Monday, 21 February 2011

'Beat the Champ'

Whether or not computer games are actually any good for us – some argue they cause children to become withdrawn and asocial, and others suggest that they provide valuable life skills, like killing zombies with flamethrowers – there are certain life lessons all of them, whatever they are, eventually teach. Namely: spend long enough doing something and you’ll eventually do well at it, then suddenly regret all the time you spent doing it. Or: there are some things you will never be able to do, no matter how hard you try. There’s nothing like a video game – especially when the avatar is the almost exact physical opposite of the player, which is all the time – to reinforce a deeply-rooted feeling of loserishness. And that, roughly, is the subject of Cory Arcangel’s outstanding new installation at the Curve gallery in the Barbican Centre, called Beat the Champ.

Read the full review at Art21 here.

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