Thursday, September 11, 2008


I'm curious to hear your opinions about California-born artist Douglas Stanley's Twin Tower version of the classic arcade video game Space Invaders. It's a multi-player game that requires individuals to work together to fend off the invaders. With some work, a team can actually beat the game.

This piece offended so many people that the artist decided to take down his installation
at the Leipzig Games Convention in eastern Germany last month; and Taito,
the creator of the original Space Invaders, is considering a lawsuit. . . which begs many, many questions. Among them: When is it not too soon anymore? Is there a calibur of tragedy in which it will never be okay to make art that is less than mournful? And, whose measuring stick do we use?


Robert J. Williams said...

The more I thought about this piece the more I realized I can spin off into many different feelings I have about it. I realize though that people want quick bits of info and not long rants, thus I will leave with you this snippit from the artists website where he says:

"The way in which the game play was designed, it is actually possible to endlessly “beat” the game by simply getting enough people to shoot at it with their arms, feet, head, whatever. The Invaders! will of course never give up, but that was also the power of coin-operated games. The “Game Over” screen is an integral part of its narrative arc; one can nevertheless delay that arrival, finding different strategies of keeping it at bay, and that was always the emotional power of this form of gaming."

Maria Johansson said...

I think the clash between art and september 11 will always be there especially when it is a "video game" that is the "art". The connotation that video games has especially when you can shoot is "war games", so that is what the piece will become. If the artist wanted to have made it viewed in a different way it would have to be presented in a different way and most definitely in a different medium.