author: Matteo Bittanti (concept, execution)
title: c'était un rendez-vous numerique
format: video installation
duration: various times
related news: press release
website: click here
media: video (lo-res)
Matteo Bittanti, "C'était un rendez-vous numerique" (2009)
C’était un rendez-vous numerique [design notes]
“I don’t play sport, I play speed…
You don’t think, you only think about going fast”
(Michael Prüfer, quoted in Paul Virilio, 1995a: 94)
The year is 1976. The city is Paris. Claude Lelouch drives audiences insane with his short film, C’était un rendez-vous. Shot in a single take, the video shows a wild eight-minute drive through the French metropolis in the early morning hours, accompanied by sounds of a high-revving engine, gear changes, and squealing tires. It opens in a tunnel of the Paris Périphérique at Porte Dauphine, with an onboard view from an unseen car exiting up on a ramp to Avenue Foch. The driver dodges famous landmarks – e.g., the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra Garnier, the Champs-Élysées. and Place de la Concorde with its obelisk – while violating the most elementary rules: red lights are ignored, one-way streets are driven up the wrong way, centre lines are crossed. At one point, the car even runs on a pavement to avoid a refuse lorry. Lelouch chose an unusual the point-of-view to document his exhilarating performance: the vehicle itself is never shown as the camera seems to be attached below the front bumper, judging from the relative positions of other cars, the visible headlight beam and the final shot when the car is parked in front of kerbstones on Montmartre, with the Cathedral Sacré Cœur behind, and out of shot. The French driver/director revealed that to shoot the film he mounted a gyro-stabilised camera on the bumper of his Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9.
Stills from C'était un rendez-vous, Claude Lelouch, 1976
Thirty years later, C’était un rendez-vous remains controversial. Thirty years ago, many decried the risk associated in driving at extreme velocity in an urban environment. Such preoccupations are still valid. Others, however, were more concerned in trying to measure Lelouch’s real speed and to demystify the mystique of his bravura act. A few aspects puzzled the most attentive viewers. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 could reach a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph), but was only available with a 3-speed automatic transmission. Yet, one can hear gear changes up into 5th, as well as heel-and-toe down-shifting with a high-revving engine indicating speeds of well over 200 km/h. Calculations made by several independent groups showed that the car never exceeded 140 km/h (85 mph), while others estimated that the car had peaked at 220 km/h (136.7 mph). Lelouch himself claimed that the top speed achieved was over 200 km/h, somewhere between 230 km/h and 240 km/h. It is suggested that the sound was dubbed with the noise of Lelouch’s 275GTB, which has a corresponding number of gears and a similar engine note. It was later disclosed, in a documentary released with the official DVD, that he used the sound of a Ferrari engine instead of the one of the Mercedes he actually drove. Ironically, although C’était un rendez-vous has been often regarded as an example of cinéma-vérité, it appears to be the result of manipulation and simulation. In short, Lelouch played a game on the viewers, and he won.
Exhibit description: C’était un rendez-vous numerique
Lelouch’s high-speed ride through the streets of Paris bears an uncanny resemblance to a sub-genre of the racing video game genre, the street racing game in which players drive (usually) luxurious sports cars in urban settings at unfeasible speeds. To me, C’était un rendez-vous looks like a videogame ante-litteram. It prefigures things to come. It is an unplanned remediation of a future medium. A pataphysical homage, akin to Will Wright’s incorporation of Philip K. Dick’s themes in his games (Bittanti, 2007). The paradoxical nature of this cultural artefact informs this project. C’était un rendez-vous numerique is both a virtual re-enactment of Lelouch’s performance and a homage to the Futurists fetish for speed. It consists of nine different screens showing nine virtual races through nine virtual cities. Each screen depicts a different ride in a different location of Bizarre Creations’ Project Gotham Racing 4, which was released for Xbox 360 in 2007. Unlike the videogame, this installation is non-interactive: each race is a video recording of a nine minute ride, shown in a continuous loop. The video emulates the aesthetics of Lelouch’s original ride. In an attempt to imitate the ‘original’ performance, the digital vehicle is not displayed on screen as the virtual camera is ‘located’ somewhere on the bumper.
C’était un rendez-vous numerique titillates our need for speed. It is also a reflection upon the paradoxes of mobility: the sedentary bodies of the gamers travel at superhuman speed without really going anywhere. In these games, urban spaces become playgrounds for unfeasible performances behind the wheel. In an age of pervasive CCTV, energetic and economic crisis, the virtual has become the only space where drivers can satisfy their cravings for velocity without worrying about the obvious consequences, e.g. the risk of running over pedestrians, the dissipation of resources etc.
This installation also invites the viewer to ponder about the many flaws of digital simulations: recreations are always missing some key aspects of the ‘original’. In other words, the digital doppelganger is an impostor. The simulation ought to be dis-simulated. In most racing games, for example, traffic is suspiciously absent. Contemporary society is unwilling or unable to make profound choices between transportation modes, and the historically independent approach to infrastructure planning has become obsolete. Racing games tend to reinforce the idea that motorized speed in urban settings is not only achievable, but thrilling, exciting, and, above all necessary. The implications and collateral damage – fuel consumption, pollution, and possible accidents, just to name a few – are conveniently ignored. In fact, in most racing games, cars run on unlimited fuel, smog is not an issue and drivers recover from even the most dramatic accidents without a scratch.
The racing game genre has also introduced a lexicon of subculture-specific peculiarities and a set of aesthetic conventions that have successfully migrated onto different media. One example is the notion of ghosting (1), which was replicated, cinematographically, in the Wachoski Brother’s movie Speed Racer (2007), itself an adaptation of a popular Japanese anime of the same title. Some of the videos on display include this effect, which reinforces the phantasmatic nature of simulations and the idea of a competition based on speed.
C’était un rendez-vous numerique also stresses the importance of HUD, acronym of Heads-Up Display, that is, the visual clues that these different games visualize on the screen. While striving for transparency and immediacy, the virtual rear-view mirror located on top of the screen – de facto, a small, rectangular window – reminds us of the artificiality of this ‘realistic’ experience.
Exhibition Speed Limits, 2009. View of the installation at the CCA. © CCA, Montréal
It is also interesting to notice that the graphic interfaces of contemporary videogames and the dashboard of the latest generation of cars look increasingly similar. Unsurprisingly, companies like NVIDIA that produce high-end GPUs are working with auto-makers like Audi to integrate their technology into the next generation cars. In short, videogames – the most playful application of software – are colonizing the very fabric of our accelerated reality. As Nigel Thrift (2004) notes:
Software is a comparatively recent historical development – the term itself has only existed since 1958 – and though recognizable computer software has existed in cars since the 1970s, it is only in the last 10 years or so that software, in its many manifestations, has become an integral element of the mechanics of cars, moving down from being the province of luxury cars only to becoming a norm in the mass market. Now software controls engine management, brakes, suspension, wipers and lights, cruising and other speeds, parking manoeuvres, speech recognition systems, communication and entertainment, sound systems, security, heating and cooling, in-car navigations, and last but not least, a large number of crash protection systems. Almost every element of the modern automobile is becoming either shadowed by software or software has become (or has been from the start, as in the case of in-car navigations systems) the pivotal component. The situation is now of such an order of magnitude greater than in the past that manufacturers and industry experts are quite seriously discussing the point at which the software platform of a car will have become so extensive that it will become one of the chief competitive edges: customers will be loath to change to different makes because of the investment of time needed to become familiar with a new software environment and style. (Thrift 2004, 50)
It should be noted that the relationship between ‘real’ driving and ‘simulated driving’ has always been controversial. The roots of the debate can be traced back, incidentally, to 1976, when a company called Exidy released an arcade game, Death Race. Designed by Howell Ivy and inspired by the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000 by Paul Bartel (starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone, and produced by Roger Corman), Death Race is a rudimentary racing game in which one or two players control an on-screen car (two cars if two players played) with a steering wheel and an acceleration pedal. The object was to run down moving creatures who were fleeing the vehicle. As the player hit them, they would scream or squeal and be replaced on-screen by tombstones. This increased the challenge of the game as the screen cluttered up and the player had to avoid the tombstones. While not the first violent video game to appear, it was the first video game to inspire a great deal of protest and controversy in the United States. The game set the stage for the debate of the effects of video games on players.
According to several studies produced in the last 20 years, reckless driving in games could translate into equally irresponsible behaviours in real life. For instance, in May 2007, the Journal of Experimental Psychology published the result of a study that purportedly showed a causal link between the two practices. Specifically, the researchers argued that players of racing games drive more aggressively and have a greater risk of car accidents than people who play racing games less often, or who play ‘neutral’ games. The psychologists examined 198 men and 92 women ages 16 to 45 while they played various games on a Sony PlayStation. To win the racing game, participants had to massively violate traffic rules (e.g. drive on the sidewalk, crash into other cars, drive fast). Subsequently, the racing gamers reported more thoughts and feelings linked to risk-taking than did those who played a neutral game. Another study, conducted by BSM, Great Britain’s largest driving school, indicated “an indisputable link between gaming and dangerous driving”, according to one of the key researcher, Robert Cummins (RAC News, 2007). According to the researchers, “Britain’s roads are being plagued by a generation of “game boy racers” who are driving recklessly after playing computer simulation games”. Apparently, “Over one third (34%) of young male and female drivers confess they are more likely to drive faster on roads shortly after indulging in on-screen driving action and a quarter (27%) of young drivers admit they take greater driving risks after a gaming session.” Additionally, the research showed that “nearly a quarter (22%) of young drivers even claim they have imagined they’re in a driving simulation game while driving on the UK’s roads,” noting that ”With two in five (42%) 16-24 year olds playing driving simulation games at least once a week, and 6% of young men playing daily, the research shows that frequent gamers are almost twice as likely as less regular players to lose their sense of reality on the open road (31% and 15%, respectively).” In short, “Young men are the worst offenders, with the BSM study finding they are almost twice as likely as women to blur virtual and on-road driving (27% and 16% respectively).” But not all is bleak and gloomy: “although driving simulation games appear to negatively affect the habits of newly qualified drivers, the research also indicates that they can be a positive tool for learners”, the researchers concluded.
A third report, presented by Dr. Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson from Huddersfield University at the 2009 edition of the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference, indicates that console driving games leave players feeling more agitated and aggressive than shooters (Ellie Gibson, 2009). The study was conducted using an Xbox 360 and three games; one FPS, one driving game (Microsoft Studios’ Project Gotham Racing 3) and a 3D table tennis game. Thirty participants, aged from 18 to 45, took part in the study and were measured for changes in their physical responses (EEG, breathing and heart rate) and mental responses (aggression) before and after playing. [...] The driving game induced the greatest change in heart rate and brain activity and surprisingly the FPS induced the smallest change.
A different school of thought insists that games could actually improve one’s abilities behind the wheel. For instance, on March 30, 2008, The New York Times’ contributor John R. Quain posed an interesting question to his readers: “Could a video game make you a better driver? More important, could computer software prevent teenagers from making fatal mistakes or even weed out older drivers whose debilities make them crash-prone?” Quain summarized the studies conducted by other researchers, stating that: “While no one is suggesting that games like Grand Theft Auto will help junior make safer left-hand turns, there are researchers who believe that specially designed cognitive assessment software can train neophytes and aging drivers” (2008).
Instead of solving this dilemma, C’était un rendez-vous numerique will let the viewers judge for themselves. This installation does not provide answers. Rather, its goal it to raise questions.
Game screenshots from the Quebec track, courtesy of Bizarre Creations
Critical play: Paul Virilio’s racing game
First and foremost, this installation is an exercise in dromology.
A reflection on speed and its ideology through the aid of accelerated images.
The notion of speed has been a fundamental preoccupation for Paul Virilio. In his first book, published in 1977, Speed and Politics. An Essay in Dromology, the French philosopher examined the consequences of technologically-mediated acceleration on society and culture. Of central interest is the concept of dromology, or ‘logic of speed’. The term comes the Latin dromos or race. Dromology investigates how technological innovations connected to speed have gradually altered our understanding of reality. As John Armitage (2000) notes, dromology “stands at the centre of the political and techno-cultural transformation of the contemporary world” (145). Specifically, “dromology explores the experience of human subjects caught up in the technological vectors of ever-increasing speed” (145). The escalating quickening that Virilio discusses is the outcome of technological advances, from the steam engine to the rise of digital communication. All of these phenomena are part of the so-called dromocratic revolution. One of the most interesting consequences of acceleration is the displacement of the city, because it disrupts flows and rhythms that have existed for centuries. As Douglas Kellner (1999) wrote:
Virilio was initially an urbanist who suggests that the city is a dwelling place organized by channels of communication and transportation, penetrated by roadways, canals, coastlines, railroads, and now airports. Each crossing has its speed limits, its regulations, and its systematic enclosure and spaces with in a system of societal organization. The city itself is a conglomeration of these roads, a stopover for travel, and a system of “habitable circulation” (Virilio 1986: 6). City life unfolds in the spectacle of the street with its progressions and movements, its institutions and events, mobilizing and moving flows of traffic and people (Kellner 1999, 109).
The examination of speed is expanded in Virilio’s subsequent book, The Vision Machine (1994), in which he describes the implication of acceleration on our visual perception. Specifically, Virilio distinguishes between three stages in the evolution of representation of reality (Table 1). The first age is dominated by the formal logic of the image, typical of painting, which is followed by a stage in which the image’s dialectical logic becomes omnipresent – this age is dominated by such media as photography and film. Finally, the current age operates according to a paradoxical logic of video recording, holography, and computer graphics.
Dialectical Photography, Cinema
Paradoxical Videorecording, Holography, Computer Graphics
Table 1. Virilio: The three stages of the image
Virilio argues that the third stage is paradoxical because it imposes new spaces and times over ‘reality’: “when the real-time image dominates the thing represented, real time subsequently prevailing over real space, virtuality dominating actuality and turning the very concept of reality on its head” (Virilio, 1994: 63). As Kellner (1999) suggests:
In this situation, images and representations replace the real, the object of representation declines in importance, and a domain of images and digital representation replaces reality. Culturally, this involves the proliferation of new vision machines that proliferate an artificial realm of data, images, and information that constitute a novel realm of experience. (Kellner, 1999: 110)
The emergence of cyberspace contributes to this displacement:
Cyberspace, Virilio claims, supplies another space without the usual coordinates of space and time that also produces a disorienting and disembodying form of experience in which communication and interaction takes place instantaneously in a new global time, overcoming boundaries of time and space. It is a disembodied space with no fixed coordinates in which one loses anchorage in one’s body, nature, and social community. It is thus for Virilio a dematerialized and abstract realm in which cybernauts can become lost in space and divorced from their bodies and social world. (Kellner, 1999: 111)
Videogames, and specifically racing games, exemplify the pervasiveness of technological acceleration for ludic pleasures and, by doing so, contribute to the ‘paradoxical logic’ of the image. In fact, they provide another disembodying form of experience of space and acceleration as they simulate movement through landscapes that simultaneously appear familiar and odd. Thus, C’était un rendez-vous numerique is caught up between two poles: the speed of the performance and the apathy of the pilot/viewer, which directly evokes Virilio’s notion of ‘polar inertia’. As Bob Hanke (2005) notes:
At modern speeds and communication, the mobility of the locomotive body reverses into lived sedentarieness – what [Virilio] calls polar inertia [...] Mobility is also enhanced by transportation and audio-visual vehicles, but not without changing the experience of travel or the tempo of everyday life (5).
Scott McQuire (1999) adds: “Rather than the armoured body of the transport revolution eulogized earlier in the century by avant-gardists such as Marinetti and Ernst Jünger, Virilio posits the emergence of a human body which has ceded its motor functions to technology. The contemporary hype of computerized ‘interactivity’ would be thus the precursor of prolonged inactivity” (McQuire 1999: 150). As Virilio writes:
Having been first mobile, then motorized, man will thus become motile, deliberately limiting his body’s area of influence to a few gestures, a few impulses like channel surfing. (Virlio, 1997: 16)
As a medium, videogame provide a new form of transportation (note 2). As Virilio writes in The Art of the Motor (1995a),
The current progress in transport and transmission has only exacerbated this unremarked pathology of movement that takes place no longer between here and there, but between being there and no longer being there. From the elimination of the physical effort of walking to the sensori-motor loss induced by the first transport, we have finally achieved states bordering on sensory deprivation. (85)
McQuire adds that “despite constant acceleration throughout the 20th century, mechanical vehicles have found themselves increasingly outpaced by what Virilio (1989) has evocatively termed ‘the last vehicle’: the audiovisual one”. (1999: 144). Specifically, “From Virilio’s ‘vehicular’ perspective, automobiles are less ‘riding’ animals than frames (in the optical sense), and the self–propelled vehicle is not only a vector of change in physical location but also a new means of representation (Virilio 1989).
Videogames have also successfully remediated and extended the visual strategies and conventions of television and cinema in representing motorized speed. They participate in the process of acceleration of vision machines, and they have created a new technological aesthetic. As Hanke (2005) suggests, “changes in form of art – the ‘art of the engine’ (note 3) – means changes in speed, representation, and ways of seeing” (149). It could be argued that games contribute to the acceleration of the image more than any other media: for instance, while in film, images are displayed at 24 frames per second, in a game like Project Gotham Racing 4, the number increases to 60.
This acceleration, however, is deceptive and has its hidden costs. Specifically, Virilio laments the loss of the excitement of ‘real’ movement, which has been superseded by increasingly sophisticated technologies of vision. This process of impoverishment began with cinema:
The loss of the thrills of the old voyage is now compensated for by the showing of a film on a central screen. The voyager continues to approach the world through sight, but this time it is the cinema motor that reinvents for us the passing parade of a landscape that disappears and freezes in the distancing brought on by altitude. (Virilio, 1995a: 85)
Following the tradition of cinema, videogames simulate movement through animation. Additionally, they give the user the illusion of control through interaction. They also introduce a peculiar chronology – here time is not just fluid, but flexible, malleable – it can be manipulated with the touch of a button.
The use of multiple screens to show the virtual rides through virtual cities is intended to overwhelm the viewer and simulated that ‘mental concussion’ that according to Virilio (1995b) is the direct exposure to mediated images. As Robert Bartram (2004) notes, Virilio’s intellectual strength resides in his ability to document the “resulting phenomenenological experiences [of image proliferation] and more precisely how fragmented, discontinuous and autonomous visual experience instigates a form of widespreas mental concussion” (292).
Videogames also redefine the ways people communicate and interact with each other. For instance, Project Gotham Racing by allowing players to share their exploits and performances online via Xbox Live, it introduced a new kind of social community, a community that it is dislocated, global, and interest-driven. Simulated urban spaces are traversed at incredible speed by pilots from all over the world, pilots that are identified by “gamertags”, nicknames and numbers. This phenomenon is creating a new geography based on simulation rather than location, a geography that is highly geometric as videogame objects are made of polygons and textures. The geography of a videogame world, a world that Virilio would likely find unsettling for at least three reasons.
The first is related to the conflation between time and space. As Hanke (2005: 148) notes,
The more we live amidst the vectors of a virtual geography, the more our forms of life are disembedded from human time-space, the greater the probability that accidents will happen everywhere at the same time. [...] The consequence, in Virilio’s view, is that history is no longer tied to local geography or bounded architecture, but synchronized with one world time. This means that media representations are not just constitutive of the event, but rather have entered into the time of the event. (Hanke, 2005: 144)
In this case, the virtual time of the race, which brings together players from all over the world. Local times are superseded by the ‘real time’ of the simulation.
Additionally, as Bartram (2004) writes, “the compression of ‘time-distance’ leads to the elimination of the world’s dimension so that the world now faces a new form of pollution that is “no longer atmospheric or hydrospheric but dromospheric” (Bartram, 2004, 290). This virtual smog has disorienting effects on human beings: “the immediacy and instantaneity of visualizing technology ensures that real time prevails above real space and geosphere, making visual technology a new form of perspective that doesn’t coincide with the audio-visual perspective that we already know. It is a ‘tactile perspective’ that places the world within our grasp, and allows us to see, hear, feel and reach at a distance” (Virilio, 1995c, quoted in Bartram, 2005: 293). Videogames are highly tactile: they exemplify the very essence of digital technology, as digital comes from the Latin digit, which means number, but also finger. Racing games transform cities into race track, subverting the nature of these spaces. The videogame city is no longer an habitable space, but a mere backdrop to a simulated performance. While it might remind us of the ‘real thing’, Project Gotham Racing’s New York is just a set of props.
Third, almost a corollary, as examples of new media technology, videogames create “a condition that [Virilio] describes as “endo-colonization, where urban space can be colonized through the use of ‘vision machines’” (219). This phenomenon has obvious repercussions on the relevance of urban spaces: “Virilio has argued that the capital cities of the future will only remain significant because of their ability to act as the intersection of speed rather than serving any communal or social purposes” (89).
In a sense, the accelerated city of the future will become ballardian.
But this is the another story, or, better, another installation.
I would like to end my notes with a long quote from Virilio (1997c) that inspired this project:
We face a duplication of reality. The virtual reality and the “real” reality double the relationship to the real, something that, to the best of my knowledge, results in clear pathological consequences. For this I use the french words le tele-, in the sense of tele-action, action-at-a-distance. Action-at-a-distance is a phenomenon of absolute disorientation. We now have the possibility of seeing at a distance, of hearing at a distance, and of acting at a distance, and this results in a process of de-localization, of the unrooting of the being. “To be” used to mean to be somewhere, to be situated, in the here and now, but the “situation” of the essence of being is undermined by the instantaneity, the immediacy, and the ubiquity which are characteristic of our epoch. Our contemporaries will henceforth need two watches: one to watch the time, the other to watch the place where one actually is. This double-watch will be necessary for the duplication of reality that is occurring. Reality is becoming a stereo-reality. Just as with sounds you can make a difference between somber tones and clear tones, so there will be a concrete, actual reality and a virtual reality. From now on, humankind will have to act in two worlds at once. This opens up extraordinary possibilities, but at the same time we face the test of a tearing-up of the being, with awkward consequences. We can rejoice in these new opportunities if and only if we also are conscious of their dangers (Virilio, 1997).
Author not listed (2007), “Game Over: Virtual drivers blur racing with reality”, RAC, March 2.
Armitage, John (2005) “The Theorist of Speed”, New Left Review, 145-147.
Bartram, Rob (2004) “Visuality, Dromology and Time Compression. Paul Virilio’s new oculacentrism”, Time and Society, Vol. 13 (2/3), 285-200.
Bittanti, Matteo (2007) “Do Game Designer Dream of Electric Sheep?Playing God in Games and Narrative”, Intermedialites, No. 2, Réinventer l’histoire: l’uchronie, 2007.
Gibson, Ellie (2009) “Racing Games Cause Most Aggression”, Eurogamer, April 1.
Kellner, Douglas (1999) ‘Virilio, War, and Technology: Some Critical Reflections”, Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 16 (5/6), 103-125.
Hanke, Bob (2005). McLuhan, Virilio and Electric Speed in the Age of Digital Reproduction. In G. Genosko (Ed.), Marshall McLuhan: critical evaluations in cultural theory. Volume III−renaissance for a wired world, New York: Routledge, 121-156.
Lowood, Henry (2008) “Replay Culture: Performance and Spectatorship in Gameplay,” in: L’homo videoludens: Videojocs, textualitat i narrativa interactiva, ed. Carlos A. Scolari, Vic: Eumo Editorial, 167-87.
Quain, John R. (2008), “Are You A Good Driver? Here’s How to Find Out”, The New York Times, March 30.
Virilio, Paul (1997) Open Sky, London: Verso.
Virilio, Paul (1995a) The Art of the Motor, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.
Virilio, Paul (1995b) “Speed and Information: Cyberspace Alarm!”, CTheory.
Virilio, Paul (1995c) “Global Algorithm 1.7: The Silence of the Lambs: Paul Virilio in Conversation’. Interview with Carlos Oliveira, CTheory.
Virilio, Paul (1994) The Vision Machine: Perspectives, Indianapolis: University of Indiana press.
Virilio, Paul (1986) Speed and Politics. An Essay in Dromology, New York: Columbia University Press.
Thrift, Nigel (2004) “Driving in the City”, Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 21 (4/5), 41-59.
1. In video games, a ghost is a feature included in time attack or time trial modes allowing the player to review their previous rounds. In racing games, for example, a ghost car follows the path a player took around the track. Ghost cars in racing games generally appear as translucent or flashing versions of the player’s vehicle. Based on previously-recorded lap times, they serve only to represent the fastest lap time and do not interact dynamically with other competitors. A skilled player will use the ghost to improve his time, matching the ghost’s racing line as it travels the course. Many racing games, including Gran Turismo, F-Zero, and Mario Kart, offer a ghost function. Some also show ghosts set by staff members and developers, often showing perfect routes and lap times. For additional information about replays and competitive gaming, see Lowood, 2008.
2. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the meaning of the word medium is:” An agency by which something is accomplished, conveyed, or transferred: The train was the usual medium of transportation in those days.”
3. Interestingly, the software system designed for the creation and development of videogames is called “engine”. The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine (“renderer”) for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection (and collision response), sound, scripting, animation, artificial intelligence, networking, streaming, memory management, threading, and a scene graph. For instance, the RenderWare engine is used in the popular Burnout series of racing games.
Here are some of the Game Art installations that inspired my project.
Also, Spencer Finch's "West" (2007) gave me a few ideas in how to conceptualize this piece. "West" is a 9 channel synchronized video installation with 9 TV monitors which imitates the natural illumination of the fading evening sun by means of the light projected from a group of video monitors reflecting off a white wall. Each of the nine monitors stacked in rows of three, cycles through thirty stills from the film The Searchers, the images dissolving into a new set of stills once a minute.