The game is back on

“Contours”, an eccentric and innovative exhibition of Australian video games, is returning to Library at The Dock in August.

Curator Chad Toprak and co-producers Pritika Sachdev and Ben Turner present an annual exhibition of contemporary Australian video games.

Having delivered their first games exhibition at Library at The Dock last October, this year the trio decided to bring it back for more public exposure.

“Library at The Dock has such a beautiful gallery space and it sits perfectly with the exhibition,” Mr Toprak said.

“Having games at a public space is very important to us. Games don’t always get exposed to mainstream audience,” he said.

“We want to give people access to games that they otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to.”

This Library at The Dock exhibition is “mixed-tape”, splitting into two week-long series.

The first week, Not Quite Games, will run from August 15 to 21 and explores games that may not fit into the popular perception of games.

“Games can be artistic and do not have to be commercial,” Mr Toprak said.

“The Not Quite Games are rather experimental and are not what people expect games to be.”

Between August 22 and 27, Contours will showcase the second series Personal Games.

“Personal Games can be quite intimate and autobiographic,” Mr Toprak said.

The exhibition will feature playable games created by exclusively Australian game designers.

Non-playable media, including zines, books, comics, artwork, sculptures, paintings, photography, videos, and other cultural gems will also be on display.

“We highlight and exhibit non-playable media alongside our games as we believe that videogames and the culture surrounding it is made up of much more than just the finished product,” the curator and the co-producers said.

The name Contours reflect the fluidity of games as a fringe art and Mr Toprak said it provided an alternative narrative to mainstream, commercial games.

“There are many local and grassroots artists who need to be noticed by a bigger audience,” he said.

“Our goal is to exhibit some of the most culturally significant fringe work being created within Melbourne and Australia’s independent games scene.”

Both of the two series will be launched with a talk with a game designer.

Ian MacLarty, who has created more than 30 games and interactive artworks, will present at the library’s performance space on August 15.

Queer non-binary and trans-masculine game developer, Charlie Francis Cassidy, will give a talk on August 22.

Contour is created in partnership with Freeplay Independent Games Festival and will run at Library at The Dock’s gallery space from August 15-27.

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