Ever been to a traveling DIY games exhibit? That’s what we thought. Hop on Septa and check out this alternative arcade on its last weekend in Philly.
2430 Coral St.
10/27, 12 p.m.
The premise behind this month’s exhibit at northeast Philly’s Little Berlin is an appropriately novel one. The venue, which characterizes itself as an “undefined exhibition space,” is hosting an event that will likely become more and more commonplace in galleries across America: the art of videogames. The curators of the exhibit rounded up seven DIY video games made by artists from all over the globe, some who make videogames professionally and some who don’t, and turned the gallery into a “PUNK ARCADE.” Six cardboard–covered arcade consoles line the gallery, with another game projected on the front wall. In one, called “Big Huggin’,” the character is controlled by hugging and releasing a giant stuffed bear sitting next to the console. In another, “The Immoral Ms. Conduct,” in which you play as an inmate at a women’s prison, the player navigates the game by clicking from link to link in a series of Youtube videos.
Co–curator Lee Tusman, claimed that he and his colleagues came up with the idea after noticing a trend in the gaming world. Over the last few years, a huge wave of DIY games — games made with incredibly minimal software, such as iMovie and MS Paint — had popped up all over the internet. Some are meant as serious videogames, while others function more as interactive art pieces. Tusman hopes that putting these games in a gallery will force viewers to think about the creative processes and aesthetics behind video games in general. PUNK ARCADE is an installation that is as unconventional as the crowd that it speaks to. It’s an experience worth the trip, for old–school gamers and art enthusiasts alike.