26Enabling the Future, or How to Survive FOREVER

Annet Dekker

A wall covered with paper print outs, resembling an architectural drawing of the inside of an immense house. Some of its surroundings can be discerned: a beach, a yacht. Against a black background colourful bars show the contours of the different rooms. Each print also describes the specific space, from bathroom to kitchen, to attic. The early computer aesthetics are clearly visible in the typeface as well as the minimal and crude design of the drawing. On the other side of the wall is a large table with various screens: a 1980s television CRT monitor, a flat screen computer monitor and an iPad touchscreen. Two kids are trying to play the game, running backwards and forwards, they are finding their way through the game by comparing the images on the television monitor with the plan of the mansion on the other side of the wall.1 (JODI, Jet Set Willy FOREVER, 2010, at the exhibition Funware, MU, Eindhoven, November 2010)

Around the turn of the millennium, artist duo JODI, Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans, started to revive the old computer game Jet Set Willy (1984) (Figure 26.1). The game had attracted their attention because it had been programmed in BASIC, one of the first computer languages designed to empower users of one of the initial personal home computers, the now obsolete ZX Spectrum, which was released in the UK in 1984. The popular video game Jet Set Willy was one of the earliest non-linear games, featuring ...

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