TAIPEI RHYTHM GAMERS
Rapidly overlapping rhythm booms from simultaneously roaring consoles.
The gamers, dressed in summer clothes and woolen gloves, sweat profusely down their faces. Acceleration, deceleration, breakbeats, chaos and concentration. Players enter alone, in pairs, or in groups.
In Germany and Europe, arcades and video game halls have become virtually extinct. But, in Asian cities such as Tokyo, Singapore and Taipei, they continue to be a cultural magnet. I created these films and photographs in a small arcade located in the basement of Taipei Central station, where mostly rhythm and music games are set up. Among these is one called MaiMai, one of the most popular arcade games in Asia, which looks like a washing machine.
Players interact with the game by tapping, holding and moving objects that appear on the screen as they dance to fast rhythms of pop songs. The multi–layered dynamics in this arcade are fascinating: the interactions between players, the extreme concentration and immersion, and the complete entry into the world of the game, intensely reflected in the players’ faces and movements.
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