The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer exhibition catalog, distributed by MIT Press.
The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer
Feb 10 2016 - Jun 26 2016

This spring, the Davis Museum proudly presents The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer, the first museum retrospective dedicated to the work of a single video game maker. Rohrer's work is deft, engaging, and often surprisingly moving. It refers to a diverse set of cultural influences ranging from the fiction of Borges to Black Magic; at the same time, it also engages pressing emotional, intellectual, philosophical, and social issues. Rohrer's substantial recognition, which has included feature coverage in Wired, Esquire and The Wall Street Journal, as well as inclusion in MoMA's initial videogame acquisition, has been built on a singularly fascinating body of games. These range from the elegantly simple—such as Gravitation (2008), a game about flights of creative mania and melancholy—to others of Byzantine complexity.  The exhibition will feature four large build-outs that translate Rohrer’s games into unique spatial experiences, alongside a section dedicated to exploring a large body of his work.


Curated by Michael Maizels, Mellon New Media Art Curator/Lecturer at the Davis, with an exhibition catalogue featuring contributions from University of Chicago game studies scholar  Patrick Jagoda, distributed by MIT Press. The exhibition, catalogue, and related programs are generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional funds provided by Wellesley College Friends of Art.  


Download the instructions for the games here.



Spring Opening Celebration

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 | 5:00pm Lecture with Artist Jason Rohrer, Collins Cinema | 6:00 - 8:00pm Reception in Davis Lobby

The Davis Museum kicks off its spring exhibition season with a lecture by video game artist Jason Rohrer, followed by a lively reception to celebrate the openings of The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer, That Right Promethean Fire: Shakespeare Illustrated and Gendered Value: Curators’ Choice.

Play the Curator

Fridays, March 11, April 8, May 6 | 12:30 - 1:30pm | Davis Galleries

Curator Michael Maizels will lead a short gallery talk on Jason Rohrer’s work, focusing on one of the featured games.  Each lecture will be followed by an opportunity to play the curator in selected games.

Educator Workshop: The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer

Wednesday, March 2 | 4:00 - 6:00pm | Davis Galleries

The Davis welcomes local K-12 educators of all subject areas to a free workshop to explore the groundbreaking exhibition, The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer.  This session will highlight ways to connect the exhibition to your classroom curriculum and how to design class visits.  Attendees will participate in interactive gallery activities and discussions led by Davis education staff.  Light refreshments will be provided.  Free program with registration required; RSVP information coming soon.

Generously supported by the Palley Fund for Davis Museum Outreach Programs.

Game Night

Thursday, April 21 | 6:00 - 8:00pm |Davis Lobby and Galleries

To launch Thinking in Play, the Davis will host a game play party in The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer, featuring a DJ, cash bar, and light refreshments.  Join us for this special opportunity to meet, mingle, and play against artist Jason Rohrer, exhibition curator Mike Maizels, and other scholars.

Symposium:  Thinking in Play

Friday, April 22, 2016 | 10:00 Coffee + Registration in Davis Lobby | 11:00am - 4:00pm: Presentations in Collin Cinema | Reception to follow in Davis Lobby

Thinking in Play will feature a series of conversations with leading scholars about the philosophy and design of Jason Rohrer’s games, moderated by Wellesley College faculty members.  This day-long symposium will culminate with a presentation by Jason Rohrer and Frank Lantz, Director of the Game Center at New York University.  Free and open to the public; reservations required.  Option to purchase boxed lunches at time of registration.  To RSVP, please purchase tickets here.