Fangamer and Attract Mode hosting 'Versus' art show at PAX Prime

"Fangamer VERSUS Attract Mode" will bring some of the most creative video game fan-made artwork to PAX Prime this weekend.

Video game collective Attract Mode and apparel maker Fangamer are hosting a gaming art show at PAX Prime this weekend in Seattle, Washington.

The event, "Fangamer VERSUS Attract Mode," will take place this Saturday, September 1st at 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. and is open to the general public with a $5 admission fee. The show features video game-themed artwork from a wide range of artists as well as playable versions of Capybara's Super TIME Force, cultural card game Metagame, and pixilated cloud-studded coin collector Cumulo Nimblers.

Attract Mode is a group of developers, filmmakers, artists, and journalists working in the game industry.

"Attract Mode used to be simply a video game boutique with a mind towards game culture, with an emphasis on the indie/fringe side of things," founder Matt Hawkins told Polygon. "But we have since expanded to include some of the movers and shakers in those spaces."

Originally based in Los Angeles, Attract Mode previously organized the artxgame initiative in June 2009 and most recently the Comics Vs. Games "creative jam" at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival last May.

"We're all about celebrating the world of game culture, as do many folks these days," said Hawkins.

But why did the group pursue an art show?

"The answer is obvious," Hawkins said. "All of us have grown up with games, it's part of our identities, and one way to explore such territory is getting artists (either those who are intimately familiar with games or are simply casually acquainted... or so they believe) to use video games as a source of inspiration."

The group's relationship with gaming-centric t-shirt seller Fangamer began at PAX Prime in 2010. At the time Attract Mode was a two person show, Hawkins sharing duties with founder Adam Robezzoli. Fangamer was struggling to reach a broader audience, and the pair helped Fangamer reach their goal at PAX the following year. Recently they launched version 2.0 of their website, which Attract Mode and Fangamer spent the last year revamping.

"The [art] show is essentially a celebration of our partnership. And what better way than to ask all of our super talented friends to produce artwork for a show that's all about celebrating video games?" Hawkins said.

As to why "VERSUS" will be essentially a show of fan art, Hawkins believes that art in all forms, even emulative, is essential to every culture.

"Games have touched many people's lives, from not just inspiring creative pursuits (which in turn leads to professions and careers), but in some cases, a sense of self worth, and peace of mind (since they can offer an escape, depending on one's circumstances)," Hawkins said. "The entertainment of entertainment as a whole in society never gets the credit its due. And I believe each our artists are paying tribute to video games in their own special way.

"One thing I'll never forget is what my pal Kurt Bieg – an NY based game designer who creates some of the finest iOS offerings anywhere – once said: 'Games will never know how much we love them.' It's my aim, and everyone else in the Fangamer and Attract Mode camps, to let games know how we feel!" he added.

If you're attending PAX Prime this weekend, stop by "Fangamer VERSUS Attract Mode" at 1927 Events on 3rd Avenue Saturday night for some food, drinks, and art appreciation. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Fangamer booth or at the door.

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