Good art is about connection. Art is personal, to both its creator and observer. When we look at a painting hanging in a gallery, we see what it plainly is and the story beyond that, told through the lens of our own lives and experiences. In this way, the art that inspires us is told and interpreted through our stories, not just the stories the creators put to page, screen, or pixels, in the case of video games.
When we’re deeply affected by a piece of art, it makes an indelible impact, and while the player and their connection to the game and the story it’s telling is an important part of why the stories in video games soar, games are also living, interactive art representing the lives of their developers, who through their games, are telling the stories of their lives, and allowing players unprecedented intimacy with these narratives.
The VGA Gallery brings another smart exhibit full of heart to its space on Bloomingdale Ave this Friday with System Link: Video Games as Memoir. This exhibition, curated by Brice Puls, looks at the connection between the artist and their game, rather than the player and their implied narratives, and how these developers find their voice and use it to share personal, emotional stories.
The exhibit promises a collection of games that emphasize empathy, imploring the player to take a walk in someone else’s shoes and understand a reality that’s different than the life that they lead, and shows off the amazing ways these developers translate their personal trials, triumphs and life stories into games, and bring players closer to these realities than nearly any other medium can boast.
System Link: Video Games as Memoir kicks off its run at the VGA Gallery with an opening reception tonight from 6-9 pm, with a private preview available for VGA Society members from 5-6. You can see System Link at the VGA Gallery starting tonight with dates through April 25, 2020.
The Video Game Art Gallery has consistently brought to the table beautiful, thought-provoking exhibits that represent diverse cultures, talk openly and honestly about the world around them, and invite everyone to share experiences and stories. Whether you’re someone who grew up playing games and experiencing their stories or someone who would in no way consider themselves a “gamer” we challenge you to broaden your horizons and understand the power of video games as interactive storytelling and art by visiting VGA Gallery. There’s no better place in Chicago to start.
The Video Game Art Gallery is located at 2418 W Bloomingdale Ave #101 with hours on Thursdays evenings and Saturdays, and entry to the gallery is free. For more information on the VGA Gallery, their past or upcoming exhibits and their scholarly journal, the VGA Reader, click here.
If you like the video game, tabletop, or other technology content that Third Coast Review has to offer, consider donating to our Patreon. We are the only publication in Chicago that regularly reviews video games, and we cover lots of local Chicago-based events and more. If you want to contribute to our coverage of Chicago’s video game scene (and more) please consider becoming a patron. Your support enables us to continue to provide this type of content and more. Patreon.com/3CR