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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Art exhibit brings analog tech to digital games

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We Make Money Not Art has an interesting interview with David Pfluger, one of the artists behind the "Game Arcade" art exhibit currently touring around Germany. The exhibit transforms digital video game concepts using analog components like slide projectors, super-8 film and mechanical buttons and switches. The examples sound more like Dadaist installations than games: Racer features a cardboard car that runs over a variable speed film of a road, and High Noon (pictured) uses a rotary dial phone to control film projections of old west duelists.

More than just interesting gameplay experiments, Pfluger says the exhibit is a statement on the game industry's myopic focus on the latest and "best" technology. "Each technology has its own characteristics which makes it artistically unique.... Painters still use oil painting even though there is Photoshop." It raises an interesting question: Is the game industry sop focused on new technology and graphical "realism" that it's forgetting the unique aesthetic influences of the past?

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