what would such "unexpected effects" on culture or contemporary subjects be?
and how would you exhibit games (or their design evolution) –- as their intimate use is proposed here as one of the main aspects, perhaps similar to fashion/costume objects – if you don't invite the visitors to gallery to play them or
experience their "systemic" aspects as Adam suggests?
I don't think I imagined an arcade, when I raised the question. Rather, I was wondering how one could exhibit, for example, the "interface-manipulation" that William writes about without the game-playing; and how one might progress to offer a critique of the (apparent) dominance of interactivity and participation in the museum – (I hardly think the interactive paradigm is dominant in the visual arts). It would interest me to hear more about the game-based aesthetics you mention (e.g. the 'twitch') and how you would interrogate and expose these, and expose them in a meaningful relationship to "other fields of cultural activity". Are you implying that game design is comparable, for example, to process art, generative processes (in music/sound), performance? what notion of performance is imagined by game designers, is it an action based concept (without the actor, in a theatrical sense) or is performance process related to the "world" (represented) in the game, the narratives, or the gain (level advancement, competition, etc)? Finally, would you have an example of exhibiting different "scale" - are you here thinking of game as an "expanded field" (as it was once said about sculrture in the 90s, when sculpture came to include not only Beuy's notion of a social sculpture but public art projects, neighborhood & community projects? Is there a critical approach (on design matters) regarding the evolution of multiplayer online communities (MMORPGS) etc?
[William Huber schreibt]
Hello, everyone. I work with Gregor as a Lecturer at Abertay University; my research is in the field of game studies, from an art/media historical perspective. What follows are some disparate thoughts about the exhibition of games, and how a museological approach might illuminate our understanding of the way that games are made, and the unexpected effects they might have on us as contemporary subjects.
I agree that conventional chronological approaches, as well as genre-historical ones, may not be the only best use of exhibition space, and that simply creating a space to play games ("arcade in the museum") fails to contribute to any real understand of them: it risks being a crude mechanism for naive claims of cultural significance.
Responding to the call for thinking about the relationship between producers (from solo makers to globally distributed networks of production), the objects (platforms, software, representations, systems) and publics (players and other stakeholders), scale, rather than chronology or genre, may offer another organizing principle, and within expansions of scale, we might think about the effects which games sustain, and take them as the dominant native aesthetics of games.
There are three broad categories of game-based aesthetics (in the broadest sense of the term, as descriptions of the qualia of human experience) which I think could be considered: relational, procedural, and "twitch" (kinaesthetic/cognitive.) Of course, games participate in traditional visual, auditory and conceptual aesthetics, as well, but these three strike me as the most "native" to game design, and also represent the strongest contributions that games make to our understanding of the space of the aesthetic.
I think, following Gregor, that disaggregation of the elements of design and game experience would help foreground their contributions to contemporary culture (e.g., could we imagine Twitter and Instagram becoming important elements of network-driven culture if a set of literacies and competencies in interface-manipulation hadn't been forged by generations of game-players? Have games participated in a reorganization of human attention that has significance for other fields of cultural activity?)