Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathGame Art
QQQ (Betts, Tom)

icon: previous page

becomes less and less navigable in the usual sense: cars fly though the air instead of driving on the road and if attempts are made to control them, they hurl themselves more and more uncontrollably through space. Joan Leandre continued this approach with «retroYou nostalG,» which subjected a flight simulator to similar treatment.

Tom Betts: «QQQ» (2002)

In Tom Betts' «QQQ,» initially, we see images that look like they were formed in a broken kaleidoscope—sometimes in icy blue and white, sometimes in warm shades of brown. In addition, there is roaring and droning to be heard. A human silhouette suddenly appears to be seen running through the confusion. Seasoned gamers recognize the figures: they are martial arts fighters from the ‹first person Shooter› «Doom» rushing through the game to ‹frag› one another; that is, to shoot each other down. Upon closer inspection, parts of the passageways, staircases and halls that form the background and the playing field for «Doom» can be seen in the image fragments. Tom Betts has taken apart the individual elements of the game, the task of which is actually to simulate an apparently realistic, three-dimensional space. What used to be rooms now look


like nonrepresentational images in constant motion, so the work could also be viewed as if it had abstract characteristics of computer games—that is, if the source from which these images arise were not available. Tom Betts runs his own server through which fans of the Shooter game can play against each other on the Internet. Without the players knowing it, data traces left behind on the server are gathered together and become part of the work. So «QQQ» is actually a hidden Internet work of art which extends itself by receiving input from unsuspecting players via the White Cube in the exhibition room. Data control the images that the observer sees in the exhibition room: a shimmering confusion of colours and shapes on which the observer, however, has almost no influence. The perspective can be changed, but «QQQ» offers no further ‹interaction'. With «QQQ,» Betts not only modified the interface of the game but also the entire complex, technical infrastructure of an online game. In addition, he drew the players› milieu into his work. When the work is installed, it is sometimes completely quiet. But at night or at the weekend, it can suddenly spring to life and start droning if online players match

icon: next page