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September 22, 2006

Breaking the Game



On the periphery of a multi-billion dollar global computer gaming industry exists an emerging group of impassioned artists, architects, filmmakers, and game enthusiasts who mine, recycle, and modify off-the-shelf videogames and multiplayer virtual worlds with unexpected and sometimes extraordinary results. Conflating the practices of consuming and producing in sometimes-uneasy ways, they exploit the tools, software code, graphics, and even the programming errors of the most popular videogames to fashion new cinematic forms (Machinima), soundscapes, interactive performances, talk show formats, and art installations. Breaking the Game: The Virtual Worlds of Workspace Unlimited [PDF] :: Text by Wayne Ashley, screen Captures and Photos by Thomas Soetens and Kora Van den Bulcke.

You can also check out the results of a first-iteration telematic symposium Wayne Ashley curated and co-organized with Workspace Unlimited called Breaking the Game. The symposium opened up the art of game modification to the contingencies of everyday life, where interactive technologies increasingly mediate physical spaces and human movements in very complex and dynamic ways. The symposium themes were: Hybridity, Overclocking the City and The Virtual as Interface to Self and Society. I asked participants to consider gaming and other virtual technologies in relationship to building and designing cities, navigating and experiencing urban life, constructing identities, and creating and maintaining social interaction. The symposium encouraged debate and discussion through multiple formats including text, desktop video conferencing, Skype, images, and animation. Several informal sessions took place inside of Second Life where participants gave tours and discussed their projects inside the 3D multi-user world.

Posted by jo at September 22, 2006 03:46 PM