Chad Toprak is an award winning independent game designer, curator, and academic. He has a passion for curating, producing, and organising videogame exhibitions, gatherings, parties and events.
He is currently the Director of Freeplay, Australia’s longest standing independent games festival. Freeplay began in 2004 as a response to and critique of the stagnant state of the games industry, and since then has continued to champion creative and artistic exploration and experimentation within games, highlighting and uncovering grassroots talent in Melbourne and Australia, contributing to the growth and cultural significance and legitimacy of independent games.
Chad’s most recent exhibition Contours was in partnership with the City of Melbourne and Freeplay, and has taken place in the Gallery at the Library at The Dock. The exhibition explores the fringes of contemporary independent videogames in Melbourne and Australia, and features playable videogames, artwork, zines, video interviews, sculptures, paintings, photography, artefacts and other cultural gems.
Chad co-directs and curates Hovergarden, Melbourne’s local videogame curatorial duo. He organises and hosts exhibitions, parties and gatherings for friends and strangers to play a curated selection of contemporary videogames. These events take place in a wide variety of spaces including parks, city streets, laneways, rooftops, warehouses, bars, and other public venues.
Chad champions and encourages the making, gathering and playing of weird, unconventional and experimental games in public and social spaces. In the past, Chad has worked on award winning games such as Turnover, the four-player multigravity steal-the-ball-n-run frenzy, Cart-Load-O-Fun, a two-player collaborative physical game designed for trains and trams, and dualcyon, the experimental Leap & VR puzzle game for two.