(Edited by) Daniel Göpfert – Play Instinct! / Spieltrieb!


Goethe-Institut Krakow, ISBN: 6788393500360, English, 168 pages, 2014, Poland

Germany seems to be the place of choice for Game Art, with a number of resident artists, collectives and theorists producing a remarkable body of work. “Play Instinct! / Spieltrieb!” is a touring project reflecting this wealth of material. Run by the Goethe-Institut, it includes events, exhibitions and performances, organised not as mere artists’ showcases, but as a collection of ideas systematically engaging the local audience. In this catalogue there are theoretical texts (among them an essay by Mathias Fuchs), interviews with selected artists’ groups, but also maps and instructions for urban games. A few established Game Art collectives are also included. “Machina eX”, for example, play computer games in real life environments, in their theatrical “Blind Varia­tion #3” and “Crypt [A]”. There’s also the urban gaming collective “Invisible Playground,” with projects like the “Utopia Stock Exchange,” “You Are GO!,” and “Fables for Drones.” The book also features what is probably the emblematic group of this field, the artist duo “//////////fur////“, who, beyond their famous PainStation, have developed a variety of controversial projects, some embodying a unique playful “interface of pain.” This is celebrated with their first retrospective in the first edition of this project. The hardcover catalogue itself sports a special design: a classic PAC-MAN maze is printed on the cover, capped by a corresponding closed plastic maze and a small electronic toy that, when activated, starts to move frantically within it until physically stopped.