Desert Split

Courtesy of Sony

If we agree that in the near future online console war videogames constitute the potential for crowdsourcing a "swarm-in-being," which may be leveraged in combat operations conducted by national armed services or private militia forces, then we must consider how the aesthetics of perception are entwined with these political ends.

What are the consequences of differential frames of perception between the two spaces — the videogamer toggling between first-person and third-person perspectives during play, while the actual military operation remains resolutely first-person, embodied and volumetric?

The task of developing the swarm-in-being appears to be twofold: to create and modulate a hypermediated representation of warfare for the gamer at home, but also to develop tools for the soldier in the field that similarly allow for toggling between first-person and third-person subjectivities. This newest mutation of Virilio's logistics of perception sees Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Desert Screen yielding to the topology of Desert Split.

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