Art and technology are moving in together at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, at least for one day. "Re:Play - Game Culture and Technology Art Fair" runs from noon to 5 p.m. today (June 11).
It's the brainchild of local media artist mrghosty (skot deeming), and it celebrates the creative side of game culture. There will be indie game demos, software demonstrations, hands-on workshops, short artist talks, documentary film previews, game themed crafts, live music, and more. Expect to be inspired to play, whatever your age.
SCENE persuaded mrghosty to press pause for a few moments to talk about his life long love of video game culture.
When did you fall in love with video games?
I remember playing atari before I remember watching TV, or movies or listening to music. I think one of the greatest games for me when I was a kid was Legend of Zelda. I was about 11 when it came out and it really changed gaming for me. Suddenly there was this epic adventure in this strange world, and it had the possibility of being non-linear, in that I could just wander around this new world and explore it, much in the same way I would explore the woods near my childhood home. To this day I can pick up that game and never get tired of it.
If you could be one game character, who would it be?
That's a hard one. So many games let you customize your character these days that it's
very much an extension of you. But, if I had to choose one popular character from game culture, i'm going to say Megaman-- the boy robot from the Megaman game series.
How has "game culture" influenced you?
It has had a profound impact on me. I grew up with games, and I don't just mean that I grew up with them around me, even though that's true. As I matured, game technology and the games matured as well. From Atari to now, as I grew and developed more sophisiticated tastes, so too did games grow and become more sophisticated.
I am a game collector and historian, my art revolves around the culture, tech and aesthetics of gaming, and it has even led me to pursue graduate studies (this fall) with a focus on the
intersections between gamer culture and hacker culture.
What are you hoping people will get out of Replay?
If I've shown people the other side of gaming culture, that there is so much more to it than all the negative stereotyping and hysteria that surrounds it, then I think the event for me will be a success.
If this event can inspire people to go out there and experiment with technology, or make their own games, or music, or even if they just want to come and share their passion for games and gaming culture, then I'm satisfied.
One thing that so many people forget to do as they get older is that they forget how to play.
Play is something that's at the core of all of us, even animals. If I can reinvigorate that spirit of play in people, or help cultivate it in younger folk, then I've done my job.
Hear mrghosty in conversation with Keran Sanders. (Broadcast June 12 on Weekend Morning Show, CBC Radio 1.
To get in the spirit of Re:Play check out a sample of mrghosty's chiptune dance music, composed using vintage gaming consoles like Gameboys and Nintendo or Atari.
Video by Kert Gardner