My recent projects have led me to the exploration of games, gaming technology, and game culture, and I am especially interested in the intersection of video games and culture, including how games are designed and marketed.
Video games have become a ubiquitous part of our world. Starting with the first arcade cabinets in 1971, these games have grown to a multi-billion dollar industry, and an enormous part of the US economy. As such, these games have become inextricably linked to the principles of late capitalism and the problems of modernity.
By creating “home-brewed” games, individuals regain ownership of their gaming practices, and video gaming becomes a creative pursuit. My games highlight problematic conventions of commercial game design; including social issues such as race and gender, as well as pragmatic design issues that are common in AAA game releases.
Exploring new ideas of audience engagement and “gamification,” my Nebula Variations is an interactive game and musical composition.
Games and music are both art forms that unfold over time, and the craft of these works lies in shaping and pacing how the piece unfolds. Composers and game designers both create the environments, but it is up to a performer or player’s navigation of this environment to create the experience.
In music, though, usually the performer and audience are usually separate entities, with the performer crafting the experience for the audience. In my Nebula Variations the player takes on the role of both performer and audience member, crafting and enjoying a unique musical work in real time.
Play more games by Simon Hutchinson