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Curious Cabinets and Arcade Exhibition

Curious Cabinets Arcade Exhibition

Curious Cabinets Arcade Exhibition
Info Session: 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Electric Perfume on Google Maps. Link opens in a seperate tab or window. 805 Danforth Ave, Toronto
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** Descriptions Below Provided by Hand Eye Society **
Find out more information about the submission process and exhibiton here.

Curious Cabinets Arcade Exhibition: OPEN SUBMISSIONS

We are excited to announce a new videogame arts exhibit organized by the Hand Eye Society, Electric Perfume and Spritebox Arcade with funding from the Toronto Arts Council.

We’re looking for SIX Toronto-based game artists (or people who work at the intersection of games, interactive digital media and other artistic disciplines) to showcase work for one of two unique arcade machines — the One-Button Torontron and the SpriteBox — as part of a 1-month public exhibit to be held at Electric Perfume in mid-July.

*** Deadline to Submit is May 10, 2017 ***

Click here to Submit a Game or Proposal!

Info Session

In order to give interested artists as well as the general public an opportunity to check out the cabinets before the exhibit, we will be holding a FREE Info Session at Electric Perfume at the end of April where we will talk more about the hardware (featuring the creators/stewards of the cabinets themselves), how to develop for them, and more details about the exhibit itself. There will be some presentations to inspire people to think about the different player interactions each of the systems offers in terms of meaningful and effective game design, as well as look at interesting examples of existing 2-player and 1-button games such as endless runners and chess variations.

The Cabinets

The One-Button Torontron, like our other Torontrons, is a vintage arcade cabinet repurposed to play local contemporary indie and art games. It encourages a return to the concept of “public play” and approachability for a medium too often seen as insular and anti-social. Unlike most arcade cabinets however, the One-Button — true to its name — has only a single button, leading to more minimalist game designs that are accessible to people from all levels of gaming experience. Any game that can take input from a mouse click, button or key press can be ported to this machine.

Currently the One-Button holds just one game: Silent Skies by Michael Todd (Electronic Super Joy), made for GAMMA IV.

The SpriteBox is a horizontal “cocktail” style arcade cabinet for two players seated across from each other, presenting an interesting opportunity for games that utilize face-to-face interactions. There are more options for controls than the One-Button, including a joystick, roller ball, and 3 buttons per player. The exhibit version will feature a physical modification that transforms it from a commercialized object into an interactive installation: Instead of dropping in quarters to activate a game, the cabinet has been outfitted with a modified receptacle that is large enough to deposit a small item (which serves the same technical function as a coin). In order to play one of the installed games, players can insert a note, confession, poem, or trinket; perhaps even written comments about the games themselves.

Every week, Electric Perfume and the Hand Eye Society will use social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to post photographs of the recovered items to be shared as part of an online extension of the gallery exhibit.

Here is a PDF with more detailed technical information for interested developers: SpriteBox Dev Info.

The SpriteBox was featured at the Hand Eye Society Ball 2015, featuring Chesh by Damian Sommer (The Yawhg, Bravery Network).

Curation Process

For this exhibit, we are looking to display games that are thematically and/or mechanically relevant to an “alternative” ethos: Small games that can be completed in a short amount of time which explore unconventional, experimental, or politically engaged subjects or aesthetics, and which use the specific interfaces of the cabinets to enhance the game’s theme. Although we welcome all sorts of submissions, we are particularly interested in work that deliberately explore artistic territory not usually found in mainstream games, and which have the following characteristics:

We welcome and highly encourage work from self-identified women, BIPOC, LGBTTQQIAAP, and artists from other marginalized backgrounds. Artists retain all rights to their work and may request the removal of their work from the cabinets at any time. Curated artist may ask to spend time with the machines in order to better develop for them, arranged by request and with the help of the cabinet officers.

Curation Team

Sagan Yee (Executive Director of the Hand Eye Society), Nik Stewart (SpriteBox Arcade), Daniele Hopkins and Kyle Duffield (Electric Perfume)

Please send any questions to info@handeyesociety.com, and we look forward to hearing from you!

About Our Collaborators

The Hand Eye Society is a Toronto not-for-profit dedicated to supporting and showcasing videogames made primarily as a form of creative expression.

We provide audience development, education, creative opportunities, mentorship, knowledge sharing and inspiration to game creators, enthusiasts, and the game-curious in Toronto.

Founded in 2009, it is the first videogame arts organization in the world.

SpriteBox is a vehicle to raise funds for a much needed Maker Space in our community. We believe multi-player interaction and creative innovation are the cornerstones of an excellent gaming experience. SpriteBox offers integrated virtual and personal interaction between players. The tabletop shared screen opens up new opportunities for game design.

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Toronto Ontario, Canada
M4J 1L2
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