Friday April 11 at BABYCASTLES GALLERY137 W 14th St, New York
RSVP REQUIREDrsvp to rsvp@babycastles.com♛ ♛ ♛ MUSICA ♛ ♛ ♛TRABAJOw/ DJ Sets by:HEAT SCALE (Ari Spool and Rob Chabebe)DJ AMBIENT TEEN (Steph Davidson)8 pm–midnight♛ ♛ ♛ CURRENT EXHIBITION ♛ ♛ ♛SOMETIMES WE EXPLODEAn Exhibition of Underground NYC Through Video Games and Hip HopSOMETIMES WE EXPLODE is special preview exhibition of video games in collaboration with XL Recordings at the site of the upcoming Babycastles Gallery. These video games are works of independent creative expression by individual artists or by small teams, and they reflect the realities, fantasies, and curiosities of different populations that share, co-exist, and conflict within New York City.♛ ♛ ♛ ARTISTS & GAMES ♛ ♛ ♛SUYIN LOOUI and LADYKILLAS (NYC)"Hey Baby", "a fictional [New York] where women could freely roam the streets without consequence."SHAWN ALLEN and NUCHALLENGER (NYC)”Treachery in Beatdown City”, an independent game set in New York City by artists of color who were born, raised, and live in New York.JOE KOWALSKI recently of DOUBLE FINE (NYC)”Third Rail”, a multiplayer game that lets you redesign the New York City subway systemDAVE GILBERT and WADJET EYE (NYC)”Shivah”, an adventure featuring a New York City rabbi exploring the nature of morality and corruption in religious institution.NATE HILL (NYC)”Race Warriors”, A video game hack by Harlem performance artist Nate Hill that delivers a customized race war scenario for each userTHECATAMITES (IRELAND)”Crime Zone”, a post-structuralist adventure in which you are every police officer.WIKI (NYC)Video game cabinetHAK (NYC)Video game cabinetSPORTINGLIFE (NYC)Video game cabinet+ A SPECIAL $$$ GUESTCASSIUS FOWLER…♕…ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ…⑅…

Friday April 11 at BABYCASTLES GALLERY
137 W 14th St, New York

RSVP REQUIRED
rsvp to rsvp@babycastles.com

♛ ♛ ♛ MUSICA ♛ ♛ ♛

TRABAJO
w/ DJ Sets by:
HEAT SCALE (Ari Spool and Rob Chabebe)
DJ AMBIENT TEEN (Steph Davidson)

8 pm–midnight

♛ ♛ ♛ CURRENT EXHIBITION ♛ ♛ ♛

SOMETIMES WE EXPLODE
An Exhibition of Underground NYC Through Video Games and Hip Hop

SOMETIMES WE EXPLODE is special preview exhibition of video games in collaboration with XL Recordings at the site of the upcoming Babycastles Gallery. These video games are works of independent creative expression by individual artists or by small teams, and they reflect the realities, fantasies, and curiosities of different populations that share, co-exist, and conflict within New York City.

♛ ♛ ♛ ARTISTS & GAMES ♛ ♛ ♛

SUYIN LOOUI and LADYKILLAS (NYC)
"Hey Baby", "a fictional [New York] where women could freely roam the streets without consequence."

SHAWN ALLEN and NUCHALLENGER (NYC)
Treachery in Beatdown City”, an independent game set in New York City by artists of color who were born, raised, and live in New York.

JOE KOWALSKI recently of DOUBLE FINE (NYC)
Third Rail”, a multiplayer game that lets you redesign the New York City subway system

DAVE GILBERT and WADJET EYE (NYC)
Shivah”, an adventure featuring a New York City rabbi exploring the nature of morality and corruption in religious institution.

NATE HILL (NYC)
Race Warriors”, A video game hack by Harlem performance artist Nate Hill that delivers a customized race war scenario for each user

THECATAMITES (IRELAND)
Crime Zone”, a post-structuralist adventure in which you are every police officer.

WIKI (NYC)
Video game cabinet

HAK (NYC)
Video game cabinet

SPORTINGLIFE (NYC)
Video game cabinet



A SPECIAL $$$ GUEST
CASSIUS FOWLER

…♕…
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
…⑅…

On top of all the other things we have going on next week, we’ll also be hosting another installment of our Indie Tech Talk series at NYU’s Game Innovation Lab. This month’s talk will feature Double Fine’s Senior Gameplay Programmer Anna Kipnis, who will give a broad overview of how dialog gets into a Double Fine game, from the moment a line is written, to hearing and seeing the line in the engine, even in a foreign tongue, and what tech is required to make it all happen. There’s a facebook event with more info, and you can use that to RSVP as well!

If you follow us on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been very active in the past week. We’ve made some pretty amazing announcements, but in case you missed it I wanted to catch you up.

ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ From April 8th-13th we will be collaborating with NYC hip-hop trio RATKING to bring you a special curation in celebration of their new album So It Goes. ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ

At times other than the parties, this curation will be FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC from April 8th through April 13th at 12pm - 8pm. We’ll be showcasing Hey Baby, Treachery in Beatdown City, Third Rail, Shivah, Race Warriors, and Crime Zone. We’ve created a facebook event with all this information for reference and any updates

We are planning on hosting three events in our brand new BABYCASTLES GALLERY, with the opening on April 8th featuring a special performance from RATKING themselves. 

Then on Saturday, April 12th we are very excited to be collaborating with our friends at Different Games by hosting their after party! You will have to be registered as a Different Games attendee in order to gain admission to the party, which we strongly recommend you do. On a personal note, Different Games was one of my favourite events of last year and I (EMi) strongly recommend you attend both Different Games and our after party that follows.

There will be one more event on Friday April 11th, with details TBA. Admission for this night will be extremely limited and RSVP will be required, so we’ve prepared a special part of our website where you can do that (fish!!!)

This is going to be really fun. We look forward to seeing you!!

-EMi

Hi friends! Thank you to everyone who has made it to our events this month, by which we mean our Indie Tech Talk with Andy Hull and our opening at the Ace Hotel for Art Video Games in China. Really quick, we would like to remind you that Art Video Games in China will remain free (!!!) and open to the public (!!!) until March 31st, so we really encourage you to go check it out.

If you were at the Indie Tech Talk you already know this, but we wanted to wait until after everyone was home from GDC to make a big official announcement. Well here it goes…. WE OFFICIALLY HAVE A LOCATION FOR THE BABYCASTLES GALLERY!! We’re incredibly excited about what this means for our future and we already have some pretty amazing plans for what we’d like to do with the space. So be on the look out, we’re going to have a lot of great announcements coming soon.

We of course couldn’t have made it to this point without the support of our Babycastles Gallery Members, so thank you to everyone who has already joined! On that note though, we’re going to have some news soon that our Members will gain priority access to due to extremely limited availability. That’s all we can say for now, so if you’ve been on the fence about joining now is a very good time to take the leap and officially join our Membership program.

These are pretty wild times for us. Thank you for all your support so far!

-EMi

We’re back with some more information about our Art Video Games in China curation at the Ace Hotel!

Games: Fish by Yi Wang, The Well by Peng Bi Tao, Cloudland by Huang Tianxiao, Mad World by Buran Deng

Curator: Bryan Ma with assistance from Amanda Chung, Wesley Bao

Opening: March 6th 6-8PM (free! all ages!)

Dates: March 6th - 31st

Location: The Gallery at Ace Hotel New York, 20 W29th Street, New York NY 10001

We’re excited to announce a month-long pop-up arcade at the Ace Hotel!

The Armory Show partnered with the Ace Hotel to put together a free, open to the public installation and we are so excited to have been invited to be a part of this. The exhibit is called Art Video Games in China and was curated by our friend Brian Ma. We’ll be bringing our arcade cabinets of course, and maybe some other stuff too?? We’ll definitely keep you updated in the time leading up to the show.

Dates: March 6-31 2014

Location: The Gallery at Ace Hotel New York, 20 W 29th Street, New York NY 10001

Thank you to all our friends who came to see us at IndieCade last week! We are very grateful to those of you who hung out with us at our zine library, came to see Syed and Kunal give their talk, or both! We know not all of you were able to make it though, which is why we wanted to share this video of Syed and Kunal’s hour-long talk with IndieCade East co-chair Kevin Cancienne. Thank you so much to the IndieCade team for recording it for us! Kevin put together a really great slideshow of photos from some of our events, and it was really cool to relive some of these moments in image form. We hope you’ll enjoy it too!

IndieCade also stopped by the Zine Library and did a quick interview with Ben and I while we held down the fort. The Library’s curator Robin got interviewed by another group, and once that interview goes up I’ll post that here too. 

We’ve been hinting at some upcoming events and news recently, and we’ll have more info about that coming soon. Let’s stay in touch on Twitter and via our mailing list!

-EMi

Aaaand we’re back!

A lot of the Babycastles team got really busy after PARTY ON THE 19TH!, and I was no exception. We all did a lot of traveling for the holiday season and beyond, but we’re all settling down now and getting back into our routines. We have a lot of things we want to say to all of you, so get ready for lots of new information in this new year!

But first, we wanted to give you a heads up about our first Indie Tech Talk of the year. This week Eddo Stern will be coming to the Game Innovation Lab at NYU Poly to talk about his working process behind his games Vietnam Romance Entertainment System, Money Making Workshop, and Wizard Takes All. There’s a facebook event page you can check out, but just in case facebook isn’t your thing we wanted to make sure you could get all the info somewhere else. We’ll also be tweeting reminders over the course of the week, so you could always follow us there so you don’t forget!

Anyway, it’s good to be back!! We hope to talk with you a lot more soon <3

-EMi

Ahhhh!!! TONIGHT!!!
PARTY ON THE 19TH is finally here!! We&#8217;re all very excited!! Thu Tran&#8217;s GIANT HORS D&#8217;OEUVRES Dinner starts at 6pm (don&#8217;t forget to buy your tickets in advance!!) then the doors open for the Party at 8pm. We have a finalized lineup too! Shark?, Butter the Children, Jovan Johnson, DJ Big Black Poodle, and DJ Jesse Fuchs will all be providing us with cool sounds to keep you dancing. This is going to be so good!! I&#8217;m abusing exclamation points but I&#8217;m really excited!!!
Ben made some amazing eggnog that we&#8217;ll be serving at the bar, Robin spent most of last night putting the finishing touches on the cabinets, and Stephen brought Glitch Tank Turtle to life. Ivan, Lauren, Syed, and Cris all worked really hard on getting 3D Pac-Man up and running, while Rob, Thomas and I devoted our time to making the Membership Center nice and pretty. We&#8217;re all scrambling to get the last pieces of things in place before we open, and I&#8217;ve been spending my morning making gifs that will be projected tonight. They&#8217;re all really simple but cute! The one above is a preview, and there will be a couple more on display tonight.
It&#8217;s all really happening! We&#8217;ll have some special gifts for people who were planning to becoming Babycastles Gallery Members at the Party. We can&#8217;t wait to share all this with you.
Love and bowties ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ See you tonight!!
-EMiSpicer

Ahhhh!!! TONIGHT!!!

PARTY ON THE 19TH is finally here!! We’re all very excited!! Thu Tran’s GIANT HORS D’OEUVRES Dinner starts at 6pm (don’t forget to buy your tickets in advance!!) then the doors open for the Party at 8pm. We have a finalized lineup too! Shark?, Butter the Children, Jovan Johnson, DJ Big Black Poodle, and DJ Jesse Fuchs will all be providing us with cool sounds to keep you dancing. This is going to be so good!! I’m abusing exclamation points but I’m really excited!!!

Ben made some amazing eggnog that we’ll be serving at the bar, Robin spent most of last night putting the finishing touches on the cabinets, and Stephen brought Glitch Tank Turtle to life. Ivan, Lauren, Syed, and Cris all worked really hard on getting 3D Pac-Man up and running, while Rob, Thomas and I devoted our time to making the Membership Center nice and pretty. We’re all scrambling to get the last pieces of things in place before we open, and I’ve been spending my morning making gifs that will be projected tonight. They’re all really simple but cute! The one above is a preview, and there will be a couple more on display tonight.

It’s all really happening! We’ll have some special gifts for people who were planning to becoming Babycastles Gallery Members at the Party. We can’t wait to share all this with you.

Love and bowties ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ See you tonight!!

-EMiSpicer

It&#8217;s begun!! Yesterday we started rolling into 210&#160;43rd Street to start setting up for PARTY ON THE 19TH. Syed, Stephen, and Robin transported cabinets from NYU Poly despite the snow, then began setting up the games along with Arthur. We quickly realized that SLAVE OF GOD might cause problems for our friends who are prone to seizures, but we&#8217;ve found a solution! We&#8217;re going to construct a photobooth-like tent that covers the screen and hang up a warning sign so we can safely display the game. So if this was previously a concern of yours regarding attending the party, don&#8217;t worry! Inclusivity is very important to us and we&#8217;ll always do everything we can to make sure everyone can have fun safely.
Meanwhile, Joe and his decorating team Magda and Krissy were hard at work bringing some colour to the stark white space. What you see above is only the beginning! After I took these pictures they continued to hang up cool looking objects so that the party will be vivid and exciting. There&#8217;s only going to be more kitsch added today and tomorrow, it&#8217;s only going to get better!
But it doesn&#8217;t end there! We&#8217;re looking for TWO MORE VOLUNTEERS to help us out on the night of the party itself. The entire Babycastles team is volunteering their time to make sure this party is the best it can be, and we&#8217;re hoping there are a couple other people who can give us the little extra boost we need. Could this be you? We have a couple shifts and kinds of positions available, so please email meow at babycastles dot com with the subject &#8220;Party Volunteer&#8221; if you&#8217;re available. 
Love and bowties ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
- EMiSpicer It&#8217;s begun!! Yesterday we started rolling into 210&#160;43rd Street to start setting up for PARTY ON THE 19TH. Syed, Stephen, and Robin transported cabinets from NYU Poly despite the snow, then began setting up the games along with Arthur. We quickly realized that SLAVE OF GOD might cause problems for our friends who are prone to seizures, but we&#8217;ve found a solution! We&#8217;re going to construct a photobooth-like tent that covers the screen and hang up a warning sign so we can safely display the game. So if this was previously a concern of yours regarding attending the party, don&#8217;t worry! Inclusivity is very important to us and we&#8217;ll always do everything we can to make sure everyone can have fun safely.
Meanwhile, Joe and his decorating team Magda and Krissy were hard at work bringing some colour to the stark white space. What you see above is only the beginning! After I took these pictures they continued to hang up cool looking objects so that the party will be vivid and exciting. There&#8217;s only going to be more kitsch added today and tomorrow, it&#8217;s only going to get better!
But it doesn&#8217;t end there! We&#8217;re looking for TWO MORE VOLUNTEERS to help us out on the night of the party itself. The entire Babycastles team is volunteering their time to make sure this party is the best it can be, and we&#8217;re hoping there are a couple other people who can give us the little extra boost we need. Could this be you? We have a couple shifts and kinds of positions available, so please email meow at babycastles dot com with the subject &#8220;Party Volunteer&#8221; if you&#8217;re available. 
Love and bowties ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
- EMiSpicer It&#8217;s begun!! Yesterday we started rolling into 210&#160;43rd Street to start setting up for PARTY ON THE 19TH. Syed, Stephen, and Robin transported cabinets from NYU Poly despite the snow, then began setting up the games along with Arthur. We quickly realized that SLAVE OF GOD might cause problems for our friends who are prone to seizures, but we&#8217;ve found a solution! We&#8217;re going to construct a photobooth-like tent that covers the screen and hang up a warning sign so we can safely display the game. So if this was previously a concern of yours regarding attending the party, don&#8217;t worry! Inclusivity is very important to us and we&#8217;ll always do everything we can to make sure everyone can have fun safely.
Meanwhile, Joe and his decorating team Magda and Krissy were hard at work bringing some colour to the stark white space. What you see above is only the beginning! After I took these pictures they continued to hang up cool looking objects so that the party will be vivid and exciting. There&#8217;s only going to be more kitsch added today and tomorrow, it&#8217;s only going to get better!
But it doesn&#8217;t end there! We&#8217;re looking for TWO MORE VOLUNTEERS to help us out on the night of the party itself. The entire Babycastles team is volunteering their time to make sure this party is the best it can be, and we&#8217;re hoping there are a couple other people who can give us the little extra boost we need. Could this be you? We have a couple shifts and kinds of positions available, so please email meow at babycastles dot com with the subject &#8220;Party Volunteer&#8221; if you&#8217;re available. 
Love and bowties ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
- EMiSpicer

It’s begun!! Yesterday we started rolling into 210 43rd Street to start setting up for PARTY ON THE 19THSyedStephen, and Robin transported cabinets from NYU Poly despite the snow, then began setting up the games along with Arthur. We quickly realized that SLAVE OF GOD might cause problems for our friends who are prone to seizures, but we’ve found a solution! We’re going to construct a photobooth-like tent that covers the screen and hang up a warning sign so we can safely display the game. So if this was previously a concern of yours regarding attending the party, don’t worry! Inclusivity is very important to us and we’ll always do everything we can to make sure everyone can have fun safely.

Meanwhile, Joe and his decorating team Magda and Krissy were hard at work bringing some colour to the stark white space. What you see above is only the beginning! After I took these pictures they continued to hang up cool looking objects so that the party will be vivid and exciting. There’s only going to be more kitsch added today and tomorrow, it’s only going to get better!

But it doesn’t end there! We’re looking for TWO MORE VOLUNTEERS to help us out on the night of the party itself. The entire Babycastles team is volunteering their time to make sure this party is the best it can be, and we’re hoping there are a couple other people who can give us the little extra boost we need. Could this be you? We have a couple shifts and kinds of positions available, so please email meow at babycastles dot com with the subject “Party Volunteer” if you’re available. 

Love and bowties ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

EMiSpicer

It&#8217;s so close! PARTY ON THE 19TH is this Thursday!! Remember how we said there would be more announcements? We don&#8217;t know if you saw, but we announced a couple of musical guests. Our friends Shark? and DJ Big Black Poodle will be performing, yay!! Plus we confirmed Clement Shimizu&#8217;s amazing 3D Pac-Man, which was previously shown at the Babycastles Summit, will also be on display for the night. This is all so good!! There might be more news too, and we&#8217;ll let you know when we know. 
So this is clearly shaping up to be a really good time. We&#8217;re already asking for your help via your attendance, but we&#8217;re hoping some of you out there will be willing to help us a little more. We need some volunteers to help us get the venue ready for the party! If you have a couple hours you could donate to us we&#8217;d really appreciate it. Here&#8217;s what we need: 

Tuesday, we are looking for help picking up cabinets from NYU Magnet Center and The Silent Barn, then setting up cabinets, hardware, and a donations center in the space.
Wednesday, we are continuing the setup, decorations, and building a crazy skateboard lazy suzan for Thu Tran&#8217;s dinner party.
Thursday, we are looking for help with decorating, last minute details, door security, bartending, fundraising, and a generous few to help tear down the installation after the event.

If this sounds like something you could do, we&#8217;ve created a volunteer sign-up schedule so folks like you can and their names with the roll they&#8217;d like to take on. The entire Babycastles team will be working hard to get this all assembled, and any additional hands will be seriously appreciated.
Love and bowties!! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

It’s so close! PARTY ON THE 19TH is this Thursday!! Remember how we said there would be more announcements? We don’t know if you saw, but we announced a couple of musical guests. Our friends Shark? and DJ Big Black Poodle will be performing, yay!! Plus we confirmed Clement Shimizu’s amazing 3D Pac-Man, which was previously shown at the Babycastles Summit, will also be on display for the night. This is all so good!! There might be more news too, and we’ll let you know when we know. 

So this is clearly shaping up to be a really good time. We’re already asking for your help via your attendance, but we’re hoping some of you out there will be willing to help us a little more. We need some volunteers to help us get the venue ready for the party! If you have a couple hours you could donate to us we’d really appreciate it. Here’s what we need: 

  • Tuesdaywe are looking for help picking up cabinets from NYU Magnet Center and The Silent Barn, then setting up cabinets, hardware, and a donations center in the space.
  • Wednesdaywe are continuing the setup, decorations, and building a crazy skateboard lazy suzan for Thu Tran’s dinner party.
  • Thursdaywe are looking for help with decorating, last minute details, door security, bartending, fundraising, and a generous few to help tear down the installation after the event.

If this sounds like something you could do, we’ve created a volunteer sign-up schedule so folks like you can and their names with the roll they’d like to take on. The entire Babycastles team will be working hard to get this all assembled, and any additional hands will be seriously appreciated.

Love and bowties!! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Do you know about PARTY ON THE 19TH yet? We may have mentioned it before….

Yesterday Syed went to scope out the space where we’ll be hosting PARTY ON THE 19TH, our upcoming party to support our Babycastles Gallery fundraising effort. As you can see, it’s really big and kind of cool looking. It also might remind you of the Showpaper Gallery space (that’s on purpose). Above is a video that Syed took to show the other Babycastles team members what the space looked like but we thought you might want to see too! We’re of course going to fill it up with cabinets and stuffed animals and weird stuff, but a look at what it’s like “before” is pretty cool too.

PARTY ON THE 19TH is going to be broken up into two segments. First we’re going to host a "dinner" (it’s giant hors d’oeuvrs so that’s kind of like dinner but also kind of not but still cool!) thanks to the generous time and energy of our friend Thu Tran. This is our first time doing something like this and we’re really hoping this is something you guys will be into. If you want to come to the dinner, it’s a $35 admission price but that gets you into the cool party that comes afterwards! If you’ve already signed up to become a Babycastles Gallery Member it’s only $25 for you! We hope you’ll be willing to try something new with us.  

PARTY ON THE 19TH is slightly a work in progress, and we may be releasing more details about what to expect as we get closer and closer to the night of the event. So keep your eyes here, on our Twitter, and on our newsletter for more info about what’s to come. (This is going to be really great you guys -EMi)

- Emi Spicer

Woah hey, check it out we totally have a Tumblr!

Some of you may remember that we used to use this space for Babycastles staff to talk about cool games that they wanted to share with others. It was really cool and really fun, but unfortunately we kind of lost momentum with that project as we got busy with other things. We didn’t forget about this space though, and maybe one day we’ll be able to coordinate ourselves well enough to get that back on track! 

For right now though, we kind of wanted a way to talk to you guys about what we’re up to more often. We have our newsletter and our Twitter, but we realized that we have a lot more things to say and nowhere to write that stuff down. So we’re repurposing this area so that we can tell you more about what’s going on and what we’re planning. We’ve spent a lot of time keeping quiet while we were taking steps towards opening a permanent space, and now that we’ve got that in motion we wanted to share more details about the things we’re doing and the progress we’re making. We’re really excited about a lot of things, and we hope you’ll be excited with us! There might be a couple different folks writing here (right now it’s EMi, hi!) and there’s definitely going to be all kinds of information shared that you haven’t really seen from us before. It should be fun!

Before this post ends though, here’s a quick reminder that tonight DOUG WILSON (aka that cool guy who made Joust!) will be speaking at NYU Poly about Accelerometers and it’s going to be pretty cool. We’ll also be setting up our Donation Center (which you can see at the top of the post) so if you were thinking of becoming a Babycastles Gallery Member but also wanted to get out the house a little, we’d love to see you! 

Anyway, get ready for some cool stuff in this space :D 

- Emi Spicer

Babycastles Staff Picks: 3 in Three

gamedesignerben:

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Our world is so much less magical than I wanted it to be. Like many teenage weirdos, I spent my adolescence grasping at the usual straws in hopes of uncovering one last portal to an adventurous, hidden, cooler world: tarot cards, auras, Wiccan girlfriends. All to no avail.

I want to tell you about a game called 3 in Three. It’s a puzzle game, not in the Free-To-Play, Bejewelled sense, or the Wander-And-Wonder, Myst sense, but the Mind-Wracking Eleventh Hour sense. That’s the book by Graeme Base, by the way, not the CD-ROM. 3 in Three was set in a world inside a computer, and follows the exploits of an adventurous digit, 3, and her efforts to explore and restore a virus-laden Macintosh.

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Released in 1989, the development of 3 in Three would have been in parallel with the Cyberpunk movement in science fiction literature (Bruce Sterling’s influential short story collection, Mirrorshades, arrived in 1986, while Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash debuted in 1992). Despite predating Cyberpunk’s transition to film, 3 in Three’s visuals were full of the black and neon, geometric landscapes that would form early “cyberspace.”

Cyberpunk provided my teenage self with one last vector for arcane mysticism: computers. Sexy boxes of daemons and light, operated by console cowboy-wizards, tools for both self-enlightenment and world domination.

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Can there be a less Cyberpunk-toned game about the world inside a computer than 3 in Three? Our heroine, 3, is cast as the only sane woman in a world gone mad. In working to restore the system via a series of logic puzzles, hints are provided via running commentary from 3, who displays the put upon straight-man wit of Adam Scott’s character Ben Wyatt on Parks & Recreation. Gone are noir’s shadow, and the techno-shaman’s fetish.

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3 in Three tames the wilds of cyberspace with the order of a spreadsheet. It reminds us that every sorcerous dragonslayer eventually winds up a practical magician, whether that means controlling the elements to avert village droughts, or exploiting fundamental physical forces in a controlled reaction to power a closet light bulb.

I eventually gave up my doomed rebellion against mundane reality. Perhaps I finally started to see that there were things about the world that dedicated weirdos could change without magic. Or I discovered that there was no Wiccan girlfriend who could transform my world better than I could transform myself?

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3 in Three is free these days, but you’ll need either a working computer from the 90’s, or an emulator. The designer, Cliff Johnson, has instructions for getting it running on Mac and Windows.