While debate persists over the merit of video games an art form, the medium has reached an undeniable milestone: the emergence of an active counter-culture.
Enter Babycastles—an independent video game collective, housed within a lively exhibition space on the border between Brooklyn and Queens. When the collective hosted an exhibition in Manhattan last October, we covered its first round of games. Founded by game developers Kunal Gupta and Syed Salahuddin, Babycastles operates in intentional opposition to the standards and practices of the commercial games' industry: no focus-testing, no expansive developmental budgets, no home entertainment suites and no isolation among players. The games showcased at the collective are rough, strange, and—most importantly—meant to be played with a group.