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I'd Rather Be Playing Tetris

2007 |
Participatory Practice

 

For this piece the audience was given a choice, one which they could not go back on, of two possible (and very different) experiences.

The audience could either choose to play the video game Tetris, which was set up in one room, or listen to a short talk which would be delivered in another room. The audience were not told what the talk would be about and would not be able to hear it subsequently if they had chosen the video game, equally those who had chosen to listen to the talk would not have been allowed to play Tetris.


The talk that they were given was based on an essay I had written entitled "Video Games and Relational Aesthetics", which attempted to examine the possible similarities between video games and some current art practices.

> read the essay here

The work presented me with some interesting results. The audience was forced into having to make a decision that they would perhaps make quite often, yet not quite so obliquely - they had to choose between having fun (and being entertained) or listening to a talk about art. The group divided fairly evenly when presented with the opportunity, and both parties seemed slightly frustrated at only being allowed one of the two experiences. I found this audience tension very interesting and something which I became keen to elaborate on.