Merging Worlds (2010)

Curated by Jessica Zamora
Editorial description Comments (0)

A theme that is becoming increasingly popular in the video game industry is the concept of real life physical interactivity. The variations of interactivity put players at higher risks when venturing through games by providing real world consequences. The results from in-game decisions range from computer software alterations to affects on the player’s body. The following five art pieces represent these changes in the gaming industry with their use of innovative gameplay. <br> In Second Life, an online multiplayer game, a player is allowed to create whole new personas through avatars. In Joseph DeLappe’s art piece, The Salt Satyagraha Online, he chose to portray his character as Mahatma Ghandi. DeLappe reenacted Ghandi’s famous Salt March not only in Second Life, but also physically in New York City. By use of a treadmill connected to his avatar, DeLappe walked all 240 miles both virtually and physically. <br> Fighting games have always engaged players competitively, but none have taken it to the extreme that Eddo Stern has with his piece, TEKKEN TORTURE TOURNAMENT. This tournament involved 32 contestants who volunteered to engage in, “electrical shocks in correspondence to the injuries sustained by their avatars.” This pain increases the stakes and each player is giving their all, fighting alongside their onscreen character. <br> Another innovative work by Eddo Stern is, COCKFIGHT ARENA, a “joustlike fighting game” that involves two players fighting without the protection of in-game avatars; both are suited in wirelessly controlled wings and helmets that transmit back to the virtual game. The fighting that takes place in real life translates onto the digital screen, causing the movements of the avatars. <br> Memsweeper, by Nikolaos Hanselmann, takes a different approach to interaction by risking the software of the computer it takes place at. By clicking on a mine the program will break through a nullpointerexception, resulting in the end of the game. Hanselmann describes his work as, “space of play that has been shifted from representational failure to real computational failure.” <br> Carlos Katastrofsky took a similar approach to Hanselmann through affecting software. In his conceptual art game, russian roulette, the player is not only taking virtual risks, but also technological. The game is simple; click a button labeled “download” and accept your fate. The result can be anything from a picture of lolcats to a computer virus. While the results can vary the excitement of this game is in the real life risk.

This exhibition has no comments. You should add one!

Leave a Comment