Stephanie Rothenberg: School of Perpetual Training

  • ©, Stephanie Rothenberg, School of Perpetual Training
  • ©, Stephanie Rothenberg, School of Perpetual Training


    School of Perpetual Training

Artist(s) and People Involved:




    Adobe Flash, webcam, Internet

Artist Statement:

    School of Perpetual Training is a webcam enabled website designed as an ironic instructional training programme that exposes the underbelly and not so glamorous side of the computer video game industry. Most people associate jobs in the computer video game industry with information based labour such as 3D graphics and coding game programmes. Yet the majority of the industry relies on the sweat and stamina of migrant and low-income labourers working for electronics contract manufacturers in developing countries.

    By following a series of training exercises, participants learn about the precarious employment and unjust labour conditions of workers in the areas of overseas digital game manufacturing and distribution. A virtual ‘personal trainer’ leads participants through a series of training exercises that use motion detection and require a full range of body motion to play. Rather than using a mouse or joystick, the motion detection demands the participants ‘labour’ to complete the training exercises, emphasizing the extreme physical nature and motion economics of these jobs. The individual training exercises recontextualise popular classic arcade games – Dig Dug, Tapper, Space Invaders and Tetris – in order to train participants for jobs in mineral mining, printed circuit board assembly, box build and global shipping. At the end of the training programme, participants can gauge their ‘global market value’ to find out how much they are worth in contrast to white-collar workers in the industry


    With support of Turbulence New Radio and Performing Arts Commission, University at Buffalo 2020 Scholars Fund Commission, University at Buffalo 2020 Scholars Fund