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October 27, 2009

Letting go of 20th century models for design education: a panel at AIGA Next! 2007

It has come to my attention that AIGA has posted audio of our panel (Santiago Piedrafita, Holly Willis, Moderated by Barbara Sudick) on an archival website. My memory is that Santiago and Holly made exemplary contributions and that my participation was cringe-worthy. I am afraid to give it a listen.

Direct download audio mp3 from the archive

Link to my slide deck on slide share

Link to Wiki site with supporting material that Holly assembled (free registration required to access)

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at 01:08 PM

Crosser & La Migra to be included in Arte Nuevo InteractivA '09

Executive Curator, Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet, invited us to participate in the digital media biennial Arte Nuevo InteractivA '09 (#ANI09). He requested Crosser & La Migra, specifically to help thread a particular historical narrative. This edition of the biennial has the explicit purpose of historification, of (pro)claiming the participation of Latin-American artists in the global digital media and arts conversation. I am deeply honored that SWEAT was included. 28 of May – 30 June, 2009 Museo de la Ciudad de Mérida, Mexico And continuing existence on the server for the biennial http://www.cartodigital.org/interactiva

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at 12:00 PM

Bloody Fun Day: cuteness and guilt

Several have already commented on Bloody Fun Day, playable over at Kongregate.
When we were brainstorming a response to the mtvU call for games about Darfur, collaborators Kara Brittain (nee Cochran), Scott Leutenegger, and I contemplated the idea that many people in our communities cared more for the well being of kittens than for fellow humans.

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at 12:00 PM

October 26, 2009

Play and Not Play

I found a set of toys/dolls/figures in my colleague Adrienne Russell's office that represent Zapatista Rebels. They are handcrafted from felt, yarn, and balsa wood. Adrienne mentioned that they wouldn't stand up to "play" by children. A truck that she had bought for her boys at the same time fell apart within five minutes of play. The figures were meant, she thought, for adults.

What are the purposes/uses of critical toys? Are they meant for play? Is there semantic/semiotic potential in play? or only in the representation?

Some of the existing toys in the various levels of availability (markets, sharing networks, gift exchanges) are located in different places on the ludic territory. In the Not Play area I would include those that act as "fetish objects" — in the sense that they exist to invoke, evoke or provoke memory and story-telling. I would also include those that act as "sculpture" — in the sense that they have no purpose other than to exist and provide sensations to the perceiver. Additionally, I would include the "dije" (pronounced in spanish as dee'-heh) — in the sense of a devotional artifact both in the pre-columbian and catholic traditions. Are there others? Is there room in these senses of "Not Play" for manipulations that would be "Play?" Are these still "Toy?"

This post and these questions are all oblique, and stands as evidence of the formative state of my thinking on this subject.

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at 11:58 AM

October 24, 2009

John Sharp spoke at Colorado Game Developers Association

John Sharp, game designer and educator at SCAD, spoke last night to the Colorado Game Developers Association on the subject of Art History for Game Developers. John is developing an argument in support of the Ludic Age proposition — which has been brought forward by Sutton-Smith and Zimmerman.

Sharp contends that if we are indeed in a Ludic Age, then identification with Art (capital "A" intended) is misguided. Art is to be considered the high-water mark (High Culture with capital "C") of the Visual Age, which the Ludic Age has/would/will replace. In supplanting the prior age we should have newer language to describe appropriate high-water marks for the new age. "Game," should be that mark argues Sharp.

This is a preview of his talk for GDC 2010, and I recommend attending to find out how the argument unfolds.

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at 10:55 AM