March on -empyre-
"Video games are the first stage in a plan for machines to
help the human race, the only plan that offers a future for
intelligence. For the moment, the insufferable philosophy
of our time is contained in the Pac-Man. I didn't know,
when I was sacrificing all my coins to him, that he was
going to conquer the world. Perhaps because he is the most
graphic metaphor of Man's Fate. He puts into true
perspective the balance of power between the individual and
the environment, and he tells us soberly that though there
may be honor in carrying out the greatest number of
victorious attacks, it always comes a cropper." - Chris
Truncated, repetitive, coin-operated nihilism. To a point.
The 'insufferable philosophy of our time' is not a single
object or symbol, but the array of signs and symbols placed
at odds with each other, made to wage a type of war we
aren't told how to engage with.
We were told that play would desensitise, depoliticise and
disconnect us, and now games are presented by the museum as
the latest historical and contemporary cultural artefacts.
This month on -empyre- brings us the Game. Whether we play
or not, whether we live in the moneyed west or not, games
occur. Using the rubric of 'game off', our stellar guests
will tease out and map intertwined threads of play culture,
game art, game theory – interrogating the frictions and
fissions of experiential pleasure, avatar uprisings, the
game engine medium, collection and archiving, futility and
Join Marguerite Charmante, Daphne Dragona, Margarete
Jahrmann, Max Moswitzer, Julian Oliver, Melanie Swalwell,
David Surman (and maybe Helen Stuckey) in multi-streamed
dialogues moderated by Christian McCrea and Melinda
Marguerite Charmante is a tagged game figure. She reflects
ludically on futility as resistance, toys and game fashion.
2005 she and MosMaxHax co-founded the international
association LUDIC SOCIETY to provoke a new discipline on
play and cultures. The affiliations club-magazine appears
regularly in print.
Daphne Dragona is a new media arts curator and organiser
based in Athens. Recently she has been focusing on game
arts and currently she is a co – curator of Homo Ludens
Ludens, an exhibition opening in April 08 in Laboral Centro
de Arte y Industrial, Gjion Spain.
Margarete Jahrmann is professor at the Game Design
Department of the University of Arts and Design Zurich and
a Ph.D. student of Caiia, School of Computer Sciences and
Communications, University of Plymouth. 2003
Jahrmann/Moswitzer received an award of distinction at Prix
Ars Electronica and in 2004 at transmediale Berlin.
Christian McCrea is a writer and theorist from Melbourne,
His work describes the non-virtual aspects of games under
the rubric of materialism, namely nostalgia, euphoria, the
proscenium of gaming actions and explosive body aesthetics.
He works as Lecturer in Games and Interactivity at
Swinburne University of Technology.
Max Moswitzer specializes in 3D simulations and artistic
server design, Dozent at the Game Design Department of the
University of Arts and Design Zurich and the University for
Applied Arts in Vienna.
Moswitzer co-founded Konsum.net in 1995 and regularly
produces interactive applications, online installations,
videos and telematic performances http://max.sil.at/
Julian Oliver is a New Zealand born artist, free-software
developer, teacher and writer based in Madrid, Spain.
Julian has given numerous workshops, exhibitions and papers
worldwide. In 1998 he established the artistic
game-development collective, Select Parks.
Melinda Rackham is Director of ANAT, Australia's leading
cultural organisation generating new creativities which
bridge science, research, art, industry and culture. She
dabbled extensively in multi-user online environments and
has an abiding interest in playfulness.
Melanie Swalwell is currently developing a suite of
projects on the history of digital games in New Zealand,
with essays published in the Journal of Visual Culture and
Vectors, and forthcoming in Ludologica Retro and Aotearoa
Digital Arts Reader.
David Surman is Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Design at
the Newport School of Art, Media and Design in the green
hills of Wales.
He blogs about technology, sexuality, gaming and popular
culture at http://www.gaygamer.net