Twofivesix: finding games everywhere

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to New York for Kill Screen’s Twofivesix conference at The Invisible Dog Art Center. Going in, I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of the conference’s mission statement to devote itself to “the spaces between games, play, interaction and creativity.” After all, in the early days of games academia, linking games to pre-existing media was a red flag. On the other hand, businesses are eager to link products to games under the umbrella of “gamification,” the questionable practice of leveraging the work-reward loop of games for profit. Both prospects left me wary. As it turns out, in the case of Twofivesix, this meant orchestrating conversations between those embedded within the game industry and those circling it from the outside. Although I don’t think these pairings necessarily made me “see games everywhere” as Kill Screen’s founder Jamin Warren suggested in his introduction, it did successfully highlight the fascinating and often overlooked  (if not actively discouraged) links between games and other textual forms.