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Are video games art? Well you can debate as much as you like, but a group of indie video game developers have already decided that games not only ARE art, but should have their own gallery right on 42nd street in Manhattan. The Showpaper Gallery is currently holding a Retrospective of six games from previous exhibits by Baby Castles, the Indie Game Arcade previously seen in Brooklyn.
Showpaper is located at 217 East 42nd Street, right off Grand Central Station and, inside you will find six custom-made arcade cabinets, each hosting a different game made by an independent developer.
The games include Nidhogg by Mark Essen, a sword-fighting/ platforming sidescroller which was commissioned by the NYU Game Center for the No Quarter gallery.
Canabalt by Adam Atomic is a high-speed one-button sidescrolling jumper originally created for the Experimental Gameplay Project’s Bare Minimum competition.
Deceptive Platformer by Nocturnal Minds is true to it’s title; a platformer that changes it’s rules and controls as the player proceeds through the game. It won Best Overall Game at the NYU Global Game Jam
Ultraquest by Marc Arenas, also puts a spin on standard platforming games by reversing gravity when the player jumps. It was created for the first Babycastles exhibition at Death By Audio.
Bit.Trip Runner by Gaijin Games, is a rhythm/ jumping game which features music by New York band Anamanaguchi.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try KILLJET by Tristan Perich, which was a part of Kokoromi’s Gamma 256 party.
The games are showcased in custom cabinets built by: Andrew Ross and Tommy Coleman, Chris Makris, Thu Tran, Sto, Rob Seward, Jess Osserman and Sarah Schoemann, Practical Wisdom, and Nick Kuszyk. The gallery also features art installations.
Showpaper is opened Monday through Saturday 11am-8pm. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.