The Puerto Rican Videogames Festival: why we did it

I spent this summer preparing this event, along with my friends from my hack group, the Laboratorio del Error Diseñado (or Laboratory of the Designed Error).

Taller de Juegos, Festival MAC

In the spring  I had  been bugging my co-conspirator, Jeffrey Concepción, about doing an event in Puerto Rico’s Contemporary Art Museum in Santurce.

I had just finished organizing the second Biercade Game Jam (thanks Biercade!) and was completely exhausted.  I did not want to do a game jam in the Museum so soon after the one in Biercade.

My attention turned to Indiecade.  I loved this event when I went to Queens, NYC for the Indiecade East 2013.  First of all, it was very cheap , only $80.  Second, the atmosphere was very warm.  Compared to GDC, people were very approachable.  Game creators , game scholars and attendees were very easy to talk to.  I was playing Cart Life right next to its creator, and chatted with him after playing.  If this were a bigger industry conference, I probably wouldn’t have had this opportunity.

Indiecade East Panel _Cow Clicker

I was determined to bring this indie + academic spirit to Puerto Rico.  

Game Playing, Festival Juegos MAC

I think we succeeded.  Shortly after IGDA’s Puerto Rico chapter started, we met Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera.  He is the first Puerto Rican game scholar that I’m aware of.  It’s great to meet a fellow islander who digs  game studies!  This field is not well known here.  I quickly invited him over to give a talk on his research at NC State University.

Rogelio Lecture Festival MAC

We(the LED group and Rogelio) managed to do all that we set out to do.  We wanted to educate people  about game design, both in a hands-on way and through lectures.  We also wanted to celebrate local game development.  My fellow game developers work really hard on their games and we have to give them a platform to showcase them and have a good time doing it.  We had a great turnout!

 Game Playing Festival MAC

Crowd Festival Mac

Here’s to another Festival next year!