Nathalie Lawhead

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Nathalie Lawhead
Nathalie Lawhead - Independent Games Festival 2015.jpg
Nathalie Lawhead wins the 2015 IGF Nuovo Award for Tetrageddon Games
Known forindie games, net art
Notable work
Tetrageddon Games, Everything is Going to be OK, A_DESKTOP_LOVE_STORY
AwardsIGF Nuovo Award 2015, A MAZE. Digital Moment Award 2016, Indiecade Interaction Award 2017
Years active1999–present

Nathalie Lawhead is a net artist and independent game designer based in Irvine, Orange County, California.

Lawhead's background is in net art, and her work often invokes the iconography of 1990s-era web design and computing, particularly moments of technical failure, including pixelated lo-fi imagery, glitches, pop-up ads, and error messages. Lawhead's Tetrageddon Games is a compilation of short experimental games that playfully subvert norms of taste in web and game aesthetics [1][2]. Her more recent project, Everything is Going to be OK, was described by Lawhead as an "interactive zine," [3] and combines short poems, games, and animations to express personal experiences with trauma [1].

Lawhead was subjected to online and offline abuse and harassment following her discussion of her game Everything is Going to be OK at Double Fine's Day of the Devs event, and sustained further harassment after publishing an article, entitled YouTube Culture is Turning Kids Against Art Games, on Venture Beat, which discussed her experiences with harassment. [3][4][5] As a result of this harassment, Lawhead further revised and expanded Everything is Going to be OK to include these experiences and comment on how gaming culture, and culture in general, enables abusers [4].


  • 2015 - Winner, IGF Nuovo Award for Tetrageddon Games[6]
  • 2017 - Winner, Indiecade Interaction Award for Everything is Going to Be OK[7]
  • 2017 - Winner, A MAZE Digital Moment Award for Everything is Going to be OK[8]
  • 2018 - Finalist, IGF Nuovo Award for Everything is Going to Be OK[9]
  • 2018 - Honorable Mention, IGF Seamus McNally Grand Prize for Everything is Going to Be OK[9]

Notable works[edit]

  • RUNONCE (remember_me) (2019) - An interactive digital pet that converses with the user, but can only live one lifetime on the user's computer, after which the program cannot be run again.[10]
  • A_DESKTOP_LOVE_STORY (2018) - A brief narrative told within a file system, where one file has a crush on another file, and the user is tasked with navigating directories and files in the operating system to facilitate their relationship.[11]
  • Electric File Monitor (2018) - A satirical 'digital security system' that scans the user's hard drive and charges them with various "transgressions," about which the user can "interrogate" them.[12]
  • Everything is Going to Be OK (2017) - Lawhead's award-winning digital zine, which features a series of short interactive and animated vignettes confronting issues of struggle, power, and abuse with anarchic humor.[13]
  • Tetrageddon Games (2016) - Lawhead's award-winning collection of short, humorous, and experimental games which draw on the aesthetics of the early internet. Tetrageddon Games was included in Communication Arts Issue 19, and Communication Arts juror Sophie Henry described it as "one of the most interesting pieces of interactive art I’ve seen."[2]


  1. ^ a b Penabella, Miguel. "Player Two: An Interview with Nathalie Lawhead". Invalid Memory. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Tetrageddon Games". Communication Arts. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b Lawhead, Nathalie. "YouTube culture is turning kids against art games". Venture Beat. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b Hayes, Spencer. "Everything is Going to be OK: A conversation with Nathalie Lawhead". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  5. ^ Lawhead, Nathalie. "observations about my "Day of the Devs" article & thoughts after harassment over a post that's about harassment". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  6. ^ "2015 Independent Games Festival Winners". IGF. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  7. ^ Chan, Stephanie. "Everything Is Going to be OK wins IndieCade's 2017 Interaction Award". Venture Beat. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Congratulation to the winners of the 6th A MAZE. Awards!". A MAZE. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b "2018 Independent Games Festival Winners". IGF. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  10. ^ Sykes, Tom. "Free download RUNONCE gives you a digital pet to play with for one short lifespan". PC Gamer. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  11. ^ Tarason, Dominic. "Your files want to smooch in A Desktop Love Story". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  12. ^ Brinks, Melissa. "Protect Your Computer And Think About Ethics With 'ELECTRIC FILE MONITOR'". Forbes. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  13. ^ Joho, Jess. "Beautifully bizarre art game 'Everything is going to be OK' is about how not OK everything is". Mashable. Retrieved 23 April 2019.

External links[edit]