John O’Neill, Artgame Author

I made a short documentary/Let’s Play about one of the first artgame makers: John O’Neill who, in the early ’80s, created strange videogames about the meaning of life and dolphin communication. It contains material that has never been recorded or put together before. I was doing some research for one of my classes when I […]

Stranger Playthings: Remaking a VR counterculture

The second coming of Virtual Reality is a convergence of different technological traditions with different aesthetics, goals, and strategies. In this talk given at the A MAZE and Game Happens festivals in 2017 I tried to question the current narratives supporting the idea of VR as a mass-consumer product, and recuperate some of the visionary […]

The right to screenshot

Sometimes I get asked for permission to publish screenshots from my games. It annoys me a bit because all my games are released under Creative Commons and, besides, I don’t see screenshots or video recordings ever falling outside of fair use. Streamers, youtubers, and machinima artists can even make a living out of commenting and […]

SimCities & SimCrises

I had the honor to be one of the keynote speakers for the first International City Gaming Conference in Rotterdam last month. The conference, mainly attended by city planners and architects, looked at how games can facilitate more effective and inclusive city-making. Here’s the transcript of my talk (a similar version was presented a year ago at […]

Gaming under socialism

In a recent episode of the politics/comedy podcast Chapo Trap House, a listener asked “What can socialism do for gamers’ rights?”. The question was obviously a joke, but the hosts produced a humorous and somewhat thoughtful answer. Thankfully, there is no such a thing as “gamers’ rights” in the sense of something distinct from consumer […]

Casual Games for Protesters

I teamed up with poet, performer, and activist Harry Josephine Giles to put together a collection of games to be played during protests. Casual Games for Protesters is a kind of response to the daunting question “What can game makers do in the age of Trump”. It’s a gesture but also a serious proposition, a […]

Molleindustria’s Highlights from 2016

2016 has been declared *annus horribilis* for months, and there is a good chance it will remembered as the year when everything started going to shit in the Western World. Despite being recently swept by the proto-fascist backlash known as Gamergate, the world of videogames has yet to respond to the new turn. The big-budget […]

Weird Reality / VIA

Last week I had the pleasure to participate to Weird Reality and VIA, respectively a conference and an arts+music festival organized by some good friends and colleagues. Weird Reality was a symposium for the VR/AR curious and the VR/AR skeptic which managed to incorporate, in the words of a participant, “an incredible wonderful diversity of […]

Top Ten 2015 Games You Don’t Have To Play

2015 was the year gamers were finally relieved from the burden of play. The explosion of streamers on Twitch and YouTube and the rising popularity of eSports legitimized “passive” forms of engagement with the game form. Interactivity – as in mashing buttons, making choices, organizing artfully constructed disorder – has always been overrated anyway: there […]

Bumper stickers for self-driving cars

In a world of self-driving cars, what’s going to happen to the art and tradition of bumper stickers? Will our gaze be ever drawn to these cheeky statements while traveling automatically? Is the car going to be less of extension of the self and more of a family member, with its own personality, affiliation and […]

BooFlag

BooFlag is a little game made after reading this article on the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Charleston. It’s also an unofficial sequel/companion piece to Americlap, one of the greatest games ever made.

p5.play

I just released p5.play, a javascript library for the creation of games and playthings. It’s still a beta but it includes features that are common to most 2D games: Sprites with animation support, collision detection and resolution (limited to Axis Aligned Bounding Boxes and circles for now), a camera and functions to facilitate mouse and […]

The Great Art Upgrade – DiGRA 2013

This talk was delivered as keynote for the Art History of Games conference, that took place during DiGRA 2013. While the infamous Can Games Be Art? question is now being carefully avoided like an inappropriate text you sent while drunk, some references and questions may still be valuable to the world beyond the small group […]

Molleindustria’s Highlights from 2014

2014 has been another great year for indie games, with the long awaited releases of Nidhogg and Broken Age (part 1); the genre-defining Threes (and its unfortunate clones); the outrageously polished Monument Valley and Hohokum; the new chapter of Kentucky Route Zero. What follows is a list of my personal favorites, among the ones I […]

VIA GAMES 2014

In the context of Pittsburgh’s music and art festival VIA we showcased two exclusive local multiplayer games: the 2vs2 noby-noby sport Push Me Pull You and Dog Park a low poly dog ’em up by Kevin Cancienne (Slam City Oracles by Jane Friedhoff also made an appearance).