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Programmable screens are such powerful tools, capable of being modified faster in response to thought faster than any other medium.

But these proverbial apples from the Garden of the Gods are double edged-swords - in our pursuit of expanding knowledge about the world we have drawn apart from each other. Connected by retina displays, we avoid filing our retinas with actual humans, preferring their outline in so far as it comes through a live, yet mediated network of circuits.

To the surprise of major phone producers, games are the most common application found on consumer phones. Entertainment combined with the isolating effects of having knowledge at your fingertips has bred new social classes whose virtual identities perpuate through their screens. Yet places like Babycastles are making a comeback of how games used to be played - socially, publically, occupying the real world space with all of the delights & limitations of the physical world.

Eschewing traditional choices for a public-game space, Babycastles consciously selects from independent developments to feature in their Arcade. Most of these games are multiplayer, inviting friends and strangers to co-operate & compete uncomfortably close to each other, even for New York standards. Emotional reactions cannot be contained, processed or veiled – outbursts of delight and frustration are public experiences.

Even the name - ridiculous sounding at first, evokes to mind a child running a kingdom, playing with toys both virtual and tactile. Children play with each other and the adults of New York are re-learning that playing games for fun instead of profit is such a delight it may remind them of being a child, naively indulgent in play.


> Babycastles.com

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