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General, usually informal updates as to what I’m up to.

Announcing: the game designers

a screenshot of games of each of the makers I'm walking with

So a week or so ago I launched a brand new project A Psychogeography of Games. I’ve very excitingly been invited to be the new resident speaker at VideoBrains, starting in June and as I have 6 months to play with I thought it would be great to use the time to develop a series/idea/take some fun risks. This lead me to propose THIS PATREON for the project, inviting people to support me building 6 brand new 20 minute performances/talks born out of walks across hills, cities, and beaches with great game designers. Thinking about where we come from, how we live, and how that affects what we make.

And here they are! Here are the brilliant people who have consented to walk with me. They are (in order of how nicely screencaps of their games fitted together, not in the order I will be walking with them)…

Kerry Turner – @reallyfancytherabbitclub.com

Kerry Turner is a programmer, game designer and digital artist who spent much of the last decade working as a programmer in the games and tech industry. In 2010 she began making experimental games and digital art. Since then, her work has been featured all over the place, including The Guardian, Edge, PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun.

Ed Key – @edclefvisitproteus.com

Ed Key is a game developer who lives and works in Cumbria. He made Proteus, with David Kanaga, a meditative game about spending time immersed in a mysterious place without people. He is a regular conservation volunteer and an irregular hill-wanderer.

Jake Elliott – @jakevsrobotsdai5ychain.net

Jake makes games, music & artware. He’s currently working on the game Kentucky Route Zero with his friends Tamas Kemenczy and Ben Babbitt. With his friend jonCates, he runs the internet radio station NUMBERS.FM.

George Buckenham – @v21v21.io

George makes weird stuff. Things like iPad games you play by stacking pieces up in a careful pile, pianos you can play Doom on, or bowls of custard designed to be punched. And some things that aren’t games, like Twitter bots that tweet quotes from the Library of Babel. He helps put on events like the Wild Rumpus, too.

Holly Gramazio – @severalbeeshollygramazio.net

Holly makes games that usually have some sort of physical element: events and installations and that kind of thing. She curates stuff too. She likes writing and talking about games, making work for public spaces, and exploring the intersection of game design and other cultural forms.

Llaura Dreamfeel – @dreamfeeeldreamfeeel.com

Llaura is a queer games author and fiction writer living in Dublin Ireland. She’s interested in strange, poetic and punk game-like things, and being involved in small creative communities outside traditional digital spaces.

I’ll be doing the first walk in April, with Jake Elliott – it’ll be the only walk that will happen by correspondence (as he lives far far away beyond the dreams of my budget), but with his current project being all about wandering into different times and spaces, folds of maps and bits of reality eroded by static, that feels really appropriate. There’s a lovely little idea we’re working on, and I’ll let you know about it closer to the time.

I’m so glad to have these excellent folk on board to walk with me and talk with me about how their surrounding affect who they are and what they make. I hope you are too!

If you like the sound of this idea, then it would be amazing if you’d consider putting in $5 or so a month to support it - you can stop supporting or change your pledge at any time! Every bit helps me not make a massive loss, and means I’ll make and send you a zine out of all the walks and the finished texts and pictures and whatnot. Rad. Thanks.

VideoBrains

 

Photo of me speaking into a mic

Photo from GameCity taken by Phillippa Warr

TL;DR: go here.

Exciting announcement! Jake Tucker, on the strength of a few people’s recommendations (which is awesome) has invited me to be VideoBrains‘ new resident speaker. For those of you who don’t know, VideoBrains is a (currently) London-based monthly night of talks around games. There’s a different theme each month, this month’s was All’s Fair In Love and Games (about love, sex, and games) and next month’s is Non Player Characters (and however the speakers are going to respond to the theme of NPCs)

But as it’s not just a one off talk, but 6 months as resident speaker, I have the opportunity to try out something a bit inventive. So I’m picking a theme of my own!  Starting in June I’m going to do a monthly series of talks on the psychogeography of games.

If you’ve not come across it before, psychogeography  (which my autocorrect has learnt 3 different spellings of, well done me.) is a really chewy word for how our environments make us feel; how they effect us. I’m interested in how where we come from affects what we make – so what I’m going to do is spend time with great people who make games walking in a place that is where they live, work, or is otherwise important to them.

Each month I’ll make a new performance/talk/thing in response to that experience. Each month’s thing will respond entirely to the experience of walking with game designers.

Examples of people I have spoken to about doing the thing:

  • Ed Key (Proteus): a walk through the Lake District where he lives and walks, talking about his relationship to the fell landscape, his ideas on rewilding, and the affect nature has in and on his work.
  • George Buckenham (@v21 – Cubes, Wild Rumpus, Mutazione): George grew up in far West London – near Richmond. He now lives in East London (Stepney). He and I will walk from where he lives now, to where he grew up, without once referencing a map. We won’t stop until we’ve made it.

Each one will be different. Each thing I make will be different.

There will be 3 men and 3 women (I have 6 people in mind, just haven’t had all the conversations yet) 2 of whom are based outside the UK, 2 in London, and two in Not London.

And the results will take in p much all of my practice, I might make interactive sound based performance for a crowd, I might do a new piece of storytelling or spoken word inspired by our conversations, it might just be a photo tour of where we went and what we saw.

If you’re interested in the sound of this, you can help, too. I’ve set up a Patreon – which is sort of monthly subscription crowdfunding – you can cancel at any time, but if you choose to put $5 or so my way each month, it’ll go towards supporting me do a really cool thing, which is going to take up a bit more time than an average talk (4-5 days a month I reckon). Plus if you do choose to back me in making this thing then you’ll get all of the inside knowledge – who I’m walking with, all of the source material and thoughts that those who see the videos of the final pieces won’t see, and there are a couple of cool rewards, plus a zine I’ll make of the 6 pieces that you can get at the end of this year/beginning of the next.

So yeah, read more about that on Patreon and look out for me at VideoBrains from June!