History of text based adventure games, LARP and their use-value within subcultural practice & blue-sky thinking 

2015 Chelsea College of Arts, London & UWE Spike Island, Bristol (UK)

Students playing the artist game DOHL in Chelsea College of Art

“There can be media techniques without love but no love without media techniques”

Friedrich Kittler 

The workshop and discussion group examines the role of contemporary storytellers in the age of prolific digital reproduction and how the mode of their language and the means of transmission might find new audiences and function within our mediatised society. The current virtual landscapes of ‘new-media’ (skype, twitter, reddit, snapchat, etc.) are implying shifts in narrative structures that are in line with our vast consumption of a variety of media from multiple sources. We are surrounded by new rituals and mythologies, communally curating a world full of devices that listen, breathe and sing to us, harking back to a type of Tribal Animism or ludic play.

We'll aim to investigate the histories of these languages, algorithms and aesthetics within digital storytelling that are used by the digital elite [of computer gaming companies] all the way down to the cyber-amateur [the users]. Whether artistic or programmatic, the routing of meaning and implementation of signifiers has been rewired into our prosthetic senses; cameras, touch-screens, microphones and speakers acting as ‘Extra-Sensory Perception’. The development of computers and thus computer games allowed for a personalisation or seemingly tailor-made experience of content causing a change-over from readers to users. The stories we tell each other today have no straight linearity; instead they operate as participatory spaces and offer ambient virtual worlds. 

The workshop will involve active discussion and will lead to a collaborative LARP discussion (Live Action Role Playing) through which you, as artists or users, express or display pieces of fact or fiction that display your personal concerns, memories and experiences.