[-empyre-] Week 4: The Playsthetics of Experimental Digital Games: digital game design praxis

Sandra Danilovic s.danilovic at mail.utoronto.ca
Tue Mar 25 05:20:57 EST 2014

Dear All,

I want to thank Emma Westecott, Alison Harvey and Peter Coppin for their wonderfully insightful posts this past week.

It is my pleasure to introduce to you Week 4's fabulous featured guests, Kara Stone, Christine Kim, Chris Young, and Mark Chen.

We will be discussing game design praxis in more detail and I hope that we can incorporate Alison's, Emma's and Peter's excellent points into this week's conversation. I will post the starter questions later this evening.

Christine Kim (CA) is an independent curator and video game artist. She is a founding member of the curatorial team behind Vector Game + Art Convergence Festival and is the founder of the international game collective called Parallel Play. Her curatorial philosophy aims to create awareness of, and appreciation for, experimental video game art and independently made games. Her video game "Bitmap," was made through the Dames Making Games incubator and has since been shown at Digifest, Toronto Global Game Jam and was featured in the Globe and Mail.

Kara Stone (CA) is a student at York University, achieving an MA in Communication and Culture. She previously completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production. Her work consists of feminist art with a focus on gendered perspectives of affect, mental illness and emotion. Coming from a theatre background, she transitioned into film and video making, working as a picture editor on dramatic and documentary features, shorts, music videos and activist videos. Now, she is expanding her media of focus and experimenting primarily in alternative modes of video interactions, traditional crafting, and videogames. Her videogames include Medication Meditation, Hand to Heart, and Cyborg Goddess, and her work has been featured in NOW Magazine, Toronto Star, Marketplace NPR, and The Atlantic.

Mark Chen (US) is an independent researcher of gaming culture and spare-time game designer. He is the author of Leet Noobs: The Life and Death of an Expert Player Group in World of Warcraft. Currently, he is looking into experimental and artistic games to promote exploration of moral dilemmas and human nature, researching DIY subcultures of Board Game Geek users, and generally investigating esoteric gaming practices. Mark also holds appointments at Pepperdine University, University of Washington, and University of Ontario Institute of Technology, teaching a variety of online and offline courses on game studies, game design, and games for learning. He earned a PhD in Learning Sciences/Educational Technology from the University of Washington and a BA in Studio Art from Reed College. You can read more about Mark on his blog at http://markdangerchen.net

Chris Young (CA) is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information researching the information practices of game and play cultures under the supervision of Sara Grimes. Chris’s research interests include games and play cultures, information seeking and use practices, and cultural industries and labour. Over his career, Chris will be researching how the information practices of hobbyist games and play cultures affect the information practices of the “professional” cultural industry of games, particularly how hobbyist grassroots cultures and movements affect the wider economy and culture of the games industry. As well as researching hobbyist games and play cultures, Chris is a new hobbyist game developer working on narrative-based games that incorporate book history and print culture with fictional storylines. Chris is currently working on a small multi-part game, tentatively titled “Typoe” that narrates the development of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg through the protagonist Typoe: a fragment of an illuminated manuscript that assists Gutenberg in illuminating the knowledge he needs in manuscripts to develop a wooden printing press, as well its necessary, auxiliary components, such as ink, paper, type matrixes, and moveable type. Chris’s current hobby of developing book history and print culture related games is driven through his work as a part-time librarian at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

Warm wishes,

Sandra Danilovic, BFA, MA, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow
Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
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