One Year In

The Game Arts International Network just turned one year old!  🍾

Read on to find out about our first partnership, our first advisor, and our first resource-sharing program! Alongside this we’ve been working on securing funding so we can expand and ramp up developing some of our bigger ideas. Suggestions welcome!

Alongside GAIN business I’ve included inspiring tidbits, resources, and food for thought — love to hear what you think of it!

Know Any Muslim Game Creators?

Along with esteemed entities like the British Council, GAIN was asked by the Government of Dubai to partner on their new cultural industry stimulus program. We have been nominating commercial game projects with a tie to Islamic culture or Muslim creators, and the nominees get their costs covered to travel to Dubai and pitch their game to an audience of 3000+ — and possibly win a $15K prize. If you know anyone in your region who might be a good fit, please connect them to me via email by Sept 9th and we’ll explore that. (Shoutout to Ramsey Nasser, Syed Amin Salahuddin, and Navid Khonsari for their help on this so far.)

Resource: New Microphone GAIN Podcast Episode

This episode of Microphone GAIN is a packed house, featuring a 4-person discussion about videogame arts residencies. Rachel Weil (Juegos Rancheros, Austin), Zac Traeger (The Museum of Human Achievement, Austin) shared their experience with Shalev Moran (Printscreen Festival, Tel Aviv) and Jonatan Van Hove (Screenshake, Reykjavík).

You can subscribe to the podcast or browse all our episodes (Managing Succession, Game Jams, and Creating Welcoming Spaces) over here.

Inspiration: LIKELIKE NeoArcade in Pittsburgh Rolls With It

As if Paolo Molleindustria’s new gallery space wasn’t already cool enough with monthly game exhibitions in his renovated couchhouse garage, last month they turned a shitty situation into brilliant curation:

On July 19th a stolen car rolled down the hill driverless and crashed into likelike’s front door. We acknowledge this irruption of real life into the art world with a special exhibition of delinquent driving games that are not Grand Theft Auto.
What it is like to make love to a gay car? To be a one-armed bear at the wheel? To steal a car from your boss and drive it through an infinite shopping mall? To escape your past during Italy’s tumultuous seventies? To drive blindfolded against traffic?

GAIN Advisor: Rami Ismail

One of the key goals of GAIN is to help connect game arts organizers in emerging regions to those in more established regions. Almost everyone I talked to about this goal suggested I get Rami Ismail involved — and luckily, Rami himself agreed! The recent GDC Ambassador Award winner will be GAIN’s first advisor, helping to connect us with the many communities he speaks to on his travels.

GAIN Talk at Games for Change Fest 2018 in NYC

Thanks to Matt Parker and the G4C crew for the invite to talk about GAIN. It led to conversations with a woman running an game jams for girls in Afghanistan, queer dev organizers, and the aforementioned Dubai partnership.

Final Food for Thought:
The Holy Triad and the Missing Producer

From the forthcoming academic paper “Rethinking Cultural Production: Entrepreneurship, Relational Labour and Sustainability in Indie Game Development” from the Indie Interfaces team:

In short, the growth of indie is idealized as a return to garage-scale production and a distilled version of the programmer-designer-artist triad, with the workplace organized in a more flat, egalitarian manner premised on creative autonomy and a more personal connection to one’s work. In the indie space, the term “producer” carries negative associations with hierarchical, risk-averse, and creatively stifling large-scale game production. Producers are stereotyped as “suits” that don’t “make” anything, and lack “real” skills. In the process, the role is discursively reduced to its most obviously important tasks: securing funding and project management. The producer fades out of indie developer discourse in favour of new archetypes, like the romantic auteur and the scrappy entrepreneur, and the tasks of the now “missing” producer are redistributed haphazardly on top of other responsibilities, and/or assigned to a team member who is “not” – not an artist, not a programmer, not a designer, and/or neglected entirely.

Keep in touch! Love to hear what you’ve been doing and to jump on a call.

And as always, please consider forwarding this to emerging game organizers who might benefit.

Jim Munroe