The annual curated exhibition spotlights experimental games and the artists behind them.
The NYU Game Center presents No Quarter 2022, its annual exhibition of new games, on Nov. 17 from 7:00—11:00 p.m. at 370 Jay St. in Brooklyn.
The 12th iteration of the popular celebration of innovative and experimental games features commissioned pieces by Blake Andrews, Ben Blatt, Everest Pipkin, and You+Pea. Marie Foulston returns as curator for a second year.
The evening includes music, drinks, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of how the artists created the works.
“Each year, No Quarter showcases the potential of games as an artform, bringing together the boldest and most innovative creators from here in New York, where our community has always explored a huge variety of games, with artists from around the world who shape interactivity and play in their own ways,” says Naomi Clark, who is chair of the Game Center at the Tisch School of the Arts. “At the NYU Game Center, we're always interested in how games can produce meaningful, compelling culture, and No Quarter is the moment every year when we get to see some of the newest and brightest work emerge into public view.”
Foulston commissioned artists from New York, New Mexico and London to produce an exhibition with a variety of aesthetic styles and approaches. A leading expert in video game design and an award-winning curator, Foulston has worked with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Nintendo.
“It’s such a joy to be invited back to curate No Quarter for a second year. This annual event provides a rare opportunity to commission an inspiring and groundbreaking selection of international creatives working across games,” Foulston says. “This year’s cohort has created a truly eclectic array of radical, joyful, and experimental new works that need to be seen (and played) to be believed."
Ben Blatt is a full-time writer and part-time arcade artist who lives in Brooklyn and specializes in electro-mechanical machines that channel vintage American roadside attractions. Blatt’s game, “Ticket Tower,” is a two-player artisanal arcade cabinet hand-crafted from wood. It has a spectator element that promises to make it crowd-pleaser.
The final commission went to You+Pea, an architectural design studio based in London. Sandra Youkhana and Luke Caspar Pearson explore the ways games interact with the design of spaces. Professors at the Bartlett School of Architecture, they are the authors of the new book, Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds. The duo’s installation invites audiences to collaboratively explore architectural dioramas.
Blake Andrews is a Brooklyn-based designer, illustrator and animator who in the last decade has posted hundreds of short experimental games on websites such as itch.io. Foulston describes Andrews’s work as “a joyfully chaotic multiplayer game” that pits players against each other and the machine.
Everest Pipkin is a game developer, writer, and artist who lives on a farm in New Mexico, and both their studio and farm work engage themes of ecology and collective care. Pipkin’s five-player game, encompassing an entire room, is set on an abandoned planet and requires players to scavenge for resources. Its action is a commentary on the isolation of the pandemic and the human costs of capitalism.
No Quarter started in 2010 and ran every year until 2019, when the pandemic forced organizers to pause. It returned in 2022. Artists who have been featured include Zach Gage, Kevin Cancienne, Mark Essen and Margaret Robertson; it launched such games as Terry Cavanagh’s “At A Distance” and Catt Small’s “Breakup Squad.” Its title refers to the 25-cent coin that traditionally fed arcade games.
No Quarter 2023 is free but a reservation is required. Visit this website to make a reservation.
About New York University’s Game Center
The 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.