If colossally boring performance art that leaves you with a vague sense of being trolled is your bag, then have I got the video game for you. Marina Abramovic — star of 2011's The Artist is Present — returns in another low-res homage to her work. Just remember to keep that shift key pressed.
To recap: Pippin Barr, himself an artist and an apparent admirer of Abramovic, created The Artist is Present back in 2011 to simulate one of Abramovic's greatest works — in which she sat, silently, for 736 hours and 30 minutes (not all at once) while patrons of the Museum of Modern Art were invited to sit opposite from her. The Artist is Present was a holistic simulation, including making the "player" wait in line for hours — in real time — to sit with Abramovic.
Well, if you thought that was compelling, now comes Barr's Digital Marina Abramovic Institute, which is part of the artist's campaign to open a real-life institute for her type of art. That recently raised more than $US600,000 on Kickstarter, and if you backed the project you get a code that allows you to play the "compatibility racer," accessed by entering the institute and walking left.
As you probably do not have the code, the fun begins when you pick up a set of headphones and go right of the desk. Then you go into some "exercise chambers," which require you to sign a contract promising you won't leave early. Trust me, there are consequences for not playing with total commitment.
I made it through one room before quitting. The first was an an "orientation room" that was nothing but a long set of instructions. The second room instructed me to walk, in slow-motion, to the right. I couldn't leave the room until I was instructed. I tried it twice, going too fast both times — and even encountering input lag, for god's sake. You must keep the shift key depressed to demonstrate that you are awake and actively participating — so this is how this damn thing commands your undivided attention. If you abandon the screen or leave the shift key unpressed for two or three seconds, you "fall asleep" for an hour.
Is this fun? Hell no. Is there some kind of enriching experience awaiting those who subdue their urges for instant gratification in interactive entertainment? I have no idea. I'm sure at least one of you achievement hounds will make it through and get your certificate and write about your experience.