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PainStation wins International Media Art Award

Finally a jury is brave enough to award our pain inflicting baby!

PainStation wins the main price in the interactive division of the award issued by the german TV station SWR and the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) Karlsruhe. Among respect and fame, an aluminum/plexiglas trophy and a big check is now ours.

imkp_ceremony.jpg

Masaki Fujihata, member of the jury, writes:

"PainStation is something more than a simple game machine working in precisly the opposite way from usual. The satisfaction derived from amusement arcades results from conflict between a machine and a player. But PainStation is based on the contrast between physical pain and a tiny, cheap win at the famous game of Pong.

PainStation analyzes the structure of addiction to games. It suggests that the game and the physical damage done to someone's hand could activate a kind of hormone.

People may well say that this is a media art piece, but in reality it's a struggle between two human players. The piece has a system built into it that creates a relationship similar to that of two people who are fighting (two players).
PainStation is not a media art piece; it is a hormone art piece"

Petra Kaiser sums it up at the end of her thorough statement, also in the catalogue accompanying the award:

"With PainStation, Morawe, Reiff and Kirschner succeeded in the designing of an ironic, entertaining and playfully provocative comment on the current discussion about the nature of experiences as provided by current, especially commercial video and computer games."