MAHINDRA TRANSMEDIA ARTS SEMINAR: 'Playable Theatre': on Gaming and Aesthetic Control

Date: 2021
Location: Cambridge, MA
Theorizing the enhancements and constraints that gaming brings to theatre.

Lawrence Switzky, University of Toronto. March 23, 5pm EST. “Playable Theatre”: On Gaming and Aesthetic Control

Discussions of the remediation of video games in theatre often adopt a language of enhanced agency: greater choice, participation, openness, recasting the spectator as a player. But the procedural orientation of gaming also imposes significant constraints, both in terms of explicit rule sets and occluded controls. This talk will combine interviews with artists and case studies to examine the conflicting ideological and dramaturgical functions of digital games within theatre, and to propose that the “minimal gameplay” movement is a more accurate model for the marriage of gaming and theatre than “open-world games” or “environmental storytelling.”

metaLAB is partnering with the Mahindra Humanities Center to sponsor the Transmedia Arts Seminar, chaired by Magda Romanska and Hana Worthen.