"Manifesto of Art After Videogames" by Miltos Manetas, 2004
Videogames aren't games: they are extended versions of reality.
The process that started with the poems of Homer, Mahabharata and the Bible, continues now through videogames.
According to the Christian religion, God was already very upset when people start multiplying themselves.
But then, when God realized that people were also having fun while doing it, went really mad!
So God expelled us from his Paradise and later, he had to send his Jesus avatar to bring some of us back.
According to the Christian religion, God was already very upset when people start multiplying themselves. But then, when God realized that people were also having fun while doing it, went really mad!
So God expelled us from his Paradise and later, he had to send his Jesus avatar to bring some of us back. Apparently, without people in it, his paradise felt as lonely as a television without a Playstation.
Us people from our side, conceived as we were as God’s mirror-images, we discovered at some point how to also "mirror" ourselves.
We start doing this using our fantasy.
At that point, God was really in trouble because while a human creature which is the product of love-making, is mortal, a fantasy hero such as Ulysses or Supermario can be immortal.
Later, after some serious research, we found out that the appearance of the World is nothing but an illusion and at that point, we decide to build a few worlds ourselves, competing with God’s corporate illusion (Reality).
To build our worlds, we are emulating God's creative process. We are building creatures ourselves now, and our creatures are able to write down their own story, paint their own portraits and event record the sounds and images around them. These creatures are our computer networks. Like God, we are making those creatures in such a way, that at some point, they will become capable to compare themselves with us. And finally, to let our creatures start having their own feelings, we invented videogames.
Videogame characters now start existing everywhere.
A "videogame character" isn't just the cartoon that we see on the screen of a computer or a television. The "complete" character, is that cartoon AND the player, the New You.
Art & Videogames
In the Nintendo 64 game, SuperMario, starts his adventures by throwing himself inside paintings that hang on the walls of a castle. Supermario never dies, but when his energy is exhausted, he is thrown out of the painting and finds himself again to the castle where the paintings are hanging. There he can relax and think about what to do next.
The game is a multi-leveled experience, exciting, but like our real life, often boring. But the revelatory power of a videogame, as well as the revelatory power of reality after all, is limited.
Unless we exercise the Zen of Non-Playing.
If we do that, if we stop bothering to play the game and still we continue observing it, we can become Videogame AfterArtists.
A videogame after-artist, should not create anything himself but only extract the hidden notions of the game. He should do that, by examining carefully the parade of symbols that the game is offering.
- An explosion should be captured and turned into a Turner-like landscape.
- The relationship with a Monster should become romantic.
- Instead of shooting monsters, we can start taking photos of them.
A Painter doesn't eat a piece of bread but paints it.
An artist after videogames doesn't play a videogame, but relates to it.