Jeff Koons, if you know anything about modern art (you don't? Doesn't everyone?) is quite the polarizing figure. His specialty is the grandiose reproduction of a kitschy object - balloon animals, for example. He's sold one such piece for $US25 million. That pisses off people, some so much they want blow up his work with a rocket launcher.
That's where Jeff Koons Must Die!!! comes in. This video game, created with the Unreal Development Kit, is by Hunter Jonakin, an MFA candidate in Florida State University's studio art program. So he's punching up here.
The game is housed in a 1980s-style arcade cabinet. Here's Jonakin's statement of its purpose.
The game is set in a large museum during a Jeff Koons retrospective. The viewer is given a rocket launcher and the choice to destroy any of the work displayed in the gallery. If nothing is destroyed the player is allowed to look around for a couple of minutes and then the game ends. However, if one or more pieces are destroyed, an animated model of Jeff Koons walks out and chastises the viewer for annihilating his art. He then sends guards to kill the player. If the player survives this round then he or she is afforded the ability to enter a room where waves of curators, lawyers, assistants, and guards spawn until the player is dead. In the end, the game is unwinnable, and acts as a comment on the fine art studio system, museum culture, art and commerce, hierarchical power structures, and the destructive tendencies of gallery goers, to name a few.
Jeff Koons Must Die!!! [Hunter Jonakin]