Networked_Performance

MayDay NetParade

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Political Videogames Against the Dictatorship of Entertainment

The MayDay NetParade–by Molleindustria–is a virtual demo that runs thru a heavily guarded and branded city put under siege by insurgent legions of brain+chain+temp workers and assorted anarchists, commies, queers and greens. The marching avatars are digital simulacra of today’s exploited masses of neoliberalism: précaires, precari@s, precari, cognitarie, contingent knowledge and service workers. We are a mixed bunch, a heterogeneous multitude of precarious jobs and lives. Yet we have not spawn out of fordist assembly chains, but out of dystopian retail chains and office spaces. Why don’t you give your pictorial contibution to this multicolored parade, and reclaim that visibility that mainstream media, unions, parties are denying us? Make yourself heard! Voice your anger and/or irony! You will be able to be part of a piece of collective net art. But do it fast, cos after May 1st, the NetParade will remain visible online, but it will no longer be possible to join. By clicking on JOIN, you’ll be able to create your avatar, singular and (un)crazy as you want it to be. You’ll have to answer a few multiple choice questions first, but these will be totally anonymous, private and dissociated from your avatar.
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About Molleindustria

We can no longer consider videogaming as a marginal element of our everyday lives. In recent years, the turnover of the videogame industry has exceeded that of cinema, and there are a growing number of adult and female players. There are more frequent overlaps with other media: there are videogames for advertisements (advergames), for educational purposes and for electoral propaganda.

How did videogames become such a central element of the mediascape? During the second half of the nineties, major entertainment corporations extended their activities in this sector and extinguished or absorbed small producers. Now videogames are an integral part of the global cultural industry, and they are in a strategic position in the ongoing processes of media convergence. These developments inhibit the political and artistic emancipation of this medium: every code line is written for the profit of a big corporation.

One solution: Gamevolution! We believe that the explosive slogan that spread quickly after the Anti-WTO demostrations in Seattle, “Don’t hate the media, become the media,” applies to this medium. We can free videogames from the “dictatorship of entertainment”, using them instead to describe pressing social needs, and to express our feelings or ideas just as we do in other forms of art. But if we want to express an alternative to dominant forms of gameplay we must rethink game genres, styles and languages. The ideology of a game resides in its rules, in its invisible mechanics, and not only in its narrative parts. That’s why a global renewal of this medium will be anything but easy.

Molleindustria is an italian team of artists, designers and programmers that aims at starting a serious discussion about social and political implications of videogames. This will involve media activists, net-artists, habitual players and critics and detractors of videogames. We chose to start with online gaming in order to sidestep mainstream distribution channels and to overcome our lack of means. Using simple but sharp games we hope to give a starting point for a new generation of critical game developers and, above all, to experiment with practices that can be easily emulated and virally diffused.

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Also, see //////////fur////: fighting massive-single-user-isolation, //////////fur//// develops art entertainment interfaces for multidimensional multiuser involvement: software-programs in mechatronic artefacts that create dynamic action-spaces for two or more participants. [via]

//////////fur////’s guiding idea is the alternative interface which goes beyond providing solely a visual navigation, manual control and massive single-user isolation.


Sep 28, 08:47
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