Apprehending Play: Systems That Shape Leisure
Thursday, February 9, 2017
6:00 p.m. Doors open
6:30 p.m. Lecture begins

Mary Harris Auditorium on the campus of Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
This event is FREE for current RMCAD students, faculty, staff, and alumni (and includes an option to bring 1 guest for free), but registration is highly encouraged.
$10 for the public
$5 for other students and 40 West Arts District Members

About the Lecture
Games have sometimes been described as the aesthetic form of systems, much as music might be considered the aesthetic form of sound. In a complex world full of natural and man-made systems, educators increasingly turn to games to nurture comprehension. At the same time, games are oftentimes narrowly perceived as serving one principal function: filling up and enhancing our leisure time to escape from productive concerns. Naomi Clark has been designing, writing, teaching, and thinking about games for more than twenty years. Recently she’s become interested in the tangled relationship between humans and our games: what kind of fantasies emerge from interaction with game systems as distinct from marketing messages or authored stories? And what do these fantasies tell us about our culture? What would it mean to cultivate a more nuanced appreciation of games through an understanding of why certain forms of play satisfy and engage our sensory-cognitive faculties? What would happen if—as players or creators, or both—we sought to develop tastes that were less driven by satiating our needs and anxieties?

About the Lecturer
Game designer and scholar Naomi Clark is Assistant Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Game Center. Clark’s 20+ years of designing and producing games began while working on early online games in the 1990s. As an editor for the online magazine Word, she co-designed one of the web’s first multiplayer games, Sissyfight 2000. She then went on to produce software toys and online games for LEGO®. Clark has worked as a game designer, producer, and creative director at New York studios on projects including Gamelab, Rebel Monkey, and Fresh Planet. Her writing about games can be found in collections such as Videogames For Humans (edited by Merritt Kopas) and in the co-authored textbook A Game Design Vocabulary. Clark’s 2014 cooperative card game Consentacle, which explores the complex issues of sex and consent, as well as her keynote address at the 2014 Queerness and Games Conference, are just two examples that highlight her ongoing contributions to critical discourse in the arts by challenging and discussing issues of gender, equality, and taste in the gaming industry.

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