Game, Game, Game, and again Game

Game, Game, Game, and again Game

Jason Nelson's recent works have forged an entirely new direction for the genre of electronic writing, a task achieved, not surprisingly, via the invasion of another genre of digital culture: the video game. By usurping the well-known conventions of video game play, in this case, the run-and-leap paradigm familiar since Donkey Kong, Nelson has found a way to lure the user through his many levels of writing, drawings and old home movies with a simple but effective reward, increased survival. Nelson takes the principles of the quaintly "insane" scrawl (familiar in artists as varied as Dubuffet, Twombly and Basquiat) and combines it with a hyper-active digital assemblage or mash-up method that discards all principles of control or balance. Other web artists have flirted with an aesthetics of excess, but Nelson, in this and the several works of his that have followed, has had the energy and creativity to make it his own.


Author description: Game, game, game and again game is a digital poem, retro-game, an anti-design statement and a personal exploration of the artist's changing worldview lens. Much of the western world's cultural surroundings, belief systems, and design-scapes, create the built illusion of clean lines and definitive choice, cold narrow pathways of five colors, three body sizes and encapsulated philosophy. Within net/new media art the techno-filter extends these straight lines into exacting geometries and smooth bit rates, the personal as WYSIWYG buttons. This game/artwork, while forever attached to these belief/design systems, attempts to re-introduce the hand-drawn, the messy and illogical, the human and personal creation into the digital, via a retro-game style interface, Hovering above and attached to the poorly drawn aesthetic is a personal examination of how we/I continually switch and un-switch our dominant belief systems. Moving from levels themed for faith or real estate, for chemistry or capitalism, the user triggers corrected poetry, jittering creatures and death and deathless noises. In addition each level contains short videos from the artist's childhood, representing those brief young interactions which spark out eventual beliefs. Game, game, game and again game is less a game about scoring and skill, and more an awkward and disjointed atmospheric, the self built into a jumping, rolling meander of life.

Instructions: Requires Flash.

Previous publication: April 2007

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

The Electronic Literature Lab could not preserve this Flash work with Ruffle in February 2021. We do plan to preserve it with Conifer at a later date.