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Banner image: Colin Nguyen. Assassin's Creed Odyssey © 2018 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

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Press StArt Exhibition

Press Start: An exploration of creative gaming culture

Videogames are a powerful storytelling and artistic medium that have inspired countless people across the world. Engaging stories, characters and worlds represented in, and experienced through, videogames stir gamers’ creativity to participate in the production, organisation, remediation and circulation of content. From forum discussions and fan fiction to online guides and live-streaming gameplays, gamers produce and consume a myriad of artistic and discursive material on the Internet. This content generally documents gameplay experiences, prowess, bugs and tips, as well as constructs narratives and art around videogames. However, for many artists and content creators, videogames also provide a vehicle for telling their own stories and a medium through which they can express their emotions.

 This collaborative exhibition introduces three creative practices -machinima, in-game photography and gamics- which make use of videogames assets to convey stories and produce works of art. All these practices originated bottom-up, from gamers for gamers, but in one way or another they have ended up connecting with audiences beyond that niche. Through the work of 18 active practitioners from different corners of the world, the exhibition explores different techniques, messages and approaches to the creation of animated films, pictures and comics within videogame worlds and through their assets. All three practices are heavily supported by online communities that provide the knowledge, inspiration, mentorship and even tools for their performance, and to a certain extent, have also attracted the appreciation and involvement of the videogame industry. ‘Press start’ aims to raise public awareness of the existence of these practices, highlighting the very accessible means they present for creative expression, and stresses the key role of gamers as creators of content. 

Practices and artists

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