Supporting the playful arts, in Australia and internationally

Fair Play seminar

The inaugural seminar for APILI, Fair Play: the good of play and games, and their place in culture, will explore how play and games can (and do) contribute to the wider culture, examine the persistent cultural blind spots that prevent us from better realising this potential, and take some crucial first steps in helping to overcome those oversights and develop the opportunities we are missing.

Fair Play will feature presentations and participation by noteworthy national and international figures, including poet, former Head of English, educational consultant and visual artist Lisa McNeice; Chair of the American Library Association’s Games & Gaming Round Table, Diane Robson; Thomas Vigild, Headmaster of the Gaming Academy at Vallekilde Højskole, in Denmark; library technologist and innovator, Ann Arbor District Library Deputy Director Eli Neiburger; and world-renowned game design icon, University of California Santa Cruz educator, and Fulbright Fellow Brenda Romero, creator of (among many other things) cRPG series Wizardry and tabletop game series The Mechanic is the Message. (Further possible participants are still to be confirmed.) More detail on the program is available here.

The seminar will provide an unprecedented opportunity for people from all the above walks of life – educators, librarians, arts policy and funding officials, game developers, game distributors, and game lovers – to learn about and discuss what games and play mean, and how they can be supported and used. The seminar will provide participants with an opportunity to share ideas and wisdom both within their own particular sector and cross-sectorally, cutting through the inertia created by siloing different parts of culture and cultural infrastructure away from each other, and freeing people up to collaborate and plan for the bigger picture.

In addition, Fair Play will lay groundwork for Australia to take the lead (and capitalise on its existing leads) in these simultaneously cutting-edge and ancient elements of culture. Australian creators are among the world’s best in the field; Fair Play will seek to ensure that this key advantage is not wasted.

Please note that, owing to the cross-sectoral nature of the seminar, there are loose quotas for each of the subsectors to be represented and that places are therefore extremely limited.

There is currently no date or venue fixed for this seminar; the original date at the State Library of Victoria had to be postponed, owing to too many key people who were interested in attending being unable to obtain authorisation and funding from their organisation to attend. Truly a Catch-22 – they couldn’t come to a seminar about the cultural blind spot surrounding games and play because games and play did not register as important to their organisations! But the seminar is currently only postponed; every one of the speakers and participants mentioned above indicated their desire to remain involved, so we are currently working behind the scenes to ensure we get attendance from key institutions before going ahead.

To express your interest in attending, please register with APILI using the form below: