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GCAP19: Paris Buttfield-Addison - Why did medieval knights fight giant snails?

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Talk: Why did medieval knights fight giant snails? And what does this have to do with games?

Speaker: Paris Buttfield-Addison

"...vehicles for delight, disgust, and befuddlement..."

"...delightfully detailed (and occasionally rather gruesome)..."

"...silly, dramatic, and puzzling..."

Are these quotes from game reviews, or are they comments made by people looking at late-medieval marginalia? We'll find out together!

Was there a giant snail problem in the late Middle Ages? Illuminated manuscripts from the late medieval period are full of beautiful, dramatic, hilarious imagery of knights fighting giant snails (and many other seriously weird stuff™).

Scholarship on the medieval era is full of such intriguingly titled works as “The Snail in Gothic Warfare”, “What’s so funny about knights and snails?", “Snails: the central problem of high middle ages warfare”, and “Snails—rethinking our ancient foe”.

What’s going on? Was there a species of giant snail, long since extinct? Or some kind of collective hallucination?

What’s the deal? Let’s find out together. Answering this, and other bizarre questions from history, Paris explores why all game developers should learn history, and shows how medieval marginalia (the drawings in the sides of medieval manuscripts) are really just ye olde promotional art, a medieval image-based social network, if you will.

Join a game developer with a PhD in Computer Science and a degree in Medieval History and find out why everyone should learn a little history (and I’ll explain the snail thing, too.) We will look at the world of medieval art, and together we'll find out how and why today's game makers can light the way forward for a better treatment of art and artists by borrowing from the approach of medieval scribes and designers.

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2019: Lighting The Way

Game Connect Asia Pacific is Australia's premier games development conference and a part of Melbourne International Games Week.

Situated in Melbourne, Australia during October, GCAP is world-renowned for its talks, collaboration, expression, networking and inclusive environment.

Video courtesy of GCAP and the Game Developers' Association of Australia.

Paris Buttfield-Addison
Secret Lab