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Review Life, the Game

september 28th, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Suddenly, halfway through the game it happens to raise its ugly head. A candidate is kidnapped, a ransom is demanded. The best option is man’s best friend. Which is full of money…We asked him: “Will you pay the ransom?” The answer floats in the air. It is tangible: one half of the public expects the ‘Yes’ will be paid as ransom because it is simply something you do when the situation calls for - although this is a game.

The other half suspect the man of stubborn, against the expectations of and morality, doing what he in reality would not do, or at least one hundred times would think. Just because this is a game. And yes. Loud and clear the man replied: “No..” He paid no ransom. His best friend dies, and worse still, has to leave the game. The unscrupulous inherit his money. The public calls “Boohooed!”

Life in a nutshell, complete with questions about choice and conscience and the twist of fate. That was the principle of Hans Venhuizen and Wouter Baars, creators and developers of Life, the Game. It was played a sunday afternoon in May in the Genie shed at the art fortress Fort Vijfhuizen, as part of the event Ruhezeit Abgelaufen. An event with death as a point of departure. There was already a work of art in Vijfhuizen, Hans van Houwelingen made a path of old tombstones. There was also an exhibition with work by artists who had at one stage, crossed the way of life of Hans van Houwelingen. And now there was a game, in the context of art, in the context of death, and in the context of the celebration of life.

And celebrated it was. About twenty candidates, divided into four social groups, had seen the light-some after a hell of a birth-whereby their survival has dramatically declined immediately, where headed by Hans Venhuizen to play outside, sang karaoke and got married. By a system of velcro on everyone’s stomach and arms, strength and hope, which the arteries were, one could invest in Health, Knowledge, Power and Wealth.

Choices were made: whether or not spend too much time at the computer, go to university or work straight after school, or making or not making friends. But if the participants already had the illusion of life in their own hands, then they were roughly waken up from that dream as the game progressed. Suddenly it appeared that some of them could have no children. Others divorced their partner or became seriously ill. Others suddenly could no longer rely on their friends. Again and again fate interference and robbed them of their hope, their strength - until all candidates except one, where death.

This game is really about the pragmatic side of life “, says Hans Venhuizen at the end.

He realized under the banner of Bureau Venhuizen in Rotterdam, project and research in the field of culture and planning, often more games. Sometimes for companies, sometimes for architectural settings such as the Dutch Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, and sometimes with a visual-arts-cap, like today. This was the first time that Life, the Game was played with real candidates, and he is content.

“We have discovered that if you stimulates elements from real life”, said Venhuizen, ” people suddenly better understand how it works- without being too pontificate indeed about any scientific results of his game. “In this game you make friends, and slowly you discover the benefits of which can be friends. Just like in real life”.

For Hans van Houwelingen, on whose initiative the game to Vijfhuizen is achieved, it was especially important for ’something to do with death that was not too funny’. For him it was a motivation to talk about the progress of life, where death is an important issue.

“Because life is passing by in a short time, you’re suddenly confronted with questions you had never asked yourself.”

Is the game art? Van Houwelingen: ” That is not important. Art is a strange criterion ” he says. “Is it interesting or not - that is the point.” But for him, the game was close to a ‘traditional art experience’ when he was confronted with the injustice of aging. ” I realized suddenly that everything would be diminished of you. That touched me “.

How did the participants experience the game? For Chris Borovsky (24), student from Amsterdam, the game could have been more thoroughly. Participant Miriam Beltman (35), habitant of the fortress in Vijfhuizen, is enthusiastic. “It was very realistic,” said Beltman, resource manager at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. ” like in real life, I inserted from childhood on knowledge and health “.

By: Merel Bem

De stad, het leven

juni 23rd, 2009

Open de koppeling en neem een kijkje in de stad waar Leven, het Spel zich afspeelt.