a colourful visual of a playing card with abstract shapes and designs The Hand You Are Dealt: Improvising the Archive – IICSI Video Game Now Available to Play Online

In late 2022, IICSI approached Studio Oleomingus, a partner on our new SSHRC grant “Improvising Futures,” about creating a video game which showcases the last ten years of IICSI’s research findings. Enthusiastic and up for the task, Studio Oleomingus and IICSI set to work to determine the format, content, and technical specifications of the game, meeting monthly with an advisory committee to talk through ideas, troubleshoot potential issues, and narrow in on a delightful player experience. 

After almost a full year of collaboration, what emerges is a freeform digital toy: a collection of playing cards that contain within them a variety of media, including audio tracks, documentaries, short films, photographs, recorded performances, artwork, and more, from different research and creative outputs generated by IICSI and their network over the past decade. We proudly present to you, The Hand You Are Dealt: Improvising the Archive.

Hosted on your web browser (www.improvisingthearchive.com), the game is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and it invites players to discover the intricacies of IICSI’s diverse array of researchers, partners, and community organizations, all while learning a little bit about the institute’s research and activities.

IICSI and Studio Oleomingus hope the game will be as fun to play as it is informative, and hope the game leads to a wider conversation about improvisation in the exploration of digital archives and interactive art. 

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