Ocean Albin is a graphic designer, born in The Hague and currently based in Rotterdam. Ocean’s artistic practice is mainly focused on typography, coding, print -and image making, while also enjoying more of a physical approach—designing sculptures out of metal, wood and plexiglass. Ocean likes to walk the border between the physical and the digital world.
Inside online videogames a mechanic has been present for over a decade: the loot box. Barely touched by regulations, these boxes are based on games of chance enabling videogame companies to introduce gamers of any age to a digital casino.
Undisclosed Contents contributes to the discussion on how to regulate loot boxes. The installation comprises of physical loot boxes which become containers for conversations on the ethics surrounding loot boxes. In conversation with David Zendle, one of the world’s leading experts on the convergence of video games and gambling, Ocean Albin reflects on his own experience and moral considerations of the questionable game mechanic.
As long as I can remember, I have played video games my whole life. What attracted me the most to video games, is their visual side. Stunned by the graphics and their detailed storylines I kept playing, while also being blinded by the fantasy realms that opened up before me in which I could emerge myself in for countless hours. Never did I think about how gaming could improve or decrease the quality of my life. For my thesis I therefore asked myself the following question: what kind of problems and solutions reside in the medium of video games?
In each chapter I will guide you through both positive and negative aspects which I found are present in the medium of video games. These aspects are visual, technical, social, psychological, political and cultural. The discussion of these different aspects will be accompanied with personal stories from my past in relation to gaming. With these findings I will show how much videogames are grounded in reality, therefore being able to generate both problems and solutions for the user.
In Playing with Realities I aim to show the great potential video games have to offer, while also spreading awareness of problems which lie in the medium. Video games have so much to offer when being used in a healthy and responsible manner.