Since 2008, the bulk of my creative practice has been around games.
BackChatter is a game about predicting Twitter trends. Designed to be played at conferences and other events, beating BackChatter means sharpening your socio-linguistic smarts. After successfully running the game at a number of conferences, Local No. 12 released the game and its source code as an open source project.
The most recent iteration of The Metagame is the 2015 re-boot of the cardgame for a broader audience. Inspired by the success of the Esopus magazine artist’s project, we redesigned the game and rebuilt from the audience up: new visual design, a consistent illustration style, six new games to play with the deck, 200 new culture cards, 100 new opinion cards and three expansions on the way.
Local No. 12 was approached by Esopus Magazine to create an artist’s project for inclusion in the magazine. We immediately jumped on the opportunity to expand the Metagame to material culture writ large: games, but also film, TV, literature, fashion, architecture, product design, art, food and music.
We produced three separate decks, each randomly bound into the pages of issue #17.
The Metagame: Videogame Edition
A game about videogame aesthetics created by Local No. 12. Which will make you cry: Madden Football or Space Invaders? Which does everyone love to hate: DOOM or Farmville?
The Metagame originated as a conference game adaptation of a previous project by Eric Zimmerman and Frank Lantz. The first instance was a massively-multiplayer cardgame played by over 2,500 people at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. Sadly, this version of The Metagame is out of print.
Strain was an experiment in simple artificial intelligence and unexpected interaction models. Using the QWERTY keyboard as a grid, players attempted to remove viruses from the play space. Each key in the QWERT space corresponded to a square on the screen. Tapping the key when a virus was on the space damaged the virus, while tapping a key when no virus was present left food that attracted viruses.
An unreleased cardgame about building the perfect film pitch developed at Sunshine Amalgamedia in the late 1990s. Players worked a Rolodex of Talent (Actors and Directors), a stack of Stories (Genre and Hooks) and an arsenal of Buzz to make the most improbable movie pitches they could concoct. We had a fun party game that was shelved because lawyers.
Back in mid-to-late 90s, before the web became the web, and the Xbox became the Xbox, Microsoft explored ways to develop games and entertainment properties for Internet browsers. Vanishing Point was a sprawling pseudo-documentary interactive comic/photo essay/game/quasi-religious tract on which a team of near 100 worked for several years. I played a number of roles, primarily that of art director. Just before we finished, Microsoft pulled the plug, and filed it away in a drawer. A Sunshine Amalgamedia project.
Over the years, Peter Berry and I have worked with a number of arts organizations to create websites, collection management tools and online shops and all sorts of other web-based work. Here are a few of the projects:
A “museum neutral” site for one of my favorite arts institutions. Dia:Beacon is worth the trip.
The bookstore for the Dia Art Foundation.
We built the public site as well as the collections management tools for one of the world’s largest video art collections.
We built the site and content management tools for my favorite arts magazine.
We built the public site and the collections management system for this underrated space in Long Island City.