The New Playable Art


Session Title:

  • Education/Media (Panels & Roundtables)

Presentation Title:

  • The New Playable Art




  • In light of recent and contemporary debates regarding ‘playful interfaces’ and ‘gamification’ both in previous ISEA events and elsewhere, and, new openings from mainstream contemporary art‑world toward computer games like the inclusion of computer games in the MoMA collection, therelationship between computer games and interactive art warrants a closer look now more than ever. The panel will bring together theoreticians, artists, practitioners, and media‑archeologists who share an interest in the overlap of computer games and interactive art. In terms of their technological underpinnings and use‑contexts, these allegedly separate phenomena are strikingly similar. Their contemporary forms emerge from the histories of computing devices and screen technologies, they demand commitment and concentration on the audience’s part, and dimensions of their expressive capabilities are constantly under discussion.Apart from the being re‑appropriated as contemporary art through (involuntary) inclusion in existing institutional structures, what can ‘art games’ be? What is the playable avant‑garde like and where do we find it? How does ‘gameness’ of artworks challenge the pre‑existing concepts and expectations of artists, theorists, curators, and audiences? What to do with the children who seem to think that the artworks are ‘fun’? The panel will consider the critical, practical, historical and theoretical implications of the blurring of the borders between new media art, interactive art, net art, computer games, art games, and interactive narratives. The panel will address topics such as the use of computer games as a source of visual material and as a target of thematic references, the use of computer game engines for real‑time graphics rendering, the use of game‑like interaction mechanics (like FPS camera, or dying and respawning) in art settings, and the curatorial opportunities and challenges posed by computer games.