‘Modding realities’ at the Overkill festival

| Specials U-Today

The eighth edition of the Overkill festival will take place at De Museumfabriek in Enschede, from the 22nd until the 24th of November. The focus of the festival is to utilize popular culture such as videogames to discuss social issues in an accessible way says co-director Marie Janin (36).

This year’s theme is called ‘modding realities’, questioning the meaning of reality in a digital society.  ‘A prominent part of The Overkill festival is a focus on exploring the influence the culture we grew up in as kids on societal development in a playful manner,’ says Janin. ‘By organizing the festival in this format, we aim to lower the bar for people to join in conversations about these topics. We approach the topic at hand from a multidisciplinary approach. The advantages of this approach are twofold. Firstly, the event becomes accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds. Secondly, by approaching the subject from multiple angles, viewpoints from different professional backgrounds become transparent.’


The core element of the festival is gaming, with the thought that gaming is a means of social interaction and a learning tool. ‘We do not have any triple A game developers present at the festival. We do have a lot of indie developers coming in to show their games, games that are often overlooked by the general crowd but are very interesting and engaging in their own right. Although videogames are often associated with leisure, they can fulfill much more purposes, such as education, medical care and support with health-related behaviour.’

During this weekend, the event will continue throughout the night and is filled with all kinds of activities. Next to video games, there will also be (interactive) art displays, films and music. ‘We have contacts with speakers from ArtEZ, Saxion and the University of Twente and many more external parties,’ says Janin. ‘For example: we have events ranging from live coding and interactive virtual reality, to a lecture talk about online safe spaces and toxicity in online videogames. There are a lot of activities to attend and there is definitely something for everyone.’