Artwork #2: Appropriate

An Endless Scrabble


  • Minimum of one player
  • No player maximum
  • A modified digital version of the game Scrabble that could conceivably be played for an infinite (or at least incredibly long) amount of time



  • Players take turns playing Scrabble as normal
  • The game never ends
  • The victor is the last person playing with the highest score
  • No turn timer
  • Individuals players can take a long a turn as they want


Artist’s Statement:

My initial point of inspiration for this game came not from another existing piece of art from the Dada Movement or otherwise, but instead from a game design exercise undertaken in the second semester of my freshman year at Northeastern University. The first assignment I encountered in Professor Christopher Barney’s “Foundation of Game Design” course—or at least in the online experience I was treated to at the time—involved iterating upon one of the most basic physical multiplayer game ever: tic-tac-toe. This was my first experience with the core principle of recursive design, as we were tasked with adding additional rules to tic-tac-toe and thoroughly playtesting after each change. After a few slight changes, I was possessed with the idea of scaling the grid far beyond a simple 3×3, and accompanying this change the introduction of additional players in the forms of more unique shapes: triangle, star, hexagon, checkmark, hashtag, even pentagram—the possibilities are endless. This scaling would of course have to be accompanied by additional length requirements in what would constitute a full “tic-tac-toe”; unfortunately, upon playtesting, this iteration functioned much more as an endurance test than one of strategy and cunning. It was thus that when tasked with the opportunity of appropriating an existing game to create a new experience, I thought of a recent game of online scrabble played—quite foolishly—without the instatement of a turn timer; which understandably resulted in the incredible elongation of what should have otherwise been a brief game. And so I was given my concept, and the execution was fairly simple: bring together a group of friends, modify an online game of scrabble to posses the possibility of continuing ad infinitum, and see how long we lasted. The results can be seen in the photos below. I succeeded in gathering six friends—including myself—and over the course of five hours we lost players until only three of us remained, who elected to all end the game simultaneously. Over the course of these five hours each of our turns became progressively longer as the board become more cluttered and points became harder to come by. This resulted in the constant discovery of incredibly rare words containing some of the higher value consonants. This phenomenon can be seen in “xis” “dioxide” “djinny” “poi” and “zoarial.” Additionally, we discovered that the words were created in a uniquely procedural nature as over the course of multiple hours players managed to find ways to add one or two letters to a preexisting word. The 104 point “dolesome” is a fantastic example of this, as it started as “dol” into “dole” to “doles” which progressed all the way to “dolesome.” Myself and my friends had an incredible time playing this new and unique word-hunting experience; for despite it lasting into the wee hours of the night, our desire to be the last one standing—which also transformed into a level of dogged camaraderie—kept us going. Although, I despite any of ours are keen to repeat the experience any time soon.



State of the final board after five plus hours of play with a dwindling group of six players.


Final winner—myself—and the longest word.





Pictionary (But With Extra Steps & It’s Not Pictionary)

The Requirements:

*5+ Players (odd number of people)

*Ages 10+ (children & adults)


The Materials:

*Writing Utensils (pencils, markers, chalk, etc.)

*Drawing Mediums (papers, whiteboard, chalkboard, etc.)

*Square sticky notes (1×1 inches)

*One-minute-long hourglasses (4x)

*List of Categories (1x)

*List of Instructions (1x) –> Look below “Documentation:” 


Artist Statement: 

During the ideation process of my project, I analyzed a multitude of inspiring Dada movements that we have discussed throughout the Experimental Game Design course thus far. From the linguistic collages of the Berlin artists to the textual imagery of the Cologne illustrators, many of these talented innovators brilliantly demonstrated the power of words and symbols through intricately-designed artworks. They discovered newfound methods of blurring the boundaries between the familiar and the abstract while simultaneously using language as their key component, and I wanted to find a way to express those profound ideas even further. Even though I prefer to avoid appropriation for my more personal projects, I strived to incorporate the stylistic decisions and design principles of these numerous artistic endeavors into my newest piece. Ultimately, my excessive research and dedicated lucubration led me to composing “Pictionary (But With Extra Steps & It’s Not Pictionary).”

In short, the rules for this appropriated game can be summarized in the following sentence: instead of guessing what the original word is based on a picture, the players have to find the letters of an unknown word that are obscured within the picture, and then they have to unscramble those letters to determine the true, hidden word. The game was not only inspired by Pictionary, but it was mainly influenced by a multitude of artworks that utilized letters, numbers, and symbols within their finished products. Multiple movements across the globe (more specifically, the ones in Berlin & Cologne) excelled at their harmonious combination of writing, sculpting, & illustrating as a means of highlighting certain aspects about the art, the artist, and the audience.

One of the most prominent themes that I genuinely wished to explore in this derivative party game was the intrinsic nature of a collage versus a composition. If phenomenal artwork draws inspiration from a wide variety of different mediums (and if letters are composed of very basic lines), then when does a collage end and a composition begin? Is a composition just a collage where you can’t pinpoint the individual sources, or is a collage just a composition where you can? Is it neither (or both)? As someone who doesn’t typically create collages and instead works from their imagination, I found this question to be rather fascinating, so I composed a variant ruleset of Pictionary that encapsulates this philosophical question. Players are shown pictures that seem to be original illustrations from the get-go, only to look deeper and realize that they have to obscure letters in a textual (and pictorial) collage. A defining characteristic of the avant-garde is its inherent capacity to search for deeper truths through unique processes and nuanced perspectives, and I wanted to exemplify those endeavors through the usage of collages, compositions, and characters. In the end, I am honestly very content with how this specific artwork turned out, and I legitimately look forward to the next project that we will be tasked to create. Thank you for reading!




Never Have I Ever

In the introduction to Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, New York, Paris, one of the lines reads: “The word Dada itself provides an overarching moniker for the raucous activities of its participants.” For my artwork, I want to call out the double edged sword that is alcohol. 

Alcohol is a substance you can easily find in any household; it is a substance that is used recreationally as a party or social drug but it also has its dark side which is abused by people for its sedating effect. Returning to the quote in the introduction, I want to create an artwork that uses alcohol on its participants to create a “raucous activity”. I want to appropriate the game “Never Have I Ever” as the basis for my artwork. How you play the game is people go around in a circle and say “Never Have I Ever”  with a specific activity and whoever has done it has to put a finger down. Whoever puts a finger down has to take a shot of whatever alcohol they have found in their area. I want the game to follow Macchab’s stance which states, ”tenacious yet mocking presence wants to transform tragic memory into skeptical consciousness, refusing therapeutic mourning by being seditious. As a whole, the leitmotiv of Der Ventilator is productive anxiety, indulging in the play between apparitions and realities, mockery and gravity, and feeding a culture of instability that forecasts Dada’s tactics of provocation in Cologne (220).” I want the game to take a dark turn by revealing something personal for each person, turning the game “raunchy” in nature. Alcohol “refuses therapeutic mourning” and “feeds a culture of instability”. Alcohol is a powerful substance that can bring out the emotion in people and makes the game like “Never Have I Ever” transparent in a sense. 

I feel my artwork is in line with the Paris Dada movement. According to the Dada text, “The cumulative effect of this first “Dada season,” as it became known, was to mark the movement as a nihilistic collective force leveled at the noblest ideals of advanced society. According to critical consensus, Dada represented youthful provocation, an adolescent destructiveness that (for those favorably inclined) should clear the way for a new intellectual engagement with art and the world at large (349).”  Alcohol use can be looked at as a disorder which is a form of self-destructive behavior. The point of my artwork is to expose the dark deep truths of our lives and to invite the somewhat “nihilistic” way of thinking similar to the Paris Dada Movement. I want the users to engage with the game with a different perspective and leave the game learning something not just about themselves but also other people.

Shiranui 2 fan-made Minecraft version

A fan-art game about Onmyoji, focus on rebuild the Onmyoji game scene in Minecraft. Made for my friend Bella during last summer vacation. This game that mainly focuses on plot and performing. There are many NPCs in the game, but they don’t really exist on the map, their names and description will be given by text, and players need to “see” them with imagination. Clues and “ties” are collected through the “find button” method.
Production process: I found a Japanese-themed map on the market(the used map’s name: 沧海城),remodeled some of its building, and built the dock and Liren(or Lee chin) cabin based on the game advertisement’s picture. I took screenshots from the original game, extracts the text, and then use command blocks to enter them in Minecraft.

My main challenges are to convert the third person of the original work to first person, to build and convert the scene, to build the time system (so that I can restore the in-game scene, for example, Yeecin saved Shiranui at the sunset on the third day in the original work, that correspond with “52” in Minecraft), money system, altered part of the prototyped plot and added some of my own(the whole fisherman thing, for example. Because in the original game it is with his monster friends’ help Yeecin fled Leechin Cabin. Monsters requires massive text description and thus is heavily relied on the player’s imagination. (There is no NPC function in the Neteast version Minecraft.), for this reason I deleted three of his monster friends. Also, this change make multi-ending possible, that I can set difficulties for the player with my original plot, while in the original game you don’t have chance to choose, the game just go to true ending)

I want to say that one main joy of playing this game came from the interaction of the hoster(me) and the player. The players are supposed to groan at and complain about the game’s unhuman difficulty level(which I set up on purpose to make fun of them), and also mock at all these bugs I have in my games. And I’m suppose to laugh when the players fail to reach happy ending again and again(only works for best friends).

I had two players. One is my best friend Bella, who spent eight hours playing and more hours testing the game for me so that I can debug it. Bella did exactly what I mentioned on the last paragraph. Another player is fom this class, Fred, who is Chinese and thus can understand the story and interact with me. Due to time limit I helped Fred to reach true ending with only one try. I enjoy the feeling of manipulating how difficlult this game is, as if, “I’m the producer…! I know everything about this difficult game!”.

Also, just to mention Dadaism for my grade. I can see now that one reason for why people of this generation is pursuing beauties, is that we really have a nice life now. The distorted and dispressed scenes from Dada art is fostered by the darkness of that society, while in our’s society we “beautiful-ize” monsters such as Shiranui. (The Shiraui in the legend is not a young beautiful lady but just mysterious fire on the sea).

The follow links, one is a walkthrough video, with translation and summary provided for the class. It shorten an one-hour process to 15 minutes. The other one is a performing scene, with two part(important!!), one is pure fanart version and the other clip with comparision to the original game. Guest that would be critical to grading.

Walkthrough video:【纯纯的交作业用-哔哩哔哩】


Building Bridges


Click on the gallery to view the rulebook in full size


Artist Statement:

The main thing that inspired me to appropriate chess is Yoko Ono’s White Chess. I loved how just changing the color of the pieces she could turn a war game into a protest of the Vietnam War. I wanted to do something similar with my work, I wanted to turn the competitive atmosphere around chess on its head to make a game about cooperation and building relationships. While thinking about chess I was reminded of Backgammon. I remember a lot of the boards I played chess on as a kid had a backgammon board on the back. I never learned how to play, but I always thought they looked like bridges. This reminded me of the idiom “build bridges, not walls,” which would inspire me to use the backgammon board as a bridge between the two sides of the chess board. The players would have to work together to make the pieces on each side of all the bridges match in as few turns as they could (chess pieces move the same way they do in a normal chess game). I playtested this iteration and found what the players did to be really repetitive and boring. Because all pawns moved forward the simplest way to win was just to move the pawns forward until all the bridges were filled with just pawns. I realized this pretty early on in the playtest, so I introduced a die the player had to roll (in this case I used a four-sided die). They would roll at the beginning of each turn to decide how many pieces they could move that turn. While this did cut down on the repetitiveness of the game, it caused another problem. Since the die numbered 1-4, if a player rolled a bunch of ones, the other player would finish first and then just have to wait around while their teammate figured it out. Furthermore, at this point, it did not feel like chess and backgammon combined. It was just a weird take on chess with a backgammon board slammed in the middle. To fix these issues before the final presentation I implemented new rules and mechanics. I added the pucks from backgammon, which could be moved by rolling a die (a six-sided die this time). These pucks would act as rafts, and they could carry pieces from the bridge the raft was on to a bridge to the right. This allowed for new strategies and made it harder to make a mistake that would lose the players the game outright. Furthermore, the die roll also displayed how many pieces the player could move, but in this case, if the number was even they got to move two pieces and if the number was odd they got to move one piece. This change made the die serve more than one purpose and decreased the time players spent waiting for their teammates to move. Finally, I made a rulebook with lots of pictures to clearly communicate the rules of the game to the players. In this rulebook, I added a scoreboard so players see how they did compare to other teams.

Initial Playtest Photos:

Final Playtest Photos:


Space Invaders Mod

Artist’s Statement:

The game was inspired by Cory Arcangel’s “Super Mario Clouds” and other modded games with different skins. This was my first time focusing on only the sky and clouds in Super Mario Bros. With no other disruptions, it feels slightly different from the original piece. It becomes free, fresh, and slow, which I totally ignored in the original. So, I come up with an idea of what would happen if I only change the skin in Space Invaders.

I choose Space Invaders because it was one of the games that influenced the following game market a lot (also the one that shapes Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of Super Mario Bros). The game has many basic components like a controllable individual, enemies, and projectiles. Some subversive ideas jump into my mind: What if I try to switch the colors and figures of different alignments? Some common traits of enemies that players do not recognize may be revealed in the character of the player.

What I changed in this game was the color and firing rate of the enemies. I made the enemies green and the player red. I felt a little bit weird because usually, the color of the player was green or blue and the enemies were red. This time, I felt like I was controlling a bad guy fighting against a good group. Originally, the story was about a group of aliens invading the earth, and the player needs to protect the earth. With different skins, this version becomes an alien trying to protect its homeland from humans.

During the playtest, one interesting fact is that when the player faces the missile rain, the player prefers to hide behind the shelter rather than take down the plane. It turns out some habits of players that if they directly meet a risk, they would try to avoid it first. The shelter was used to protect the player when the player made mistakes in the original one, so the player could focus on killing enemies. It showed another strategy in this version that the player focused on surviving.

Bring it to the Runway


Stand behind the curtain and wait for signal 

Listen for “Go” to open the curtain and walk down the stairs 

Once at the bottom of the stairs, let the music decide your ending pose

Artist Statement:

My goal for this appropriation project was to get my friends to participate in a culture they are mostly unaware of. Ballroom culture is something that I have been learning more about through shows like Legendary and Pose because I feel as if it’s a black subculture that is frequently overlooked yet has influenced generations. Ballroom culture slang is constantly appropriated, and people have no knowledge of the community that created these terms. 

To find inspiration from in-class artwork, I instantly thought of The Cabaret Voltaire created by Hugo Ball. This cabaret was seen as a variety show for the ideals of culture and art during a time when freedom of expression was very limited. It served as proof of independence by growing a community within a city of exile. Original works from artists and poets were given a safe space to be performed, encouraging a subculture to thrive during a depressive time. This concept of societal pressure to hide differing views inspired communities to create art reminded me of Ballroom culture. Ballroom was an underground subculture for LGBTQ people of color to freely express themselves during a time when they weren’t accepted. By utilizing unassuming buildings(just like The Cabaret Voltaire did) Ballroom culture was able to promote their ideals in a safe space, and their ideals ended up creating art.  

A place full of acceptance and independent minds can fuel the best forms of performance art, which is what my artwork “Work the Runway” focuses on. By testing out my artwork in a more intimate space, my friends felt encouraged to dance weirdly because we all were shouting at them(just like most Ballroom Vouge Battles spectators). With the confidence of professional dancers, my friends ended up channeling Naomi Campbell when walking through the curtain. I ended up posting this video of us dancing and my friends who were not there kept commenting things like “ate” or “slay” which are ironically terms heavily used in Ballroom culture, so it’s interesting to see how this culture has been a prominent part of our lives that has even influenced how we walk down stairs. 

Video of my friends Working the Runway

Better Toys

Appropriation Game Rules:

Collect toys or items intended for your pet’s use, which either your pet does not use, or has used to a point of destruction.

Sit with another player (they are welcome to bring their own objects to incorporate) and lay out all of the objects in front of you.

Collaborate with the other player to repurpose the objects by using them to create a new pet toy.

Take turns with the other player, each either incorporating one item at a time, using your turn to change an existing item’s position or to change an item’s shape (cut, break, or other). Order can be determined beforehand or organically by whoever is inspired first.

Once all of the items have been incorporated, the game is over.

If your pet plays with your creation, you win!

By Sophie Uldry

Artist’s Statement:

In my continued journey to conjure artworks, projects, and games somehow related to cats, I have turned to the toys associated with them. Though I later generalized it to be a game playable with any pet, “Better Toys” is a game partially inspired by my cats’ favorite and least favorite toys, and my urge to throw the unused toys away. The said unused toys are still perfectly usable, so what better way to reuse these toys than to transform them and give the new toy back to the pets? To better explain, “Better Toys” is a game in which two players collect items of their pets (unused or disliked items are encouraged), work together to combine all of the toys or items into a new toy, and put the new toy to the test against your pet. If your pet plays with the newly made toy, you win! The point of the game is obviously to have fun with friends and pets, but also to bring attention to the fact that anything can be a toy, and buying fancy ones is often unnecessary for your pet’s purposes. For example, I had bought a puffy bell toy for my cat which never got used, instead she tore the shoelaces off of some old pair of converse I was planning on throwing away which have since become the preferred toys by far.

Now that I’ve sufficiently accredited my cats as my inspiration, I turn to my main inspiration for this game: Duchamp and his ready-mades. For his ready-mades (like the Hat Rack from 1917 and Bottle Rack from 1914), Duchamp would take completely common or uninteresting industrial goods, and display them in a boring, “useless” and non practical way. He contested beauty in this way, which frustrated him as he found over time all of his displays would end up perceived as beautiful. I’ve strived to use Duchamp’s same process for a different inverted purpose of turning the useless into something useful. The finished product should turn out to be unique from other pet toys, but still share the same initial purpose of the toy, transforming it in the opposite way that Duchamp meant to transform his works. See below for some examples of iterations for this game!


New toy created by classmates given items my cats show little interest in.

Cat immediately interested, sniffing, and scratching.

Cat integrating himself into the finished product created by classmates… They win!


Second iteration, items collected, setup completed.

Cat interacting with second completed toy… Victory here as well!


Draw Something (ART ver.)

This game is called Draw Something (ART version). There are many Draw Something game you can access online, but this project is related to ART.

Inspiration: Ursonate by Raoul Hausmann.

In Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, New York, Paris, the author indicated the poem created by Raoul Hausmann and how did Schwitters take Hausmann’s phonemes and “arranged them in new groupings, repetitions, and variations.” Therefore, I was thinking about to make a game that players “arrange” and “recreate” the artwork.


  1. Need at least 4 players in a group. There will be 1 guesser and n-1 drawers.
  2. All players should line up in a straight line and face to the other’s back.
  3. The player at the begining of the link checks the picutre and starts drawing. They got 10 seconds to check the picture, and they are not allowed to draw anything until the picture is put away. They got 30 seconds to draw, because they need to draw the main point of the picture so that the drawers could try to get the information and draw on it.
  4. The players in the middle of the line continue drawing and pass it to the next player. They got 15 seconds to draw.
  5. When the drawing is passed to the guesser, they should guess what artwork/artist/game character it is.

 Additional Infomation:

  • NO cheating
  • NO written words
  • NO talking
  • NO drawing after time’s up.


During the class, I got 4 people for the gameplay. I chose Mona Lisa as the picture that the players need to “re-depict”. When the game started, I set up a time for 10 secons and showed the picture of Mona Lisa to Player1 who stands at the beginning of the line. When time’s up, I covered the picture, and gives them 30 seconds to draw the main point of the artwork. When time’s up, I asked them to pass the ipad to Player2. I set up the timer for 15 seconds, and they got 15 seconds to draw. When time’s up, Player3 repeated the step that Player2 have done. After Player3 finished, they passed the drawing to Player4 who is the guesser. Finally, they immediately got the right answer, which is Mona lisa. Amazing!






Game Rules:

Read the given prompt: Use the found objects in front of you to fill the ‘canvas’ in any way you see fit. (Hint: Keep in mind: color theory and principles of food combination)

Artist Statement: 

My game was inspired by the work of Kurt Schwitters, a Dada-era artist, who is best known for his Merz/collages. His collages are made of discarded objects from everyday life (e.g., wallpaper, newspaper, playing cards, and tickets), which calls attention to their meaning as they surrender their original function in a newfound and abstract form. His work also explores color theory, subject framing, and appropriation, which inspired me in the making of Follage.

So similar to Kurt, I wanted to call attention to the everyday fridge, pantry, and kitchen food items’ original function and have the player surrender it to a newfound and abstract form.

In forming the idea and rules of the game, I considered and explored multiple aspects and scenarios. For example, restricting the player to only solid foods or liquids and telling them the prompt versus having them read it on paper. I found the most productive results to be when the player used both solids and liquids and read the prompt to create more consistency. When playtesting the game in this format, Mabel, my roommate, chose primarily fresh materials and developed a canvas not knowing the meanings behind food combination or color theory. As seen in Exhibit 1, Mabel uses the idea of organic destruction in her “Volcano” piece.

This game puts the focus on the player and requires them to follow a simple prompt. In Exhibit 2, the players did not know the principles of food combination, so I chose not to include the definition, as I wanted them to explore the root of the prompt and/or explore what that meant to them. Player two created an interesting canvas representing a woman, reminding me of the infamous Parisian artist, Man Ray. Player 3 informed me she tried to explore color theory. In the end, players were given little direction, forced to think for themselves, and ended up creating beautiful food collages.

Exhibit/Player 1

Exhibit/Player 2

Exhibit/Player 3