June 23 — July 13
Robert Yang makes surprisingly popular games about gay culture and intimacy —he is most known for his historical bathroom sex simulator The Tearoom and his male shower simulator Rinse and Repeat, and his gay sex triptych Radiator 2 has over 150,000 users on Steam. He is currently an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Game Center, and he has given talks at Harvard GDC, IndieCade, and Queerness and Games Conference. He holds a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School for Design.
For his final project Robert Yang and his collaborators Eddie Cameron, Fernando Ramallo, and Kevin Watters’ Fire Island Video Game is a massively multiplayer mural played via text message, where “residents” live in a virtual Fire Island Pines simulation and communally map-out its sexual geography.
In real-life, people walk up to the “mural,” a large screen projection installed in the Fire Island Pines Harbor, and use their personal phones to text message a special phone number. When they text, their messages will affect what happens on the screen.
In the game, the player’s avatar (a randomized 3D human with their name floating above their head) walks around a reimagined virtual Fire Island Pines and interacts with other avatars semi-autonomously (like in The Sims). They will see their avatar perform animations with emoji / text pop-ups to show their thoughts and actions, for example a sexy hookup might involve two avatars performing a kissing animation with hearts floating upwards. BOFFO requires all participants to maintain New York State Covid-19 guidelines including but not limited to wearing a face mask and maintaining 6 ft. social distance.
Eddie Cameron, Fernando Ramallo, and Kevin Watters
Download the Final project: wish you were here…