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 […]
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 […]
This year’s installment of my undergraduate course Experimental Game Design went really well. Students designed non-digital games (outdoor and tabletop) for the first half of the semester and worked on digital projects for the second half. You can find course materials here, and downloadable final projects in the student area, mostly Mac only.
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).
I took Tristan Tzara’s DADA manifesto from 1921 and replaced every instance of DADA with BIG DATA. Big Data Manifesto
This year I had the honor and pleasure to curate, along with Porpentine, a showcase of critical, radical, queer, transformative independent games for the Allied Media Conference. This is the selection, based on a variety of parameters (themes, diversity, available controllers, accessibility…): Love Punks by Yijala Yala project 10 Seconds in Hell by Amy Dentata […]
This is the introduction and the printable materials for a workshop I gave at the Allied Media Conference 2014 in Detroit. The workshop was centered around MultipliCITY, a basic framework for a city planning board game designed to be expanded and modified by the participants. You can download MultipliCITY here and read slightly edited notes […]
To Build a Better Mousetrap, a long-awaited management game about innovation and labor, is finally out! The game premiered last December at FACT gallery in Liverpool along with the article/talk Videogames and the spirit of capitalism. I tried to describe To Build a Better Mousetrap as “Richard Scarry meets Karl Marx” or “Information visualization without […]
These are the slides and the edited notes from a talk I gave at the Games for Change Festival in New York. The talk was targeted to that specific audience (bureaucrats from the nonprofit industrial complex, TED-style technopositivists, game advocates…). Certain parts such as my take on metrics and social change, which may seem obvious […]
Two years ago the first profits from Phone Story were sent to Tian Yu, one of the Foxconn employees who attempted suicide after enduring illegal overtime and abusive working conditions. Due to the infamous ban from the App Store the game is available only on the web and on the Android Market for $1, which […]
BUY HERE FOR ONLY $20 Support a good cause and fashionably declare your belief that videogame culture is funded on an economic basis and reflects class relations and struggles! Historical Materialism is less scary than Marxism and can be worn ironically! Started as a joke on Venus Patrol’s We Are Videogame Romantics, this T-Shirt is […]
This is the transcript of a minitalk I gave at Lost Levels 2014, an “unconference” happening during the Game Developers Conference (maybe a bit too square and academic for that casual environment). It’s a topic I’ve addressed in every single talk in the last 10 years or so, but I thought it could benefit from […]
This is a talk I gave at Indiecade East 2014 (remotely due to snow-related flight cancellation). It’s based on an text I wrote for the catalog of Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life, an exhibition at FACT gallery in Liverpool. It’s also meant to be a companion piece for the game To Build a Better […]
Last week I put together an exhibition of indie/DIY games together with all-around amazing people Caitlin Boyle, Tim Sherman, and Tenley Schmida (aka Crushed Screen Collective). Pixel Punks showcases rough around the edge, confrontational, homemade games in the context of an historical punk venue in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s in part inspired by new arcade experiences […]
Around 2010 I noticed the emergence of an iconography tied to the buzzword monetization. Zynga and the Appstore were blowing up and a new parasitical industry began to promise shortcuts to commercial success. Their offers involve selling users, proposing bizantine revenue sharing systems, manufacturing ratings and other sketchy marketing services. One visual trope was dominating […]
2013 has been not only a great year for independent games but possibly the first year in which many excellent independent titles have been recognized by mainstream gamers and press. Mature and meaningful works like Kentucky Route Zero, Papers please, the Stanley Parable and Gone Home are in many “Games of the Year” lists along […]
Selected students’ works from my experimental game design class at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art. A hands-on game design course focused on innovative and expressive forms of gameplay. In this installment of Experimental Game Design the emphasis is placed on the interface: inputs beyond mouse/keyboard/joystick/touch, outputs beyond screen/speakers, playing contexts beyond the suburban living room […]
Ten years ago, in December 2003, I launched this website along with three small games: Tamatipico, originally released in Spring 2003, Tuboflex and the Orgasm Simulator. Molleindustria was meant to be a short-term tactical project in line with the alternative media experiments happening in Italy at the same time (pirate TV street and Indymedia above […]
This is a transcript of a workshop I conducted together with Liam Burke at the Allied Media Conference in June 2013. The workshop is meant to be a very basic introduction to system thinking via games targeted toward grassroots activists. It uses a simple fishery simulation available here as example.
The unimaginatively called “Fishing game” was designed for the 2013 Allied Media Conference. It’s meant to be played, discussed and modded in a interactive workshop context. The companion presentation can be found here. In order to play the game you need: .Exactly 4 players .About 30 money bits – decorative marbles will work .About 30 […]