In Krakow, literature enters into new and non-obvious relationships with media technologies, becoming a factor determining the development of the so-called creative sector. Traditional skills in the humanities are combined with engineering knowledge, thus providing favourable conditions for the creation of innovative undertakings.
Digital Entertainment Cluster
The Digital Entertainment Cluster is an initiative that aims at supporting the game market in Poland. An agreement was signed by nine entities: KPT, GRY-OnLine, Artifex Mundi, Future Reality Games, Nimbi Studios, Tap It Games, Dardanele Studio, Alvernia Studios, and Ganymede. Under the terms of the agreement, the cluster’s partners have taken it upon themselves to: create favourable conditions for the effective use of the potential of all the people and institutions working for the industry, create favourable conditions for the cross-regional development of the industry, build the cluster’s brand as a promotional tool, and enhance the competitiveness of the companies connected with the game industry on the global market.
The cluster’s main tasks include the creation of favourable conditions for the functioning of the game industry by providing suitable resources in terms of infrastructure, building international cooperation networks, and educating specialists in the fields of game design and production.
European Academy of Games
The European Academy of Games is a school oriented towards educating creators of video games. Classes are held by lecturers of Jagiellonian University and the AGH University of Science and Technology, as well as specialists from the industry.
The school’s offer includes various specialisations, focusing on different stages of video game creation and production. The video game production specialisation is addressed to future programmers and includes issues such as the fundamentals of artificial intelligence and programming graphic processes. Students with visual skills will find the 3D modelling and animation specialisation attractive.
An innovative combination of hard and soft competencies are studies at the video game design specialisation – advertised as “studies for specialists in the humanities”. They include designing video games, game creation workshops, gaming theory, the issues of social media, creating scripts, and an introduction to pop culture. Lecturers include not only specialists from the game industry, but also literary scholars, who teach future designers the basics of building narration and the rules of poetics and rhetoric.
EPI / Electronic Information Processing (EIP)
The principle of combining competencies also applies to the innovative field of study offered by Jagiellonian University – Electronic Information Processing (EIP / Polish: EPI). The studies intend for students to gain interdisciplinary knowledge on the theoretical and practical basics of information science and the mechanisms of linguistic, visual, and aural communication. The studies include elements of programming and the theory of computer systems, as well as the issues of cultural studies, poetics, and rhetoric.
Thanks to such profile of the studies, EIP graduates may become specialists in designing interfaces of man-to-machine communication, but also in designing online tools and innovative marketing solutions. Graduates of EIP, the first major of this kind offered in Poland, also go on to work at creative and interactive agencies that are developing in Krakow.
Krakow’s centre for new media literature, including its variations such as cybernetic poetry, hypertext literature, and video-poetry, is the Korporacja Ha!art Foundation. Many Krakow- and non-Krakow-based creators are connected with this independent circle. They include Łukasz Podgórni, Roman Bromboszcz, Konrad Polak, and Małgorzata Dawidek Gryglicka – visual poetry theoretician and historian, author of the monumental volume Historia tekstu wizualnego. Polska po 1967 roku (The History of Visual Text. Poland after 1967). A list of most of Ha!art’s new media projects can be found at: www.ha.art.pl