Melbourne’s Artworld Videogames exhibition lets you get intimate with some of the most experimental game creators

Posted on August 8, 2018

Artworld Videogames is a 3-week exhibition being held in Melbourne that will focus on, and celebrate, the more experimental and artistic side of video games.

Forming part of the larger MEL&NYC program, the Artworld Videogames exhibition is bringing over three of New York city’s most unique game creators to Melbourne to host exhibitions, talks and masterclasses over 3 weeks, from this Thursday until 29 August.

Probably most well known, at least in the LGBTQI community, is Robert Yang. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, his homoerotic games likely will: he’s been responsible for some fairly notorious titles such as The Tearoom, which had players make eye contact with other men at a urinal, while substituting penises for guns;  Hurt me Plenty, which explored BDSM culture and the issue of consent (the game would lock a player out of replaying it for days if they continued to spank an NPC partner after he said the safeword); and Stick Shift, where you get to umm… sexually satisfy your car to climax.  His current project  is an “erotic Australian football game” called Ruck Me, which will be playable at the exhibition.

Next is Nicole He, a programmer and artist from Brooklyn, whose work focuses on a playful mix of physical and digital mediums. Her previous projects have included the True Love Tinder Robot, Soylent Dick (“a phallus made out of Soylent that ejaculates Soylent when you type self-validating praise for Soylent into the browser“) and Unfamiliar Cat Petting Simulator – a game about the challenges of petting a cat you’ve never met before.

True Love tinder robot

Last is Zach Gage, a game designer, conceptual artist and BAFTA nominee who has made iOS and Android apps such as Spell TowerReally Bad Chess (“just like chess, but with totally random pieces“) and Ridiculous Fishing.

Each artist / game creator will be holding their own exhibitions in Melbourne at Collingwood’s BAR SK over the remainder of August, where they’ll be showcasing new works and installations that they’ve specifically created for Artworld Videogames. Their exhibitions run on the following dates:

Robert Yang:  August 9 – 15

Nicole He: August 16 – 22

Zach Gage: August 23 – 29

On August 15, Yang and He will also be holding their own Masterclasses at ACMI in Federation Square – covering “sexuality, technology and video games” and “the impact of voice recognition technology on video games” respectively. Tickets start at $25.

On August 20, Gage will participate in RMIT University’s Games Talk Series, where he’ll talk about balancing his commercial game business with being an artist. The event is free.

This definitely sounds like a cool and very unique exhibition: there’ll be homoerotic games, renowned New York artists and interactive exhibitions held within a trendy bar – what’s not to love, really?

More information on each event can be found on the Artworld Videogames event page.

Artworld videogames exhibition