Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab spacer spacer
spacer New Entries Archives Links subheader placeholder
Updates April2012 edging
left edge
About the Archives

This page contains all entries posted to GAMBIT in April 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2012 is the previous archive.

May 2012 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

First Annual Gayme Jam! May 12, 2012

Guess what, world? It's time for the first ever...

(Y? Because we like you!)

Wait, what? What the heck does that even mean?
In the past, GAMBIT has hosted game jams, digital and non, on a wide variety of subjects of social or political interest, such as the Occupy theme at Boston Game Jam or the recent Equal Pay Jam.

Well, that's what we're doing here, for the awesome glittery* rainbow that is the LGBTQ community. On May 12, 2012, the GAMBIT Game Lab will host a one day cardboard jam dedicated to exploring the many facets of being a queer person in the modern world.

* Note: glitter not compulsory, but highly recommended

Eventbrite - GAMBIT Gayme Jam

What do you want us to make?
Games! Glorious, wonderful games. Life-changing, mind-blowing games!
The goal of this jam is to create board games that deal with or reflect some aspect of life as a queer individual. Now, I know what you're saying. "That's insane! That could be anything! What is wrong with you!" Fear not! We know how crazy huge that topic is. That's why we'll be giving you a few small rules -- a theme, a design challenge -- to help you focus your efforts. But really, the goal is to see just what great ideas you can pull out of that great big field.

Who's going to be there?

Everyone. EVERYONE.

Andrea Meyer (official photo)
We're very fortunate to have lesbian board game designer Andrea Meyer, published game designer and owner of Bewitched Spiele Games from Berlin, Germany as a keynote speaker to kick off the event and help get your minds racing with ideas.

Gayme Bar promo pic
Also included in 'everyone' are our two celebrity "judges," Jason Toups and Jeremiah Bratton, hosts of the popular gay gaming podcast GaymeBar, who will also be on hand to offer ideas, thoughts, and good-natured ribbing to all and sundry.

But I can't be in Boston! What should I do?!
Embrace existential despair. Alternately, you can participate as a satellite site! All you need is a group of participants, your own materials for the jam, and internet access! GAMBIT will have a live feed of the jam, complete with our keynote and the rules of the jam. To participate as a satellite site, you merely need to keep watch of our live stream!

If you're interested in participating as a satellite site, please email me at for more information.

Do I need to identify as LGBTQ to participate?
Of course not! The event is welcome to everyone with an open mind and a desire to get creative. However, you must be 18 in order to take part.

Will... will participating make me gay? D:
Yes. Yes it will. :D

What time is the event?
We start at 9am and end at 10pm. More details about what happens in between will be sent to participants.

What do we do for food?
GAMBIT will be providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner to registered participants. If you can't eat what we have, there are plenty of local options we can point you toward.

What diabolical minds thought this up, anyway?
Todd Harper is a postdoctoral researcher at GAMBIT and the product owner of GAMBIT's own LGBTQ-focused game, A Closed World. His research interests range from the performance of play in the fighting game community to representations of sexuality in games and other media.

Scott Nicholson is a visiting professor at GAMBIT and was the host of Board Games with Scott, a video series about board games, for 5 years and is a regular voice on the On Board Games podcast. He is the designer of Tulipmania 1637, a published board game about a bubble stock market, and the author of Everyone Plays at the Library. He is on the faculty of the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, and his research blog is at

Friday Games: Lockpicking Workshop

This Friday Games will help you level up your lockpicking skills in real life. Schuyler Towne will talk about the basics of how locks work, how they can inspire game mechanics, and why most lockpicking puzzles in videogames are not very good. For those of us who love puzzles, this is a great chance to learn how actual lock and key puzzles work!

The long description of the workshop:

"Locks are ubiquitous and all but invisible to the average person. Few ever notice them except for when they fail, and fewer still take the time to learn how they work and why they work the way they do. In this 3 hour workshop Schuyler will explain myriad locking concepts in use around the world. From Pin Tumbler and Wafer locks to Lever and Disc Detainers.

With each new locking concept we'll explain their basic function, then do a vulnerability assessment to figure out how we could open them. Each new lock you come across is a closed system, but there are a number of ways you can cleverly poke or prod at them to establish what's inside, then use that information to dig deeper, relying on past experiences and new information to determine the best method of attack. We'll discuss how vulnerability assessment can be used as a game mechanic, and, on a much more specific note, how much I dislike most representations of lockpicking in video games."

Schuyler Towne toes a strict ethical line when it comes to lockpicking, but lives a rich fantasy life where he is a lockpicking rogue stealing from the mansions of rich Italians and giving their valuables to the poor. By day he is a socialite who often helps the local constable solve crimes, but by night he is the man who robs the robber barons! This is all much more glamorous than reality, where Schuyler spends most of his days getting giddy about 19th century lock patents and annoying his friends by fondling their keys.

Come join us at 4pm in the lounge and join us in this workshop.If your can't make it, you can watch our livestream.

Video: A GAMBIT Class: CMS.611 Creating Video Games: Featuring Dan Krikorian, Harmonix Music Systems

Video: On April 12th, 2012 during CMS.611 Creating Video Games, Dan Krikorian, Quality Assurance Manager with Cambridge-based Harmonix Music Systems lectured on "Communication In Large Groups". CMS.611 Creating Video Games introduces students to the complexities of working in small, multidisciplinary teams to develop video games. Covers creative design and production methods, stressing design iteration and regular testing across all aspects of game development (design, visual arts, music, fiction, and programming). Video produced by Generoso Fierro. Edited by James Barrile.

Last chance to pre-reg for "Do It Yourself Game Design"

Hey all! Our events Friday for the Cambridge Science Festival were a rousing success! Much fun and gaming geekery was had by all.

If you haven't made it to a GAMBIT festival event yet, or even if you have, we have one last hurrah coming up.

Do It Yourself Game Design
Saturday, April 28, 6-9pm
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Does your family game night need a boost? Join engineers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab for hands-on workshops about game design. Visitors of all ages can choose from four different sessions that will change the way you look at board games, video games, and more. Featuring Board Game Remix (middle school and older), Junkyard Track Meet (youth and family), Serious Games for Social Change (teen and adult), and Unity Basics (teen and adult, programming experience required).

Cost: $5. Pre-registration required.

Click here to read full descriptions of the workshops and pre-register. Pre-reg today, the workshops are filling up!

Friday Games: GAMBIT Game Night at the MIT Museum

This week Friday Games @ GAMBIT is not at GAMBIT! The mind boggles!

Instead we're at the MIT Museum. You know about all the GAMBIT events at the Cambridge Science Festival, don't you? Of course you do. We're sure they're in your pocket planner even now.

Friday night's event is for the true GAMBIT connoisseur. We'll be playing games drawn from all ~5 years of GAMBIT's history, including a few we usually keep to ourselves. Possibly for good reason. Come see them and decide for yourself.

Details below. See you there!

Level Up: GAMBIT Game Night
Friday, April 20, 6-9pm
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

When is a lighthouse not just a lighthouse? When it's GAMBIT Game Night!

Come celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Like all proper gamers, we've been exploring the world, gaining experience, and collecting cool loot. Now we'd like to share it with you. Games from throughout GAMBIT history will be available for your amusement: from puzzles to action to games so experimental they're beyond definition. But don't just play...level up with us by asking about the research. Every GAMBIT game explores a research question, and GAMBIT developers will be at the ready to tell you all about it. There is more to that gum-chewing schoolgirl and floppy space squid than meets the eye!

Cost: Yet another event presented as part of the MIT Museum's free day. Come play with us!

Friday Games: MolyJam 2012

What Would Molydeux?Earlier this month GAMBIT hosted the Boston arm of the first annual MolyJam, a game jam inspired by the tweets of @PeterMolydeux. @PeterMolydeux, purposefully to be confused with Peter Molyneux, is a satirical Twitter account that posts whimsical and ridiculous game ideas, riffing on the high minded aspirations of Molyneux and other avant-garde game designers.

In mid-March, Double Fine's lead programmer, Anna Kipnis, suggested that maybe these tongue in cheek ideas could actually be made into real games. This spurred game jammers around the world to come together in a global event organized over the course of a little over a fortnight to create games inspired by such tweets as:

  • "You are a small girl flying a talking kite. The kite seems to know about an upcoming major terrorist attack and floats towards clues."
  • "Romantic parkour game in which you and the love of your life must hold hands and jump around a city evading death and injury."
  • "Game where you control a full stop. Enemies read you stories and you have to jump in between words at the right time."
Come join us at 4pm in the lounge and see what jammers at GAMBIT and around the world managed to make of this madness! We'll also have our livestream up.

right edge