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News . Feature Stories . Institute Professors exhibiting work in New York this summer

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May 30, 2007

Institute Professors exhibiting work in New York this summer

Institute Professors Troy Richards and Knut Hybinette will be showing their video game at Cleveland's Ingenuity Fest July 19-22.

Institute Professors Troy Richards and Knut Hybinette will be showing their video game and digital print piece "Ripon" at the LMCC Swingspace located in Lower Manhattan this June, and at Cleveland's Ingenuity Fest July 19-22.

"Ripon" is a series of installations depicting life in a violent Dystopic society. The exhibit integrates an original video game with large-scale digital prints set in the real life town of Ripon, Wisconsin. Created by Institute faculty Troy Richards, head of the drawing department, and Knut Hybinette, associate professor of T.I.ME digital arts, they chose the setting based on the writings of the French utopian writer Charles Fourier.

The intent of the project is to undermine the expectations of video games and engage the viewer/player in new and innovative ways. From the design perspective this is accomplished in three ways. The player has limited control over his or her circumstances, the player is de-centered, and the character is mortal.

The game is set in a near future world of recent cultural collapse and societal breakdown, where humans become more animalistic in their quest for survival under extreme conditions and anarchy. While characters become greedier and lose control, the characters must scramble for enough to subsist, however each struggle exacts a toll. There is no hero in the game, each player is caught in the tide of events and given the lack of hierarchy no one can get ahead towards their goal of survival.

The game allows for up to ten people to play at once, however a player can only play the game one time; once the character dies, that is the end of the players participation in "Ripon." At the start of the game, the players picture is taken and put on the head of they player they control. When the character dies, their body remains inert in the world and the game continues. This creates an emotional impact in the game, unlike many other video games.

The occupants of "Ripon" continue their struggle in a futile attempt at survival; inevitably everyone dies. The game continues, but functions more as a projected video depicting the bodies scattered on the ground, slowly decaying.

The show is at the LMCC Swingspace located in Lower Manhattan, NY on 38 Park Row. It runs from June 8-30th, with regular hours being Thursday - Saturday from noon- 6:00 p.m. The opening event is June 12 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

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