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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathGame Art

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developed from working on this exhibition.[14] I have divided the following overview into three loose categories: abstraction, modification and socialization. Although the first category deals with works that directly follow the historical methods of graphical abstraction, the second focuses on works that deal with direct, artistic intervention into software. Works that will be considered under the category of ‹socialization› leave the narrow realm of direct interaction with computer programs and concern themselves with the surrounding socio-cultural environment of games—their playing, their reception and their position in the ‹real world,› in which they are components of complex connections between technology, economic interests and a highly developed fan culture.

II. Modification

The point of departure for artistic work with computer games was the possibility of modifying the games themselves by using level editors. All approaches that start with changing the game interface were first established after artists from the media and Internet art scene had begun to discover the possibilities of modifying computer games. These modifications result in the premises of the


original game leading to either partial or complete absurdity, or they contradict those premises explicitly. In this way, they also differ from most of the modifications that had been introduced by fans. As a rule, fans contented themselves with ‹new decorations› of existing structures, whereas artists carried out very many far-reaching changes, some of which led to the games becoming completely unplayable. Meanwhile, even the notorious ‹Shooter games,› that is, the so-called ‹first person Shooters,› put programs capable of developing three-dimensional spaces—the so-called ‹level editors›—at the disposal of their users. Using these programs, the players could create their own ‹levels;› this was a method of keeping gamers tied longer to a particular game. In the meantime, these programs were, to a certain extent, even being used by architects to visualize their blueprints. The ‹first person Shooter,› which presents a game from the perspective of the person doing the action, also always deals with the depiction of perspective and space. Even the illusionary character of the spaces, which were developed in this way, made artists become interested in these programs from the

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