This week, I chose to discuss Hyper Reality, an experimental mod of Quake III. I found its utter chaos to be compelling because the sheer amount of visuals caught my eye. The goal of Hyper Reality was to give a literal, visual representation of the concept of hyper consumption by overloading the game with audio and visual chaos. It essentially cranks the game’s effects all the way to maximum, altering the way that players experience the game. The artist, Jordy Veenstra, subverted the structure of the original Quake game through the alteration of the game’s technology and assets.
I’d consider the mod to be an artistic mod according to this quote from Galloway reading: “But as I suggest, artist mods tend to consider video games as nothing more than game technologies, and thus most artist-made video game mods to date are mods of game technologies (whether at the visual level or the physics level), not mods of actual gameplay(108).” I think the mod is an attempt to call out society’s urge to consume more and more content. By putting as much information as possible into the frame, the player is forced to process much more content than they would in the original game. Mainstream video games would typically avoid this, so as not to overwhelm their audience.
Galloway, Alexander. “Countergaming” in Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture.