Professor Mary Flanagan holds the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professorship in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College. She’s an artist, scientist, and humanist, known for her theories on play culture, activist design, and critical play.
Han Yang worked as a video game researcher and creative assistant for Mary Flanagan on an extensive video art piece titled [pile of secrets]. It debuted in the Play Station Exhibition, at the Postmasters Gallery, New York. [pile of secrets] is currently on tour and has been shown in galleries in various cities across the USA, Germany & Netherlands.
Han Yang’s role was to examine the structural analysis of games in a creative form, exploring the quintessential elements central to the experience of digital play. Working in small teams, hundreds to thousands of games were broken down from a complex set of themes and emotions into several key fields; setting up a plan of action to target specific video game themes. Video game history was re-examined (and many childhood memories revisited), with old archaic games played on emulators to video-capture a specific emotion or action.
Themes range from the simple and mundane, such as eating & jumping to instinctive ones like running in fear. Complex and intellectual themes such as love do occur from time to time, in higher concept or larger scale games.
Terabytes of video footage was recorded and distilled into several thematic video series, which are then curated to create the essential themes that form a video game.