PixelTron150 recalls the golden era of arcade culture, when crowds would gather around arcade cabinets and video game culture was exclusively outside the home. The PixelTron is a large screen made of 150 oversized pixel blocks, each lit by a color-changing LED. It hosts an original game developed for Northern Spark, and festival attendees are invited to step up and play. PixelTron150 was created by members of New York City’s DIY arcade collective Babycastles, an organization that curates arcades and runs educational workshops around New York, at the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of the Moving Image as well as smaller venues.
PixelTron150 is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ben Johnson is a Minnesota-born, Brooklyn-based game designer. He has a master’s degree in entertainment technology from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center and was a professional game designer for eight years, working on games such as Homefront, The Simpsons Game, and Dead Space. He is a member of the DIY arcade collective Babycastles, which curates and hosts a recurring lecture series and organizes game jams. He lives in Brooklyn.
Elizabeth Johnson is an architectural lighting designer based in New York. She discovered her love of lighting in Minneapolis theaters as a teenager and learned the tools to practice it with a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her architectural lighting design ranges from bridges to universities to boutique hotels; her projects include the Christopher S. Bond Bridge in Kansas City; Keen Hotel in Palo Alto, California; and Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California. She designs at Illumination Arts and resides in Brooklyn.