Paused for two years, the curated exhibition is back with innovative games related to family dinners, tactile communication and the future of foosball
The NYU Game Center presents No Quarter 2022, the annual exhibition of new games that returns for the first time since 2019, when it was interrupted by the pandemic. The 11th installment of the popular event is set for Nov. 18 from 7:00 — 11:00 p.m. at 370 Jay St. in Brooklyn.
For 10 consecutive years, the NYU Game Center appointed a curator who commissioned new work from established and emerging artists working in games and adjacent fields. For No Quarter 2022, it has enlisted Marie Foulston, a game design expert who has collaborated with the V&A in London, Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum, Netflix and PlayStation.
Foulston has chosen four designers and design teams – Jenny Jiao Hsia and AP Thomson, Claire Kwong, Douglas Wilson and Melissa McGlensey and Videogamo – to create what she describes as an eclectic arcade of games that challenge our expectations of what it means to play together.
“No Quarter has been a staple of the New York independent game scene for over a decade and so it means a lot to see it return after a two-year hiatus,” Foulston said. “During those years many people turned to online games and play, even if it was just a family quiz over Zoom, as a way to stay connected.”
Hsia and Thomson, an award-winning duo based in New York City, have previously studied and taught at the NYU Game Center and have been featured at conferences and museums. Currently, they are working on Consume Me, a semi-autobiographical game about Hsia’s high school years. For the exhibition, they will present Leisurely Eatery, a competition set at a family dinner that allows players to work with their family members or to sabotage them.
Kwong creates interactive experiences encouraging people to communicate with and touch each other. Now based in New York, she has exhibited in Berlin, Amsterdam and London. Her project, Between, is an experience for two players that uses light, movement and touch to explore the space that exists between them.
Wilson and McGlensey live in Australia, where they tap their love of reality television to create collaborations at the intersection of game design and live performance. Their piece, Factions: The Podcast (Season 0), is a competition podcast series that invites listeners to play along as the 10 contestants talk, lie, negotiate and vote each other out.
Videogamo is an Argentine studio specializing in dedicated hardware games including NAVE Arcade and DOBOTONE. Their commission, GOL-E-GOL, is a custom-built foosball table crossed with a video arcade machine.
No Quarter, a reference to the 25-cent coin that traditionally fed arcade games, attracts independent designers, players and scholars for an event that stretches the definition of games, said Naomi Clark, chair of NYU’s Game Center.
“It’s an artform, a meaningful part of our culture,” Clark said. “No Quarter brings together the New York game community, and draws attention to the people who are fashioning new experiences of play.”
No Quarter started in 2010 and over the next decade featured artists including Zach Gage, Kevin Cancienne, Mark Essen and Margaret Robertson and launched such games as Terry Cavanagh’s At A Distance and Catt Small’s Breakup Squad. Past exhibits included board, digital and spectator-friendly games.
The return of the curated show is especially anticipated after the pandemic, Foulston said.
“Unlike any time that has gone before, the pandemic showed us just how essential the experience of playing together can be in our lives,” said Foulston, co-founder of the UK-based alternative game collective, Wild Rumpus. “This year’s No Quarter is a celebration of the inspiring creatives who work in the game space, but also a way to give them creative freedom to create new work that explores the many different ways games can bring us together.”
No Quarter 2022 is free but a reservation is required. Visit this website to reserve a spot. Visitors must show proof of vaccination for COVID-19 and a physical form of identification for entry.
New York University’s Game Center is the Department of Game Design in the Tisch School of the Arts. Its mission is to educate the next generation of designers, developers, entrepreneurs and critics and to advance the field of games by creating opportunities for scholarship and innovation. It draws undergraduate and graduate students from a range of disciplines, including computer programming, visual art, animation, sound and audio, writing, architecture and law.