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  • Student Paper: Games: The Art of Making, Bending, and Breaking Rules

    - Andrew Yashar Ames
  • Games: The Art of Making, Bending, and Breaking Rules

    By Andrew Yashar Ames


    Game-based art has implied and explicit rules that artists expose and exploit for aesthetic and ideological purposes. The thesis develops this theory of interactivity from Noah Wardrip-Fruin's concept of playable media, Domini Lopes' strongly interactive art, Eric Zimmerman's defined modes of interactivity, and Ian Bogost's procedural rhetoric. The thesis explores the aesthetic and ideological in games from Dadaism, Surrealism, Fluxus, and contemporary artists Rafael Fajardo, Gabriel Orozco, Mary Flanagan, Francisco Ortega-Grimaldo, Wafaa Bilal, Natalie Bookchin, Voker Morawe, Timan Reiff, and Matthew Ritchie, and in the game-based and interactive works of new media artist Andrew Y. Ames.

    [Thesis available as PDF download (188Kb).]

    About the Author
    Andrew Y. Ames is a new media artist, designer, and collaborator who plays and plays with games. Games, his work shows, are cultural artifacts that not only entertain and instruct but epitomize the cultures that created them. His modifications bend the rules and reinvent board, video, and card games in unexpected ways that invite critical reflection on consumerism, politics, technology, and media.

    Ames graduated from Rhode Island School of Design (MFA in Digital +Media), the University of Denver (BFA in Electronic Media Arts and Design), and Red Rocks Community College (AA in Multimedia Design Technology and Animation). Currently living in New England, he's writing and making games. He worked with Miguel Tarango to help create Denver’s first digital gallery, Potential Cloud Formations, and has exhibited at NYCResis-tor, Sol Koffler Gallery, Core New Art Space, Neo Studios, Denver West, and 5th Floor Studios. His game modification, Deconstructing Gender, appears in the 2007 Web Biennial International Contemporary Art Exhibition of the Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum. [Itch] Magazine recently published his paper "On Games, Art and Shades of Grey."

    Thesis and Degree info
    "Games: The Making, Bending and Breaking of Rules" is a thesis written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Masters of Fine Arts in Digital+Media in the Department of Digital+Media of the Rhode Island School of Design, 2008. It was re-published by Fylkingen's journal Hz, Issue number 13, 2009.


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