ilia ovechkin’s ‘a thousand knights; no respawn’

21st December, 2008

a thousand knights; no respawn

Ilia Ovechkin told me about a work of his from ’07 entitled: A Thousand Knights; No Respawn. that he created using the Sauerbraten game engine.

The piece features a sparse landscape brimming with, seemingly, a thousand knights colliding into each other as they stomp and slash. “Respawn” is a gaming term referring to the resuscitation of a character after its death.

As i understand the game, players entering the field of play are instantly killed by the myriad marauding knights and spend most of the game in the afterlife (‘no respawn’).

I’m not sure what that afterlife consists of, or if it exists within the game proper, or elsewhere as the perspective of the person playing the game watching the inevitable, instant killing machine that is the field of play (i think it’s the latter), but, in any case, i find the project clever and inspiring, and find myself wandering into ARG land, wondering how to script some poetic interactions with a player that occur within a game’s afterlife – and how the creation and definition of that afterlife environment could be the intention of that phase of the game, and developed collaboratively between the player and the game and, perhaps, how the resulting and varied afterlives could echo lightly back into the initial field of play as some subtle change… but that’s just my own current fascination with transfigured respawn.

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