“New Gameplay” co-organized by the Nam June Paik Art Center and ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany has presented various events including lectures, workshops, and a game jam, along with the exhibition. Especially, the exhibition introduced approximately 45 works that employed the form of gaming in the fields of experimental contemporary art to popular games that deal with entertainment, commerciality, artistry, and socio-political issues.
The advancement of digital technology has unleashed the democratic era of creative activity and communication, as not only organizations accompanied with capital and labor power, but also individuals can develop and distribute games. This has continuously expanded the social function of games. Furthermore, due to explosive increases in the mobile game market, the economic influence and cultural impact of digital games are growing bigger and bigger every day.
Hence, by opening a digital-friendly exhibition within this era, Nam June Paik Art Center intends to recollect the relationship between human and technology. This is in line with the oeuvres of Nam June Paik who consistently studied the communication and fusion among human, technology, and nature. Paik considered technology as a being to exist in fusion and harmony with humans, going beyond the environment we must adapt to or as a usable device. In this regard, digital games best represent the world of Paik. In pursuit of communication and relationship between human and technology, this exhibition celebrates the future-oriented spirit of Paik with provision of experience in new digital environment to the audience.
In addition, this exhibition has become a momentous venue to examine the influence of digital gameplay culture in our society while discussing relative topics such as the fusion of cutting-edge technology and arts, nonprogrammed communication, multiple identities, the virtual and the real, the boundary of atom and bitmap, extreme individuality, and hyper sociality, to gaming within the digital era. Along with the exhibition, the lecture of Jeffrey Shaw, who participated in this exhibition, and the curator talk of curators have presented a significant opportunity to share these diverse perspectives with the audience.