Computer games and the technology that drives them have dramatically changed society over the past three decades. How we live with that change and what it will mean in the future is endlessly fascinating and the subject of ongoing conjecture. In Germany, the GAME Association of Germany (www.game-bundesverband.de) provides a platform for game developers in a market that is one of the most significant for the European games industry. And of even greater significance is the emergence of Applied Interactive Technologies (APITs) arising from within the games industry: Serious Games i.e. games for health, games in education, games for change etc. - Gamification, 3D simulations, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, where technologies developed primarily in the games industry are used to create solutions around issues and information that profoundly impacts people's real lives. The way we live tomorrow will be determined to a great extent by the games we play today. [Image 1. from "Utopolis - Aufbruch der Tiere", winner of Best Serious Game at the German Computer Game Awards 2014; Image 2. Speed Camera Lottery from VW Fun Theory Competition.]
Exciting annual events in Germany include the International Games Week in Berlin co-hosting the Quo Vadis Game Developers' Conference (www.internationalgamesweekberlin.com) and Respawn, the gathering of game developers with its pitch & match sessions. On a larger scale, GDC Europe returns to Cologne every August, co-located with gamescom, the world's biggest games expo (www.gamescom-cologne.com), turning Cologne into Party Central! Other really interesting crossover conferences and events are raising the bar in APITs: the Clash of Realities Conference at the Cologne Game Lab, the Future Convention in Frankfurt and FMX in Stuttgart are all examples of the great innovative force unleashed when science, art, disruptive thinking and storytelling converge.