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SciFly NYC // 89 // Wonderville Speculations

Weekly Events 8/12 - 8/18

Image from Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us into Temptation by Chris Nodder | 

Hey SciFly Readers!

Having been getting super annoying headaches this reason (not sure why...) and am definitely nursing one right now so not going to get into a super long, intellectual rant this week - sorry! Instead, let me tell you about something amazing and fun for a change!

I finally was able to make it to Wonderville Arcade in BK this week (which you may remember from a post earlier in the year about how I was backing them on Kickstarter and how you should too). 

Wonderville is the brain child of Mark Kleback and Stephanie Gross, a duo who has several years of working in DIY music venues in Brooklyn. Mark is also the founder of Death by Audio Arcade, a nonprofit in NYC that showcases games by local developers, runs workshops, and teaches creative tech skills around electronics and installation builds. It's kind of like their attempt to take all of the awesome stuff they have been doing underground and put it in a bar and legal event space that can host parties, workshops and more.

Upon walking in, you are greeted by a charmingly divey bar scene with some scattered games and TVs and comfy booths. The full bar serves great cheap drinks and AMAZING $1 popcorn during happy hour, as well as featuring three TVs: one of which was playing old-school anime when I was there Thursday, and Akira today, one with Bettlejuice, and the final an open game of Street Fighter anyone could jump in to. In the back room, they have a stage, music, and tons of indie arcade games all built into lovingly decorated cabinets, many of which wouldn't have looked out of place at an arcade from my childhood. I have to say the racing game Black Emperor was probably my favorite, but I didn't get a real chance to try some of the multiplayer games since I was there each time for other reasons. 

I went on Wednesday to take part in a super fun Female Frequency & Soundgirls '808 workshop' and got to learn a little bit more about how to play with my Roland MC 505 (flash-forward to me hooking it up to Sonic Pi yesterday and finally getting it to work!!! :D :D :D) The hosts were two super cool DJs/performers, Trovarsi and Josie Carr, who I absolutely recommend you check out! They have some fantastic tracks!  I met a ton of cool people, and was super inspired to keep noodling with some electronic music ideas.

Honestly, I liked Wonderville so much, I couldn't stay away and was waiting for a reason to go back. Then,  as I was working on SciFly this afternoon, I came across a listing to play-test a new Design Science Fiction Game called Spoke at their space. If you know me at all, you know I couldn't stay away from those words combined in a sentence.

So this time around, I avoided the J train and biked up to Wonderville (way closer given the vagaries of BK public transit) getting there a bit earlier in the day, right after opening. When I arrived it was nice and quiet, people chilling and playing some games and board games, having frozen margs and popcorn. In the back room, I met Evan, the creator of Spoke and a bunch of super fun people who all wanted to give it a whirl.

The basic game is you get a Context Card, Character, and Metaphor, as well as 2 events that take place in a given timeline on your board. Everyone goes around and makes up a story about the future based on their prompts, and can build off one another's timelines for laughs and points. Scoring is based on plausibility and creativity. (I got top marks on both :P) Long story short, I had a hilarious time and made up a story about a augmented/otherwise-abled gender-synthetic cyborg delivery person, 1337 (pronounced Leet) who is working for 1-800-FLOWER, the futures only seller of Pot 2.0, a special synthetic blend made for cyborg that is illegal (since you can't operate heavy machinery while using it, and they always are). The story followed them as they made a delivery to pay -off debts to an AI therapist service gone awry, who was now haunting them through their implants until they paid up. I could go on, but wow, such a fun, inspiring time. :D Hope to get a copy of the game soon, and maybe give it a whirl with Speculative Futures NYC!

Anyway, need to stop looking at computer, so If you have a chance, you should absolutely check out the game Spoke, and Wonderville, and all the things above. Def think it is going to be the 'bar of my 30's', so hit me up if you are going, and I will absolutely join you. Need someone to play Ninja Kickball with. :P

Thanks for listening, and read on to see this week's awesome events!

"The future is here, now let's distribute it." 

Doc Martens

SciFly is a design studio dedicated to leveraging speculative design and science fiction to imagine and prototype alternative futures enabled by today's emerging technology.


Monday | 8/12

Tuesday | 8/13

Wednesday | 8/14

Thursday | 8/15

Friday | 8/16

Saturday | 8/17

Sunday | 8/18

OnGoing [classes, exhibits, shows etc.]


What I'm Reading

Here is a quick snapshot of my favorite books, podcasts, and articles this week.

Economic Science Fictions
by William Davies

Exploring Social VR
by Institute for the Future

Hipster Asteroids Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon Before it was Cool
by Silver Medal

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