DCN Events

The Undead of Our Past – images of traumatic Central and Eastern European history in video games

Central and Eastern Europe has always been a place where the dead cannot rest peacefully. The folk culture of the region is full of stories about the undead either harming the living, or simply participating in their everyday life. Perhaps surprisingly, this view comes back in many video games referring to the traumatic events of CEE history. In works such as the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or Metro series, You Are Empty, HROT or Gorky 17, the remnants of totalitarian Communist regimes come back as zombies, mutants and monsters – the past does not want to die and re-enters the world of the living. Does the traumatic past still haunt our lives? How do such representations allow to cope with it? How can they be read from perspectives other than the Central and Eastern European ones? 

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Paweł Schreiber, Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, Poland/Indie Games Poland Foundation


Yaraslau I. Kot
Game researcher and game designer with over 25 years of experience. Founder of BelGameDev (community of game developers of Belarus). Former IGDA Regional Coordinator for Eastern Europe and Asia. Organizer and co-organizer of various events such as International Larp Academic Conference, Games Gathering, Game Industry Conference, Game Dev Days, CGC Conference, Portal Conference, Central and Eastern European Game Awards, EuroPlay, Crystal Canvas contest, BelGameDev Awards.

Oleksii Sytianov
Designer of games and gaming worlds with over two decades of experience in the industry, working in numerous genres. Best known as a lead game designer, scriptwriter and worldbuilder of S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl at GSC Game World. He has also worked on SURVARIUM, the Metro series and Chernobylite, among others.

Alexey Furman
A game designer, creative producer, and University of Missouri alumni. He has created games such as Tukoni or The Point of No Return, and has also worked on Frogwares’ upcoming Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One. He was also a co-founder of New Cave Media, a studio which produced digital documentaries, the most important one of them being Euromaidan VR, drawing on Furman’s experience as a photojournalist in the years 2010-15.

This event is co-organized by Digital Communication Network and World Learning and is part of DCNSEE’s Ideas in Action – Digital Engagement, a series of virtual events launched in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

DCN is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Citizen Exchanges. Digital Communication Network created in 2015, is a 7.000 member strong collaborative network that connects professionals from a variety of fields and different regions of the world, committed to have an impact in the new information space.