Theo Triantafyllidis & Alex Rickett, “Gecko Ridemption” (image courtesy the artists and UCLA Game Art Festival)

Over the past 40 years, video games have developed from a geeky pop culture obsession to a hybrid platform that brings together elements of technology, cinema, performance, music, and fine art. Now in its fifth year, the UCLA Game Art Festival explores the boundaries of contemporary gaming with over 50 digital and tabletop games, performances, screenings, installations, and virtual and augmented reality experiences.

Angela Washko, “The Game: The Game” (image courtesy the artist and UCLA Game Art Festival)

Highlights include Angela Washko’s The Game: The Gamebased on the artist’s extensive investigation into the toxic culture of pickup artists; Harold Halibut, a game that resembles a whimsical stop-motion film; and Viral, a NSFW send-up and celebration of internet culture, social media, memes, and porn.

The Board Game Lounge features a selection of analog diversions, curated this year by Naomi Clark, a designer and educator at the NYU Game Center. Titled Systems of Struggle, her selections focus on important and often dark historical episodes, from the Underground Railroad, to the Salem Witch Trials, to the War on Terror.

Future Ladies of Wrestling (image courtesy the artists and UCLA Game Art Festival)

Alongside interactive exhibits, a live stage show will feature a three-hour program, including the Future Ladies of Wrestling (F.L.O.W.), who fuse GLOW’s theatrical camp with a radical feminist perspective, and a cage-match tournament of Gecko Ridemption, a “rock-climbing, laser-blasting, stuff-barfing, sport-ish game.”

When: Tuesday, November 14, 7–10pm
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)

More info here.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.