Where: Filmhuset, Gothersgade 55 – Bio Asta (in the basement)
When: Thursday, February 6th at 16:30-20:00

16:30: Welcome
16:35: Jesper Juul: The Art of Failure – On the Pain of Playing Video Games
17:15: Pause – mingling and coffee
17:35: Teemo Ashton: To Fail or not to Fail
17:50: Mikkel Martin Pedersen: Game Over – the road to success
18:05: Debate hosted by Thomas Vigild
18:30: More mingling – and beer sponsored by Press Play

Note: SpilBar 18 was originally intended to be in Danish but will now be held in English.

Jesper Juul: The Art of Failure – On the Pain of Playing Video Games
We often talk of video games as “fun”, but in this talk Jesper Juul will explain why this is almost entirely mistaken. When we play video games, our expressions are rarely those of happiness or bliss. Instead, we frown, grin, and shout in frustration. So why do we even do it? Why do we play video games even though they make us unhappy? With game examples from QWOP to Super Hexagon to Red Dead Redemption, Jesper will compare the experience of being a sore loser to the experience of reading tragic plays and the shock of watching horror movies. During my talk, the audience will be invited to play unfair and unreasonably difficult games.

Teemo Ashton: To fail or not to fail
Teemo always kind of knew that ‘it’ was there. He might not always have been sure about what ‘it’ was exactly, but with time as genres evolve and new games emerge, it has become increasingly clear that ‘it’ is now missing.
‘It’? The possibility of failure. The risk that you might actually lose. But is it even something people miss? When everyday weighs in with stress, deadlines and requirements, would we ideally not just prefer to sit back and be sure to win when we play? Do we really need the frustration actual challenges and requirements bring? In his talk Teemo aims to get into why exactly adversity might just be the most important ingredient in a game, and what happens when it is removed.

Mikkel Martin Pedersen: Game Over – the road to success
This talk will focus on “failing” in games from a game developer’s perspective. Failure (death, for example) is a tool used by game developers to communicate that the player is doing something wrong and should change their tactic. Unfortunately, failing is seen as a bad thing, so how do we, as game developers, guide the player without leaving him with a negative feeling… and should we?


About Jesper Juul Jesper Juul is an associate professor the Royal Danish Academy of Art – School of Design. He has been working with the development of video game theory since the late 1990′s, at the IT University of Copenhagen, MIT, and the New York University Game Center. His publications include Half-Real on video game theory, and A Casual Revolution on how puzzle games, music games, and the Nintendo Wii brought video games to a new audience. He maintains the blog The Ludologist on “game research and other important things”. His latest book, The Art of Failure, was published by MIT Press in 2013. Jesper is a sore loser.


About Teemo Ashton Teemo Ashton is a former store manager and game pusher at GameStop as well as an avid gamer. He started in January 2014 as a writer for the magazine GamePlay and is also active debater especially within computer games – eg. via the Player of Games group on Facebook.  


About Mikkel Martin Pedersen Mikkel Martin Pedersen has passionately been developing games for the past 15 years working on titles ranging from kids games to AAA games. Mikkel Martin Pedersen was lead designer on Max: the Curse of Brotherhood, Total Overdose and unpublished Faith and a .45. He holds a B.A. in Film and Media.

About SpilBar
SpilBar is a bimonthly event, where everyone in or close to the computer games industry can meet and mingle. The meetings always start with a talk and end with a drink.
SpilBar is initiated by Kristine Ploug from DADIU, and Thomas Vigild from The Danish Game Council (Dansk Spilråd). SpilBar is organized in collaboration with IGDA, Unge Spiludviklere, Spilordningen, and Interactive Denmark.

Join SpilBar’s Facebook group here.
Join the mailinglist and receive mails about SpilBar events here.

SpilBar 18 is kindly supported by The Danish Film Institute.


Everybody is welcome, admission is free, and no sign-up needed.