Anything But Games

This is your brain on games.


Have you ever found yourself spontaneously chanting "GAMES, GAMES, GAMES!" with each utterance louder than the last? Have you begun to suspect you may be causing irreparable harm to your vocal chords? Then a healthy dose of ABG might just be what the doctor ordered.

Anything But Games is a bi-monthly game-free open mic. The event highlights the diverse intellectual backgrounds and life experiences of the NYU Game Center's students, faculty, alumni, and staff. It also serves as a nice break for everyone. Join us for a handful of short talks on topics ranging from NOT GAMES to DEFINITELY NOT GAMES.


How do I sign-up for a time slot? You can sign-up for an Anything But Games time slot by emailing Danny Hawk at Before writing, look at some of the past events we've had for inspiration. Please include the following information in your email:

  • Your name, program, and year (Ex. Danny Hawk, MFA '20)

  • Title

  • Brief description

  • The ABG event date

  • Tech needs

What should I talk about? You can use your time slot however you want. Most people give talks or present on a subject, but we've had collaborative projects, musical performances, personal stories, readings, and short film screenings.

How long is a time slot? 10-15 minutes.

How strict are you about the 'no games' thing? You can expect some good-natured heckling and eye-rolling for using the word while presenting.


Upcoming Friday, September 20th, 5pm

Friday, October 18th, 5pm

Friday, November 22nd, 5pm



Submarine Chris Chung (MFA '17) Mechanical, electrical, and operational systems: what it takes to cover the last 10 feet to the pier in a submarine. Spider-Man Can't Drive Worth Shit Naomi Clark (Faculty) A closer look at a running gag. How to Hire Medieval Mercenaries Alexander King (MFA '17) Want to annex a neighboring duchy, but don't have an army of your own? Try Medieval Mercenaries! Have you wondered where to recruit them, how to find an affordable company, and what to do when they inevitably turn against you? Then come learn what paid killers of variable loyalty can do for you! Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All Ben Sironko + Missy Senteio (MFA '17) aka OFWGKTA aka OFWGK†Δ aka Odd Future is a collective of musicians that started in 2007 by Tyler the Creator, and has included artists like Frank Ocean, Casey Veggies, Earl Sweatshirt, and Syd the Kid (The Internet). You should def know about them.

New Wave in Korea Gabe Cuzzilo (Faculty) discusses the peculiar blend of comedy and tragedy in Korean new wave cinema. Categorize This! Corina Bardoff (Guest) A librarian's take on Some examples and outcomes of attempts to organize everything on earth. The KLF Jesse Fuchs (Faculty) The story of an eccentric electronic-music duo's rise to fame and culminating in the burning of a million British pounds.

Architecture at Its Bleakest Corey Bertelsen (MFA '18) When architects are short on work, or just hate the building industry, they like to concoct hare brained utopian (or dystopian?) speculative projects. In the case of Soviet architects Brodsky and Utkin, these projects were bleak, Kafka-esque social commentaries, manifested in otherworldly etchings. Skate or Die Isabella Djurovic (MFA '19) Isabella shares a life story about taking her programmer friend to the emergency room. Hijinks ensue. The Story of the Park Slope Food Coop Toni Pizza (Staff) The Park Slope Food Coop is a 17,000 member owned & operated grocery store in Brooklyn. WTF does that mean? Are the prices actually better? Is it a cult? What if I hate kale? This talk covers a brief history & current dramas of the largest food cooperative in the US. How to Make a Sound Charles Pratt (Faculty) The human voice. How does it work? How do you get it to do things? I'll attempt to explain the mechanics of how humans produce vocal sound, the different ways of vocalizing, and the effect it can have on a listener.

Of Empires and Elephants Mostafa Haque (MFA '18) Mostafa talks about the pre-colonial Mughal Empire of India, the invention of Biriyani, and why war-elephants and gunpowder don't mix. Expect bad puns. How to Borrow a Pen from Me: Fountain Pen Basics Oliver Hong (MFA '19) Oliver Hong presents a brief demonstration on fountain pen use, filling and general care. Love, Math, and African Art Carol Mertz (MFA '19) Learn how a Belgian computer scientist turned the art history world on its head by analyzing a corpus of Kota spiritual reliquaries in a totally new way. His findings beg the question: is it ever too late to discover something new about something old? Standing in the Snow Chris Wallace (Faculty) Interactive (but definitely not in a game way) telling of the story of Bodhidharma, first patriarch of Chan Buddhism. The Joys of the Military-Industrial Food Robert Yang (Faculty) I want to talk for a few minutes about my weird obsession with military rations / MREs (Meal Ready to Eat), specifically my favorite YouTube MRE reviewers Steve1989 and KiwiDude, and my fascination with industrialized food even though it often looks kind of weird and disgusting.

Stephen King, Cocaine, and Movies David Frisch (MFA '18) A look into the works of Stephen King. Why is every movie he is involved with bad? How has his writing evolved? Just a bunch of stuff about Stephen King.

The Cult of Raw Denim Oliver Hong (MFA '19) Why I spent a hundred bucks on blue jeans. A brief look at raw denim culture and it's obsession with fades and varying shades of indigo.

The Failed Painter: Hitler's Art Obsession Shawn Roggenkamp (Guest) How Hitler's quest to build the Best Museum! Ever! and purge all the art he didn't like from the world scrambled the cultural history of Europe in ways that still affect us today.

Destiny Clock Brendan Byrne (Staff) I've been working on a homemade synthesizer for the past two years and have finally finished. I'll give a brief demo and explanation of the system.

'Powers Powers of Ten of Ten' by Charles and Ray Eames Brendan Byrne (Staff) This new stereoscopic twist on a design school classic packs the extra punch of being half as long as the original Poem Jam Emperatriz Ung (MFA '19) I'm running a collaborative poetry exercise with willing audience members and will (maybe) share some of my own writing. Astrology DJ Set Missy Senteio (MFA '17) A DJ set of 12 songs influenced by the signs of the zodiac accompanied by a video collage. A Dramatic Reading of "... Baby One More Time" Karina Popp (MFA '16) In 1998, the trajectory of pop music was forever altered by the voice and funky dance moves of a 16-year-old Britney Spears. "...Baby One More Time" represents the multifaceted experience of teenagehood, from churning hormones to the dire stakes of the complicated high school social scene. This talk will provide a brief history of the American pop classic as well as recontextualize the song as a dramatic monologue.

The Mother of All Demos Maria Mishurenko (MFA '19) The event shaped the future of personal computer. I'm also going to introduce my opinion about why our personal devices are garbage and what we can do to bring the mother demo spirit back to our lives. Hidden in Plain Sight Jack Schlesinger (MFA '19) Cryptography is the backbone of modern life, providing safety and security to everyday communications. However, covert communications contains a whole array of other channels of obfuscating and securing content, so essentially this will be a brief survey of how to pretend you’re not even talking about someone behind their back. Appreciating the Rite of Spring Edanur Kuntman (MFA '19) Igor Stravinsky's masterpiece. A very influential, timeless and unique piece of music, just deserves to be appreciated all the time.

Your Favorite Superhero is Jewish Morgan Macri (MFA '18) A look at the superhero genre's Jewish origins and how superhero comics have continued to be very Jewish in their characters and stories.

Some of His Favorite Songs on Ukulele Oliver Hong (MFA '19) Usually Oliver just talks about his weird hobbies but this time he just wants to cover some folk punk songs on his ukulele instead.

Oscar Isaac's Masculine Booty Pop Danny Hawk (MFA '20) The intense 2014 film Ex Machina is diced perfectly in two by a "Disco non sequitur." Danny will offer up two competing explanations as to how Oscar Isaac's character Caleb flexes his power through choreographed dance, and how both explanations are deeply tied to Caleb's toxic masculinity and tech-bro obsession.

Black Greek 101: Experiences in Black Fraternities and Sororities Jordan Jones-Brewster (MFA '19) I have been in a fraternity for 6 years now and I want help dispel some of the misconceptions of what it means to be in one, particularly coming from a member of the first black intercollegiate fraternity. Part informational and part autobiographical, I'll tell stories of black greek life as it pertains to American history.

Angel Devil Folkloric Dance Emperatriz Ung (MFA '19) A short presentation on my brief research frenzy learning about la danza de los diablos (an indigenous dance from bolivia) after a 4th of july parade.

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Revolutionary Elizabeth Ballou (MFA '20) In the Dominican Republic of the 1950s, three sisters - Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa - dedicated their lives to opposing the regime of the country's dictator. They took on the code name "Las Mariposas" (Spanish for "The Butterflies") and juggled revolutionary activity with marriage, raising toddlers, and navigating the strict gender roles of the DR in the 1950s.

Venom : The Sort-of-Killing Kind Brendan Byrne (Staff) It is easy to forget that venom is a strong contender for the 'Worst Thing Imaginable' award. We perpetually remember through our instinctive fear of snakes, spiders, and needles, but hardly ever through the idea of being bitten by a venomous critter.

Designing a Dog Mitu Khandaker (Faculty) How I, being very much not a dog person, was thrown into trying to train a very nervous rescue dog and my overall learnings about dog psychology so far.