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“For the fifth year A MAZE. is welcoming african and international independent game developers, artists, forward thinkers, vr designers and digital activists in Johannesburg to exchange tools, skills and ideas in the fields of independent games and playful media. This year we like to create positive chaos!" --- Thorsten S. Wiedemann, founder and director of A MAZE.

A MAZE. / Johannesburg is also a public event. Open arcade with the best selection of amazing independent videogames and alternative games with weird controllers. We bring together what belongs together. Games, music and people. 

A MAZE. / Johannesburg is an annual evolving platform for african and international playful media artists. Also a playground for everyone who wants to experience the magic of the Human-Human-Machine interaction.

A MAZE. provides an intensive 3-day program with talks, workshops, panels, hypertalks, screenings, artistic games, VR experiences, playful installations, concerts, av performances and party in the heart of Johannesburg, Braamfontein. 

Since A MAZE. is the first festival of that kind in Africa we have the responsibility to create a platform that grows from inside to secure the longterm goals like a national funding systems, more and effective international collaborations between universities, institutions, cultural agencies, studios and creatives

Thanks due the funding by the City of Johannesburg we’re also able to create one A MAZE. Pop up in Soweto. 

More infomations on www.amaze-johannesburg.co.za

A MAZE. / Johannesburg is part of Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, curated and organized by A MAZE.

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Saturday, September 3 • 16:30 - 17:00
Echoes and Heartbeats - Creative Inspiration and Inspired Creation through Games

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Imagine a song as an echo of someone's heartbeat, frozen in time, replicated, distributed, and sometimes forgotten, until the moment a listener hits "play". The echo escapes through speakers or headphones, enters the listener, where it will continue to bounce around, long after the song has stopped playing.

Now imagine that, years later, The Listener writes and records their own song. Their own heartbeat's echo. Unique, and new, but in some way shaped by the all the echos that entered The Listener before. With the most listened to and loved songs, leaving behind the most powerful echoes, The Listener's new song carries with it tiny echos from a hundred prior-creators.

And so it goes. On and on and on.


Shaped by own experiences, playing in bands, releasing music and throwing parties in Johannesburg, and creating stuff in Cape Town's alt-game-dev-family, "Echos and Heartbeats" will be a celebration of inspiration.

Considering the possibilities for "creative echos" to to transcend mediums (a photograph could inspire a song, inspiring a comic book, inspiring a game), I'll be looking at how the creations of others become catalysts and fuel, igniting our artistic passion and keeping it burning.

In an era of constant global remixing of content, I'd like to pay some special attention on the current relationship between game developers and let's players. In "looping" the echos of the games they play, and adding their own commentary, music, edits or graphics, Let's Players the world over are pioneering a new form of remixed art. On the flip side, game developers can see their own work take on new forms as it's echoed back at them, going on to create new works, influenced by the video collages of gamers they've never met.

I hope to examine the possibilities for inspirational loops between game creators and let's players. To this end, I'll be reflecting on the experiences of my game band, Team Lazerbeam, seeing our games echoed online, and then making games informed by those echoes.

avatar for Ben Rausch

Ben Rausch

Punk, Team Lazerbeam
Ben is a game dev, animator, illustrator, DJ, VJ, event designer, cat-buddy & rad bio writer. By night, he makes things for punk game band Team Lazerbeam, & alternative games party Super Friendship Arcade. By day he co-runs creative studio Cool Your Jets & makes game trailers with... Read More →

Saturday September 3, 2016 16:30 - 17:00 SAST
Founder's Square 41 Juta Street