Cast-offs From The Golden Age

Cast-offs from the Golden Age is a multimedia artwork by Melanie Swalwell and Erik Loyer which allows you to explore the history of early digital games in New Zealand. It is published in Issue 3 of Vectors Journal, an electronic publication which proposes a thorough rethinking of the dynamic relationship of form to content in academic research, focusing on ways technology shapes , transforms and reconfigures social and cultural relations.

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"Cast-offs from the Golden Age" is a work of fragments: there are moments of fascination and serendipity, as well as the occasional dead end. You are the researcher who is charged with uncovering the history of early digital games in New Zealand. Early on you discover that this will be no easy task. Nevertheless, a picture of the early NZ games industry gradually emerges from your pursuit of various avenues of inquiry. Was it what you expected?

"With little standard textual material on the subject, and even less in the way of material artefacts housed in New Zealand cultural institutions, it was necessary to get creative and innovate as far as research methods were concerned...Ephemera collections quickly proved to be one of the best sources of information...the bits and pieces that many people wouldn't consider worthwhile, the stuff that is usually discarded..."
-- Melanie Swalwell

"In order to experience the largely unexamined history of video games in New Zealand, Swalwell asks us to retrace some of her steps - and occasional missteps - in seeking to discover this arcane and fragmented history. Swalwell's project refuses to deliver a comprehensive history, choosing instead to allegorize the research process by embedding bits of information within an information space... [The experience] is part exploration and part role-playing-game, as different facts reveal themselves with each traversal of the research space." --Steve Anderson, Vectors Editor

Melanie Swalwell & Erik Loyer, "Cast-offs from the Golden Age", Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, Issue 3 (Ephemera), Spring 2006. [....]