Keynote Texts

PLAY IS THE EXULTATION OF THE POSSIBLE by LOUISE CLEMENTS
Game/Play relies on the creative participation of our audiences. Many of the works enable an intuitive, exploratory and open-ended engagement. This relationship is intended to enable our participants to act as contributors and catalysts in a dynamic creative process that we intend to be as accessible and fun as it is philosophical and theoretical. The works allow enterprise, dissolution of predictable rules and creative judgement – play – not united by a single political agenda but by an appreciation of complex relational self directed choice.
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THE IMPLICIT GAME by PAT KANE
The aeon is a child at play with coloured balls Heraclitus, 54th Fragment, 500 BC
What has changed dramatically is the emergence of a military culture that accepts computer games as powerful tools for learning, socialisation, and training.
Michael Macedonia, chief scientist of US Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM), 20021
Between Heraclitus and Macedonia, you have the dilemma – the energy and the ambivalent potential - of play and technology.
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POLITICISING PLAYCULTURE by MARY FLANAGAN
Playculture is my term for the arena of ordinary, dayto-day computer-based activities that have passed as invisible and unimportant – even left out of – historical accounts of everyday life. It is particularly important, given the proliferation of computers in both the work and home domains of the general public (in technology driven nations, at least), to note the migration of ‘play’ from the dollhouse to the virtual house, and the concurrent shift of the performance of public life from the traditional arena of the town square or church, to the new performative space of the screen and the Internet portal.
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GAMES, PLAY AND CONNECTIVITY by MARC GARRETT AND RUTH CATLOW
The particular skills that we evolve with different kinds of play help to construct and shape who we are, how we view our world and what we become capable of as individuals and societies. Among other things play informs our ideas about agency, social relations and the technologies that we develop. The works in the Game/Play exhibition subvert and extend the logic of everyday play and games. They invite audience members (individually and collectively) to take the role of players and contributors to their meaning.
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THE SLOW DECLINE OF THE RULE OF RULES by KEIRON GILLEN
What are games? Any dictionary definition you’ll find will include at least one reference to them being a competition governed by a set of pre-determined rules. This only shows how dead paper can’t keep pace with what it means to play games in a world that’s been emancipated by the microchip. It fails to understand that when a gamer comes to a game, they come to /play/ – which includes everything up to and including the rules.
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CRITICAL GAMING by CORRADO MORGANA
Gaming’s independent scene offers a critical edge, comparable to indie music, arthouse or alternative cinema. It offers something other than the usual mainstream tropes, a vibrant scene exists where creativity and experimentation not commercial viability is key. It provides an arena that challenges the stereotypical genres. In a gaming culture obsessed with photorealism, endless expansion packs, sports gaming licences and big budget Hollywood tie-ins, indie gaming is like a breath of fresh air, a challenging, innovative, reflexive and critical practice that questions the nature of the medium.
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AN INVITATION TO PLAY by ANDY POLAINE
Play. We all know it when we see it but, rather like love and pornography, it is very difficult to precisely define. Most of us have some understanding when play is no longer playful but something else, like a competition or something ‘serious’. How is it that we seem to be able to recognise an ‘invitation to play’ (Pesce 1996)1 almost instinctively and what does this mean for artists and designers working in this area, what can guide the creation of their work?
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THE SPACE BETWEEN by GILES ASKHAM
For psychologist DW Winnicott,1 the space between a mother and young child, which becomes the space between the individual and society, is the space where play begins and develops, and which eventually leads to cultural life. Game/Play foregrounds this transitional space as a cultural place, and it is this essence, as explored by the works exhibited, the spatial and critical relationships set up between these, and the organisations involved, which is the subject of our project.
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