LUNAR TRAILS

Game installation, 2012

Seb Lee -Delisle [UK]

Created in 1979, Lunar Lander was one of the of the very first arcade games. The display didn’t use scan lines like a normal television at the time, instead, the cathode ray moved around to make shapes, the same way that laseriums made pictures with lasers. Sadly, Lunar Lander had a fairly limited lifespan and was quickly superseded by perhaps the most famous vector game ever, Asteroids. In fact, most of the early Lunar Landers had their insides unceremoniously ripped out and were converted to Asteroids cabinets. A few years ago, as a tribute to the early pioneers of arcade gaming, Seb Lee- Delisle decided to recreate Lunar Lander in Flash and in both 2D and 3D with much of the physics and collision detection working. For GAME, Seb is bringing this concept from the internet into reality, complete with a full size arcade cabinet and a 3-metre wide drawing machine that produces artwork on paper in real time as you play Lunar Lander. The players’ trails will build up throughout the course of the exhibition to produce several large scale artworks. The game is available to play online at www.moonlander.seb.ly and online players will also be shown on screen, producing digital images that will be posted to Twitter on the @LunarLander account.

LUNAR TRAILS

"“I’ve long been intrigued by Lunar Lander. I’m not entirely sure why, I think there’s something about its difficulty, pace and aesthetic that really appeals to me. It’s a slow game, and you’re quietly floating around for ages but the tension builds and builds as you get closer to the landing zone. To express my love, I made an homage to the game in HTML5 and JavaScript, and, as a test of multi-user technology, adapted it to broadcast players’ positions. My app monitors each player’s progress and draws trails as they move. After leaving a test running overnight I woke up to see a beautiful trails image. As with most of my work, it’s nothing without the active participation of the public.”"

—Seb Lee -Delisle [UK]