Level is an exhibition of recent independent video games that explore various phases in human development that resonate with the increasingly technologically connected and mediated experience of living. From birth to death, the games touch on a range of human developments, from universal milestones, such as learning to walk, to highly personal events experienced by the artists. All of the works approach the human condition from varying perspectives that include interactive autobiographies, satirical investigations of social computing, and personal meditations on gaming culture. In each game, players are charged with challenges, tasks, and puzzles that build empathetic perspectives between player and character, visitor and maker. Artists and non-artists from the United States, Europe, and Asia created the games in Level, and include AlexítronAnna AnthropyAngela WashkoBennet FoddyIan BogostMIT Game Lab,Jonatan SöderströmDanish National Academy of Digital Entertainment,Jake ElliotPeter FavaroCliff HarrisStephen LavelleSebastian Janisz,MolleindustriaTabor RobakJason Rohrer, and Lea Schönfelder.

Each game is presented in its own working cabinet, allowing visitors to play free of charge. The game cabinets are designed and fabricated by We Are Architects with assistance from regional game enthusiasts and friends. Collaborators include regional furniture maker Leonard Bellanca; Alexis, Chris, David, James, and Zach, students in Donna Fitzgerald’s high school Art class, Neil Hellman School of Parsons Child and Family Center Family Center; and circuit bending sound artist Peter Edwards.

Level is organized by We Are Architects in collaboration with the artists and game designers. Equipment is provided by Alex YoungThe Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and Information Technology at Skidmore College. This exhibition is generously supported by the New York Foundation for the Arts. This particiaptory project opened with a single evening festival on April 27, 2012 and featured live music performances, vintage video game systems, and refreshments at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York and will be on view from April 13 to May 25, 2012.