1 Admission requirements
The entry requirements are the core of the profile of the German Computer Game Award:
– Honoring German games or international categories
– Ensuring the protection of minors
– Fulfillment of a quality worthy of an award:
- Artistic or cultural value or
- Pedagogical-didactic value or
- Technology and innovation or
- Fun and entertainment.
Depending on the award category, the respective quality criteria must be weighted in relation to each other by the expert jury. The following descriptions provide basic orientation.
2 quality criteria
2.1 Artistic or cultural value
The nominated title …
- deals with topics of great social or (popular) cultural significance.
- promotes an examination of the German and/or European cultural identity of the recipients.
- fascinates by its aesthetic, dramaturgical and/or game-mechanical design and shows attention to detail by the responsible game creators.
- captivates through an innovative and/or advanced audiovisual representation of the virtual game environment (in games with a focus on a high degree of realism) or through a successful abstract-symbolic stylization of the elements depicted.
- can hold its own against similar games (within the same genre), against comparable products of other media genres (e. g. film or comics) and regarding the game tradition through quality and originality.
2.2 Pedagogical value of a computer or video game
The nominated title …
- has references and links to the target group’s life world that encourage critical reflection and empathy, conveys embedded generally binding values, manners, specialist knowledge and/or factual competence without preventing their effect by being too intrusive.
- is characterized by an appropriate degree of audiovisual as well as coordinative stress (adequate for the target group) and allows regular and frequent saving of the game progress.
- offers possible learning effects regarding sensomotoric, cognitive, social, personal-related and/or media competencies and gives the player valuable feedback on his progress.
- avoids depicting socially problematic behavior (e. g., violence and discrimination) or, at best, depicts it in a way that is appropriate for the target group and encourages critical reflection.
- shows potential for promotion, e. g. by testing new role patterns, propagating de-escalation, arousing curiosity and interest, etc.
2.3 Technology and innovation
It is generally indispensable that the submitted game runs technically flawlessly, is smoothly playable, does not crash and does not contain any obvious programming errors (bugs). Furthermore, it is essential for an award that the nominated title …
- continuously maintains the balance of the (preferably adjustable) difficulty level; the controls are well thought-out and function ergonomically appropriate.
- is versatilely adaptable in terms of control and presentation and is appropriately implemented for the specific conditions of different systems.
- avoids overlong loading times, cleverly conceals them, or uses loading passages productively with meaningful and informative tool tips and background information.
- manages the technical potentials and limitations of the respective hardware platform with confidence, i. e. can make full use of hardware strengths and compensate for or mitigate weaknesses.
- leaves well-known genre paths, distinguishes itself through the successful implementation of original ideas in every respect and/or knows how to surprise with special qualities in technology, game mechanics, visualization, operation, acoustics, etc.
2.4 Fun and entertainment
The nominated title …
- offers lasting motivation through a dramaturgical arc of suspense, inspires with ‘magic moments’ (the ‘anecdotes’ of computer games) and captivates with an interesting story and a plot rich in twists and turns.
- is characterized by both challenging and fair gameplay, maintains a balance between ‘pleasure and frustration passages’ (interval tension) and/or features sustained gameplay sequences with captivating game flow.
- appeals to a wide range of audiences (beginners, advanced, genre lovers) and has obvious potential to be declared a genre reference title by critics.
- is characterized by originality, charm, and attractiveness, which enable or encourage joint play of differently media-competent recipients.
- offers freedom for self-determined gameplay (experience of self-efficacy) in a credible (albeit under certain circumstances miniaturized and stylized) game world.