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website: www.agoraxchange.net/index.
php?page=218


agoraxchange
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what: commissioned by Tate* Online, agoraXchange is an online collaboration for imagining and building a massive multiplayer online game that offers a tangible political alternative to our current world order.

In the agoraXchange ‘Game Design Room’, participants discuss, debate and develop the game’s design. The project draws its inspiration from Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’. Written during the period of hereditary monarchies, this book is a fictional account of an egalitarian community without feudal privileges discovered by a seafaring adventurer.

Influenced by various aspects of successful internet collaborations, open source programming models and large scale collaborative projects such as slashdot.org and sourceforge.net, agoraXchange is an attempt to take advantage of online gaming’s enormous popularity and the unique potentials of the Internet: its enormous shared resources and information, its global reach, and its fast, cheap and easy means for sharing ideas.

who: this project was initiated and is being co-ordinated by Jackie Stevens - a political theorist - and Natalie Bookchin, an artist who has made a number of online projects including games. They are just the initiators and co-ordinators, not the absolute authors. User participation and contributions make up the fundamental core of the work that needs to be done, in other words to collectively imagine and build an alternative world.

why: the goal is global participation in creating a world where political institutions no longer perpetuate war and inequality. agoraXchange has been put forward to elicit collaboration for challenging a world in which myths about birthright result in violence and suffering within and among nations and families. Its manifesto urges eliminating the laws responsible for marriage and the nation state because these institutions are believed to be misshaping our material and psychic lives and constraining our imagination: “It is the law of nationality that makes one's place of birth determine where one may move and live, and not competencies of language, knowledge of a Constitution, or even education”.

how: the project calls on all communities of and for the imagination, creative thinkers and visionaries, including citizens, activists, artists, scholars, political leaders, and the stateless, to develop in agoraXchange and elsewhere laws that will privilege creativity, empathy, and freedom: “Xenophobia and materialist values should be changed not only for reasons of justice, but so that we may design a body politic that rewards acts of creativity as well”.

why a game? Computer games, one of today’s most popular forms of entertainment, have the potential to be to the 21st century what cinema was to the 20th. It is an extraordinary form for presenting large-scale interactive dynamic social systems, for revealing how decisions made in one context impact on others. Online multiplayer games have the potential for exceptional detail, intensive player participation, and are accessible to players from many different backgrounds. The idea is to take advantage of the current popularity of online multiplayer games, which entice millions to dedicate enormous amounts of time and creativity.

get involved: you can become a registered user and then participate in the ‘Game Design Room’, a workspace where participants work on collaborative documents, submitting, adding to, and editing text documents and images. The documents are constructed and administered by site participants by using wiki software, allowing users to create and edit web page content using any web browser. agoraXchange will also provide software that allows users to make, edit and modify images directly on the site. agoraXchange invites all of us to examine all laws including those regulating citizenship and familial relations and above all to re-think, re-build and re-create.

* Tate is a family of art galleries and operates on four sites in different parts of Britain.


contacts


Tate Press Office
Millbank, London SW1P 4RGph 020 7887 8731fax 020 7887 8729pressoffice@tate.org.uk
 
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