This piece was inspired by the words of Seth Killian, a gaming developer and creative thinker, for the Future of Gaming show. 

"Games are magical because they are both a vital rebuke to existing realities and an increasingly crucial perspective to understand them.

Complex and dynamic systems dominate our existence, from the food we eat, to our jobs, to geopolitical conflict. Games are a brilliant path to becoming a native speaker in the language of these systems, where you function within them but are also invited to stand outside of them, consider their nature, and better predict their effects.

Beyond understanding the world, they also serve as an important way to learn about yourself. To understand another, to inhabit the choices they face, and to experience the world from a perspective other than your own."

For this project I worked with Gavin Benes near his home in the desert near Joshua Tree, California. Training to be a professional player in League of Legends, he was a great model and collaborator.

The image takes the Rene Magritte painting The Castle in the Pyrenees as inspiration, using the device of a city growing out of a large palm tree stump as metaphor for the transformative powers of gaming.

Mystery, as Magritte said, is unknowable. The magic of gaming is something that happens within. Games today ask players to create their own terrain, to shape new worlds, altering their perspective, deepening their understanding of what’s possible, and ultimately using gaming as a tool to learn more about themselves and their place in the world.

Games of all kinds are deeply cerebral endeavors requiring curiosity, passion and imagination.

Naomi White, Los Angeles, 2014
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