May 2, 2018

Rising Waters: Climate Change Games, presented by Lewis Center for the Arts’ Princeton Atelier

An end-of-semester showing of interactive games created in a spring Princeton Atelier course

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Princeton Atelier will present Rising Waters: Climate Change Games, an end-of-semester exhibition of early-stage interactive video games inspired by investigations into climate change created by students in a spring Atelier course taught by award-winning new media artist and game designer Matt Parker. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the CoLab at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton campus. This culminating presentation will take the form of an open interactive exhibition where visitors can try out five new games.

The course “Rising Waters: A Climate Change Game” focused on the development of a commercial game about climate change, giving students the opportunity to contribute to a piece with broad social impact. The 21 students, who worked together in groups, will present five different games they have developed.


A view of Manhattan partially underwater from the video game Solastalgia, created in the recent Princeton Atelier course, “Rising Waters: Climate Change Games.” Photo courtesy students from the course and faculty member/guest artist Matt Parker.

Fireline allows players to command fire crews and deploy Silicon Valley’s weirdest inventions as directors of Cal Fire. The game created by Robert Liu, Alexandra Palocz, Jose M. Rico, and Ioana Teodorescu focuses on how wildfires burn year-round and the need to find creative solutions.

NOAH, created by Adam Berman, Caleb Gum, David Luo, and Yunzi Shi, addresses the issue of Earth in the midst of its next mass extinction event. Players must venture from the safety of their underground colony to collect animal and plant specimens for preservation, if there’s even anything left.

From their vantage point in the sky, players speak with the people left below as they cope with a world broken by climate change in From the Sky, created by Helen Park, Ivy Xue, Brendan Weng, Kevin Bradicich, and Kraig McFadden.

Solastalgia, created by Sophia Marusic, Yash Patel, Wendy Ho, and Priscilla Bushko casts the player as a gondolier in a future New York City, experiencing people’s lives vicariously as players drive them through the city.


A screenshot from the game The Retreat. Photo courtesy of students from the course and faculty member/guest artist Matt Parker

The Retreat was created by Luke Petruzzi, Austin Mejia, Josh Murray, and Jessica Ji. This game addresses how droughts and rising sea levels make large portions of the United States increasingly uninhabitable while massive population displacement has forced millions of people into migrant camps across the country known as RETREATs. The game’s main character, Lorena Zamora, is the first-ever journalist to be granted access to the notoriously secretive northwestern Colorado RETREAT. The player’s job is to guide her in her quest to discover the camp’s secrets in only a week.

Parker’s work has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music, SIGGRAPH Asia, the New York Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image, FILE Games Rio, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, and many other venues.  His game Lucid was a finalist in Android’s Developer Challenge 2 and his project Lumarca won the “Create the Future” prize at the World Maker Faire. An installation of Lumarca was on display at the Lewis Arts complex at Princeton in the fall. He created the game Recurse for the inaugural No Quarter exhibition at the New York University Game Center.  Recurse was a finalist for Indiecade 2010 and won the “Play This Now!” award at Come Out and Play 2012. He joined the full-time faculty at the New York University Game Center in 2013.

The Princeton Atelier is directed by Paul Muldoon, Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Creative Writing, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. The Atelier was initiated 1994 in by Princeton Professor Emerita Toni Morrison. This academic program brings together professional artists from different disciplines to create new work in the context of a semester-long course. Every course is unique and happens only once. A painter might team with a composer, a choreographer might join with an electrical engineer, a company of theater artists might engage with environmental scientists, or a poet might connect with a videographer. Princeton students have an unrivaled opportunity to be directly involved in these collaborations.

Refreshments will be served starting at 5:00 p.m.

For more information on this event, the Princeton Atelier, and the more than 100 other performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures offered each year by the Lewis Center for the Arts, most of them free, visit

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