The artist collective Dataspelsgruppen was a collaboration from 2007 between Olof Broström, Carl-Erik Engqvist, John Huntington, Anders Johansson, Eskil Liepa, Ida Rödén and Per-Arne Sträng. The group started out of a common interest for computer games and virtual realities. The idea was to mutually research the creation of computer games as an art form, and to begin a collective process within the field of computergame production.
The computer game references are a part of our generation's definition of reality. The latest decade's development of computer- and consol games has resulted in the increased presence of digital realities in the entire society. The game development is common knowledge to almost everyone. The computer game producers have become one of the largest providers of artistic and aesthetic experiences, besides the more traditional mediums like TV, radio and literature.
Development is moving fast in the field of computer games and we saw that it was extremely important that artists are represented in this development. We would like to see that there were no borders between art and computer games, between high culture and popular culture. Dataspelsgruppen considered an artistic experience the same as a gaming experience. Through computer games and related areas it's possible to reach a new audience, an audience that might not be used to an artistic context. The collaborative work resulted in the game-concept Yod Burrow and the mix-up of Chaste City. It was still on a production level, and was presented on Bildmuseet as work in progress of consisting of game related material. It was sketches of what the game was about, what atmosphere would be in the game and how it would look. We wanted to make an extract from the process and produce an exhibition with it.
As a base we had our own references of both art and computer games. We wanted to create something that was about experience, aesthetics, critic and absurdity. We decided to work both with the start- and endpoint of the game production, for example making posters for the release at the same time as the core-concepts were still under development. We wanted to deconstruct game-construction and present it as visual objects in our exhibition space.
We chose to work with one of the gaming world's most traditional concepts, the platform game, and tried to twist and turn the idea of what a platform game can be.
Excerpt from the initial story of the game:
Yod is from Chaste City, a place without contours, with no corners or edges. Nothing collides in Chaste City. It is clean and white. Everyone is fine, or at least feels that way. Communication is long gone, it's not necessary anymore.... Chaste City is maybe a bit of heaven, maybe a utopia. The world outside is not mentioned, and why should it? If things are good, why contaminate them? But something odd has come to Chaste City. A unit, bit or molecule appeared, or existed in the core of the city....