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This time the whole festival revolved around the theme TAKE A BREATH, focusing on games and forms of play that make us stop, stand still and reflect. What leads us to these moments and helps us to find what we need for a satisfied, relaxed and happy life, to set goals and to focus? Together, we consider how everyday pressures can be faced and how working and living conditions have an impact on the topics, messages and environments of interactive media and art.

The interactive exhibition featured a total of 23 experimental and playful works in the areas of Stress, Reflection and Relaxation. Here, the various focal points of the theme could be experienced and explored interactively: Agonizingly closing pop-up windows on the work PC, taking a seat in a real kayak and paddling in VR, exploring Antarctica and love, or trying to reach the President of the USA with a telephone hotline. Amidst the hustle and bustle, the relaxation tent invited visitors to simply let go and listen to the sounds of the games outside the tent with headphones. Supplemented by one changing game per day, international works from 15 countries could be discovered.

The PLAYvalley is the digital festival location. Here, all streams could be watched and the on-site festival could be visited with cameras. The exhibition can not only be viewed, but to a large extent also played. It is also a fantastic place to meet the team, the artists* and other guests. Just open it in your browser (not on mobile phones/tablets), log in and go exploring alone or with friends! The PLAYvalley is always open and the on-site daily changing games were present all days. At 7 pm the PLAYnight was starting - THE meeting point for all online guests to exchange, play and listen to the evening program.

Creative Gaming Awards
In addition, the six games nominated for the Creative Gaming Awards, as well as the 12 Honorable Mentions, could also be found in the exhibition. The Audience Award, which EVERY work in the exhibition could receive, was awarded by the guests.


Guided tours were available upon request at Festival HQ (Well of Wisdom).

Every evening around 7pm, it was THE time to visit the PLAYvalley:
At the PLAYnight, you could meet artists, play together and listen to the evening program!

Works & Artists

Meeting the artists was possible at the following times (CET):

Monday + Wednesday, from 12pm on - Unechte Sachen with "Puppet Play"
Tuesday + Thursday, 5-6pm - MAX INFERNO with "A Little to the Left"
Tuesday, 6:40pm - Tmesis Studio with "Universe for Sale"
Wednesday, 6:40pm - Twisted Ramble with "Duru - A Game About Mole Rats & Depression"
Thursday, 6:40pm - Scavengers Studio with "Season: A letter to the future" (inkl. Demo-Keys!)
Sunday, 12:20pm - Thomas Molles & Felix Pankraz with "Office Job"


Adrenaline, difficult tasks, time pressure... Stress is usually associated with negative feelings. Nevertheless, many people enter the stressful worlds of games to relax after a tiring day. But why? To master the stress and get into a flow-like state? To enjoy the challenge? The works in this segment question precisely this relationship.

Office Job

Thomas Molles, Felix Pankraz, Pierre Blanchard
DE/FR, 2022

Giga Bash

Passion Republic Games
MY, 2022

The Eldorado Mission

Dino0040, Rozzo, Kyle Waldon, RyanAvx
DE, 2021

Exo One

AU, 2020


Adam Pype & Viktor Kraus
BE, 2022

Subway Midnight

Bubby Darkstar
US, 2021


Ewoud van der Werf & Extra Nice
NL, tba

Trombone Champ

Holy Wow Studios
US, 2022


Half Asleep
CA, tba


The moment of pause. What lies behind? What has been learned? What conclusions does one draw for the future? In this segment, works face this question through their mechanics, in their statements or by enabling precisely this moment of personal reflection.


Pajama Llama
BE, 2019

Know by heart

Ice-Pick Lodge
RU, 2022

South of the Circle

State of Play
GB, 2022


Afterburner Studios
US, 2022


Joost Eggermont, Jorrit de Vries with Music by La Dispute
NL, 2019


Just switch off for once, let yourself drift. Sounds easy, but relaxation looks different for each person. With different ways to find peace, the works in this segment invite to find your own way. Stress and relaxation are sometimes not so far apart...

Kayak VR: Mirage

Better Than Life
NL, 2022


ES, tba

Routine Feat

RU, 2022

Season: A letter to the future

Scavengers Studio
CA, tba


Lance, 3-50
FR, 2022

A little to the left

CA, tba

Alba - A Wildlife Adventure

ustwo games
GB, 2020

Cloud Gardens

Noio Games
NL, 2020

Gently Down the Marsh

Jói, Joon & Torfi
IS, 2019

Open Exhibition

Every day, there was a different work to see in the on-site exhibition. In PLAYvalley, of course, they can be seen every day.

- Mo -
Open Field

Karina Teruya
US, 2021

- Tu -
Universe for Sale – Prologue

Tmesis Studio
IT, tba

- We -
Duru – About Mole Rats and Depression

Twisted Ramble Games
DE, tba

- Th -
One Dreamer

Gareth Ffoulkes/F2House
AU, tba

- Fr -
Presenter Slides

Mathias Schifter & Brin Žvan
DK, 2022

- Sa -
Wayward Strand

ghost pattern
AU, 2022

- Su -
Save Room

Fractal Projects
BZ, 2022

PLAY22 – Creative Gaming Festival is an event produced by the Initiative Creative Gaming e. V. and jaf – Verein für medienpädagogische Praxis Hamburg e. V.

Funded by Projektfonds Medien und Bildung Hamburg, der BürgerStiftung Hamburg, Gamecity Hamburg and JIZ - Jugendinformationszentrum Hamburg der BSB

Supported by the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, dem Fonds für kreative Zwischennutzung von der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg und der Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, der htk academy, KUTI-Spiele, DOMO Camp, Fundus Theatre and Kurzfilm Agentur Hamburg

Sponsored by siebold/hamburg messebau GmbH, BettaF!sh, Fritz Kola

Mediapartnership Polaris

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