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Gaming in Art: A case study of two examples of the artistic appropriation of computer games and the mapping of historical trajectories of 'art games' versus mainstream computer games.

Unpublished Masters Thesis under maiden name - Phillipa Stalker. This essay will explore the existing definitions of art games that are currently being used in the art game/art mod genre. It will identify the leading theorists within the field, and
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   i MASTERS OF FINE ARTS (By Coursework) RESEARCH REPORT GAMING IN ART: A CASE STUDY OF TWO EXAMPLES OF THE ARTISTIC APPROPRIATION OF COMPUTER GAMES AND THE MAPPING OF HISTORICAL TRAJECTORIES OF ‘ART GAMES’ VERSUS MAINSTREAM COMPUTER GAMES. PHILLIPA JANE STALKER 9903601A UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND JOHANNESBURG 2005   ii ABSTRACT This essay will explore the existing definitions of art games that are currently being used in the art game/art mod genre. It will identify the leading theorists within the field, and take into account their definitions whilst at the same time establishing a set of categories within which can be defined the dominant trends in the development of the field. It will also situate art games within an historical context, both within the commercial computer game field as well as the digital art field and attempt to establish some sort of timeline within which we can see the development and emergence of art games in relation to these two disciplines. Two examples of art games, both from different categories will be examined and critiqued in the context of Artistic Computer Game Modification – A 3D game called Escape From Woomera and an art mod or patch called SOD. The art game as an entity will be examined in relation to ideas of the ‘interactive’ and ‘play’, and the implications and potential for fine art practice will be investigated.   iii DECLARATION  I declare that this research report is my own unaided work. It is submitted towards the degree of Master of Fine Arts by Coursework in the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. It has not been submitted before for any other degree or examination. PHILLIPA JANE STALKER . day of 2005.   iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thank you to my supervisor, Prof. Christo Doherty for all his support and encouragement. Many thanks also to Rebecca Cannon for giving me help whenever I asked for it, and for her enthusiasm and input regarding my topic. I’m also grateful to my animation class for allowing me ‘my own flexible schedule’ with regards to completing the final draft. It has been a pleasure working with you. I’m grateful also to Hanli Becker for all her help and support. Thank you to my mother for not pressuring me and giving me all the time in the world to get this paper finished. Most of all thank you to Sekwanele, my partner, for all his love and support throughout the process.   v   CONTENTS  1. CHAPTER ONE. TOWARDS A DEFINITION OF THE ‘ART GAME’ 2. CHAPTER TWO. THE ROOTS OF ART GAMES – AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE i. CONTEMPORARY ART ii. COMMERCIAL COMPUTER GAMES iii. A MERGING OF THE COMMERCIAL AND THE CONTEMPORARY  – ART GAMES 3. CHAPTER THREE. ‘UNDRESSING THE GAME’ i. ART MOD CATEGORISATION ii. CRACKING THE MAZE iii. NUDE RAIDER I AND II PATCHES iv. SOD 4. CHAPTER FOUR. ESCAPE FROM WOOMERA i. THE ESCAPE FROM WOOMERA WEBSITE ii. PROPAGANDA iii. GAMEPLAY iv. SERIOUS VIDEOGAMES 5. CHAPTER FIVE. THE IMPLICATIONS OF ART GAMES FOR CONTEMPORARY FINE ART PRACTICE i. THE CONCEPT OF PLAY ii. THE INTERACTIVE ARTWORK AND INTERACTIVITY iii. INTENTION 6. ENDNOTES 7. BIBLIOGRAPHY 8. APPENDIX i. CD OF SUPPORTING MATERIAL
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