Friday, September 16, 2011

"The Artist is Present," by Pippin Barr

"The Artist is Present" makes you wonder why we're bothering to have a museum of video games when it's clear that museums suck for (most) video games.

Games don't kick you out at closing time. Games can withstand flash photography and direct sunlight. Games don't need to pay people minimum wage to stand there and protect their integrity. Games want to be touched. Games can be copied so that no one has to wait and everyone can play.

In fact, it seems more like museums have video game envy. They try so desperately to have participatory exhibits with their small ideas of interaction design. Engagement must be something elusive in a building that encourages you to stroll through and then promptly leave so someone else can go in and do the same thing. The whole thing makes gamers laugh because a Powerpoint presentation is a sad excuse for an interactive system, but that's what's on display in half of these "interactive kiosks" in museums. They might use the verb "explore" but really they have no idea what it means.

If games aren't art, it's only because they're already better than art.

I'm also super-jazzed that someone's made a game that talks about the stuff I've ranted about before, but better, and in game-form. So play it.