Average Shoveler (2004)

Inspired by the graphics of Leisure-Suit-Larry (1987), AVERAGE SHOVELER is an online game challenging the boundaries between photo, paintings, game and short movie. It's snowing, and you have to keep your way cleaned. Each flake of snow contains an image taken live from news/politics/sport/ web channels: you have to shovel pumping news from your head saving your life from a news overload.

Full Description

Inspired by the graphics of Leisure Suit Larry I (1987), Average Shoveler is an online game challenging the boundaries between photo, paintings, game and short movie.

The location is the NYC's East Village. It is snowing, and you have to keep your way cleaned. Each flake of snow contains an image taken live from news/politics/sport/entertainment web channels, while people tell you top stories gathered from same sources. Your only alternative is to shovel pumping news from your head, saving your life from that daily soft bombing. There is no way to win. Of course you are going to die, it is a matter of time...While your are experiencing a fictional environment, you are playing with feedback (text and images) coming from your real life, from the real world. This intern dichotomy is also represented in the aesthetics of the game with the contrast between the pixelated atmosphere and the realistic quality of the shoveled images "exploding" and disappearing over your head.

In some scenes (interiors) the game transforms itself: there is nothing to do. You are alone on a lawn with fires burning books, or you are swimming in an oil swimming pool. These scenes have been thought like paintings, something to contemplate.

Average Shoveler includes also two prestigious collaborations: Gabriel Yared, the famous composer who scored, among others, movies such as "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain" wrote a great music, while Siri Kuptamethee the designer behind the New York fashion label "Indigo People" has created a set of outfits for the main character of the videogame.

To experience Average Shoveler , Flash Player 7 has to be installed and it is strongly recommended to shut down any other application and to turn the speakers on.

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Artist Statement

"Average Shoveler doesn't have points or levels or goals. It is a delivery system for “breaking news” masqueraded as a videogame. It's our daily intellectual spoon of white phosphorus bombs for total brainwashing. It is obviously a fictional environment but the feedback you get while playing is completely real: it stinks, it is a thick and sticky runway of blood and you catwalk on it, tapping your slick keyboard. On one level, "Average Shoveler" is quite boring: it turns into a contemplative screen when you get into the buildings and find yourself in a surreal scenario. On another, it is always morphing and changing, thus offering you unexpected adventures. But you need to do some extra work, think about what you’re experiencing. It’s not your average mind numbing videogame. It's tomorrow seen from today. The fun comes when you realize the implications behind the gameplay, and this takes some time and intellectual effort." from " Interview: Carlo Zanni's "Average Shoeveler" (2004) by Mathias Jansson."

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