Lodewijk Heylen / Minecraft Ecologies


Long gone is the time when gaming was a marginal phenomenon. These days, e-sports events attract more visitors than your average football game, and those who are physically present are accompanied by a multitude of virtual spectators. In this large community of strangers, people know each other’s avatar much better than they know their own families. Platforms such as Steam, Twitch or Discord are inhabited by a parallel society with its own rules, language, sense of humour and traditions. Virtual worlds offer an escape route from reality, not merely to outsider groups but to the mainstream as well. At CIAP, Lodewijk Heylen is conducting the 14 week long experiment Minecraft Ecologies. During the opening hours of the exhibition, several computers will be available for visitors to play the popular game Minecraft. On a communal server, everyone will
be able contribute to this alternative world. Every player will be asked to communicate with the others in a chatroom. These conversations are then automatically converted to text and transmitted in real time during the exhibition. All conversations will be gathered in a log.
 Minecraft Ecologies is an attempt to expose the limits and possibilities of a self-sufficient system. The collected data will give rise to an all-encompassing experiment, in which technology and human interaction assume a central position.

17.11.2018, 5pm: opening