Between quarantine and self-isolation, video games sector is one of few distractions that can divert for a moment from the global emergency. It is no coincidence then, Animal Crossing New Horizons, the latest version of the life-simulator developed in 2001 by Nintendo EAD, is nailed to the top of the sales ranking for about two weeks.
As a sort of The Sims (which in this period has released version 4) but with cuter animals and more uplifting contexts, Animal Crossing consists in managing the life of his character in the middle of an anthropomorphic community. Activities like fishing, working or farming are sources of income to accumulate to buy new tools, beautify and expand your home.
In this virtual world where (almost) everything can happen, the Malaysian artist Shing Yin Khor has recreated performances and environmental installations among the most iconic of the contemporary. Such as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, one of the most famous Land Art works, made in 1970 on the Great Salt Lake and visible from an airplane. Khor reproduced it by placing spiral stones on the shoreline. There is also The Umbrellas by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, obtained by scattering on the road a series of red polka dots umbrellas (the original was executed between 1990 and 1991 in Ibaraki, Japan, and Tejon Ranch, in southern California).
But the most successful stunt was the performance The artist is present, as close as possible to how Marina Abramovic did it in 2010 at MoMA in New York. The artist’s avatar, fitted with a long red dress and an unmistakable corvina hair, invited other users to sit on the chair in front of her, staring for a long time separated only by a wooden table. This is the world’s first performance on a video game platform.
And for this kind fans, fresh is the news that a player, named “koumepo”, managed to recreate faithfully the main village of Earthbound – also known as Mother – on the island of Animal Crossing. That the life simulation platform is going to become, instead, the simulacrum of our myths?
Opening image: from the artist’s istagram account, @sawdustbear.