[Translate to Englisch:] Die Teilnehmenden des Programms HOLA Serious Games entwickeln Spiele-Prototypen. Bild: MFG Baden-Württemberg

HOLA Serious Games: How students shape the future through play

The University of Konstanz participates in the cross-university program of the state agency MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg for the development of games.

With the Inter-University Laboratory for Cooperative Work, or HOLA Serious Games for short, MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft is for the first time creating an offer that brings together students, professors and experts from the games industry in the southwest of the state. Serious games are games that aim to convey information and/or education beyond entertainment value. Since October 14, 2022, 30 students from five different universities have been working together for one semester to develop game prototypes on demanding and social challenges. The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg is funding the program as part of the Media Impulse Program.

Beate Ochsner, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Konstanz, and her research group were involved from the very beginning when it came to developing the HOLA program with a focus on serious games. She explains, "From Konstanz's point of view, the project is highly exciting because we ourselves are currently launching transdisciplinary collaborative research on the topic of 'Serious Gaming or: taking gaming seriously.' But while serious games research is often focused on the production of new games, we are asking about the socio-cultural, political and economic effects of increasing gamification on the one hand, and growing workification on the other. Up to what point is gamification (still) occurring, or at what point is workification (already) occurring?"

Unique program focus nationwide

MFG Baden-Württemberg developed the pioneering HOLA Serious Games program together with five Baden-Württemberg universities - Stuttgart Media University, macromedia Stuttgart, SRH University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg, the University of Konstanz and the University of Tübingen - and brought it to fruition. The cooperation between the universities promotes different, interdisciplinary perspectives on the topic of games. The participants come from the study programs Game Development, Mobile Media, Game Design, Virtual Realities, Business Informatics as well as Musicology, Media Studies, English Literature & Culture and the Department of Literature-Art-Media.

The serious games to be developed during the program will focus, for example, on communicating the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals or helping people enjoy social contact again after living in isolation during the Corona pandemic. After completing the program, students receive professional, networking and perspective financial support if they want to work on further developing their ideas. To this end, MFG Baden-Württemberg offers a portfolio of services with the incubator program Developer Boost, with networking meetings for the Baden-Württemberg games scene, with the two GamesHubs in Heidelberg and Ludwigsburg, and with the state funding program Games BW.

Save the Date: At the final event on January 27, 2023 in Stuttgart, the teams will present their prototypes to experts from the field, who will give them impetus to further develop the games. In addition, the audience will have the opportunity to test the prototypes. 

About HOLA Serious Games

In HOLA Serious Games, a unique inter-university program, students work in interdisciplinary teams to develop a game prototype that is relevant to practice. For one semester, the MFG Baden-Württemberg program accompanies them through all steps of game development. Particular focus is placed on their own self-reflection when "games get serious," close interaction with experts from the field, and the conscious experience of an innovation process.

To the original announcement of MFG Baden-Württemberg: mfg.de/presse.