Video games have become a ubiquitous part of our world. As such, games have become inextricably linked to late capitalism and the problems of modernity. By creating “home-brewed” games or hacking game hardware, individuals regain ownership of their gaming practices, and video gaming becomes a creative pursuit.
Why does a composer make digital games? I made a zine with some of my thoughts (using Nathalie Lawhead‘s “Electric Zine Maker“). Many of these ideas about accessibility are inspired by the writings of Anna Anthropy and Zoe Quinn.
Rhythmcremental (with Paul Turowski)
Rhythcremental is a hybrid of a drum machine and incremental games like Cookie Clicker.
Hold down to charge
Plurality Spring (with Paul Turowski)
In Plurality Spring, players perform music to control robotic avatars exploring an unknown orb in deep space. Using the microphone to track pitches, the live acoustic player/performers control the movement of the robots as well as the emergent sonic environments.
The piece is both a standalone game and a framework for musical improvisation.
The live acoustic audio mixes with in-game sound, creating an emergent augmented reality musical performance. Randomized levels, real-time decisions, and reactive audio lead to distinct musical results with each playthrough.
Midi-Controlled Intellivoice Synth (2016)
A keyboard controlled 1980s speech synthesizer.
Video-Glitch Sega Genesis (2015)
This is a video-bent Sega Genesis, whose video glitches (created by bridging points in the video-RAM) can be controlled interactively via the keypad or by USB MIDI Control using an Arduino Teensy installed into the Genesis.
This piece of obsolete consumer technology has been repurposed into an instrument for creating live interactive art.