[-empyre-] Participation Week 2 -empyre- Critical Making in International Networks

Victoria Szabo vszabo at gmail.com
Thu Apr 10 14:23:56 EST 2014

Hi everyone! Joyce Rudinsky and I (Victoria Szabo) and doing our first post together and then will respond separately as the spirit moves. At HASTAC 2014 we will be showing a videogame-based new media art project, Psychasthenia 2. This project is part of an ongoing collaboration where we explore the culture of psychological diagnosis and treatment within the context of a highly mediated consumer culture that often produces the ills it purports to treat. Our game projects ask how might we conceptualize our lives as a game in which lived experience is understood as a series of levels to which we aspire - and strongly implies a critique or limit to that aspiration.

Our game-making feels a bit tangential to the HASTAC community in that our work is ultimately new media art – though our users sometimes think our systems are a serious attempt at diagnosis(!) Game criticism, however, is a branch (or at least a hearty graft) onto the new media critical tree that also fits more easily into this academic space. We try to bring these together. Both of us are very interested in critical making, in the sense that we are considering both the affordances of the videogame platform *and* the nature of the gamified experience evoked therein – whether on a computer or in the practice of everyday life. We are wondering how it will all translate in such an international setting…much more to say on that topic...

Looking forward to the conversations this week!

Victoria and Joyce

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