Fall 2010 - Winter 2011

Toy train boxcar with game pieces inside. Basic show info.

Learn to Play, followed by Learn to Play Too
10/4-11/24/10, 1/4-2/24/11

Artists include Andrew Y Ames, Jim Babb of Socks Inc., April Banks, Brenda Brathwaite, Yunan Cao, Terry Cavanagh, Joe DeLappe, David Elliott, Jake Elliott, Mark Essen, Catherine Herdlick, Rod Humble, Stephen Lavelle, Molleindustria, Francisco Ortega-Grimaldo, Jason Rohrer, Susana Ruiz of Take Action Games, Adam Saltsman, Kelly Santiago and Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany, Jonatan Söderström, Superbrothers, La Mar Williams II, Robert Yang, the City of Cupertino, and more.

Curated by James Morgan and John Bruneau, with Jan Rindfleisch
Partners: ZER01, CADRE Laboratory for New Media
For additional information, visit ZER01's Learn To Play page.
For a full description, including images, see Euphrat Past Highlights.

A timeless challenge: When life is a game, how do you learn to play? Games, an expression of art and life, can bridge the gaps between cultures, and be a common language that brings communities together. LTP combined collaborations with key organizations looking to the future of Silicon Valley, with the challenging intersection of games, the arts, technology, commerce, and education.

Game makers tell compelling stories about their lives or the world. Learn to Play included video, board and social games by indy game designers, poetic and artful games, from quick play to epic. The characteristics of these games echo human nature, teaching us who and what we are, or can be, so we can explore life directions driven by our choice and conscience. The games selected range from personal growth to those used for socially conscious purposes. For example Brenda Braithwaite's provocative games, such as Train, challenge academic learning/knowing about difficult histories, periods such as the holocaust, middle passage, trail of tears, and the Irish experience. In Help find Zoe, Susana Ruiz and Take Action Games (TAG) address abusive dating relationships and gender stereotyping in a game for youth, ages 8-14. The core TAG team met while graduate students at the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division. TAG specializes in casual games for change, a new approach to issues, traversing the intersections of computational art, narrative, journalism, activism, ethics, history and documentary.

It was good to connect art, education, business, and social consciousness with these unusual women out front. In December 2012, Brenda Braithwaite Romero became the first game designer in residence at UC Santa Cruz. She gave a TED talk "Gaming for Understanding," November 2011.

LTP art included Andrew Y Ames's Last Resort, modified chess to reflect modern warfare, with a goal to protect civilians and territory, plus classics like Passage by Jason Rohrer, and Flower for PlayStation3 by Kelly Santiago and Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany, also connected with USC's Interactive Media Division.

Update on one of the artists:

Brenda Romero - TED Talk (Gaming for Understanding)











View ancillary materials for the Fall 2010 exhibitions.