AboutComputer games now compete with film as a leading entertainment and popular culture industry but despite this growth, contemporary art has, for the most part, ignored the genre.
Whilst there is a rich and complex relationship between film and contemporary art practice the relationship between computer games and contemporary art is rather tentative.
Suggesting a change, is a significant change in cultural policy in the United States. For the first time, the biggest public funder of the arts in America, The National Endowment for the Arts will fund for the development of computer games as artworks.
2Player profiles work by five computer game designers from Europe and the United States. Two of the artists have shown widely in contemporary art galleries, Mark Essen at New Museum in New York and Fact in Liverpool and Paolo Perdicini in National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens and Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro.
The other three designers Jason Rohrer, Pixel Jam and Eric Svendang are perhaps less established in the art world but are well respected within the independent games design community. All five of the makers identify themselves primarily within the independent computer games world.
The games designers in this exhibition are all resolutely low-fi. Their interests and style are all in opposition to the mainstream computer industry and reacting against the multi million pound texture mapped hyper-realism of contemporary games.
Most of the games featured are two player games, exploring the abstractions of game play and computers as a form of communication. 2Player relates to the project I will talk to anyone whom will talk to me at LCB Depot, exploring ideas of artistic practice as conversation.
A key conversation this exhibition looks to stimulate is the question of whether computer games can be art. On display are five artists whom believe they can be. Lets see what you think.