melinda on Tue, 4 Mar 2008 00:05:15 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> game off/on -empyre-

Game off
 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 Marker, 'Sunless'

 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 frissons
of experiential pleasure,  avatar uprisings, the game engine medium,
collection and archiving,  futility and joy.

 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 Rackham.


 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, Australia.
 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 in 1995 and regularly produces  interactive
applications, online installations, videos and telematic  performances

 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

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