The first Future Jam event, held over the past weekend at the PISMO incubator powered by A1 and organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum, showcased the vision of game developers for future work processes, as well as their understanding of the importance of workers’ rights. The competition, which focused on the past, present, and future of work, resulted in the creation of an application called Sinder, which is essentially Tinder for organizing unions, as well as video games that depict working conditions in Zagreb and Manchester in the past century. Additionally, a satirical VR simulation was created that focuses on the future of work and the use of artificial intelligence.
With the global labor market experiencing rapid changes due to trends such as increasing use of artificial intelligence, automation, algorithmization, and remote work, the Future Jam event was organized to examine the concept of meaningful work and human creativity, while also addressing workers’ rights. The event attracted approximately 20 participants, who received expert advice on game design structure while adhering to the Future Jam’s thematic framework.
Mentors for the event included Georg Hobmeier, co-founder of the Vienna-based studio Causa Creations, who is known for his focus on social issues in narrative game design and rich experience in creating exciting gameplay, as well as Aleksandar Gavrilović from Gamechuck and the CGDA association, and Dominik Cvetkovski from ANIQ studio and the HU-IZ-VI association. Hobmeier noted that Novska is an excellent place to start a game development studio, which is why the event was held at the PISMO incubator.
The three best projects, selected by the mentors, received prizes worth €500. The winning projects included simulations of working conditions in Manchester in the 19th century and Zagreb in the 1920s, the Sinder application, and a satirical VR simulation of the future of work and the use of artificial intelligence. The winners will have time to refine their projects before presenting them at an interactive exhibition in Zagreb in mid-2023.
Future Jam is the first in a series of participatory game development sessions for Croatian creatives, mentored by an Austrian mentor or mentorship program, as part of the IMAGINE Arts & Ideas initiative of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria, aimed at artistic and cultural projects that address pressing issues of the 21st century.