Photographic prints, 2011
Matteo Bittanti [US] and IOCOSE [UK]
In 2011, IOCOSE and Matteo Bittanti worked together to create Game Arthritis, a staged photographic documentation of deformities induced by video gaming. What are the real effects of digital gaming on our fingers, hands and bodies Game Arthritis is an ongoing project that imagines a future where the conformity of interfaces on everyday devices is beginning to produce real physical consequences for the users. These pathologies—labelled collectively “game arthritis”—were exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2011 and at the Fabio Paris Art Gallery. Matteo Bittanti and IOCOSE have imagined a scenario in between scientific truth and apocalyptic narratives, factual and fictitious information. According to the artists, research on such deformities has been conducted for some time in clinical laboratories across the globe—however doctors and researchers are seldom willing to share their findings with the general population. Although evidence of new technologically-induced diseases is now becoming known outside of the scientific community, “game arthritis” is not officially “recognised”.
"“Game Arthritis investigates the narratives which attempt to understand the relations between body and media technologies, and their relevance for medical and scientific research. Game Arthritis was the general term used to refer to the negative physical effects of digital games on the body of video game consumers. Allegedly supported by scientific research, the disease has been ‘factual’ for over a decade, since the early ‘90s and ‘00s. It emerged in several circumstances in mainstream and specialised media, with reports of real cases of gamers permanently deformed by prolonged use of video games. A series of changes in the social and shared perception of digital games as not dangerous or even positive tools has caused a disappearance of this disease. Thousands of players feel real pain in their bodies. Affected subjects are not delusional. Photos and images are beginning to circulate on the internet in which the effects of game arthritis are visible. We have collected a few samples.”"
—Matteo Bittanti [US] and IOCOSE [UK]