Learn to Play: The Exhibition

June 12th, 2010

Learn to Play

Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA

Curated by James Morgan and John Bruneau

Learn to Play presents a selection of poetic, artistic, and artful
games that embody the qualities of human existence, focusing on the
experience of playing and learning to play. The characteristics of
these games echo human nature, teaching us who and what we are, or
can be.

As conduits for bridging or separating cultures, games can be used to
bring communities together for improvement of economic and social
conditions, or to exploit communities through political maneuvering.
The games chosen range from personal growth to those used for
socially conscious purposes. Of particular interest are game
situations that allow people to enter into a life driven by their
choice and conscience.

The games span the range from quick play to epic games requiring many
hours to complete. Brenda Brathwaite’s award winning game, Train,
confronts the viewer as a physical object and as a historical
reference. Its power is in its simple, sculptural construction and in
the function of its play. Jason Rohrer’s 5-minute Passage is one of
the most lyrical short games ever made. The retro, pixelated 8-bit
graphics abstract us from the experience, but also allow us to see
ourselves and our lives through our participation in the game.

Learn to Play is also a challenge. We invite people of all
backgrounds to experience and create games that express social and
emotional relevance. During the course of the exhibition, workshops
will be held to teach basic game design tools. At the end of the
workshops we will have game challenges from which work may be curated
into the exhibition.