Game Zone


For the third time, the Ji.hlava IDFF offers a zone of game worlds where you can find documentary or educational computer games that deal with a number of subjects, from current global issues to intimate stories, that are hard to portray yet remain aesthetically exceptional.  The renovation of a city ruined by natural disaster; the personal experience of watching a loved one fight cancer; travelling in peaceful woods; experiencing the dramatic lives of war-zone refugees – a game can be more than just a creative adaptation of a book or an image of a lyricized meditative world, it can also create a dramatic world full of complex ethical questions and decisions. This year’s Game Zone presents different game worlds and approches to content, which show real environment or stories, or encourage abilities and skills using unique aesthetic strategies. The Game Zone festures the genres of “serious games”, newsgames, or game version of journalism, and “docu-games” inspired by contemporary life and real events and experiences.

Game Zone is organized in cooperation with eSuba.


  • Walden, a game

​>  The game, whose development took more than 10 years, aims to nurture inner balance. It draws on Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, a book written by the transcendentalist and spiritual father of today’s environmental movement Henry David  Thoreau. Like  Thoreau, the player experiences all the four seasons near Walden, a pond in Massachusetts, roams through the woods, grows beans, makes fire and writes down his or her own thoughts and experiences.  The game responds to the moods reflected in the player’s actions – e.g. by turning down the music and dimming the light when the player starts to feel melancholic.
Tracy Fullerton, Walden Team, 2017, USA​

  • That Dragon, Cancer

​> A thoughtful linear and autobiographical docu-game developed by the parents of a child who was fighting cancer. Without emotional blackmailing and with intellectual provocativeness, it guides players through an extreme experience – an encounter with terminal illness.  The two-hour adventure (a combination of simulator and platform game) is divided into 14 episodes that take place in real and fictitious spaces and down various clichés associated with being around a loved one who is dying.
Numinous Games, 2016, USA​

  • Re-building Haiti

​>  The chaotic situation in the capital of Haiti in the aftermaths of the 2010 destructive earthquake places view- ers/players in the middle of a humanitarian catastrophe. Under realistically depicted conditions, players try to re-build the shattered city and run its administration, considering such issues as housing, health care, starvation, the economy and migration. Combining longform journalism, multimedia inputs, real stories of the survivors and decisions made by viewers/players, this is a new form of journalism and social education.
The Pixel Hunt, European Journalism Centre, Rue89, 2014, EU

  • The Good, The Bad and The Accountant

​> A browser game focuses on the secret mechanisms of corruption in society, government and management.  Through the characters of a mayor, of lawyer and representatives of different interest groups, the player tries to run a city and its finances without succumbing to corruption; what decision should he or she make and how should he or she balance the different interests of different sides in complex situations?  The examples of bribery and corruption used in the game are based on real cases.  The game thus illustrates different forms of corruption behaviour and attitudes and how difficult, but not impossible, it is to fight them.
Journalism++, 2017, EU​

  • Future Unfolding

​>  The player sets off on an adventurous journey, exploring and also re-building an environment that used to be impenetrable wilderness. He or she builds walls and roads, plants trees and marks pavements to connect individual parts.  is dream world encourages the player to continue with his or her discoveries but also to alter and play with the environment, giving free reign to creativity and aesthetic feelings and keeping balance between wilderness and human interventions. In this action adventure based on exploration, players have to solve mysteries and puzzles hidden in the sur- rounding landscape to discover different levels of the wild world.
Spaces of Play, 2017, Germany​

  • My Memory of Us

​> A story of two children from a ghetto, depicted in a veristic style.  The two friends are running away from an evil king and his robotic sidekicks.  The game draws on real events from the WWII Jewish ghettos of Nazi-occupied Poland.  The player has to keep running from danger, solving puzzles and situations to survive in the ghetto. But each of the two friends has unique abilities, so they need to cooperate and use them together. “Children have their own way of thinking. Good, evil, human relationships – they see all of this very differently from adults. And they have something what we, adults, lack – natural ability to concentrate on those things that bind us together,” explains Jakub Jabłoński, the game’s creative director.
Juggler Games, 2017, Poland​

  • Orwell: Keeping an Eye On You

​> In this world, the player becomes Big Brother – he or she watches and questions the inhabitants of the city, trying to find those who are responsible for a series of terrorist attacks.  The supervisor can use different sources of information, from those that are publically available on the Internet to personal files and private communication between the inhabitants. But the way this overseer (interrogator) gains and processes information has consequences that players must to gradually come to terms with, forcing them to consider the ethical dimension of their decisions.
Osmotic Studios, Surprise Attack Games, 2016, Germany, Australia​

Tuesday - Friday / 10am - 7pm / Masaryk Square Jihlava

Photo Gallery

Festival edition: 2017
Event type: Game Zone


The leitmotif of this year’s edition of the Ji.hlava IDFF will be memory