17th Entertainment Division Critiques

The Rediscovery of the Materials and Techniques of Expression

In the entries we received from the evolving aspects of media, I had a strong sense that the intellectual origin asking how to express entertainment was the rediscover y of the materials and techniques of expression.While the Entertainment Division features such a mix of video games, video works, gadgets, websites and application software that you might well be uncertain as to what genre they belong, all of the works have a way of thinking and a purpose that is very genuine, and many seemed to have narratives. Among these, all the judges were immediate in their praise for Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989 and in deciding to award it the Grand Prize. This project turns the spotlight on its material, Ayrton SENNA's racing data, from the simply brilliant viewpoint of asking if it is possible to resurrect the race through light and sound, and it passionately relates the solidarity of the team that transformed the original data into a giant installation.Although classified during the review process as a "game", the Sports Time Machine can also be thought of as a work which rediscovers basic data in the way it allows you to compete against the records of your own past sports performances and those of sports athletes. The diligently produced Fantasy Captured in Plastic Models: A Desk Diorama and The Burning Buddha Man are also connected to established and conventional techniques of expression, and in them we can see an inquiry into modalities of technology. It is a shame that there were so few video games that felt novel or surprising, though the jury debated about Ryugagotoku5 Yume Kanaeshimono, one of the Jury Selections, right to the end as a work that suggests themes and possibilities for developing the medium. With MATSUO Basho's haiku "The utter silence, cutting through the very stone a cicada's rasp" everyone will visualize the scene in their own way. As people possess the faculty to visualize in conjunction with their memory, I want artists to rediscover basic data, not to inundate with excess data, and to search for expression with information that, while refined, is the bare minimum required.

Game Creator and Professor, Tokyo Polytechnic University
Born in 1955 in Tokyo, IWATANI joined Namco Ltd. (now Namco Bandai Games) in 1977. In 1980 he created the video game Pac-Man. Based on the theme of eat ing, the game received high praise worldwide; in 2005 it was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's most successful arcade machine. He has produced over 50 games, including Pac-Land, Ridge Racer, Alpine Racer, and Time Crisis. He became a professor in the Faculty of Arts Department of Game at Tokyo Polytechnic University in 2007. He is also director of the Digital Games Research Association Japan, a fellow of Namco Bandai Games, and the author of Pac-Man no Game-gaku Nyumon (An Introduction to Pac-Man Gaming; Enterbrain, 2005).