann, chairman of GAME, describes the decision as a milestone of German media policy. “For the first time an association of the game industry was incorporated in an institution of cultural politics. The game industry finally arrived in the cultural sphere. This is a great day for the German game industry!”

This whole procedure again goes to show show that in Germany new forms of media always need to be legitimised through the concept of Kultur – which on one hand can do miracles in terms of acceptance. After all culture epitomises an anti-barbaric distinction which perfectly serves for bourgeois self-legitimation – but then again this anti-barbaric distinction also prevents Gears of War 2 from being released in Germany and helps to perpetuate the patronising behaviour of the German state in terms of censorship.

Soon to come: Discussions about culturally valuable games whose market share is marginal at best (at least we Germans are trying our best to save the world again, even if it’s just the saving the virtual world from unnecessary brutalisation).

-Jens

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