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Video Game Critic on World Tour Explores West African Gaming Culture

As part of her art and games world tour, Isabelle Arvers has been exploring the video art and video gaming culture in Nigeria enroute her travels to Ghana and Senegal (He will also visit Kenya, Egypt and Madagascar before leaving Africa). Her world tour has seen her in parts of Asia and Latin America.

The past 20 years have seen her work essentially in western countries. However, this also opens discussions around how fewer content from the global South are being represented on the internet. This has lead her to studies around decolonising the internet and raising such questions as “how do we begin to promote diversity, encourage women-created-content, and content by non-white and binary people?” – particularly in the video game content genre.

During her interactions with young gamers, one of the insights she gathered is that these group of people would rather watch gameplay videos other than television programming. As a matter of fact, these netizens would rather “live inside the games” if there is a way to do that since it somewhat envisions a semblance of their reality. These are parts of the ideas that gave birth to Isabelle Arvers’ Machinima Art/Game Workshops – a series of workshops exploring the use of video and computer games to direct movies with a game engine.

Through this workshops, Isabelle is looking at games as a medium and as a “raw material” for artists to create new artworks from the gameplay in order to produce a totally new original artwork. She employs the creative process of games wandering and recording, transforming games spaces into set design with the combination of video editing and sound mixing.

Isabelle Arvers
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