Art Department to Host Virtual Games and Artistry Series

March 17, 2021 | Events, News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Kirk Baird

The Department of Art is hosting virtual talks with prominent artists in the video gaming industry, with the next series event scheduled for March 22.

Organized by Art faculty Dr. Jason Cox, assistant professor of art education, and Barry Whittaker, associate professor of art and graphic and interactive design, the Games and Artistry Series will delve into the concepts and context of video games as creative expressions that connect game makers with gamers.

“According to game scholar Dr. Mary Flanagan, ‘games are systems for imagining what is possible,’ which is to say they provide a safe space to explore new ideas and ways of knowing,” Cox said. “While many people are familiar with what that looks like for commercial video games, how it looks in artistic, educational, or therapeutic contexts isn’t as well-known.

“The designers we invited represent a diverse spectrum of humanity on the cutting edge of their medium, people using an inherently social platform to explore concepts with others rather than just presenting them.”

The series will feature Davionne Gooden on March 22, Paloma Dawkins on April 5, and Banana Chan on April 19. Each hourlong talk begins at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Caro Murphy, a Boston-area game designer, producer and community organizer, spoke Feb. 22.

Gooden is a Cleveland-based game developer, filmmaker, photographer and creative director at Studio Zevere. He has been involved in the games industry for more than a decade and is developing his studio’s debut title, She Dreams Elsewhere, set to release for PC and consoles this year. Join March 22 on Zoom.

Dawkins’ work has been praised for their celebration of natural life and rhythms. Her games have been featured at world-renowned festivals including Manchester International Festival and MUTEK and has won awards at the Canadian Screen Academy Awards, Fantasia, FIVARS, Cinekid, NUMIX and North Bend Festival. Participate April 5 on Zoom.

Chan is a Chinese-Canadian/American board and roleplaying game designer and writer, and the owner of a tabletop games publishing company, Game and a Curry. Her latest work includes Scooby-Doo: Betrayal at Mystery Mansion, Sea of Legends, Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall, Dune: RPG and Warp’s Edge. The last event in the series is April 19 on Zoom.

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