About us
How it all began

It all started with a realization. I play games instead of learning for university! I shouldn’t be doing this… wait, what… And this brought up a question… Why are games so good at what they do, while education often struggles with bringing its learners to their destination?

A little later or rather a few years, looking for sources and products to find out more about and apply Game-Based Learning and the use of Games in education and communication, it became clear that there was actually a need for an institution or a company that would bring together, what should be the most promising combination for learning in the 21st century. Games used for learning, for training, and for communication couldn’t be applied easily because there was a need for everything, the knowledge, and training for educators and facilitators, the contextualization of games in these ‘new environments’ as well as the products to enable people to work with games in these settings.

So, we started out on this exciting journey. There was a need for translating the languages used on both sides to make games culture and education or rather society, in general, understand each other properly. People needed to be told over and over again, why games are good and why they matter for us as a society. In projects, seminars and talks about Game Based Learning, games and their culture and their benefit and potential for learning and communication needed to be demonstrated and explained. Don’t take me wrong, a lot of people took part in this huge undertaking and we were probably hardly recognizable as a distinct voice, but  Three years later, today we seem to have reached a watershed point. The interest for games, games culture and the games industry is constantly on a rise, games and their designers are taken seriously and society as a whole acknowledges the value of this new and successful medium. This opens up a diverse range of possible applications for games outside sheer entertainment.

There are plenty of organizations, institutions, and companies working in this field all over the world or at least being interested in doing so. The Games Institute Austria sees its core competence in being facilitator and consultant for people who want to bring the power of play and games into their products or institutions. We help to bring games to new contexts, not only by demonstrating how but also by developing content and products to create a toolset for those who want to use games and a playful mindset in their work. So, there is actually a lot we have to offer. We make tools more playful, we teach you how to use play and games and we create products to embed games and play into teaching and communication.

Don’t hesitate to look around, there will be something interesting for everyone. You can buy our products, book a seminar or read and listen to what we have to say. Whatever it is, feel free to play with the opportunities. To stay updated, follow us on Social Media, read our latest articles or just contact us. Are you ready to play?

Team
Thomas Kunze, MA

Thomas has started this whole thing, he is the founder of Games Institute Austria and the registered association Spielmacher which focus on the use of Games, video games and gamelike methods in new contexts like education or communication.

He started the project Games for Good to enable gamers to extend their learning in games to outside game contexts like lifelong learning, professional development or learning at school. A teacher and linguist by profession and an avid gamer since his early days he brings together what needs to come together, gaming culture as a whole and the world out there with their big questions. He is convinced that gaming has an enormous influence on what the world is going to look like in the near future and doesn’t stop talking about it, be it in projects, seminars or talks all over Europe. He likes playing on all different platforms and doesn’t limit gaming to a specific medium. His all time favourites might be Morrowind, Sim City or Tony Hawk’s, he doesn’t know himself for sure.

Thomas Kunze, MA
CEO & Founder
Erika Stickl

Erika is first and foremost a problem solver and the organizational backbone of Games Institute Austria. She likes fiddling with things and no electronic device can escape her healing hands.

Being a language teacher and a specialist for digital and playful learning, she helps design and implement projects and takes care of the media side of things in our work, be it Social Media or video production and the like.

She has been a gamer on and off starting with Atari clones back in the early 90s in Hungary and today loving games like Epistory: Typing Chronicles (playing it with her three-year-old) or House Flipper.

Erika Stickl
Executive Assistant
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