Imagine a world where engineers, filmmakers, architects, historians, performance artists, writers, philosophers, and more can come together to embrace their differences, to hold hands and frolic in the fields of creativity and innovation. A world where experimentation and play are key, where the limitations of the mainstream are done away with to make room for exploration and self-expression. A world where video games are crafted not for profit, but for the betterment of the medium – where dreams are sowed, where potential is reaped, where the arts and sciences can combine into one gooey love pile of cool ideas, from which games can grow and thrive into the ultimate form of art.
A place where we can “rediscover what games have been, and reimagine what games can be.”
Now imagine all of that taking place in a warehouse in the art district of Los Angeles, California and you’ve got LA Game Space, a nonprofit center for game design and research that needs your help to become a reality!
Robezzoli is a founding member of the video game collective Attract Mode and co-creator of artxgame, a project which helps pair up artists with indie game devs. Rehn is a digital media artist and the 2009 recipient of the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning award for his foundation Playpower, which is helping provide affordable educational games to youngsters in developing countries.
For over three years, the two have put their combined creative, technical, and managerial talents together to plan and organize what may be a huge step forward for the future of independent games.
The LA Game Space itself will consist of four sections.
The exhibition room will be a place where designers can showcase their work through interactive installations, art galleries, and performances – a museum for video games that celebrates the future of the medium, rather than just its former glories. Next, an area for lectures and workshops, which will allow speakers from all across the arts and sciences to share new concepts and perspectives, and where vets of the industry and newcomers alike can work together to explore new ways of thinking about design.
One of the coolest parts about the LA Game Space is its drive towards accessibility. Sticking to that promise, the events held in the gallery and speaker series will be made available online, for free! Livestreams will make these materials available to all, and even enable remote participation for viewers worldwide.
Meanwhile, the game research labs will stream live footage of gameplay and collect data on player pulse rate, eye movement, button-pressing, etc. This information will be available online for researchers. Finally, the residencies will provide a workspace for innovators from all different fields to collaborate on experimental games.
The project has built up a powerful support network, with the likes of Derek Yu (Spelunky), Brandon Boyer (IGF), Eric Nakamura (Giant Robot), and more on the advisory board. Now all it needs is some funding from the game community!
If all that stuff about innovation and the future of games doesn’t quite grab you (which it totally should), here’s a good incentive to donate: all supporters who pitch in just $15 bucks to the project will receive a pack of 30 yet to be released experimental games from some of the best and brightest names in the indie gaming scene. (The people behind Hotline Miami! QWOP! The BIT.TRIP series! Even Keita Takahashi of Katamari Damacy fame has joined the line-up.) And there are additional rewards for those who pledge more.
The campaign goes until December 7th, and can be found at the Kickstarter page here.
“We have an opportunity to impact how the world creates, plays, and understands video games,” says Robezzoli.
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?