Open-world

2021

Single-channel video | recorded game-play

56 hr 0 min 5 sec

vlcsnap-2021-11-06-15h13m54s073.jpg

Video still

       Taking the form of recorded gameplay, this work uses the mechanics of gamified reality to reflect the effects of home-confined lifestyle on one's mental state in the time of a modern era pandemic. The covid-19 pandemic takes place in a world that has gained a new dimension of human interaction via digital technologies. This work aims to highlight this new facet of ‘isolation’ via the language of gaming.  

Utilising the day-night cycle inside the video game Assassins Creed III, the duration of the video translates into fifty-six days in the game, which corresponds to the 56-day lockdown period implemented by the Singapore Government from 7 April 2020 to 19 June 2020 (a.k.a. ‘Circuit Breaker’).

‘Open-world’ is a type of game mechanic that encourages players to explore and approach objectives in free-roaming virtual worlds. This work borrows and reverses this aspect of virtual reality by confining the movements of the player avatar to a single house.  

As the duration of this pandemic stretches from being an ‘event’ to becoming a ‘new normal’, every bit of time is felt and endured. Encompassing over 56 hours of material, the impossibility of consuming the work in its entirety highlights the conditions of life-as-experienced, where time is continuous and unskippable.

vlcsnap-2021-10-27-02h05m22s387_edited.j
vlcsnap-2021-11-06-19h04m55s533.jpg

The avatar in Open-world reflects sentiments of isolation and confinement. Suspended from missions, it gets cast into limbo without purpose, and the player is no longer ‘in play’. The boredom and frustration (of doing nothing, of not knowing what is coming, of the suspension of normalcy) take the form of increasingly erratic actions within the walls of an idyllic and stagnant house.