John Bruneau

Artist, Educator, Curator, Coder.
Download Resume | Full CV
Contact: john [at] artfail [dot] com

Teaching: Game Design at NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Creating: Clinical VR games at Invincikids and Immersive Media at Heart Street

Playing: Catan, Killer Queen, Secret of Mana, SimCity
Reading: Saga
Hacking: Quest 2, Wiimotes, AR Foundation

Recent Work

Kinfolk, 2021 [Pariah Interactive]

Kinfolk by Movers & Shakers, is an augmented reality archive of Black and Brown stories that are often overlooked by our country's monuments, schools, and history books. Using Kinfolk, a player can place AR monuments in realspace and unlock their biographies and other learning resources. I worked as a senior developer on the project as part of Pariah Interactive.


  • 2021: Tribeca Film Festival, New York, NY (juried)
  • 2021: Games for Change Festival, New York, NY / Online (juried)
  • Awards

  • Nominated: Best Creative Non-Fiction, 2021 Tribeca Film Festival
  • Nominated: Best XR for Change, 2021 Games for Change Festival
  • Press

  • Catherine Jhee, "XR's Potential for Engagement and Impact in Student-Centered Learning," Joan Ganz Cooney Center, Aug 3, 2022
  • Laurie D. Willis, "Virtual event to highlight local historical figures of color," Wake Forest News, Mar 22, 2022
  • Trevor Smith, "Technology is Transforming the Ways in Which we Archive Black History," The Plug, Mar 10, 2022
  • "Why You Need to Know About These Black Founders Building Tech to Fight Injustice," Fast Forward, Feb 18, 2022
  • "App That Helps Students Dive into Black History Using AR," Big Deal Media, Aug 16, 2021
  • Javeria Salman, "Building virtual monuments to Black historical figures," The Hechinger Report, Jul 14, 2021
  • Joshua McWhirter, Idris Brewster, and Glenn Cantave, "A Monumental Shift," Guernica, Mar 15, 2021
  • Jasmin Askew, "On the road to Tribeca: Made with Unity games and social impact experiences," Unity Blog, Jun 9, 2021
  • Karla Rodriguez, "Here's How Movers & Shakers NYC Brought Netflix's 'Amend' to (Virtual) Life," Conplex, Apr 1, 2021
  • Valentina Di Liscia, "An AR App Wants to Correct the Scarcity of Monuments to Historical Leaders of Color," Hyperallergic, Feb 11, 2021
  • Kenyatta Victoria, "Glenn Cantave and Idris Brewster share the story behind Movers & Shakers," Rolling Out, Feb 9, 2021
  • Anagha Srikanth, "How AR is bringing Black history to life for middle schoolers across America," The Hill, Jan 29, 2021
  • Kristi Lee Neuberger and Lori Chung, "New Black History App Highlights Historical Figures," NY1, Feb 23, 2021
  • Ellen Glover, "Movers & Shakers Launches New App to Teach Black History Using AR," Built in NYC, May 29, 2020
  • Spaceburgers 2, 2021 [Invincikids, Mighty Immersion]

    Spaceburgers 2 is a physical therapy and procedural support game developed for Invincikids and Mighty Immersion. It is a fast-paced virtual reality game that combines the classic arcade racing and rail shooter genres. It uses a mobile VR headset and pedal bike alt-control interface. The faster the player pedals, the faster they shoot. Spaceburgers 2 was designed to motivate patients with limited motion or pain in their lower extremities to keep up with their movement exercises while they recover. This is part of a series of games designed along with doctors and researchers to create fun experiences that assist in physical therapy and pain rehab.

    The Banjo Toss, 2020

    The Banjo Toss: Banjo Throwing Competition replicates in digital format the signature absurd contest of the Brooklyn Folk Festival, held annually on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, a federally designated superfund site. Players get 10 chances to rack up points by hurling the special throwing banjo as far as they can into the canal.


  • Kirstyn Brendlen, "Banjo Bonanza: Buff Brooklynites take aim at Brooklyn Folk Festival's annual banjo toss" Brooklyn Paper, Nov 15, 2021
  • Stacy Chandler, "BONUS TRACKS: The Banjo Toss Goes Virtual, Musicians Talk Voting, and Songs to Save Venues," No Depression, Oct 16, 2020
  • DK Bathtime, 2020 [with Karl Hohn + Flan]

    DK Bathtime is a bathing simulator in which players must clean as much of DK as they possibly can. The more bubbles you scrub away, the more points you get. The scrub brush is controlled by a Wiimote attached to a real life brush peripheral. This game was inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto and the epiphany he had to create the original Donkey Kong game while taking a bath.


  • 2020: Electro Concierge, Super MAGFest, National Harbor, MD (invitational)
  • Press

  • Carrie Wood, "Con Recap: MAGFest 2020," Scoop, Oct 5 2022
  • Red White & Blue, 2018

    Red White & Blue is a game about bipartisan community building. It plays like a twin-stick action puzzle game with Atari-era aesthetics. The gameplay hints at a political narrative with an intentionally abstract design.

    After over a year of development and some back and forth with the platform owners, the mobile version of Red White and Blue has been released on both iOS and Android.


  • 2018: Games About Protest, Babycastles Gallery, New York, NY. curator: Ben Johnson (juried)

  • Future Flower, 2017 [Arbitrary Industries]

    Future Flower is an ikebana inspired augmented reality game developed with Stefanie Franciotti. Players use their smartphones or iPads to create virtual flower arrangements in real space. Flowers can be moved, rotated, and scaled in multiple dimensions and on multiple axes using a small number of touch gestures. Players have the ability to find virtual flowers in the real world à la Pokémon Go but can also leave flowers and arrangements for other players to find and send arrangements to each other directly over email or text messaging. Future Flower is still an unreleased beta.


  • 2017: Store 2, Babycastles Gallery, New York, NY (invitational)
  • 2017: Fantastic Arcade Opening Party, Fantastic Fest, Scratchouse, Austin, TX (invitational)
  • Exhibition Highlights

    Demand Player Sovereignty, 2011 [The Third Faction]

    Demand Player Sovereignty [or DPS] is a movement of civil disobedience led by the Third Faction. Our goal is to gain greater autonomy for the players of the massively multiplayer online game "World of Warcraft." We believe it is necessary, not only to support the diverse and creative play styles that are created by the players, but also to earn the players a voice to change the rules of the game itself. The Third Faction Collective leads its members and volunteers in active engagement within the game environment as well as outside it.


  • 2012: Big Reality, 319 Scholes, Brooklyn NY, curator: Brian Droitcour (invitational)
  • 2011: ISEA 2011 - The 17th International Symposium on Electronic Art, Istanbul, Turkey. (juried)
  • 2011: 4th Annual SubZero Festival, San Jose, CA
  • Bibliography & Press

  • "Interview with Third Faction," Gamenvironments, issue 2, Oct 2015, p. 140-152
  • "Third Faction" and "Not a Hero" In Brian Droitcour, Big Reality Raleigh, N.C.: Lulu / Brian Droitcour, Mar 9, 2012, p. 59, 103-106
  • "The Future of Gaming (Oyunların Geleceği)," Skylife Magazine, Nov 2011, p. 68

  • /hug, 2009 [The Third Faction]

    /hug [or slashhug] is a Third Faction project which seeks to establish a non governmental aid organization in World of Warcraft. This exhibit is a mixed reality installation that demonstrates the work of /hug and is inspired in part by the Red Cross. This installation encourages viewer interaction in carrying out Non Governmental Organization of Azeroth missions via hands-on participation.


  • 2010: Video/Art/Video, "a message from /hug," Electronic Gallery, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD. curator: Preston Poe (invitational)
  • 2009: WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon, "/hug," Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA. curator: Grace Kook-Anderson (invitational)
  • 2009: All for One, "/hug Machinima," Works Gallery, San Jose, CA. (member's exhibition)
  • 2009: ZER01 Open House, "/hug Outreach," ZER01 Headquarters, San Jose, CA. curator: Carla Turturici (invitational)
  • 2009: SubZero Block Party, "/hug Outreach," San Jose, CA. producer: Bruce Labadie (invitational)
  • Bibliography & Press

  • Dave Barton, "Boobs, Bloodshed and Some Actual Art at Laguna Art's 'World of Warcraft' Show," OC Weekly, Jun 24, 2009
  • Brian Droitcour, "Interview with Grace Kook Anderson," Rhizome, Sep 4, 2009
  • Richard Chang, "'World of Warcraft' quest leads to Laguna," Orange County Register, Jun 19, 2009
  • Ashley Breeding, "Art of Online War," Los Angeles Times, Jun 12, 2009

  • Tool Shed Days, 2008 [Ars Virtua + Red 76]

    Tool Shed Days, a collection of projects for the 2nd Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge, was a Cadre/Montalvo artist research residency and a FUSE: collaboration with Red76 and Ars Virtua.

    Tool Shed Days served as an exploration into the possibilities of Second Life as a platform for the investigation of radical social histories. I worked to develop tools using Second Life and other technologies that could be used to perform and stage various acts of resistance, specifically, Befriend a Recruiter, the Defense Co-op, and our in-world printshop and paper Discontent.


  • 2008: 01SJ Biennial: Superlight, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. Artistic Director: Steve Dietz, collaboration: Red 76
  • Bibliography & Press

  • Steve Dietz, et al. Superlight, San Jose CA: ZER01, 2008
  • Dorothy R. Santos, "The Art of War,", Aug 9, 2011
  • Kuniko Vroman, "ZERO1SJ/FUSE," Switch Journal, issue 25, 2008
  • Jo-Anne Green, "Live Stage: Defense Co-op [Second Life]," Turbulence, Jun 23, 2008

  • Looks Very Tidy, 2007 [Ars Virtua]

    Looks Very Tidy is composed of two virtual vacuum cleaners, created in the 3D virtual world of Second Life, and rendered into real space with a 3D printer. Accompanying the sculptures, is a short film of the Joe Languish (John Bruneau) and Rubaiyat Shatner (James Morgan) vacuuming the Ars Virtua gallery.

    Vacuuming is a fundamentally mundane process that relies on the nature of terrestrial reality (dirt & dust). When transposed into a game world it takes on an absurd quality and the drudgery becomes purely performative. Furthermore since the vacuum cleaner is functionally useless it becomes an object of pure fetish or "sculpture."


  • 2009: Tech Tools of the Trade: Contemporary New Media Art, The de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara CA. curator: Kathy Aoki (invitational)
  • 2008: Streaming Museum, Seven Continents and Second Life, Federation Square, Melbourne Australia, curator: Kerrie-Dee Johns, Ars Virtua New Media Center, Dowden, Second Life
  • 2007: On / Off - Art in the Digital Era, Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CA. (juried) curator: Sheila Malone
  • 2007: Our Man in Havana: The Vacuum Cleaner in Art, Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ. curator: Emma Wilcox
  • Bibliography & Press

  • Emma Wilcox, "Robotic Vacuum Cleaners paint Gallery Aferro on 4/21," Rhizome, Apr 16, 2007
  • Fiend Ludwig, "Ars Virtua hosts CADRE Speaker Salons," First Person : Second Life, Apr 12, 07
  • Penelope Umbrico, "Second Life's Ars Virtua," BOMB Magazine, Apr 1, 2008
  • Oath, 2018 [with Yuxin Gao]

    Oath is an alt-ware tabletop game for 2 to 4 players designed specifically to run on Blinks. Payers must rapidly tap Blinks whenever their color appears and reconfigure the board to surround the opposing players' Blinks. Oath was inspired by ancient politics and war. It reflects the nurturing nature of camaraderie and family but also the infectious nature of nationalism.


  • 2018: "Out of the Box Award," Indiecade East, Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY
  • Exhibitions

  • 2019: MAGFest Indie Tabletop Showcase, Super MAGFest, National Harbor, MD (juried)

  • Litewall Games, 2013, 2014 [Litewall Group]

    The Litewall project is a 7 foot tall, 18 foot long, 8x16 pixel grid made by Steve Durie and the Litewall Group. I created two games for the project. Litewall_Pong is an adaptation of the Atari classic. In this vesion, the speed of the ball increases with every successful volley and scoring is tracked by an increase in background color values (orange vs blue). River_Snake is a Snake / River Rescue hybrid. In this auto-scroller, the player must avoid obstacles and eat red apples to grow longer. Both Lightwall games are controlled through Wii Nunchuck movement and run on the Arduino.


  • 2014: "Best in Class" and two "Editor's Choice" awards, Bay Area Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA
  • Exhibitions

  • 2015: Rockage 4.0, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA (invitational)
  • 2015: Bay Area Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA (invitational)
  • 2014: After Dark: Glow, The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA (invitational)
  • 2014: Bay Area Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA (invitational)
  • 2013: SubZero Festival, San Jose, CA (invitational)
  • MFA Prep Course, 2011 [with Marek Kapolka]

    MFA Prep Course is an artist simulator and training application for those seriously considering advanced degrees in the field of visual arts. The player uses a dual-analogue gamepad to control both hands at once, allowing them to smoke multiple cigarettes and consume large amounts of coffee.


  • 2011: Second Place Finalist, "MFA Prep Course", Games Category, CSU Media Arts Festival, California State University Fullerton
  • Exhibitions

  • 2011: SxM Guild Show, "MFA Prep Course," Black Gallery, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. curators: Cody McCabe and Tamara Hoyt (juried)
  • 2010: Ring in the New, "MFA Prep Course," Works Gallery, San Jose, CA. (member’s exhibition)
  • Bibliography & Press

  • Tim Wee, "Browser Game Pick: MFA Prep Course (Marek Kapolka and John Bruneau)," Indie Games, Jul 18, 2011
  • Pietro Polsinelli, "Five smart, different, creative indie browser games," Gamamoto, Sep 1, 2011
  • Herr Fabu, "MFA Prep Course," Superlevel, Jul 18, 2011
  • Octavio Ortega, "MFA Prep Course," Gizmos, Jul 19, 2011
  • Victor Rosso, "One of the biggest jokes in the flash game world," Sens Critique, Aug 24, 2013
  • Chad Comeau, "Fun Free Browser Games," Fring Frang, Aug 07, 2013
  • Pierre Corbinais, "MFA Prep Course," l’Oujevipo, Jul 22, 2011
  • Victor Depardieu, "MFA Prep Course, l'énorme foutage de gueule vidéoludique," Le Blog d'un Cochon Aviateur au Nom Hybride, Sep 7, 2013

  • John Bruneau 2023