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2569432020-Feb-22 09:32
1033782020-Nov-16 20:33
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140172020-Nov-16 20:39

Villains and Heroes is an interactive fiction based on a real event: the costume party hosted by multi-billionaire Robert Mercer shortly after the election of Donald Trump in December 2016. Mercer was a major contributor to Trump's presidential campaign. The 25 guests the artist was able to identify are the protagonists of the story.

It all starts with the player being accidentally invited to this party. As the story unfolds, the player tries to uncover the identity of the disguised guests – among who Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage – carefully maneuvering the rooms in the mansion without getting exposed as an uninvited guest. The player hones their bluffing skills and gathers poker chips in the hope of winning a game of poker in a setting where truths, opinions, facts and lies are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from each other.

While progressing, the player discovers the incredible number of think tanks and lobby groups used to promote the denial of climate change, the targeting of fragile minorities as scapegoats, the lowering of taxes and the continued dismantling of the welfare state. The work explores how the guests plan to further their elitist agenda by tapping into the anger and frustration of citizens with a failing political system.

To visit the project, please go to https://villains-and-heroes.com.

This project is kindly supported by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Akademie Schloss Solitude and Stiftung Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg, through the Hash Award 2018 production prize.