Don’t miss the ACM-SIGGRAPH “The Aesthetics of Gameplay” online exhibition

The ACM-­‐SIGGRAPH DIGITAL ARTS COMMUNITY (DAC) announces “The Aesthetics of Gameplay” an online exhibition, showcasing forty‐five recent digital games from independent developers that are uniquely creative in combining striking and distinctive aesthetics with engaging gameplay.


Curated by Greg Garvey, Director, Game Design & Development at Quinnipiac University, the show includes: Badlands, Big Huggin, Botanicula, Braid, Cart Life, Eron‐Logos, Fez, Halcyon, Limbo, Invisible Threads, Kentucky Route Zero, Lilt Line, Lim, Limbo, Luxuria Superbia, Museum of the Microstar, Octodad, Operation Human Shield, Papo & Yo, Papers Please, Participation May Vary, Pivvot, Safety Instructions, Shelter, Spacebase DF9, Spirits, Temple Run 2, Tengami, The Artist is Present, The Bridge, The Cat and the Coup, The Dream Machine, The Free Culture Game, The Stanley Parable, The Witness, The Wolf Among Us, Thralled, Unmanned, Wasteland2, Way, Windosill and Year Walk.


Writing in 2011, Ian Bogost captures the motivation for this exhibition: “ . . . when one finds a game that does manage to deliver a detectable aesthetic -­‐-­‐ a set of creative principles and effects that make it the sort of game it is -­‐-­‐ that alone is a triumph.” Ian Bogost, August 2, 2011 Persuasive Games: From Aberrance to Aesthetics,


This special DAC online exhibition is hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH, and is accessed via the highly visible main portal of The ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community (DAC) is a group of over 800 digital artists and scientists from  the world over. DAC sponsors a social web site (, providing a platform for members to share their creative work, and includes postings and notices of events, calls for participation, open discussion groups, and much more throughout the entire year.

DAC is a year-­‐round committee of the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, or ACM-­‐SIGGRAPH. The ACM‐ SIGGRAPH community is large and diverse; its members include researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists, business professionals and more. ACM SIGGRAPH sponsors two large conferences each year -­‐ one in North America and the other in Asia. (See more at: DAC activities continue to bring the spirit of ACM-SIGGRAPH conferences to members year round.

With an online presence “The Aesthetics of Gameplay” introduces a novel format for an “exhibition” focusing on digital games. Each title is represented with up to five screen shots and a short synopsis of the game. “Gallery” visitors can follow links to watch a recorded play‐through or go to the official game site where the game can be purchased, downloaded and played.

Titles were nominated through the wisdom of a (small) crowd drawn from across the games community. For the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community, it marks an expansion and an invitation to include the creative output of members of the digital arts working in areas not previously represented in ACM SIGGRAPH DAC sponsored organized exhibitions.

The exhibit encourages a cacophony of divergent tastes, styles, subject matter and genres. It is not about purely visual assets like playable characters, level bosses, menacing minions and other non‐playable characters; or cool weapons, stunning background architecture, breathtaking landscapes or level designs. Rather the focus is on games that incorporate the merger of interaction with the aesthetics (story, visuals, animation, music, sound, engagement and fun). It is in this ‘artful’ combination that we find the fundamental mechanics that drive gameplay in the games included in this online exhibition.

With this focus on the game mechanics the “Aesthetics of Gameplay” acknowledges that play is its own justification and does not need the window dressing of being called art. The use of the word “Aesthetics” is closer to what Bernard De Koven means by “an embellishment, a useless, spontaneous, joyous human decoration on the shape of necessity….” This is what informs each game included in the “Aesthetics of Gameplay.” Hopefully this rather modest “exhibition” poses questions about the nature of games, play and perhaps even art.

For further information about “The Aesthetics of Gameplay” contact: Greg Garvey, Curator


For further information about ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community contact: Cynthia Beth Rubin, DAC Chair


The Aesthetics of Gameplay an online exhibition of the ACM SIGGRAPH DIGITAL ARTS COMMUNITY

Curated by Greg Garvey, Quinnipiac University

Website Design by Jim Demmers


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