In the early 1990s one of the most conspicuous forms of popular consumption was the computer game. Having aborted their first incursion into mass culture (using computers to make pornography for women), VNS Matrix knuckled down to the task of taking on this most masculine of computer-based pursuits. All New Gen (1993) was conceived originally as a parody, but developed into a rhetorical expression of VNS Matrix’s desire to invert dominant male-centred ideologies to do with computer culture. Inspired by cyberpunk motifs of monolithic data-bases, corruptive viruses and hacking. All New Gen became the means for VNS Matrix to commandeer interactive media in the name of the ‘Gamegirl’.
All New Gen was nothing remotely like the familiar, prototypical shoot ’em-ups and platform-pursuit games in the manner of Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog. With its suggestions of a new generation and a new gender, this was an interactive ‘terrain of propaganda, subversion and transgression’, the goal of which was not to amass the biggest score. Rather, it was a political battle for cyber-hegemony in the ‘contested zone’a of the computer network.
- Book Section
- Interzone: Media Arts in Australia, pp. 47–50, 118–124, 2005, English
- Craftsman House, Melbourne, Australia