Last summer, we announced that Fantastic Arcade and Juegos Rancheros would be joining forces with the Museum of Human Achievement. At that moment, we also announced taking a break from the monthly Juegos Rancheros events, in order to gather input from the community to build a more inclusive and supportive indie game community in Austin.
Over the last few months, we’ve been listening to our community and working to build an intentional future path for Fantastic Arcade and Juegos Rancheros. In the summer, we ran a community input survey that garnered over 50 responses, and last fall we hosted 5 roundtable feedback sessions with over 40 participants. Through the survey and sessions, we landed on these takeaways:
• While many details could change, a regular gathering and a yearly festival are important to the indie game and digital arts community, and should continue in some form.
• Providing a safe and welcoming place for individuals to gather and share is a top priority.
• Austin’s indie game community values experimentation, games-as-art, and cross-pollination across artistic media, and it is important to continually revisit how we can best support and expand our community.
• The power dynamic and gatekeeping in all creative industries and in particular games was a common issue brought up during sessions; increasing transparency and more equitably distributing power are top priorities.
Since then, we have established two boards that will collaborate with the Museum of Human Achievement and Austin’s indie game community to usher in the next iteration of Fantastic Arcade and Juegos Rancheros. The administrative/directorial board, currently consisting of Rachel Stuckey, Deeksha Srinath, and Desi Gonzalez, will provide broad oversight on organizational structures and help identify tasks and a timeline for accomplishing our goals. Harris Foster and Carrie Witt are kickstarting the community board, which will work closely to incorporate the perspectives of the indie game community and ensure we develop safe and welcoming spaces for all. Additionally an advisory board is currently made up of Lauren Gardner and Heather Kelley. As we look to build the future, we want to thank past board members and volunteers who have helped cultivate the local indie game community through their hard work and passion.
In November, we hosted the Fantastic Arcade Retrospective during the East Austin Studio Tours. Over four days of programming, we invited Austinites to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and look towards the future of the organization. At the event, we showcased 21 custom arcade cabinets by 32 developers that Fantastic Arcade has commissioned throughout the years. We paired artists to create a new environment, visual compliment, or conceptual home to the cabinets, resulting in 17 art installations created by a total of 21 artists. Additionally, visitors accessed more than 200 games by over 250 game developers on our multiplayer game launchers. The event was a resounding success: we served over 6,000 audience members, young and old, bringing the joy of indie games ranging from devoted Fantastic Arcade fans to newcomers who’ve never played video games before. Photo Highlights
In the coming months, we will be undertaking a number of tasks, such as reestablishing our mission, vision, and values; exploring the audiences we serve; revisiting public-facing policies such as the code of conduct; opening avenues for how people can get involved; and rebranding and relaunching the monthly meetup to better reflect our stated values. As we work to imagine the future of a yearly celebration of games and a monthly community gathering, we want to hear from you. We think there is an exciting and positive future in digital arts and indie games, supported by new ideas, voices, and leadership.
Want to help shape our future? Be on the lookout for future FA/JR events using the links below.
JUEGOS RANCHEROS has decided to enter a period of active work to develop the future of our community. In doing so, JUEGOS RANCHEROS will be taking a break from monthly events after July while we take time to restructure and seek community input. You can read our official statement here:
With that being said we’d like to go out with a bang! We’re inviting the Austin game dev community to bring their games and share them with each other. We’ll also have some of your favorite multiplayer games from past JRs. Additionally a very special set by DJ GARF will be happening. So bring yourself, bring your games, bring your friends and let’s party!
Join us July 3rd, at 7:00 PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX, 78702 with presentation at 8:00PM and a very special DJ set at 9:00PM. The show is free, all ages, and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and celebrate our great community!
Today we are announcing that JUEGOS RANCHEROS and Fantastic Arcade will become a part of The Museum of Human Achievement starting July 4th, 2019.
In 2015, JUEGOS RANCHEROS began an independent arcade space and residency program with The Museum of Human Achievement (MoHA). This program, The Arcade of Anything, has hosted numerous resident artists, games, parties and openings across the last four years. Through this ongoing partnership, JUEGOS RANCHEROS and MoHA have built a relationship of mutual trust and excitement that has pushed both organizations in new directions.
JUEGOS RANCHEROS has decided to enter a period of active work to develop the future of our community. In doing so, JUEGOS RANCHEROS will be taking a break from monthly events after July while we take time to restructure and seek community input. JUEGOS RANCHEROS are still looking forward to seeing everyone at our annual party this fall, featuring original work from commissioned artists, and hosted by MoHA for the second year as part of their new digital arts programming initiative.
Wiley Wiggins, Fantastic Arcade creative director and Juegos Rancheros co-founder, gave the following statement: “Juegos Rancheros has been an active part of the vibrant Austin games scene and has helped connect our community to the larger sphere of international interactive art. We know and trust our collaborators at The Museum of Human Achievement and are excited to see where our community and Fantastic Arcade goes next.”
It is important to us to get your input as to what our best possible future is and that we shape it together. We’re very excited about taking this moment to gather feedback, reshape how to best serve our community and continue to support both art and games while also taking advantage of the space, community, guidance, and dedicated staff support that MoHA can provide.
It would mean the world to us if you went to the following link and took some time to fill out the attached survey. Thank you all for being a part of this and we look forward to seeing what we can do together.
JUEGOS RANCHEROS was founded in 2011 from an Austin based community of independent game developers and fans. Over the last 8 years the organization has commissioned 23 new games, thrown 89 monthly events, produced 100+ talks as well as numerous game jams, and developed an active community of artists, developers and fans. JUEGOS RANCHEROS produces Fantastic Arcade, a celebration of indie and cult video games held annually at the Alamo Drafthouse. Some notable games that premiered at or were commissioned by Fantastic Arcade include Samurai Gunn, Banana Chalice, Gang Beasts, Donut County, Edith Finch, Wheels of Aurelia, Oikospiel Book One, Minit, Super Russian Roulette, Grass Stains and Grace Bruxner Presents: The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game. JUEGOS RANCHEROS and Fantastic Arcade have always sought to change the way people think about art and games.
About The Museum of Human Achievement
The Museum of Human Achievement (MoHA) is a multi-disciplinary art space and organization that cultivates new work, community, and vibe by providing radically affordable arts space to support artists and audiences in the creation of new ideas. Since opening in 2012, the museum has partnered with over 900 organizations to present work by 4,000+ artists for over 130k visitors. MoHA hosts 100+ free or affordable arts events annually and serves as a hub for the creation of innovative and groundbreaking new work. The museum’s family tree includes an international residency program (Unlisted Projects), emergent technology hub (IRL), outdoor site specific art installation series (Cage Match), and mobile boutique store for local makers to sell small, editioned releases (The Mall). In addition, MoHA studios house 35 artists and organizational collectives and offers administrative support and fiscal sponsorship to artists throughout the Austin community. MoHA fosters unconventional interactions between artists and audiences with a focus on community building, the open exchange of ideas, and creative work that goes beyond traditional notions of failure or success.
Please join Juegos Rancheros on WEDNESDAY June 5th at 7:00 PM at Austin’s North Door for a showcase of original games by LGBTQ+ creators to celebrate Pride Month. We will share a selection of games that are by turns funny, challenging, sad, and beautiful. It’s the perfect way to kick off your June!
You can play these games and more, including the ‘indie alley’ games brought in by Austin’s local game community, on Wednesday, June 5th, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702, with a presentation at 8:00PM. The show is free, all ages, and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!
JUEGOS RANCHEROS is excited to share a look behind the scenes of Owlchemy Labs’s new released getaway Vacation Simulator. Join us WEDNESDAY , May 1st at 7:00 PM at Austin’s North Door for a very special Juegos.
CEO Devin Reimer and CTO Andrew Eiche will join us to chat about some of the goals and challenges that went into making the most [RELAXING] experience for [HUMANS]. Which will be followed up by a short Q&A.
If that doesn’t make you want to get your butt to the North Door, did I mention that we’ll have a Vacation Simulator photobooth on hand where you can get a sweet selfie of yourself printed from inside the game!
In addition to our favorites, we’ll also be showcasing more multi- and single-player games by the game’s developers, on top of the usual ‘indie alley’ games brought in by Austin’s local game community!
You can play these games and more Wednesday, May 1st, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702, with a presentation at 8:00PM. The show is free, all ages, and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!
JUEGOS RANCHEROS is excited to share a small selection of games from Train Jam. Join us WEDNESDAY , April 3rd at 7:00 PM at Austin’s North Door for a tale of the harrowing experience of making games on a “mostly” moving train. Train Jam is a collection of developers traveling via train to the Game Developers Conference and creating games during the ~52…or more hours it takes to arrive in San Francisco from Chicago. You can find more here: https://trainjam.com/ In addition to our favorites, we’ll also be showcasing more multi- and single-player games by the game’s developers, on top of the usual ‘indie alley’ games brought in by Austin’s local game community!
You can play these games and more Wednesday, April 3rd, at 7:00PM at North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702, with a presentation at 8:00PM. The show is free, all ages, and open to all the public, so come join us as we drink, play and meet the people changing the way we think about games!
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