Hi Johannes! Thanks for your interest in the Latin American panorama :)

Here are my answers to your comments:

When talking about “playful culture” I have in mind the new wave of
'makers', the comeback of the hackers spaces, fab-labs and so on. All
those experiences that have a strong ludic feeling within its core. I’m
also thinking about the edutainment movement which is gaining more and
more adepts as days goes by. Also declarations like Zimmerman’s “Ludic
manifest” and the great wave of cultural events centered around play. It
seems like we are remembering what play used to mean; names like Huizinga
are being discussed again, thesis on video games and its impact on diverse
aspects on our society are being written, etc.

As for an exhibition thought as a playable thesis… My thinking was an
exhibition thought as a thesis, as a thinking and practical exercise on
game-design. A thesis does not neccesary need to be written neither to be
extremely theoretical. I feel that if the idea is to engage the audience
that will assist, it needs to be an example of how the experience of
creating a videogame "feels". An interactive space where the audience
becomes a co-creator of the exhibition, participating in a experience that
takes them from the game mechanics experimentation to the character
development and even playtesting. The exhibition itself could become a
thesis that ellaborates about the game design proccess in a ludic and
engaging way. Easier said than done! :)

The series of exhibitions and events organized by "Game on! El arte en
juego” have taken place in a variety of venues, such as universities,
cultural centers, art & technology festivals, and my own art gallery in
Buenos Aires. We have once sent a couple of arcade games to be exhibited
at a contemporary art museum here in Argentina, but have not yet had the
chance to organice a whole exhibition within that context. Neither has
been previous experiences on game exhibitions in museums, nor in Argentina
or the rest of Latin America as far as I know. Museums here still have a
more traditional focus, even when it comes to contemporary art or new
media: there have been some solitary appearances of videogames or movie
projections related to the subject, even talks, but not yet an exhibition
based itself on videogames.

We haven’t tried film/video festivals yet. That’s something we have to

Regarding the Critical discourse on games / game-design in my region, it
would be difficult to get a real sense of it. The specialized media is not
that large neither has the focus/background on analyzing more than the
usual stuff (commercial games, mass events, etc).

About the response to the exhibitions: it has been great! We had about
25,000 people visiting the events we held over these years. We were front
page on several newspapers and got a lot of press articles from different
areas such as technology, culture and showbiz. Our exhibitions usually get
a wide range of audience; highschools and universities coordinate to come,
visit and take place of the activities as if it was an extra-curricular
activity from school. Many students come to learn and talk to the
designers, while new media artists are also kin to this kind of
exhibitions and, of course, the general audience. Although many families
come with their children thinking they will find a playground were to
leave the kids, they end up staying all together enjoying a day out,
realizing that games are not just for children. Lately I’ve been invited
to go to several universities to give talks on experimental and art-games.

I hope I was clear and answer your questions.
Looking forward to hearing more from you and everyone else’s experiences!

El 30/08/14 20:01, "NEW-MEDIA-CURATING automatic digest system"
<[log in to unmask]> escribió:

>There is 1 message totaling 57 lines in this issue.
>Topics of the day:
>  1. NEW-MEDIA-CURATING   Video Games dance in the Museum
>Date:    Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:58:42 +0000
>From:    Johannes Birringer <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: NEW-MEDIA-CURATING   Video Games dance in the Museum
>Hola Luján :
>it was very interesting to read you and hear from someone curating and
>blogging on
>games in Latin America -  can you tell us more about your notion of
>"playful culture"
>and what you call a playable thesis?  where did you show your exhibitions
> on “arte + juego + tecnología”“?
>(you mentioned Cultural Centres, Universities and Festivals), are
>traditional museums not yet
>interested in games (in Argentina), have you shown at video/film
>how is the critical discourse on games & game design in your country?
>how was the response to your exhibitions?
>Glad you liked the proposal to connect game design with performance and
>(I also found it interesting that you work together with your father!).
>[Luján schreibt]
>>> We started working mainly with video games and in time incorporated
>playable media, performances and different kinds of artistic expressions
>that merged technology and games. We focus on the experience of the
>public/gamer and on the concept and aesthetic of the works exhibited, we
>have a proposal similar to those of Playful Arts Festival or A MAZE and
>born almost simultaneously. Studying, analyzing and experimenting with
>we could call the playful culture. The first exhibition was held in my own
>art gallery and then we started working in collaboration with Artistic
>Cultural Centres, Universities and Festivals in LatinAmerica.
>For what I¹ve been reading this conversation has a different orientation.
>You are wondering about the design process behind the games and the role
>Museums in this matter. ...
>and definitely agree with those of you connecting game-design with
>performance and dance.
>Any exhibition dealing with games must be tough as playable, as something
>be lived, since the subject in discussion is the experience itself. So
>perhaps we should continue with that logic and if we want to reflect on
>process behind the game, we may think the exhibition as a playable thesis
>exploring different paths on game-design and its associations with other
>End of NEW-MEDIA-CURATING Digest - 29 Aug 2014 to 30 Aug 2014 (#2014-146)