Games as a Cultural Property

Good games are an inspiration, the salt and pepper in our lives. They take us to other worlds, captivate with excitement, fascination and emotions, invigorate our communication, create shared experiences and always provide something new. As a frequently used educational medium, games have a significant social relevance and also on this aspect many similarities with other cultural media works.

What value do games have for society or for the advancement of a culture? There has probably not been enough research on this subject yet. Johan Huizinga's Homo Ludens is almost well known among experts. In this book from 1938, he postulated the thesis "that culture develops in the form of playing, that culture initially is played." It is certain that playing games can train skills that can also be used beyond the domestic scope. It is also certain that playing can broaden the horizon by leading the players into new worlds; letting players experience adventures and try out things together; it is simply a suitable means against isolation. Games are a piece of freedom – even if this freedom only exists in the privacy of one's home.

The following link to The Full History of Board Games gives an interesting overview to this millennial old culture.

We stand for an equitable treatment of games in the cultural scene, a stronger recognition of the importance of games for the development of social and cultural competences, as well as for a full equality with books, film, theater, music and other cultural goods. This is why the SAZ is also supporting the addition of games in the collection catalog of the German National Library (DNB) and is an active member of the German Cultural Council / Council for Socio-culture and Cultural Education.