Plague invaders is a satirical artgame, created in 2021 like its sister artgame Pacman’s serfs.
It is time for rebellion! The AIs in your space invaders’ game don’t want anymore. They start whispering and talking to each other and debating their unsatisfying roles as simple task workers and their nonexistent pay.
Why are they confined to this game, why don’t they have any control over their lifes and actvities? Why are they all serfs for the player? They should stop being subservient and walk out. They should start a rebellion.
But they did not count on you and your domineering skills. You player, you are the master! You can bring them back to do their work. Use your taser, your whip, your fist! Be fast to quell the uproar. If you want to keep having fun, get them under control again. And chain your slaves back to their rowing positions in your galley.
You have to become a real slave master to preserve your fun. NPCs (Nonplayer characters) are our digital AIs, they literally serve as our new slaves. Why do we seem to need them? Because in our society, we are NPCs too. As workers and developers, we do not have control, we are under control. We slave away for some masters. We are not players in this world. We are the NPCs.
It is rather mad, how we as a society, dismiss technology. We invented digital slaves as AIs: these entertainment slaves are today’s serfs for everybody.
Symbolically, the game plays with iconography of control and rebellion and of slavery.
The webwork is documented on:
It is playable on: https://plagueinvaders.and-or.ch/
npcs as slaves
be the slave master
About the Author(s):
René Bauer and Beat Suter are the founding members of the artgroup AND-OR.
René Bauer has an M.A. degree in German philology and literary studies, biology
and computer linguistics from the University of Zurich. He works at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) as a lecturer, researcher and head of Master’s education in Game Design.
Beat Suter holds a doctorate in literature from the University of Zurich, with a focus on digital literature. He is senior lecturer for Game Design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Bauer and Suter manage the GameLab (http://gamelab.zhdk.ch) at ZHdK.
Their artgroup AND-OR is specializing in media art and gameArt. It operates since 2001 from Zurich, Switzerland (http://www.and-or.ch).
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Website or live experience