This post is about how we talk about video games, but it takes me a little while to get there...
This year, I was interviewed for two artsy print magazines: PIN-UP
is "the only biannual magazine for architectural entertainment", while Phile
is an "international journal of desire and curiosity" with lots of fingers in the art world.
Both writers Drew Zeiba ("INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT YANG, DESIGNER OF 3D FANTASY SEX SPACES"
) and Zach Kotzer ("ON GAY SEX AND GAMING") did lovely jobs with presenting my work to a non-gamer audience. And both publications kindly mailed me a print copy, and as I flipped through their glossy layouts and playfully experimental type treatments, I was shocked by how I'm such a fucking nerd and how these people are so much cooler than me.
When I'm flipping through PIN-UP #24
, I'm mentioned in the same pages as Amanda Levete or Frida Escobedo, real architects making real art with their real professions and real expertise. In fact just a few months ago I was visiting London for the V&A Videogames opening
, and I walked through Levete's V&A addition
as well as Escobedo's 2018 Serpentine Pavilion
. As their art and stature literally enveloped me, I had to wonder, why did I deserve to be featured alongside these much more important people?
Or in Phile #3
, directly after my interview, there's an interview with Peaches (Peaches!!!
) and she is just so much more amazing and brilliant than me, and it's absurd that my segment is right before her segment, or that a reader might accidentally reflexively compare the two of us together while flipping the page. Not to mention all the other pages in this issue, detailing this whole complex community of writers and artists working with sexuality and eroticism, where I'm not just some sort of weird curiosity -- in fact I'm probably the most boring artist in the entire issue.
Anyway this isn't about me airing-out my impostor syndrome or whatever.
On the contrary, I definitely fit OK into these discourses. In PIN-UP #24, Arakawa and Gins talk about "eternal gradients"
and constant reassembling, which makes me think of constantly remastering and re-releasing my own games
. Or in Phile #3, I learned how my problems with Twitch's hypocritical morality policing
mirror Peaches' problems with YouTube's morality police, and I also feel a lot of parallels between my treatment of tile in 3D showers
and featured artist Prem Sahib's sculpture of gay bathhouses
Instead, what I'm emphasizing here is how these critical publications readily dissolve the barriers between mediums while maintaining high production values and curating a unique identity. And then these non-game publications still end-up performing game criticism anyway!