video games and virtual cultures

November 5, 2007

this week we are combining two nodes of new media practice in the arts into one. the integrating factor here might be the construction or manipulation of a virtual world. if we consider a fragile definition of videogame art, we can begin by understanding the various ways that contemporary artists have become involved in videogames. consider sweat, opensourcery, natalie bookchin, feng mengbo, and some of cory arcangel’s projects like super mario clouds for starters. the idea of virtual cultures and worlds might best be expressed by second life, which has also been taken on by artists such as patrick lichty and the performance collective second front-a participant in performa 07. a pioneer in this area is char davies. an excellent example of an artist collective whose work integrates games and real/virtual structures is the uk based blast theory. games themselves have quite a history in the arts, marcel duchamp-who was often lost in the “world” of chess-is a good example. of course we have an excellent example of videogame art in the gallery right now with with scmrpg. and in case you didn’t already know, controversy comes with video games! it’s always come with art…. what happens when the two get together? if you’re interested in exploring videogames as art, take a look at stagecast. but there are tons of ways to get into making your first game (sourceforge anyone?)

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