“If going vroom makes the car go forward,
maybe saying vroom, backwards would make it back up. Moorv.”

-- Beverly Cleary, Ralph S. Mouse

Short Bio

Kaho Abe is a game designer and media artist from NYC, currently based in Osaka, Japan, interested in improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion and games. She designs games and builds custom controllers with the hope to bring people together in new ways, face to face, in public spaces. Her work is a result of her lifelong interest in technology, her love of social games and her previous career as a fashion designer. Kaho also shares her practice by developing content and teaching Playable Fashion, an afterschool program for highschoolers, originally taught at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, and also Beyond the Joystick and Costumes as Game Controllers, both classes taught at the NYU Game Innovation Lab.

Loooooong Bio

I am a media artist from NYC, currently based in Osaka, Japan, and I make games. I create installation games that are played in public spaces, and build custom game controllers for them, bringing the digital game world into the physical. The face-to-face interaction and emergent behavior that comes from multiplayer physical games never ceases to interest me. I design my games around the human experience, and then utilize the technology to support it.

More recently, I have been combining my various interests by exploring costumes as game controllers. Wearing costumes of a character in a game essentially allows us to become what we know to be the avatar in a video game. By embedding sensors into costumes, not only can we can dress up like the avatar, but we can also physically move like the avatar. We can play the game through our costumes, truly becoming the avatar.

Through workshops and classes, in both informal and formal settings, I have been sharing my practice in building custom controllers and costumes as game controllers. I teach “Beyond the Joystick” and “Costumes as Game Controllers” at the New York University Game Innovation Lab. I also have been teaching and developing content with Ramsey Nasser for Playable Fashion, a highschool afterschool program, that was initially taught out of Eyebeam, an art and technology non-profit based in NYC. We plan to release Playable Fashion teaching content to the public in 2018. I have also taught workshops in at various educational centers, conferences and festivals.

I hold a MFA from the Design and Technology Program at Parsons New School of Design and was a Fashion Designer in my previous career.