Night Games

Project Description:
Night Games brings a room full of players together within an interactive environment to collaboratively create music, visuals and dance. The players’ choices create the world they occupy. Through an advanced technological system which includes motion tracking, quadraphonic sound, interactive instruments, hacked game controllers and wearable smart costumes, a rich terrain for free form exploration fills the installation. Night Games encourages players to make sound, dress up and enter into an imaginary world. Infused throughout this experience, strange creatures roam, cloaked in magical frocks encouraging revelry and participation. Underneath the entire sculpture a steady rhythmic drum beat pulsates acting as a canvas onto which players can layer their sonic input. The speed of the beat and complexity of the canvas reflects the number of players and their proximity to each other. The system rewards close collaboration with a richer melodic score and denser projected abstract generative shapes. Through the sonification and visualization of proximity and social interaction, Night Games brings a conscious awareness to players that individuals impact and form a collective ecosystem.

Innovative Nature of the project
This project seeks to further expand the public’s understanding of game play and theatre to include freeform interaction. These physical controllers represent part of a deeper research endeavor to innovate controllers for games that embrace all bodies and abilities. By crafting a playspace that rewards many kinds of interaction, these objects will have affordances for many possible ways of moving. As a person who has struggled on an off with partial disability, Phoenix Perry has passionately been pursuing alternative computational interactions for several years. This installation welcomes players who may have limited mobility or difficulty interacting with traditional forms of digital inputs. Finally, rounds of HCI testing will focus on affect and exploring the triggers for creating positive emotions with the body during play. Interfaces and experience design will integrate testing data into the process. All research in this project will be submitted to academic and industry publications and open sourced

New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY. June 22, 2013. 4-6.30pm
Come Out and Play, South Street Seaport, New York, NY. July 12, 2013. 7pm – 12am.

Principle Researcher:
Phoenix Perry
Phoenix Perry is an Adjunct Professor and games researcher at NYU. From digital arts practitioner to Creative Director, she has extensive experience in new media, design, and user interfaces. A consummate advocate for women in game development, her speaking engagements include The Open Hardware Summit at MIT, Indiecade, Int-inst, Comic Con, Internet Week, Create Tech and NYU Game Center among others. Perry’s creative work spans a large range of disciplines including drawing, generative art, video, games, interfaces and sound. Her projects have been exhibited worldwide at venues and festivals including the GDC, E3, Come out and Play, The New York Hall of Science, Lincoln Center, Transmediale, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, LAMCA, Harvest Works, Babycastles, European Media Arts Festival, GenArt, Seoul Film Festival and Harvestworks. In 2011 she co-authored the book, Meet the Kinect with Sean Kean and Johnathan Hall. She holds a MS from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Finally, she has curated since 1996 in a range of cultural venues, the most recent of which is her own gallery, Devotion Gallery. Devotion is a Williamsburg gallery focused on the intersection of art, science, new media, and design from 2009-2013.

Research Team:

Colin Snyder:
Art Direction, Project Development, Game Design, Graphic Design, User Interface, paper prototyping
Colin Snyder is a videogame & graphic designer, illustrator, and writer. Having been on the front lines of videogame retail, to the headquarters of Rockstar Games, and now on the frontier of indie games. He’s a member of Babycastles, New York City’s first independent arcade community and fledgling cultural institution. With Babycastles, he has produced events, installations, games, and videos. He founded Gameifesto, a forthcoming social network where aspiring videogame developers can meet and congregate to build their own communities and games. He’s currently working on his own games while writing for Vice Magazine’s Motherboard about videogame design and gaming culture.

David Kanaga
Sound Design, Interaction Design, Instrument development
David Kanaga is a composer & music designer. His work can be heard & played in the award-winning videogames Proteus and Dyad. He is currently working on Panoramical, an ‘album’ of morphing 18-dimensional music landscapes and researching time-structural relations between parts and wholes in playspaces broadly, from non-digital games and music improv spaces to free-scaling/pseudo-fractal drawings in Infinite Sketchpad, to lines of sight/ attention/drift in books, etc. Further materials can be found at

David Last:
Prototype Music, Ableton Live
David Last is a musician and visual artist living in Brooklyn New York. With Sasha Kaline (Alka Rex), he is a founder of the Konque label and music project. Tracks range from electronic dance music to cinematic orchestral ambience depending on the setting. This is not surprising, as he has been creating music for a variety of venues; the dancefloor, Imax film, video installation, childrens’ animation, and albums. As a result of a broad curiosity about music, each project is considered anew as its own sonic world.

Margaret Schedel:
Playtesting, construction
An Assistant Professor of Music at Stony Brook University, Margaret Anne Schedel is a composer and cellist specializing in the creation and performance of ferociously interactive media. She is working towards a certificate in Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros and serves as the musical director for Kinesthetech Sense. She sits on the boards of the 60×60 Dance, BEAM Foundation, EMFInstitute, ICMA, NWEAMO, and Organised Sound.

Sasha Richter:
Fashion Design, Instrument prototyping, Costume Design
Sasha K. Richter works as a Costume Designer, Milliner, and Installation Artist in New York City. She received her BFA in Costume Design from Boston University. Her previous costume work includes, La Boheme at the Huntington Theatre Company, The Weavers at the Boston Center for the Arts, The Maids at Fourth Street Theatre, as well as Alcina with the Boston Opera Collaborative. Sasha is also co-founder of Tin Can Phone Inc., a collaborative installation group. While designing for various theatres and galleries, she is also working on her fourth season as the Milliner for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.