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Bomberman 2014

Bomberman 2014 by Hye Young Kim aand Tohm Judson

Bomberman 2014

Hye Young Kim and Tohm Judson, 2014

Inspired my Hudson Soft’s popular Bomberman (Japan 1983), a maze game in which players kill their competition and destroy obstacles with bombs to level-up and win, Bomberman 2014 is a critical game that prompts players to reflect upon the act of bombing, in other words, killing people for points. Whereas Bomberman's original iteration was set in an anonymous maze, Bomberman 2014 is set in recognizable locations where bombers have destroyed property and injured and killed humans and other forms of life: Oklahoma City in 1995, Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, Mumbai in 2008, and Boston in 2013. Players have one bomb and one life, leaving them with the decision to injure and kill innocent bystanders or warn them of the impending explosion. Unsettling the typical convention of winning my amassing the largest number of points—in this case representing people injured or killed, Bomberman 2014 proposes that “winning” might come through losing the game by conventional expectations, that is, by injuring and killing the fewest number of people by strategically situating one’s icon.

Hye Young Kim (South Korea/United States) is a video performance/installation artist, whose work investigates what she calls “human existence with physical and psychological traces by integrating traditional art-making techniques with experimental video and interactivity.” Her work has been exhibited in Germany, South Korea, and the United States. She teaches at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.

Tohm Judson (United States) works in acoustic and electronic music, collaborating with artists on audio, video, installation, and dance. His compositions have been performed in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. His first album, still life, is available now on cdbaby and iTunes. He teaches at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.