The Minecraft of art: build your own gallery (“heisting” the works, if needed)

A new video game allows you to build a private collection in the most diverse locations (including the Moon). With some copyright controversy.

Why aspire to the entry into the Olympus of millionaire collectors, when you can create yourself an unlimited collection on a digital platform, containing the most admired masterpieces ever? It’s what the community has got that is expanding like wildfire around Occupy White Walls, the video game created by Stikipixels for artlovers and not (called OWW for brevity: it is pronounced “Owouawwouaw”, as its creators want to specify). OWW consists on a database containing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Seurat’s The Bathers at Asnières, Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, up to contemporary authors.

But the strong point is the settings: there are about 3200 of them ranging from the Heritage of Saint Petersburg to unreal scenarios, such as a platform suspended over the desert or an open space set up on the Moon. To guide the user, there’s an avatar similar to de Chirrico’s figures, equipped with an artificial intelligence AI able to find the works more similar to the taste of the player through algorithms.

Behind it, there is also an “unilateral collaboration” with London National Gallery, to which masterpieces’ images have been “stolen”, albeit without copyright, a totally legitimate operation. “Public domain artworks should be for everyone,” said Yarden Yaroshevski, CEO of Stikipixels, in an interview for Wired, explaining why he is not afraid of legal repercussions. Occupy White Walls is a brilliant tool that can help artists to promote their work, curators to put their ideas in perspective and those who have never approached art to enter the interior of this unexplored land.

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