Second only to TV, video games are becoming America’s most consumed form of entertainment. As the trend grows, games have become more sophisticated with aesthetics approaching a new genre of art and the life like play in some non-linear MMORP games are creating ethical and social issues that end in real-world consequences.

Get The Flyer
Get The Poster


LEVEL UP is a series of panel discussions that will navigate beyond invisible walls to touch on a variety of philosophical topics. Hosted by the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, LEVEL UP will question the artistic quality of environment aesthetics, investigate player experience as a greater narrative and explore the social and ethical implications of in-game economics and open world creativity on global society.

Alex Johnstone Associate Instructor of Entertainment, Arts, and Engineering at the University of Utah

C. Thi Nguyen Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University

Jaremy Rich Director of Product Management for DropForge Games


Level Up Sq

SEP 03 | 7 PM
Video Games are Virtually Art
Look at examples from the art-game movement and compare their aesthetics to significant theories in art. Should video games earn the same respect that art does and why do we care anyway? See Who Went on Facebook>

17 | 7 PM

The Narrative Experience
If games are a kind of art, what kind of art are they? In this debate we will talk through whether video games align with the emotional and linear characteristics of film, or are their narratives created through game-play. RSVP on Facebook and See Who’s Going>

OCT 01 | 7 PM

Simulating Economics
Emerging from the modern gaming world is the existence of in-game currency with real-world value. This talk will look at the ethics and game design evolving from this phenomenon with guest speaker Jaremy Rich, Director of Product Management for DropForge Games. RSVP on Facebook and See Who’s Going>

OCT 08 | 7 PM

The Minecraft Sensation: Creativity in Games
The creative building game Minecraft has forced the hundred-billion dollar video game industry to again ask the question, “what is a game?” Explore the new trend of open-world games that emphasize the players’ creativity. RSVP on Facebook and See Who’s Going>

OCT 29 | 7 PM

Enter the Uncanny Valley
In this contemporary society we saturate ourselves with digital information. As life-simulating technology continues to improve, how will we react when the digital world becomes more real than life? RSVP on Facebook and See Who’s Going>

This series is open to everyone; join us as a protagonist or NPC. Suggested $5 donation.