games and places

I'm a game designer, previously at Hide&Seek and then independently. In 2015, I founded Matheson Marcault with Sophie Sampson; we make games rooted in physicality and embodiment, often site-specific. We also run Now Play This, an annual festival of games and play at Somerset House.

Most of my current work is over at the Matheson Marcault website.

events and installations

A lot of the games I make are one-offs: events that last for a few minutes or a few hours, installations put in place for a month at a time. For more recent work, see Matheson Marcault.

Games for Places / photo by Colin Davison / East Durham Creates / November 2014 A two-week installation in six locations across East Durham: we designed a series of site-specific games for each location, then stencilled them on the ground and nearby walls to invite passers-by to play.

Games for Places / photo by Colin Davison / East Durham Creates / November 2014

A two-week installation in six locations across East Durham: we designed a series of site-specific games for each location, then stencilled them on the ground and nearby walls to invite passers-by to play.

Hotel Room / Playpublik, Krakow / Summer 2014 A twenty-minute experience in a hotel room in Krakow . Players entered to find an immaculate hotel room with a computer on the desk, and an interactive story about the hotel room itself on that desk. The game sent them around both versions of the room, exploring, writing, playing small games, learning about the people who were in the room before.

Hotel Room / Playpublik, Krakow / Summer 2014

A twenty-minute experience in a hotel room in Krakow . Players entered to find an immaculate hotel room with a computer on the desk, and an interactive story about the hotel room itself on that desk. The game sent them around both versions of the room, exploring, writing, playing small games, learning about the people who were in the room before.

Scotch Hoppers / photo by Brian Hartley / Stillmotion / July 2014 A ten-day installation encouraging people to play on the streets of Glasgow, combining choreography, installation art and game design. Part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme. I wrote about the project for the Design Council blog.

Scotch Hoppers / photo by Brian Hartley / Stillmotion / July 2014

A ten-day installation encouraging people to play on the streets of Glasgow, combining choreography, installation art and game design. Part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme. I wrote about the project for the Design Council blog.

Trunk Road / photo by olliepix / Emergency Exit Arts, Blackfriars / July 2014 I worked with outdoor arts organisation Emergency Exit Arts to design games for their project Trunk Road, a parade led by a giant metal elephant with a series of small fetes focused on the outdoor spaces of Blackfriars. For each stop on the route, I designed and ran a playground-style game based around different behaviours of bees, during which players collected pollen to feed to the elephant.

Trunk Road / photo by olliepix / Emergency Exit Arts, Blackfriars / July 2014

I worked with outdoor arts organisation Emergency Exit Arts to design games for their project Trunk Road, a parade led by a giant metal elephant with a series of small fetes focused on the outdoor spaces of Blackfriars. For each stop on the route, I designed and ran a playground-style game based around different behaviours of bees, during which players collected pollen to feed to the elephant.

Perils of the Sea / National Maritime Museum, Greenwich / July 2014 A craft game about arguing, pondering and navigating your boats through increasing danger, running as part of the NMM's Dark and Stormy late, alongside my game Semaphoria and Simon Katan's A Motley Cruise.

Perils of the Sea / National Maritime Museum, Greenwich / July 2014

A craft game about arguing, pondering and navigating your boats through increasing danger, running as part of the NMM's Dark and Stormy late, alongside my game Semaphoria and Simon Katan's A Motley Cruise.

Circles and Squares / Malta Festival, Poznan / June 2014 I ran a series of free late-night games in Poznan, as part of Malta Festival. Passers-by were invited to join in for five minutes or forty-five, taking part in a series of energetic games involving ribbons and ten-metre elastic bands, all on a game board that took the form of a seven-metre multicoloured circle.

Circles and Squares / Malta Festival, Poznan / June 2014

I ran a series of free late-night games in Poznan, as part of Malta Festival. Passers-by were invited to join in for five minutes or forty-five, taking part in a series of energetic games involving ribbons and ten-metre elastic bands, all on a game board that took the form of a seven-metre multicoloured circle.

Nowhere I'd Rather Be / w00t Festival, Copenhagen / 2014 A game about utopias, in which players are invited to come up with their own rules for what their ideal Copenhagen would contain. They then worked in teams to build a miniature city fulfilling as many of those (sometimes quite silly...) rules as possible.

Nowhere I'd Rather Be / w00t Festival, Copenhagen / 2014

A game about utopias, in which players are invited to come up with their own rules for what their ideal Copenhagen would contain. They then worked in teams to build a miniature city fulfilling as many of those (sometimes quite silly...) rules as possible.

Greed: a Game Show of Theft and Deception / Hide&Seek, Ivan Gonzalez, Royal Court Theatre / 2013 A frantic two-player game designed to work in front of an audience, running at the Royal Court Theatre as part of their season surrounding Dennis Kelly’s The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas.

Greed: a Game Show of Theft and Deception / Hide&Seek, Ivan Gonzalez, Royal Court Theatre / 2013

A frantic two-player game designed to work in front of an audience, running at the Royal Court Theatre as part of their season surrounding Dennis Kelly’s The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas.

99 Tiny Games / Hide&Seek / 2012 Over the summer of 2012, we designed ninety-nine site-specific real-world games for locations around London, and installed them on bright vinyl posters around the city. The project later became the foundation for our iOS app Tiny Games. 

99 Tiny Games / Hide&Seek / 2012

Over the summer of 2012, we designed ninety-nine site-specific real-world games for locations around London, and installed them on bright vinyl posters around the city. The project later became the foundation for our iOS app Tiny Games

The New Year Games / Hide&Seek, Unique Events / 2012 On 1 January 2012, we filled Edinburgh's Old Town with a series of games for 12,000 players, crowding the streets and venues including the National Museum of Scotland and St Giles' Cathedral, working with local composers, choreographers, bands, live artists and more.  

The New Year Games / Hide&Seek, Unique Events / 2012

On 1 January 2012, we filled Edinburgh's Old Town with a series of games for 12,000 players, crowding the streets and venues including the National Museum of Scotland and St Giles' Cathedral, working with local composers, choreographers, bands, live artists and more.

 

Treasures: the Hunt / Hide&Seek and the Natural History Museum / 2012 To celebrate the opening of a new gallery at the Natural History Museum, we sought out twelve sites of extraordinary natural history interest across London and put museum plinths in place explaining their significance, sending players on a city-wide treasure hunt to find all twelve.

Treasures: the Hunt / Hide&Seek and the Natural History Museum / 2012

To celebrate the opening of a new gallery at the Natural History Museum, we sought out twelve sites of extraordinary natural history interest across London and put museum plinths in place explaining their significance, sending players on a city-wide treasure hunt to find all twelve.

The Sandpit / Hide&Seek / 2008-2012 From 2008 to 2012, I curated the Sandpit, an event for artists and game designers to try out new ideas at venues across the UK. Over five years we ran more than 40 Sandpits, culminating each year in the Hide&Seek Weekender, a three-day festival of play on London's South Bank.

The Sandpit / Hide&Seek / 2008-2012

From 2008 to 2012, I curated the Sandpit, an event for artists and game designers to try out new ideas at venues across the UK. Over five years we ran more than 40 Sandpits, culminating each year in the Hide&Seek Weekender, a three-day festival of play on London's South Bank.

True or False / InTRANSIT festival / 2009, 2010 In 2009 and 2010, I ran "True or False" as part of Kensington and Chelsea's arts programme. Players were taken on a guided tour with two occasionally deceptive guides, and took part in a series of challenges.

True or False / InTRANSIT festival / 2009, 2010

In 2009 and 2010, I ran "True or False" as part of Kensington and Chelsea's arts programme. Players were taken on a guided tour with two occasionally deceptive guides, and took part in a series of challenges.

Animation Decathlon / RBKC, Quadratura / 2009 I worked on the game design and event structure for the Animation Decathlon, a video game athletics tournament projected onto the walls of the RBKC Town Hall, surrounded by mini-games and commentary.

Animation Decathlon / RBKC, Quadratura / 2009

I worked on the game design and event structure for the Animation Decathlon, a video game athletics tournament projected onto the walls of the RBKC Town Hall, surrounded by mini-games and commentary.

email: holly@hollygramazio.net // twitter: @severalbees