2018年12月18日 星期二

Presentation- Videogame as art? (Tekken Torture Tournament)

Game description:
Name: Tekken Torture Tournament
Artists: Eddo Stern & C-level team
year: 2001
System: Tekken 3 and a modified Playstation 1

Details:
video



1. Art should make you feel something
According to a interview with one of the creator of this system, Mark Allen has mentioned that, players got very aggressive and played with this incredible showmanship.  It was like they were performing the piece.
How does that happened?  I think it is because of the electric shocks, the electric shock has bring the avatar and the player together, they share the same pain and damage, so the player is "sync" with the avatar.  And winning has became a very important goal to you and your avatar.  And all these stuffs has lead to more aggressive and more wanted to win.

2. Game developers must experiment with the medium.  They must take risks and break new ground.
As we know and also mentioned by Mark allen, they use electric shocks to mimic the damage and the pain in the virtue world.  Mark allen has also mentioned that the shocks are designed to contract player's muscle.  All these stuffs has put Eddo Stern, C-level and the players in risks, they might kill the players accidentally, and Eddo Stern's fame may destroyed by this.


Reference:
-Videogames and Art, Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell
-Will Computer Games Ever Be A Legitimate Art From, Ernest W. Adams
Cracking the maze, Anne-Marie Schleiner
MELT DOWN, Rebecca Cannon


2017年12月10日 星期日

Videogames - But are they art?

a) Key Quotes
- 'Art must have the capacity to express ideas.' 
(Will Computer Games Ever Be A Legitimate Art FromErnest W. Adams)

- 'The greatest works of art, the ones that are displayed in museums and discussed endlessly, are those that took risks and broke new ground.' 
(Will Computer Games Ever Be A Legitimate Art From, Ernest W. Adams)


-'Artistic developments in art mods have provided rich basis for thought on gaming, and the cultural role of games, reflexively enriching our knowledge of computer games as a social material of entertainment media.'
(Meltdown, Rebecca Cannon)


b) Key Links
- Video Games in the Gallery - An Interview with Mark Allen
an interview related to this game, such as the ideas of this game
Legal document for TTT players
showing the further risk of this game may give to the participants
Eddo Stern's homepage
few description of this artmod, also the detail of other projects


c) Key Articles
Will Computer Games Ever Be A Legitimate Art From, Ernest W. Adams
this article got a precise definition about art and also gameart
Cracking the maze, Anne-Marie Schleiner
this article got a detailed history about artmod, which is related to my case study
- MELT DOWN, Rebecca Cannon
this article got the information about the category of artmod, which allows me to have a better description of this game
-the Ludic Hack, Baumgartel
an article talks about game modification




d) Case Study
Tekken Torture Tournament
video


Description
Tekken Torture Tournament (TTT) is created by Eddo Stern from C-level team in 2001.  TTT is consist in two parts, an ordinary Tekken fighting game, and a modified Playstation that can convert virtual onscreen damage into electric shocks.  Willing participants have to wear an arm straps with electric wires that are attached to the machine that can give them shocks.  According to an interview with the coordinator who held this game as an event, Mark Allen, he said that the more damage that a player received, the more electric shocks he also received.  The shock is also strong enough to pull your hand from the controller, makes it more close to the real-life situation, if your body are damaged by your opponent, you will not that able to keep fighting.


Art Mod Catagory
This art mod is a real-time performance instrument, according to Rebecca Cannon from her article "MELTDOWN", this game has take an different approach of real-time performance, instead of syncing live audio-visual with the game, the creator of this game tried to increase the degree of physical activity in the game, and make the participation in a game function as real-time performance instrument.


Is it art?
By the definition from Ernest W. Adams' article, "Will Computer Games Ever be a Legitimate Art Form"?, he has mentioned several characteristics that an art have.  First of all, I will talk about how Tekken Torture Tournament has shared these characteristics too.  After this, I will talk about how this game became an artwork.


First one is "Art Contains Ideas".  According to Mark Allen, the idea of using electric shock is to bring you and the avatar closer, that because you and the avatar share the hurt feeling and the damage.  That is completely different in some ordinary fighting games, in ordinary one, players can only see the damage, they can ignore their feelings of their representations (avatar) in the games.  However, in TTT, because of the electric shocks, the players are more connected to their avatars, and this art mod has made the boundary between virtue and realistic became more blur.  Also, this art mod also related to one of the major attractions of in-game-violence, the violence is not real.  This art mod has reminded us the sociological effects of game-violence by telling us that the real pain actually hurts, it is not harmless as we can see in the monitor.


Second one is "Art has Content"
As I have mentioned before, there are some ideas in TTT.  It is completely different from some of the commercial games, for example, Unreal Tournament, it is just a game related to shooting skills, and there is nothing left except this.


Third one is "Art is Not Formulaic"
TTT is the first art project for Eddo Stern that involve such intense players participation.  Unlike some commercial video games such as Grand Theft Auto series, for all Eddo's projects, he didn't use the same old idea or presentation all the time, TTT is just another idea in another form of presentation.


Fourth one is "Utility and Saleability"
For the creator of this game, the function of this art mod can be expressing his idea, trying to make the players feel things and so on, but is not about utility and saleability.  Unlike some commercial games such as Counter Strike, TTT does not involve to selling or profit making, this game only served as an artwork that allow people to participant, and to know the idea from the creator.


After examining the characteristics that this game has, I will talk about how this game became a work of art.  As mentioned by Adams in the conclusion of his article, he has mentioned some additional steps that a game developer should done to make his game became a work of art.


First one is games must seek to do more than provide "fun".  Games should not be only for entertainment, for TTT, this game is entertaining, and also provide some ideas that allow participants to think about, such as the ideas related to virtue and reality, and other ideas that I have mentioned before in "Art has content".


Second one is game developer must experiment with the medium.  They must take artistic risks and break new ground.  For Eddo, it is his first time to make a game that bring players and their avatars closer by using electric shocks.  Unlike some commercial game producers, Eddo and his team cannot have a market research before the project, because this game is not used to appeal customers.  Eddo and his team are trying something new with artistic risks.


Third one is games must challenge their players as other art forms challenge their viewers.  They must force the player to experience new ideas and to see things in new ways.  This is definitely achieved in TTT, the relationship between virtue and reality is an important topic in digital art, and the forced electric shocks has pushed the participants to experience the new ideas.

2015年12月2日 星期三

Article from Ernest W. Adams

a) How does Adams define art?  Do you agree with his definition?
There are many definitions stated by Adams, and I agree most of them.
1. Time - Art Lasts
He mentioned that if there is a good art, it can be last for a very long time, even the changing in culture, language and religion.  For example the Greek statues that are 2300 years old, we still admire them in the museum.
I agree this definition, if we don't think these statues are art, why would we put them into museum?  Moreover, as mentioned by Adams too, there are something that can be as old as the Greek statues, but we don't treat them as an artwork, such as some ordinary tools that preserved for a long time.  So this means only a good art can last for a really long time.

However, I think this definition is not standing if it is in an extreme situation.  There are many artworks such as Chinese ceramics, Chinese paintings, are being destroyed during Cultural Revolution in China.  I think the red guards at that time sure don't treat these artworks as an art.

2. Content - Art has message, Art has content, Art contains idea 
Adams also mentioned that the artworks have message to convey to the viewers.  I agree with that, even the artworks in Dada, they may seems meaningless by their look, but the creator of these artworks want to challenge the old artworld by these artworks, this is already an idea that this artwork contain.  So, I think this definition is correct.

3. Influence - Art makes you feel things
Adams mentioned that, an artwork should make the viewers feel something.  I agree about that, no matter in any art form, art can make us have different kinds of feelings.  We felt weirdness when we are looking at Magritte's painting, we felt creepy when we are watching "Aliens".
Magritte
Aliens



4. Form - Art is not formulaic
Adams also talk about art should not be formulaic, he also used the example of Dali and Star Wars series.   I agree about that, one of the value of artwork is its innovation.  If the artist can break new ground then this artwork will be a good art.

However, there is one definition that I don't agree
1.  Utility and Saleability
Adams mentioned that the artist should not be involved in merchandising.  This idea might not be working now, especially in film and game industry.  There are many films that are being produced in merchandising consideration, but they also have a great artistic value, such as "Blade Runner".  I think it is important that the artistic consideration is not outweighed by the merchandising consideration.

b) According to Adams, what is need for videogames to be considered as art?
In the conclusion of Adams' article, he gave some advices for game developers, to make their games into art.
- Games must seek to do more than provide "fun"
- There must be an aesthetic for games and gamplay.
- Game developers must experiment with the medium.  They must take artistic risks and break new ground
- Games must challenge their players as other art forms challenge their viewers.
- Games must be subject of genuine criticism, not merely product reviews.  They must be studied.

I think what he said is to make game is not only about fun, there must be a message or idea inside.  Also, game should not be formulaic and keep repeating the same idea.

2014年11月3日 星期一

Play or not to play? - Documentary Response and Class interview

1. According to the film, what are some pros and cons of playing videogames for individuals and societies?

Individuals
Finding self values - According to this film, there are some professional gamers in Korea who are playing starcraft, and they are sponsored by some companies.  They found their talents of mirco and marco management in starcraft, and choose their path rather then other jobs that doesn't fit them.  However, in my own view, it is a pity that these gamers may not be that famous nowadays, as the life span of a pro-gamers is short (6-8 years, according to the film), also the game can be outdated easily (Starcraft II is released in last September), they maybe can't adopt to the new game system and lose all of their jobs and their values.  For my own experience, when I am in 17 years old, my friends invented me to join WCG (which is the electric game competition that is being shown in the film), now I am 20years old, some of the games in WCG is already replaced by other games.
WCG (World Cyber Games) players


Teaching knowledge
From this film, there is a game titled "Re-Mission".  This game is freely distributed in hospital.  This PC game can help patients (especially kids) to fight against cancer and let players to have a better understand to the importance of their cancer treatments.  Playing this action game, players can have a "feeling" that they are winning the cancer (enemy), and let them know the different treatments for different kinds of cancer.

Societies
Create an atmosphere easily
In this film, there are two cases that video games have created a new atmosphere in the society.  The first one is the American's Army, software developers develop games to attract young people, let them know more about US army, how it is look like when they join the army, and finally, get into the military society.  Some of the teenagers think they are belonged to the military and join the force.
For the second case, it is the game called "Under Siege", this game is introduced into the Palestinian society, but this game has grow the anger.  In this film, the teenagers think that this game can unite their people and let them has a bigger thought to deliberate their land.

It is great if these games can create a healthy atmosphere (such as to build a peaceful thought in the society), however, in this film, there are many criticize about these games.  For American's Army, some people said that this game cannot really convey the true face of war, the killing/ dying in the game is completely different in the real world.  And these teenagers don't realize that.
And for the "Under Siege", although this game let people to be united, but it is in a negative way, they are united because they want to seek revenge.

According the film, is there any evidence that digital games can encourage aggressive values and anti-social actions in the real world?  Do you agree?
Aggressive Value
There is one very important evidence in the film, it shown the result of MRI from a video game player.  The result is, it shows the part of the brain which control the aggressive feelings is activating rapidly.
Anti-Social actions
Also, this film shown one of the school massacre accident, the police mentioned that the killer, who is a teenager, has a almost 100% accuracy in shooting, and the film has disclosed that this teenager is also a video gamer, especially First Person Shooting game (such as Counter Strike).


Should government have the right to ban certain games? Why or Why not?


Government should have the right to ban certain games, that because some games have a really negative social-logical impact toward gamers (especially children), for example Postal series, this game is only related to game-violence, and it seems harmless in the virtue world, but the social-logical impact toward us is actually very harmful.  However, I don't think Government should enforce a total ban for these games, because I think these games can be representing another kind of culture, just like some gore, underground film, they are welcomed by small group of people.  And nowadays, there is already a rating system for games, movies and other materials (1), the problem is people always ignore this rating system, especially for video games, I think the government should have a greater restriction for acquiring these games.
 (1) Game rating system, Wikipedia

Interview session

 In this class, as I remembered, we have a short interview with other classmates, asking them what is their favorite game and what can they get in game.  For Wai, his favorite game is Counter Strike, he think that his stress is released while killing the enemy.  For Vivian, her favourite game is Restaurant City in facebook, she think it is creative to decorate her restaurant with different furniture.

For me, my favorite game is Simcity series, this game is related to urban planning.  I am really happy when I have managed to build a well-planned city, also, this game has used many urban planning theory inside the game, I can even apply the theory of urban planning in my school examination when I am studying Geography at school!

                                                                                           Simcity 4, Maxis



2013年10月27日 星期日

Exoskeleton

I think the "Exoskeleton" performed by Stelarc is more interesting.
The concept of exoskeleton is one of a dream of us.  We can use the power of machine to "upgrade" our power.  Exoskeleton is always a popular theme in pop culture, we always can see the concept of exoskeleton in many movies, such as Alien, Robocop, Iron man...etc
Robocop

Exoskeleton from Alien
















However, in the artwork from Stelarc, exoskeleton is no longer a imagination or prop in movies.  He has turn this idea into a real machine.  For his artwork, Exoskeleton is a giant 6 legs spider-like robot, and Stelarc can stand on the platform of this spider, giving command (such as move) by a giant robotic arm and also a controller.   Here is a clip showing the action of this artwork.
video

Opinion
I think this artwork does not only show the man with the power of machine, it also give me a feeling of creepy.  I think it is come from different things.

The first one is the sound, I think it is on purpose that Stelarc enhance the sound made by this Exoskeleton, in the video, we can hear some sound generated in a steam engine, and other industrial noise made by the robot.  

Second one is the stage, the lighting and the color of the stage is dark, and the background of the stage is undecorated, it makes the stage look like a factory with uncomfortable atmosphere more than a place showing a new fancy robot.

The third one is the rawness (or roughness?) of the artwork, for this artwork, Stelarc didn't make a cover or a shell for his artwork, we can see the inter look of this exoskeleton, such as the massive number of electric wires, the steel of the legs.  I think the look of this artwork also enhance the feelings of strangeness, and creepiness.

As we can also see, the robot is a big part in this artwork, however, the human (or the user) is a small part, he is small comparing to the robot, , his action is limited, only can move his arm, we can even see he is emotionless from his face  It looked like the Exoskeleton has dominate the artwork, and also the user.

I would say this artwork can be a great example of Cyberpunk, showing the high tech and the low life [1], and giving us a fear of the relationship between human and machine.

Reference:
[1]: http://www.cyberpunked.org/cyberpunk/

2010年12月2日 星期四

Desktop Theatre



Description
Desktop Theatre is a software that allows people to create interactive art.  In each palace (chatroom), this 2d room is filled with avatars that represent participants.  The Palace can let users to use Macintalk digital voice synthesis to "speak", so users can use their robotic voice to have a conversation with other users.  And our creative internet users have used this chance to create their internet drama.

Opinion
I think this artwork is a great example of net art.
Net art is the art only can be done in the internet, for Desktop Theatre, the drama is done by the users from around the world, this can only be done by internet.  And internet has helped this software to have some interesting characteristics.

Random, by Chance
Because of internet, users can get into different Palaces, to participant or even interrupt the other users' drama.  One new user can change the whole story of the drama, makes every dramas become different.
Different users can join the Palace and play their roles


LARGE topic variety
Also because of the internet, users around the world, share different religion views and culture can also participate in the drama.  So the theme and the topic of the drama can be in a great range.  Also, it is very interesting to see a drama which has different cultures inside, or we may even see the conflict between each culture in the drama, such as a drama which is talk about God and religion, and it is done by many users in different religions.  It is cannot be done in the real world.

Reference:
http://www.salon.com/21st/feature/1997/10/02godot.html
detailed description of this software

2010年10月20日 星期三

Interview - Identity

1. How many online identities do you have?  What are they like?
For all of the interviewees(Bowie, Vivian, Kasey, Nina and Rainbow), they got more than five online identities.  And their identities are facebook account, messenger account and different kind of game account & forum account.  There is an extreme case, for Vivan, she got more than 20 identities in facebook!  This result shown how easy it is to make an identity online, unlike real world, we only have to click few times, then we can have as many identities as we want.

2. In what ways are they different to your "in person" identities?
I split the answers from the interviewees from 2 categories.
I. Passive
For Bowie, Kasey, Nina and Rainbow, they choose to be a passive role in the internet, they don't want to share what they really think in the internet.  For Kasey, she even think herself is an observer in the internet.

II. Active
For me and Benlansha, we think we are more "open" in the internet, and more willing to share our ideas and feelings.  I think it is because we are more hidden in the internet, unlike real world, we have to be responsible for what we have said, in this virtue world, we only have to change a username or open a new account.


3. What are some benefits of expressing one's identity online?
More Rights & Power
For me & Chriz, expressing one's identity online can allow us to have more benefits in the internet, because many services (facebook, MSN...etc), required us to have an identity first, after this, we can enjoy the services from these websites or softwares.

4. Risks of identity online
As mentioned by Chriz, he worried about the when he is being caught by what he did with his identity, such as download games illegally.  From his response I think what is he worrying is correct, in 2005, there was a user called "古惑天皇", he uploaded many movies to the internet and being caught in the same year.  We always think that there is no responsibility with our identities, but sometimes we may have a great trouble because of this thought.

I think another risk is related to the first problem, as I have mentioned, it is very easy to make an identity online, the users don't know which identities are real, or fake.  In the culture of internet forum, when there is a big argue happening, users can create lots of fake users to support his view, making the others believe in him.