'No Quarter': building modern arcade games at NYU

If the anesthetized, family-oriented digs of the recently reopened Chinatown Fair are any indication, the state of the American arcade in the year 2012 is a dismal one. But at NYU's annual No Quarter exhibition, the communal comforts of yesterday's game spaces live on apart from the commercial arena they once occupied, acting as a testing ground for new titles from some of the world's top independent developers.

In the past, No Quarter has helped premiere several indie games that went on to become hugely popular, like Mark Essen's lo-res fencing game, Nidhogg. As a commission-based exhibition, it's an opportunity for developers to experiment with ideas that they might have not pursued otherwise. The goal is to assemble a selection of games that work best as part of a larger social environment, a phenomenon that curator Charles Pratt and others have referred to as "the New Arcade."