They’re Onto Me: A Statement

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I come from a video art background. Ever since I got into larp, I had been wanting to experiment with video and social media to make something. That’s when I created ‘They’re Onto Me’, a single-player larp about paranoia and anxiety.
It’s a game heavily inspired by the late Vito Acconci’s ‘Theme Song’, YouTube vloggers, and my own social and general anxiety. I wrote it initially because I wanted to breach the gap between performance/video art and larp.

The core game that I submitted to Golden Cobra (which I’m now calling ‘They’re Onto Me: Grey’) is about an oncoming parasitic alien invasion. Players must vlog themselves over a course of twelve days for a minute at a time, talking about their experience, while answering the prompts that they’re provided with.

I like video as a medium, because people act differently on camera. The performance often is heightened with a camera in view. I also like the idea of people watching videos in private or with friends, feeling uncomfortable with the performance being translated through the limitations of a screen. However the idea of an artifact never was my main concern, because I like the temporal nature of larp and performance, but I was also conflicted with the notion of ideas becoming widespread and viral. So I just let it happen and gave players options of uploading their work or keeping it to themselves.

It’s been almost a year since I wrote ‘They’re Onto Me’. In that time, I saw Josh Jordan post a call for games for an anthology about conspiracies. That anthology was to be called ‘The Imposters’. It was a call for game designers who suffered from imposter syndrome. For those of you who aren’t familiar with imposter syndrome, the Wikipedia definition is: a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Of course, I was all like, “Hell yeah. I’m totally in on this.”

It’s funded and is now on it’s last five days. And I gotta say. It’s been really exciting and I am so proud to have my work in the same book as Alex Carlson, Nick Wedig, Todd Crapper, Tim Hutchings, Jay Sylvano and of course, Josh Jordan himself. Not to mention, this was edited by Jeremy Morgan. How did I survive this without seeming like a total fangirl? I’m not entirely sure. Trying to seem aloof and cool is really difficult. Especially when equally as talented game designers have played your game and have posted their experiences online.
You can find the anthology’s Kickstarter here.
Vito Acconci was a performance artist who had made a tremendous impact on a lot of my work. He was famous for his architecture and video art. The work that he did explored the use of private and public spaces and the boundaries between them. Though he had passed away recently, he lives on through his work in the viral networks of the internet, inspiring many (though he hated television and thought it was a waste of time).