Videogame Arts Around the World in 2018

Every year, we put a call out to like-minded groups for their favourite picture from a videogame arts event or project. In 2018 we got 23 submissions covering cities like Los Angeles, Montreal, Melbourne, Reykjavik, Bologna, Buenos Aires, London, Bari, Manila, Philadelphia, Yorkshire, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Tel Aviv, Boston, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Austin, Berlin & Chicago. We’re not alone — we’re part of a growing movement of collectives and organizations that view videogames through an arts and culture lens! (If you dig it feel free to signal boost the post via Facebook or Twitter.)

Los Angeles

Ben Esposito writes: “These are from our Glitch Arcade 2018: a community fundraiser where members of the Glitch City collective show our work in progress games to the community, and raise funds for upcoming events and initiatives.”


Tanya X. Short sent in this pic of the Pixelles Heroic Teacade 2018, “a heroic afternoon tea party x arcade event. Come and enjoy a selection of heroic and challenging games while drinking a little cup of tea.”


Chad Toprak from Melbourne writes:  “In 2018, Melbourne saw the return of Freeplay, Australia’s longest-running and largest independent games festival, with the theme ‘intersections’, looking at how games intersect with other artforms, creative disciplines, and cultural conversations. Highlights from the 6-day festival include keynotes delivered by Tale of Tales & Zuraida Buter; a cosy and wholesome Night Market Party hosted by Hovergarden, Melbourne’s videogame curator duo; a fantastic range of talks by over 90 speakers; an awards night; and a series of intimate workshops on zine making, theatre, Twine games, and alt control construction. The Freeplay Festival will return once again in May 2019.”


Jonatan van Hove writes “The top picture is from Live Games Live Music: games on stage with live improvised score. I’ve organized about a dozen of these shows now, with various games and artists, and would love if it became a thing other festivals did as well.” Torfi Asgeirsson adds, “The bottom pic is from our arcade at Isle of Games.”


Pietro Righi Riva writes “Held annually in Bologna. During the three days of Svilupparty, game companies, business partners, media, indies, and amateur developers meet each other, exhibit their work, engage in new partnerships, and discuss new projects.”

Buenos Aires

Lu Oulton writes “During 2018 Game on! El arte en juego organized a series of micro-activities such as game-jams, open talks and pop-ups at a variety of events. The highlights of the year were the Goethe Institute Girl Games Cycle, the experimental games pop-up at #PaseYCierreLaPuerta and the Art Games Day organized for Poeticas Digitales Mini Fest. It was a year devoted to interaction with the academy and with related new media events and institutions while working on the upcoming sixth edition of Game on! El arte en juego that will take place in November 2019. “


Alasdair Beckett-King writes “Ranjani Natarajan (Run Zombies Run) at AdventureX 2018. Sadly I don’t have a nice shot of Jon Ingold to hand. But his talk went (a bit) viral thanks to this article from Kotaku.”

Joe Bain writes “This is from Bonus Stage in London (part of the London Games Festival Fringe). The game is Beyond Crimson Stars and the photo credit is Federico Fasce.”


Simona Maiorano writes “I organised a gaming and political exhibition in Bari, Italy. Antifa Art & Games was the first showcase in Bari combining games and art on a common theme: antifascism. The question arises: what does an antifa game look like? This event is the answer for many activists, politicians, gamers and developers. Attendees had the opportunity to play 7 different titles and learn about other video games that put the player in control of a character that fights against Nazi-Fascists.”


Gwendelyn Foster writes “We had the first Game Art Quarterly Meet Up where we talked about how to move forward to better work with game artists and help the community.”


Shawn Pierre writes “Philly Game Mechanics is a organization dedicated to supporting game local game creators in the region. Our goals including providing a space for anyone interested in making games to learn, collaborate, and share with each other. The community meets several times a month, and has a number of events, including game jams, lightning talks, playtest evenings, and more.”


David Hayward writes “Feral Vector is mainly about videogames and game design, but specifically looking at outside influences and other forms. One of those for the past few years has been experimental short form LARPs.
This photo is of the debrief for Business Year 1999, part three of an outdoor business LARP run during Feral Vector, in Hebden Bridge, June 2018. This year, Father Business arrived to make everyone sing Business Carols and celebrate the precarity of the gig economy (Writers: Adam Dixon, Nate Crowley, David Hayward). We’re finding it increasingly important to give videogames people an escape from the videogames industry. Running this business LARP has been an immense relief of the tensions we pick up in our day jobs.”


Alex Schearer writes “Here’s a photo from our annual Seattle Indies Expo. At the Expo 25 local game devs share their work with the public. It’s held on PAX Sunday and there are about 2,000 attendees! In this photo folks are playing PK Food Fighter by Cannonbot Games. “


Paolo Pedercini writes “These are pictures from the LikeLike show “Fanciful Bodies”.  Top left: Bellular Hexatosis by Neotenomie and Porpentine and THE WHOLE WORLD [Tiny Travelogue] by Nick Crockett. Top right: Luxuria Superbia by Tale of Tales. Bottom left: the Ills of Woman, made for the exhibition. Bottom right: Swordfight by Kurt Bieg and Ramsey Nasser.
Descriptions of the 10 shows we put together this year are here, and more pictures are here.”


Leanne Roed writes “Heart Projector is a series of pop up arcades run by a group of local game developers. They have been curating shows of experimental games for the public to enjoy for over two years. Here’s an article from an earlier show. Photo credit: Andrew Ferguson.

Maurice Grela writes “Here’s a picture by Kellan Higgins of the Full Indie Summit.” 

Tel Aviv

Shalev Moran writes “In 2018 Print Screen Festival’s games program commissioned the creation of new short-form games inspired by this year’s festival theme, ‘fakes and fabrications.’ In the months leading up to the festival we worked closely with the artists, whose games touch on the politics and aesthetics of faking — either as a metaphor, goal or challenge. The games were exhibited in the Design Museum Holon and are now available as a free download. This commission program continues our exploration of the festival as a platform supporting the creation of new games (following 2017’s jam-performance).”

Boston (and Seattle)

Kelly Wallick writes “Early in 2018 we decided to revive (and rename) a panel that I had moderated during PAX East 2017 and create a biannual series that’s now called Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers. The thing I always found impressive and unique about the Indie MEGABOOTH is how diverse the developer community is and how many different cultures and countries are represented in each show. We’re planning to continue the panel as a regular series at PAX, inviting speakers via our alumni network and/or the current Indie MEGABOOTH lineup from each show, resulting in bringing folks together who we feel are amplifying new voices or pushing change forward within their communities and beyond. Chris Remo from the IdleThumbs pod moderated and recorded the PAX East 2018 panel in Boston and Kahlief Adams, host of the Spawn on Me pod, moderated and recorded the PAX West 2018 panel in Seattle.”


Zuraida Buter writes “We ran Playful Arts Festival for the fourth time in June 2018, which took place in the beautiful Werkwarenhuis and the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch. The bi-annual two-day festival explores cross-overs between interactive performance art, visual art and playful design. The festival featured 25+ playful experiences from national and international artists in an exhibition, performances, artist talks, masterclasses and night games. With the 2018 theme (T)Here & Now we invited visitors and participants to focus on being present in the moment together. 
Playful Arts Festival is founded and curated by Iris Peters (Wave of Tomorrow) and Zuraida Buter (zo-ii). The 2018 edition was supported by Creative Industries Fund NL. “Bodies in Urban Spaces” by Cie. Willie Dorner was co-produced by Bibliotheek Den Bosch and supported by Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, BankGiroLoterij and Gemeente ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
Check out the website for more information and events! Featured photos by: Tomo Kihara, C.C.E. van Swelm, Zuraida Buter,  Jan van den Berge. More festival photos on our flickr page.”


Wiley Wiggins writes “Guests checking out cabinet games at the opening party for the ninth annual Fantastic Arcade, at The Museum of Human Achievement in Austin Texas. Photo by Emi Spicer.”


Marie Claire LeBlanc Flanagan writes “The Dream Room we designed for A MAZE. 2018.”

Lorenzo Pilia writes “In 2018 we celebrated the 5th anniversary of Talk & Play, an event series about games for everyone, taking place every two months at the Game Science Center. After more than 30 editions, there’s a risk of repeating the same formula, appealing to the same audience, but we put a lot of effort into keeping the event accessible for new people: for this reason we introduced the Talk & Play Ambassadors, a group of trusted long-time attendees whose job is to welcome and support those participating to the event for the first time, or who are coming on their own, answering any questions they might have, and making sure they have a good time. Another big change was Mascha Camino officially joining as a co-organiser, bringing some fresh ideas from the point of view of a (very promising!) game design student. Last but not least, we took advantage of the extremely hot summer weather to organise a special open air unconference edition – see above picture by Julian Dasgupta.”


Bobby Lockhart writes “What I think is the most interesting moment captured at a Bit Bash event this past year? Here’s Engare being played in the Islamic art wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Photo credit: David Laskey.”

Want more international inspiration? Check out the 2015, 2016, or 2017 posts. Do cool game arts stuff and would like to be included in a round-up next year? Email us!

(Related documentation tidbit: Lauren Gardner from Babycastles has this neat how-to on scraping the web for your documentation.)