Saturday, December 1, 2012

Video game performance art

Freedom from Eva and Franco Mattes on Vimeo.

Here's a video from an artist playing Counter-Strike and begging not to be shot by the other players.  While the idea of performance art in video games (especially MMORPGs) is interesting, I think artists would have to really go above and beyond the typical ways players try to expand the possibilities of a game.  I think it's pretty common for people to try to use games in ways they weren't necessarily intended (e.g. getting stuck in a wall, putting Sims in a room with 10 fireplaces and deleting the door). I don't think this video had much to say about our larger culture or even the culture of Counter-Strike (other than that it's a game where people where people shoot each other to win, and most of these players happen to want to win).  As the comments on the video show, these artists are hardly the first people to beg for mercy in a violent video game just to see what happens.

I wonder how we could define performance art in a game world with rules and parameters and where everyone is technically a player.  If performance art in video games were to become "a thing", how would the artists distinguish themselves from players?  Is it even possible to create art in the process of playing a video game like Counter-Strike?

Regardless, it's pretty entertaining to see a user named ChickenWaffles repeatedly stabbing the artist's avatar while saying, "I don't get it. You're an artist?"


  1. Another similar example, all the same guy:

  2. I think it is a pretty interesting premise to use video games as a medium. These death sequences are pretty brutal, and with the ragdoll physics, it is fairly gruesome. Even the kniving had a good amount of blood. And from the looks of it, this is set somehwere in the middle east. I think he is just trying to make a point about how their is a lot of violence in that region, and like any real person in war, they would be begging not to die.

    I do understand that death and violence in video games is not the same as it is in real life. But in war games, we should take a look at what they are based on, especially if their is a contemporary/current war. Death is not something to be taken lightly.