"Is art playable? Are video games cinematic? Is Machinima theatrical? Are smartphones a stage? Is there an architecture that connects these diverse media forms? What boundaries can be broken within (and without) the walls of an Off-Off Broadway Theater to change your view? With the increasing maturity of the modern video game, the possibilities for multi-media cross-over artworks cry out to be explored."

Brooklyn's Brick Theater, the same venue that put on last year's Adventure Quest, will bring back its "Game Play: A Celebration of Video Game Performance" event next month (July 7-25) with a variety of "party nights", installations, and performances all inspired by video games.

The game parties will include an opening night preview cabaret and party on July 9th featuring Kurt Bigenho's "Real World Instant Messaging", a chance to dance-with/play/wear arcade suits displaying titles designed by local game designers and provided by Babycastles, a Rock Band Karaoke Night, and a chiptunes dance party.

As for the video game performances, Eddie Kim will present Grand Theft Ovid, which offers tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses acted out with digital puppetry:

"Characters from World of Warcraft, Halo 3, and Grand Theft Auto 4, among other games, will be projected on a large screen in front of an audience and manipulated by gamers. They will be linked to each other and to others over the internet to play out Ovid’s stories, including 'Niobe'; 'Daedalus and Icarus'; and 'Apollo and Daphne.'

With a new translation of stories by Carrie Thomas and featuring music by Oxygenstar, Eddie Kim’s newest machinima piece uses more game systems and more games. Watch as classical stories are fleshed out in pixels and given life in worlds usually inhabited by night elves, aliens, and dirty cops."

New media artist Jon Rafman will give attendees a guided tour of Linden Lab's virtual world with Kewl-Aid Man in Second Life: "The audience decides what user-generated realms the tour visits -— furry sex clubs, a psychedelic jungle world, or a Blade Runner–esque megacity. Live critical commentary and a discussion of the implications of virtual worlds for modern society accompany the tour, followed by a Q&A."

I came across a video of this once without knowing about any of this, and the experience was mind-blowingly vulgar. In fact, you can watch that bit in the tail-end of this trailer at Kewl-Aid Man in Second Life's official site.

Other performances you might want to investigate: Modal Kombat, a "guitar-controlled video game battle"; A Short Lecture of a Different Time, which combines NES graphics, Game Boy music, and theoretical physics to tell "the story of the OLDVERSE: the universe before this one, long dead and gone"; and Theater of the Arcade, a collection of arcade-themed short plays.

You can find more details on the performances, read about the creative installations (Erik Sanner's Chess and Knifeandfork’s The Wrench), and buy your tickets to Game Play at Brick Theater's dedicated page for the July event.