A MAZE. / Berlin 2017__April 26 - 29, 2017

6th International Independent Videogames and Playful Media Festival

A Short History of the Gaze

by Molleindustria (USA)

Genre: VR looking simulator

A Short History of the Gaze is a collection of semi-abstract interactive scenarios examining the act of looking and its relationship with violence. From the evolution of sight in a pre-cambrian sea creature to the dominance display of a primate, from a landscape of billboards begging for attention to an infinite panopticon, the player traverses and affects the virtual scenes by simply looking (or not looking) at things.

The gaze is central to any Virtual Reality experience and yet rarely problematized. I wanted to create an artifact that is immersive while fighting against the suspension of disbelief, in which the player/viewer is encouraged to fill the conceptual gaps between dramatically different scenario. Taking from the tradition of the film essay (although without words), a Short History of the Gaze is my response to the many oversimplifications that afflict the discourse surrounding virtual reality: VR as presence and embodiment, VR as empathy amplifier, VR as the liberation from a despotic directorial gaze etc.

Platform: PC, Oculus Rift