A few months ago, Duncan Robson released a two hour cut of his monumental project Hours Played, a video game... remake... homage... remediation... (?) of Christian Marclay's The Clock (2010). Robson's project qualifies as truly maddening and insane, thus genius. It's the mother of all videogame supercuts. This segment posted on YouTube starts at 12:56 PM and ends at 3:10 PM. It also features an intermission (2:04 PM - 2:13:35 PM). Each game featured in this montage includes a clock or a watch. Alternatively, a character mentions the time of the day. In a couple of beat'em ups selected by Robinson, a grandfather's clock is visible in the background, while games like Animal Crossing the time is mentioned in a on-screen chat. The most remarkable difference between Marclay and Robson's projects has to do with medium specificity. Films are basically archives of images displayed in (mostly) linear way, while digital games - cutscenes aside - are not sequential at all. In other words, there's only one Vertigo. There are (almost) infinite plays of Animal Crossing. Each gameplay experience is unique - there's no urtext. What we call game is really a matrix of possibilities, some of which are enacted. This makes the viewing experience of Hours Played feel like a schizophrenic let's play - which is not a criticism at all: if anything this utterly bizarre viewing experience - akin to a collection of home videos than a montage of movies - reminds us of the idiosyncratic nature of a medium in which the acts of performing and observing the (or, rather, a) performance are deeply intertwined.
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