Submitted by: Berkley Staite, Imaginary Architects Artist

When considering what I might construct for Imaginary Architects, my first thought was toward my audience. As a designer of (primarily digital) games, I’ve come to recognize the substantial barrier to entry that game experiences can carry. Required familiarity with both specific control methods as well as the ruleset in play (often only understood after investing multiple hours) leads games to be passed over by many. But in lamenting that those around me might miss out on the numerous memorable experiences I’ve had with games, I’ve turned my focus in design towards breaking down some of those barriers to play.

So I took to thinking: what’s the most basic meaningful interaction a player can have with a game? Some sort of choice, surely, but one that doesn’t require hours of poring over rules or any sort of well-practiced execution. I want players to approach my games requiring only what they brought in with them, and to leave somehow better for the interaction. I can’t dictate an individual’s experience, of course, but I can shape the rules of engagement to be more welcoming. And so Category Shift represents my latest attempt.



Imaginary Architects, curated by Stephanie Canning, SCC Exhibitions & Education Coordinator, explores how contemporary Fine Craft artists incorporate notions of play into their work through imaginative, handmade toys and games. A variety of mediums are featured including: fibre, wood, printmaking, ceramics, paper making, digital media and more. Fun for all ages, there are opportunities for interactive play.

Imaginary Architects is at the Affinity Gallery, 813 Broadway Ave, from December 5, 2014-January 10, 2015

Look for Part 2 in this series next Wednesday!