[-empyre-] Re: empyre Digest, Vol 40, Issue 12

Michael Dieter mdieter at gmail.com
Thu Mar 13 14:08:11 EST 2008

>  There is however, still a very strong sense of the 'ideal gaming image'.
> This is the assumption that all copies of the game are experienced in
> the same way, precisely because they are played and experienced.
> This assumption, and ones it generates, is at the centre of gaming's
> sensory status; and perhaps that is where game curatorship is (or
> perhaps) isn't at its most tested, its most needed. The differences in
> technical and material apparatus matter greatly to the virtualities
> that we then presume to decode.
On reflection, the curatorial approach of the Game On exhibition seemed
fairly simplistic in terms of exploring this sense of multiplicity around
gamic objects - not that I didn't thoughly enjoy playing Street Fighter 2
again (but on SNES, were they for real?!, etc.)

Of course, in this respect, there's something to say for the fan-scene
around retro-gaming for filling in gaps and exploring lost futures, those
moments of pure potential, a venacular approach that effectively
re-activates the past in a manner institutions could never hope to. Chris
Covell's work comes to mind (a supposed technical hardcore guide for Cory
Arcangel's NES hacks), especially things like his pages on retro Japanese
videogame mags, including an analysis of pre-release images and promotions
for console games that were never completed and so on:


In terms of Christian's materially-orientated analysis, I love the idea of
these artifacts left out of level design in consoles, but with the tiles
still encoded and cycling in the commercial cartridge, would be cool to
literally re-animate them, give them life:

"Ooh... look at those planets! Of course, this is Gemini Man's stage. The
planets were taken out of the level design, but their character tiles are
still in the CHR ROM of the final release of the game, and the palette still
cycles as though they were there, glowing."
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