Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blips: New York's Finest

Source: The NYU MFA Showcase was not your average student art show
Author: Dan Solberg
Site: Kill Screen

Just putting out a bit of self promotion here: I covered the recent NYU Game Center Student Showcase for Kill Screen, and I got to play a ton of inspiring games and talk to some cool people. It was my first MFA games show, and it was pretty fun. I'd definitely attend another.

Anyway, so I ended up leaving some of my personal experience with NYU Game Center out of the article because it wasn't the proper tone, but part of the meaning behind that opening line about a lot changing in two years is that it's also the length of time I've been living in New York City. My time learning my way around the boroughs and trying to build up some kind of games coverage portfolio ran parallel with the the Game Center's debut MFA class that just graduated. Throughout the past two years, I've attended a bunch of video game events (many of them Game Center related), held all over the city, and actually got a feel for what a cultural community around games can feel like. I came here for art, but what I ended up getting the most out of NYC was games, and I think that's a testament to the openness and inclusivity at work in New York's gaming scene. Not to say that video games in NYC is a homogenous entity, but there are definitely common threads.

Now I'm getting ready to leave town, head back to the Midwest and teach art. Having spent two years in New York immersed in games, and the 2.5 years prior in DC working in informal education, I've never felt more prepared to enter the austere world of collegiate art education and try my best to offer an alternative experience to my students. When I came out of art school, I hoped, like many of my classmates, that I could find work doing something, anything that was remotely connected to art, knowing that being a full-time artist is just not in the cards. I feel tremendously lucky in this regard (despite my inability to land an art museum job in NYC, though I've interviewed at most of them) that the experiences I've had have led me to be so uniquely prepared for my position this Fall. I've spent a lot my time in NYC cursing this place, but the gaming community here was always a bright spot, and it made my stay here something I truly value.

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