Part 5.

Photo via Port Aventura Entertainment, S.A.

This is Part 5 of my very-much-work-in-progress series Games, Play, and Joy, which is based off the class I taught in 2019 at NYU’s ITP, as part of my residency there. Hope you enjoy.

As this content stretches out into game studies, art history and political activism, please remember that this material comes from a single semester-long course — these posts are not comprehensive or representative of every single relevant piece/artist/writer in those fields. And of course, this essay series was written in a strictly personal capacity and doesn’t represent the views of anyone I work for — only me.


Part 4.

This is Part 4 of my very-much-work-in-progress series Games, Play, and Joy, which is based off the class I taught in 2019 at NYU’s ITP, as part of my residency there. Hope you enjoy.

As this content stretches out into game studies, art history and political activism, please remember that this material comes from a single semester-long course — these posts are not comprehensive or representative of every single relevant piece/artist/writer in those fields. And of course, this essay series was written in a strictly personal capacity and doesn’t represent the views of anyone I work for — only me.


Part 3.

Photo of four people looking at a sheet of instructions. They are outside, on the plaza of a school, with mountains behind.
Photo of four people looking at a sheet of instructions. They are outside, on the plaza of a school, with mountains behind.
Students at SFPC x YCAM following Autoflaneur instructions. Photo by Naoki Takehisa,
courtesy of Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM).

This is Part 3 of my very-much-work-in-progress series Games, Play, and Joy, which is based off the class I taught in 2019 at NYU’s ITP, as part of my residency there. Hope you enjoy.

Before the NYU course even existed, I originally developed a bunch of this material for a two-week SFPC x YCAM joint program in Yamaguchi, Japan. …


Part 2.

Photo by AP x 90.

This is Part 2 of my very-much-work-in-progress series Games, Play, and Joy, which is based off the class I taught in 2019 at NYU’s ITP, as part of my residency there. Hope you enjoy.

As this content stretches out into game studies, art history and political activism, please remember that this material comes from a single semester-long course — these posts are not comprehensive or representative of every single relevant piece/artist/writer in those fields.


Part 1.

“Salmon Roll: The Upstream Team,” made by me, Andy Wallace, and Diego Garcia. Photo by Jo Chiang.

I’m trying an experiment.

In Fall 2019, I was an artist in residence at NYU’s ITP. As part of my residency, I taught a course called Games + Joy, which used joy as an aesthetic lens for game and play design, tracing the use of joy through art history and political activism. In December, swimming in notes, I cheerfully expected I’d hole up, furiously research and write and interview even more, and turn it into a massive book. Then the world exploded, and hiding up in my office tapping away at a word processor to send a massive .docx …


This is a lightly-edited transcript of my Eyeo talk from 2018. This talk had a bibliography of sources and related reading, which can be found here.

This is a bit of a time capsule of my thinking on games and joy at the time. I continued on a much deeper dive, taught a 14-week class on it in 2019 at NYU, and am currently (slowly) writing a much larger piece synthesizing it all. If that is something that interests you, holler!

So, yeah, I’m Jane Friedhoff. This is where you can find me on the Internet.

I do a lot…


Exploring YouTube Drawing Tutorials with ARCore

Lately, there’s been a lot of cool examples of developers using augmented reality to help people tap into their creative side. Whether that’s using AR to make art on a sketchpad, AR-enabled coloring books, or using AR to make art in the 3D space around you, something really delightful happens when you merge sketchpad and screen.

It got me thinking about how AR could help me with one of my new artistic hobbies: learning hand lettering. Hand lettering is a nice way to relax, but it’s also surprisingly tricky. Making lovely transitions between words…


And it’s not even because I got anything done. I mean, let’s be real, 2018 largely sucked for most people with half a brain cell and a functioning heart. This is not one of those wrap-up posts where I pretend getting to the finish line was easy; of the things I made this year, almost all of them had me cursing and stressing and sobbing for weeks prior, like some sort of extended birth. And that’s not to mention all the cursing and stressing and sobbing I did unrelated to my personal portfolio.

That said, I’ve seen folks around cast…


Tips and tricks I learned creating my first Action for the Google Assistant playing around with Actions on Google, Dialogflow, and tarot cards.

For the last few years, me and many of my friends have become increasingly obsessed with tarot cards. You don’t have to believe in magic to still enjoy the process of drawing a card, pondering its meaning, and observing its themes throughout the day (even if that’s just because you’ve primed yourself to see them).

The problem with daily tarot draws is that I am also perhaps the most absent-minded person in the world. Left to my…


Sound the launch klaxon! 🚨

Move Mirror — an AI Experiment that lets you explore pictures in a fun new way, just by moving around — is live! My teammates and I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this project over the last ~6ish months, and I’m thrilled that it’s finally live.

From the official Google blog:

“Move in front of your webcam and Move Mirror will match your real-time movements to hundreds of images of people doing similar poses around the world. It feels like a magical mirror that reflects your moves with images of all…

Jane Friedhoff

developer of big messy joyful games

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store