By David Villegas
Kicking off Chicago Design Week, the Chicago Design Museum hosted an opening night for its exhibition titled “HEY! PLAY! Games in Modern Culture.” This ongoing exhibition has been created by artists as well as game designers alike. These games were created to challenge, educate and critique our modern society and culture.
Bud Rodecker, the president of the Society of Typographic Arts, gave opening remarks on behalf of his organization.
He said that the STA is celebrating its 90 year this year. He said as an organization, they put an emphasis on community in Chicago and the community of designers and the intersectionality between designers and the rest of Chicago.
He said that this year’s Chicago Design Week is to open to everyone to put forward their presentation.
Brian Schrank, who is an associate professor of game development, theory and design at DePaul University, gave an explanation on how this exhibition came to be.
“So LeAnne approached me over an year ago that she had done a lot of work here at the Chicago Design Museum and she has done work in games before. She brought me in to help curated the show with her,” said Schrank.
“The significance of this exhibition tonight is basically playing video games and art are not shown together like this,” he said.
He said that this exhibition brings a rich diverse set of experiences that playing games that has not been done.
LeAnne Wagner, who is a professional lecturer of design, education, and game development at DePaul University, also added remarks about this exhibition.
“The design community is amazing here. Working with everyone here with the design, all the volunteers who put all the blood, sweat and tears into this, literally blood and sweat in a lot of things. I am being serious,” Wagner said.
“I just want to say thank you to everybody and I think this is a great testament to the design community here,” Wagner added.
Speaking of the importance of this exhibition, she felt that people need to be more lighthearted with everything going on right now.
“So we kind of invite people to kind of remember what it’s like to play a little bit and hopefully you can find an experience here that can connects with you,” Wagner said.
She added that whether it is from anyone’s past experience or something new to them, she hopes people can have a good time.
This exhibition runs through Feb. 17, 2018 at the Chicago Design Museum at Block 37.