What more can someone do inside a MMORPG (massive multi-player online role-playing game) than just play the game? From the empyre networked discussion list amidst a very long and interesting correspondence on gaming came this question:
“Does anyone know if there are any examples of art events/pieces happening inside these semi-public environments? Has anyone ever done a performance inside Everquest for example?”
Which produced various replies from friends – the quake episode, where an entire episode of the truely aweful sit-com was reinacted inside an online quake arena…
Is Quake Friends a brilliant critique of the Buddhist nature of online gaming, where all the world’s a stage, and the players get reincarnated continuously to serve their place on the great wheel of life? Or is DeLappe the laziest performance artist in history? Can valid art exist in an online gaming server? What next: UT2k3 Touched By An Angel?
A one night parade of sweat and adrenaline hopes to reclaim performance art in the age of video games, pitting viewer against viewer in brutal virtual cockfighting theater. Audience volunteers suited up in custom-made wireless game controllers with full sized wings and feathered helmets. Combatants stepped into an arena to control their life size game avatars through vigorous flapping and pecking, competing for blood and birdfeed while rapaciously inflicting onscreen bodily harm in a custom made “joustlike” fighting game.
So, it got me thinking about the project I’m doing at Taipei Artist Village, and suddenly the idea of staging Swan Lake in its entirety inside one of the games I spend way too many hours playing seemed like a good idea.