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VASD Presents | Apprehending Play - Systems that Shape Leisure

  • RMCAD Mary Harris Auditorium 1600 Pierce Street Lakewood, CO, 80214 United States (map)

DENVER, Colo. – Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) presents game designer Naomi Clark’s Senses series lecture titled Apprehending Play: Systems that Shape Leisure. This event takes place on Thursday, February 9, 2017 in the Mary Harris Auditorium on RMCAD’s campus. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. Clark’s public presentation continues the yearlong Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer (VASD) Program lecture series exploring a variety of perspectives on the extraordinary aspects of the most common element of our humanity: the senses.

About the Lecture

Games have been described as the aesthetic form of systems; much as music might be considered the aesthetic form of sound. In a complex world full of natural and man-made systems, educators increasingly turn to games to help facilitate understanding. At the same time, games as designed objects are oftentimes narrowly perceived as serving one principal function: filling up and enhancing our leisure time to escape from productive concerns. Naomi Clark has been designing, writing, teaching, and thinking about games for more than twenty years and recently she's become interested in the tangled relationship between humans and our games. This interest has led her to ask the following questions, which she will address in her Senses series lecture: What kind of fantasies emerge from interaction with game systems and what do these fantasies tell us about our culture? Why do certain forms of play satisfy or glut? How do games engage and fill our sensory-cognitive faculties? What would happen if—as players or creators, or both—we sought to develop tastes that were less driven by satiating our needs and anxieties?

About the Speaker

Game designer and scholar Naomi Clark is Assistant Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Game Center. Clark’s career of designing and producing games originated while creating early online games in the 1990s. As an editor for the online magazine Word, she co-designed one of the web's first multiplayer games, Sissyfight 2000. She then went on to produce software toys and online games for LEGO®. Clark has worked as a game designer, producer, and creative director at multiple New York studios. Her writing about games can be found in collections such as Videogames for Humans and in the co-authored textbook A Game Design Vocabulary. Clark’s 2014 cooperative card game Consentacle, which explores the complex issues of sex and consent, as well as her keynote address at the 2014 Queerness and Games Conference, are just two examples that highlight her ongoing contributions to critical discourse in the arts by challenging and discussing issues of gender, equality, and taste in the gaming industry.

Ticketing Information

All Senses lecture series events are free for current RMCAD students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The general public may purchase tickets at for $10. Students from other institutions are eligible for student pricing at $5. The full series archive and schedule, complete lecture descriptions, and speaker biographies can be found at

About the VASD Program

The Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer (VASD) Program explores critical, diverse, and creative inquiry. This interdisciplinary initiative enriches the academic experience at RMCAD and serves the greater Denver-metro community. More information can be found at

Later Event: February 10
Creative Mornings @ RedLine