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HOW TO BABYCASTLES

Workshop & indie games arcade, 2012

Babycastles [US]

How to Babycastles was a three-day workshop that combined independent games from local game developers in Dublin with large stuffed animals, netbooks, chef knives, colourful duct tape, assorted blinking electronics, and the virus-writing windows scripting software “AutoHotkey”. The result of the workshop is a new independent video games arcade installation at GAME. For nearly 10 years, academic institutions in New York City including Columbia University’s Computer Science department, Parson’s School of Design, the NYU Game Center, and the NYU-Poly Game Innovation Lab pioneered an independent game community. In more recent years, Come Out & Play Festival and Games For Change furthered New York City’s identity by championing specific forms of game culture in New York, focusing on games that interact with city geography, or games as social activism. Babycastles joins these efforts by establishing a public, extremely accessible, all-ages, non-academic institution for exhibiting and promoting independent game artists in New York City. Bringing the workshop to Dublin, Babycastles intended to teach and empower participants on how to create, maintain and learn about independent arcades. The all-ages class required no prerequisite skills and began with a series of lectures on independent games and their significance in social contexts such as music venues, galleries, and museums. Participants also learned how to solder, code and craft.

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"Babycastles is an ongoing effort to increase New York City’s engagement with independent video game development. Babycastles has reinvented the arcade as a public gallery for independent game art and an overall social space for game culture. By encouraging and facilitating spaces to play independent games in New York museums, galleries, bars, music venues, parks, and other public places, Babycastles aims to build attention, accessibility, relevance, publicity, conversation, and economic support for independent video games activity in New York, establishing games as a mainstream and visible part of New York City’s art and music culture."

—Babycastles [US]