Over 7 seas & 7 mountains


When someone mentions video games, first things that come across my mind are PacMan, Pong and my favorite Space Invaders. Although nowadays games use photo-realistic graphics to create impressive objects, characters and scenes, pixellated forms are always associated with computer art, video games and, as a mater of fact, everything computerized. During technical research for this project I found this sentence: “No game can exist without a hero. The hero will save the world and princess and beat up the bad guys.”* So, I have chosen Space Invaders for my heroes, despite the fact that Space Invaders were the bad guys in original video game. They have come a long way from 1978, and now are cute characters that we often feature on our t-shirts, attach their images to keychains & jewelry, and put them on all sorts of merchandise and funky retro designs.

Is this good or bad news for my heroes? Assuming it is bad news, psychology describes 7 phases of acceptance. Therefore, each level of this game, Over 7 seas & 7 mountains, represents one of those phases: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, Acceptance. Also, each level represents small homage to good old computer games: arcade, maze, puzzle, fight…

Recently, I stumbled upon many debates about whether video games are art or not. It will remain disputable for some time, but it is evident that video games have influenced contemporary art, to that extent, that now we can indeed visit art exhibitions that feature video game-related art work. Video games are appreciated as both art forms in their own right and as tools for the creation of art works.

In order to emphasize the fact that this is an art project, rather than a computer game, many of the usual characteristics of classic video game can not be found here. Real aspiration for competition is not provoked in a player, since everybody is able to pass all levels very easily. Points are not accumulated and the goal of the game is not obvious. However, by pretending to be an artwork, maybe it will provoke some questions and emotions?

* http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/, Tony Pa