Unlikely Inspiration Behind Glasgow Interactive Art Bar

December 1, 2009 -

A vacant storefront in a Glasgow, Scotland shopping mall has been transformed into an art bar, complete with a life-sized, interactive Pong installation.

The TimesOnline details the efforts of the National Theatre of Scotland—in conjunction with local artists—to open the bar, entitled Allotment. The first of two December events, taking place this Saturday, will feature the giant Pong  system as part of an installation examining the theme "gaming and morality."

So, what was the motivation behind the theme? Artist John Houston explained, “There’s a lobbyist in America called Jack Thompson who is basically the Mary Whitehouse of video games. He’s bitterly against violence in video games, even though they are rated for a mature audience and are not meant to be seen by seven-year-olds.”

Houston, also responsible for creating the popular viral video that remixed Radiohead’s Nude with dot matrix printer and hard drive sounds (kind of a modern day version of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music), continued:

With Pong, we wanted to challenge that idea by taking it a stage beyond killing soldiers or stealing cars, like in Grand Theft Auto, and create stripped down games that remove the computer and allow real people to influence the games. In essence, as people walk into the middle of the game, they can control the movement of the graphics in this primitive tennis match.

Fellow artist Kieran Hurley added:

There is a moral implication of how much you want to mess up somebody’s game, how much you want to make yourself an obstacle to somebody else. But at the end of the day, it’s just a really cool thing to have in a bar.

There you go. Jack Thompson, muse.


|Image Via Acrosstheboard|

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Comments

Re: Unlikely Inspiration Behind Glasgow Interactive Art Bar

Jack Thompson is a bit different to Mary Whitehouse as he is doing it purely for money because he hopes to win one of his lawsuits that would make him very rich. Plus he can make money out of writing a book or two on the subject too.

He doesn't and has never cared actually about the issue of sex and violence in games, he just sees it as a good way to get rich rather quickly.

Re: Unlikely Inspiration Behind Glasgow Interactive Art Bar

You are as wrong as wrong can possible be. Jack-O's never embarked on any of his "moral crusades" for reasons of financial gain. He's got no need. Jack-O's been quite comfortable for many years living off Mrs. Jack-O's substantial earnings. Jack-O does what Jack-O does because he's a raging egomaniac and loves nothing more than the attention his exploits bring him. Plain and simple.

Re: Unlikely Inspiration Behind Glasgow Interactive Art Bar

If Jack Thompson was to get ejected from this place, that'd be his third disbarment. But who's counting?

Re: Unlikely Inspiration Behind Glasgow Interactive Art Bar

Heh.  You know, in a way, Jack Thompson is responsible for my writing career.

Thompson's wily antics surrounding the Hot Coffee fiasco are what drew me to GamePolitics all those years ago.  Within a year, I was writing for the site.  Shortly thereafter, I was freelancing strategy guides for IGN.  I've also since had my work appear in the Escapist.

So, thanks Thompson.  You inadvertently put me on a wonderful career path I otherwise wouldn't have considered.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
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Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
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ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
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ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
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