Films in this programme

#075 Homo Ludens: Man the Player

Curated by Jonas Schupp.

Jonas created this programme in 2019 as part of his internship at IMPAKT, inspired by the IMPAKT Panorama screening Labour of Play from 2010.

Games are often seen as a sphere apart or an escape from reality, but is that really true? This program shows the many ways in which game and play are entangled with our daily lives.

Jogging, eating, shopping, learning, using public means of transportation are some examples where game features are added, giving a game-like character to our daily lives. Also, many companies are using the application of badges, points, progress bars and leaderboards to continuously improve the performances of their employees for better outcomes. However, this design strategy shows an exploitative character, by making boring tasks fun, transforming labor into an action-oriented and interactive game.

To avoid game mechanisms in its entirety is impossible, so to oppose these mechanisms of power they need to be subverted and this property can be found in the element of play. Games as critical and artistic tool can be a significant art form that can help us reflect on our current society in which we are controlled by economic, cultural and political systems. They can offer a different way to experience everyday life, with roleplay as a tactic that can be used to reflect, contest and move beyond real-world power structures.

This form of resistance being formed today is very close to hacking, innovative creativity and critical engineering, done by programmers and skillful users who purposefully apply rules in unexpected ways or ignore and surpass the ones imposed by the networks.

Films in this programme

Met Simon Vinkenoog naar het New Babylon van Constant
Lies Westenburg
(NL 1962, 15:35 mins)
Accompanying Simon Vinkenoog to Constant's New Babylon is part of the VPRO series Atelierbezoek. Lies Westenburg visits Constant at his...
Power Up
Sverre Fredriksen
(NL 2005, 4:54 mins)
Power Up is an animated short film created with stencils, spray paint and a super-8 film camera. It presents a critical view of...
Reckoning 3
Kent Lambert
(US 2014, 11:40 mins)
Using the visual material that Lambert collected during two years of active gaming, he explores the poetry and alienation of male...
John Butler
(UK 2007, 3:28 mins)
John Butler is known for his animated futuristic environments. Sub-Optimal takes place in this near future where power relations in...
The Evil Empire
Federico Solmi
(US 2009, 4:14 mins)
The Evil Empire is the title of my latest video animation. The video animation takes place in the heart of Vatic-anal City, in the year...
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