From Controller to Screen (2011)

Curated by mhcollin
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As the technology involved advances, video games have become more complex and more lifelike. When players gain free reign in a virtual world, we start to question our roles as characters in these games. Are we creating an ideal identity within the game's unique confines, or is the character we create a purer virtual manifestation of ourselves? This question becomes more and more pertinent as we experiment with the boundary between game and reality. Works like "Shooter" create game-like environments in real life, bringing out the video game mindset in reality. Others, like "The Sky Is Falling" draw parallels between our reality and the virtual ones we inhabit by using perceived constants like time. Past this, we start seeing how imperfectly virtual translations of ourselves are. "Identity Crisis" looks at how hardware flaws hinder this translation. Works like "DOA2" and "Flat Self Portrait" demonstrate how unnatural a reality-to-game translation is. Another important detail is how the architecture of games limits our abilities to be human within a virtual reality. "Marksmanship Training" and "FPS" reintroduce close to pure ideas of choice and morality into a video game context and contrast them with the usual "point-positive" video game mindset. Works like "After" and "Introspection" take video games to an even deeper thematic level, exploring existentialist ideas that readily apply to our existence in reality. Here we see games come full-circle with reality. The further we seek identity through artificial reality, we end up holding up a virtual mirror up to our actual selves.

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