“Playfulness is a character trait most people tend to lose when they get an education”

As women empowerment increases in importance on the world’s agenda, educationg women in technology becomes a viable solution in order to attain this goal. Moreover, educating women in the industry of technological gaming is fast becoming a reality, thanks to A MAZE. While there remains a stereotype with regards to the supposed target market of electronic games, the statictics state otherwise. It seems that females are tapping into the fun side of life as well and we, at SPICE4LIFE, could not be happier or prouder.

Taking place in Braamfontein from 10 to 13 September, the 2014 instalment of A MAZE. is poised be a major highlight of the Fak’ugesi: Digital Africa Festival. This year’s event will also showcase the increasingly important role of women game creators, digital artists and designers.

Four women from France, Denmark and Germany will join the three day programme which includes talks, panel discussions, a selection of independent games, interactive installations, a market hack, workshops, and music.

Says Thorsten S. Wiedemann, Festival Director and A MAZE. Founder: “A MAZE. is an international label in the field of independent games, playful media and games culture. Interdisciplinary, game-centred events and productions transcending media channels and cultures are the signature feature of A MAZE.”

According to a U.S. study conducted in 2012, 47% percent of all game players are women, a number which grows substantially each year. Recent estimates suggest women over 18 are one of the fastest growing demographics in the gaming industry.

“Playfulness is a character trait most people tend to lose when they get an education” says Weidemann , “A MAZE. gives the motivation to rethink established workarounds and concepts.”

Participating in this year’s exciting line-up, from France are digital artist Emilie Gervais and game designer Tatiana Vilela. Gervais uses the internet simultaneously as an online support tool and creative environment while Vilela creates playful installations and experimental games in game jams and artist residencies.

Hailing from Germany is Lea Schönfelder, game designer of the award winning Perfect Woman. She aims to spark public debate around questions of gender and ethics. Recently Russian Parliament debated whether her game ‘Ulitsa Dimi-trova’ should be banned.

Julie Heyde joins A MAZE. 2014 as game designer from Denmark. Founder of Bandello, she develops XTODIE and is one of the organisers of Nordic Game Jam.

For more information on A MAZE. visit www.amaze-johannesburg.co.za and www.fakugesi.co.za

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