Volume 4

Volume 4 invited guest curator Robert Yang to guide us through a selection of works that encouraged us to wander and drift through them. These are games that invite us to reflect on and blur the lines between the functional and the useless. Rather than focusing on “winning”, “solving” or “beating” these games, we discover new meanings of play through them.

"When freedom is practiced in a closed circle, it fades into a dream, becomes a mere image of itself. The ambiance of play is by nature unstable. At any moment, 'ordinary life' may prevail once again. The geographical limitation of play is even more striking than its temporal limitation. Every game takes place within the boundaries of its own spatial domain."
-- Guy Debord, 1959



A game about memories as they age, ferment and in time begin to sour. A doomed attempt to unbreak broken. A bridge built hastily between the worlds of the living and the dead. A love story played out in bathrooms and forests; in art galleries and counselling rooms; in hospital beds, and through a pane of glass.

Robert Yang is an indie game developer, academic, writer AND tonight’s guest curator. He regularly teaches game development and design within NYU Game Center at New York University, IDM at NYU Poly School of Engineering, and MFADT at Parsons the New School for Design.He also occasionally writes about games for Rock Paper Shotgun and other British things.

(Radiator 1 is Heart Projector’s house pick for this evening.)



Slave of God captures the feeling of getting way too drunk and high and going to a club by analogy with audio/visual overload. Everything is too loud and too bright, and you keep bumping into things and making a fool of yourself, but when you’re painfully stoned there is no recourse. You must work harder if you want to have fun.

Slave of God is somewhat unique among the games at tonight’s arcade, in that it subverts the ‘first person shooter’ genre’s traditional obsession with realism by vomiting bright sounds all over a concrete setting, rather than presenting a stark and abstract setting made of concrete materials (often concrete).

Stephen Lavelle creates computer games and tools under the alias Increpare. He recently completed work on a puzzle game called Stephen's Sausage Roll.



When the members of consumer society declare a product to be ‘the first of its kind’, we don’t mean it actually INVENTED something; we mean it was the first to be imitated en masse by an army of competitors. Such was the case in 1992, when a company called id Software released the nazi-slaying, pistol-popping Wolfenstein 3D (progenitor of the FIRST PERSON SHOOTER genre from which every game at tonight’s arcade descends).

While the industry raced to provide ever-more-photorealistic nazis for players to shoot, the art scene sought to provide just about anything else. Here the artists have hacked Wolf3D’s code to turn the game into something unrecognizable: a stark new reality in which all nazis are floating triangles and all walls are modern art.

Jodi, or ‘jodi.org’, is a collective of two internet artists: Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans.



The Captain plays like a never-before-seen bad ending to your favourite episode of Star Trek. You’ve led your crew into danger, but this time everything went wrong. The magical ‘fix it’ buttons don’t work anymore; you’ve no phase inverters left to induce, nor any phase inducers left to invert. Your crew members eye you with rage and desperation. How could you let this happen? Why are you always failing the people you care about? What are you going to do now?

Elijah Tibbets is a furtive game maker whose work appears on Gamejolt. He created this game in 2011 over the course of four days; it would go on to inspire a very similar scene in a very popular 2015 game called The Beginner’s Guide.



Find a friend (or better yet a stranger) and sit them down beside you. At A Distance is a pair of deeply connected puzzle games. There is much to see and do, if you and your partner are willing to work together and communicate.

Terry Cavanagh is an Irish independent game designer interested in minimal, concept driven games. His best known works are VVVVVV and Super Hexagon.



Brendon Chung is probably your favorite game designer's favorite game designer. His narrative-driven work is heavily inspired by moody directors like Wong Kar-Wai; deep detail-driven journeys through memory and emotions you thought you had left behind.

Currently Brendon is an independent game developer, and the founder of Blendo Games.



The most famous map of the deeply influential game Counter-Strike. It represents a Western fantasy of the Middle East; a bright clean sandstone ruin that lets players clearly distinguish friend from foe. Will the "War on Terror" destroy the Arab world? This place seems to argue: “Only if the ‘terrorists’ win.”

We have disabled the gameplay on this version of the map so that you can enjoy this place as a civilian.

Dave Johnston is a software engineer living in South London, England. He was the Senior Level Desinger on Brink, and created de_dust, de_dust2, and other Counter Strike maps.



Fatale is an experimental tableau that takes place in the aftermath of the Oscar Wilde play Salome. You wake in the prison cistern and watch with growing dread as Salome dances just out of reach. What it will mean for you when the dance finally ends and you are set free?

The second scene, The Terrace, aks for a different sort of contemplation. As you flit from candle to candle, you leave only darkness in your wake. What do these lights represent? Tale of Tales offers no answers, but instead invites you to experiment and form your own interpretation.

Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn have released 8 videogames over the years including The Path, Luxuria Superbia and Sunset: all controversial and innovative and pushing what games can be. They recently switched focus to more artistic exploration in Cathedral-in-the-Clouds.



Feign plays with our expectations as we sit down at the game. We’ve learned to read videogames in just such a way, but this one challenges us to give these unwritten rules another look. This spirit runs through every contemporary FIRST PERSON SHOOTER game, as well as its cousin the WALKING SIMULATOR; authors like Davey Wreden (The Beginner’s Guide), The Chinese Room (Dear Esther) and Snyder himself have all experimented with different ways to compose games that make use of unreliable perspectives.

Fossil records show that the animal, colloquially known as the Ian Snyder lived in what is now the Pacific Northwestern United States from a period of 1,000,000 BC through 250,000 BC. The ultimate cause of this strange beast's extinction continues to elude scientists, but should you ask local residents of the area they will tell you the creature still exists - wandering the deep, pre-historic forests of Washington even today.



Around the year 2000, advances in computer graphics made it possible for videogames to use the very same special camera effects that movies do: motion blur, depth of field, film grain and even lens flare. People had different ideas about what to do with this. Game studio megastars like Cliff ‘Gears of War’ Bleszinski imagined cinematic tragedies, about cinematic men with cinematic guns making cinematic choices about who to shoot with their guns.

This artist envisioned tragedy of more modest sort: a game where you can’t find your glasses so everything is really blurry. We find it kind of funny; we find it kind of sad.

Elijah Tibbets is a furtive game maker whose work appears on Gamejolt.