Fluffy Tamagotchi by Paul Granjon (1998)

Paul Granjon’s robotic creations are evocative of the images of chimera found in medieval bestiaries – collections of allegorical descriptions of animals, both real and fabulous, that illustrated the correct way to behave from a Christian perspective. Mythical creatures were depicted as amalgamations of body parts from different animals, for example, the manticore which had a man’s face, a lion’s body and a scorpion’s stinger. These gilded pictures, sometimes humorous, were intended to illuminate, both literally and metaphorically, the accompanying text and draw out its moral significance:

TAG by Low Brow Trash (2006)

Tag is played by children all over the world, dating back to ancient Egyptian times. Tag requires no teams, no scoring or equipment just a group of people chasing around tagging each other to be ‘it’ by simply touching them with their hand. Its inherent simplicity makes the game of Tag popular in the playground arena.

Aquaplayne by Giles Askham (2006)

“The structure of play absorbs the player into itself and thus frees him from the burden of taking the initiative, which constitutes the actual strain of existence”. Hans – Georg Gadamer. Truth and Method.

The Golden Shot (revisited) by Simon Poulter (2006)


The Golden Shot (revisited) by Simon Poulter employs the strategies of media, iconic and semantic transformation and the re-use of a form of mass entertainment from the history of television to establish a critical praxis of interactive media art. It creates a situation in which the original unease of observing and participating, repressed by the trivial splendour of the TV spectacle, returns subversively in an unexpected form. Here, taking pleasure in a banal and harmless game show is transformed into an ambivalent gesture, a cruel, symbolic demonstration, of the exercise of political power.

[giantJoystick] by Mary Flanagan (2006)

Video of the Joystick

For the past few years, computer games have become one of the most fertile grounds for artistic exploration in new media art. Ranging from games developed by artists to mods (modifications of existing games), the spectrum of “game art” has critically examined the architecture, politics, and aesthetics of its commercial counterpart. (Massive) Multi-User games, in particular, have increasingly gained attention and, intentionally or not, have nurtured the emergence of new forms of collaboration, governance, and economy in their respective virtual worlds. Yet the hype of collaborative endeavour surrounding the buzzword ‘multi-user game’ tends to distract from the fact that the ‘territory’ one occupies in playing the game is characterised by various disconnects. As opposed to the good old board or card game, which is framed by shared physical space, the communicative exchanges and group experiences occurring in computer games take place in virtual worlds that are (a few exceptions aside) accessed by individual players from the privacy of their home through the use of devices such as game controllers, mice, keyboards and joysticks. These interfaces themselves exist on the periphery of perception, as translators that extend users’ hands and movements into dataspace.

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