Bideo-jokoak. Playing without end

Bideo-jokoak. Playing without end

25 March–27 June 2021

Tabakalera, Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain

The importance that video games have acquired in recent years seems to have no end. It may be a response to the social changes that the phenomenon is a part of and to which video games themselves may contribute. Their exponential growth has led some theorists to use the word gamification to refer to the elements of gaming that are applied to new contexts.

We just have to look at how the everyday lives of a huge number of people include the use of all types of programmes regulated by points and bonus systems; performance levels and graphs. What the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga (Netherlands, 1872) described as the magic circle of games seems to have now overflown, to the point that it is the actual configuration of social order that has started to obey its abstract, speculative and competitive logic. Gamification or the implementation of gaming in everyday practices is included in global finance, education, media narratives, a wide variety of exercises and training, and in other spheres that used to be beyond its spell. This phenomenon, which can be understood as a colonisation of reality would be related to the deep transformation that this field has gone through with the arrival of the digital culture, in addition to the development of satellite systems such as GPS, which make it possible to determine the position of any object on Earth.

The Bideo-jokoak. Playing without end exhibition gathers a series of works carried out by artists who have been able to understand the singularity of these processes to think about today’s world exploring their artistic dimension and their political and cultural possibilities. Thus, and accepting the central role that video games have acquired as a medium, Tabakalera proposes using its language and engineering based on action, participation and exercise.