PlanetCrap 6.0!
Front Page (ATOM) • Submission Bin (2) • ArchivesUsersLoginCreate Account
You are currently not logged in.
Quake Friends
November 23rd 2002, 08:13 CET by m0nty

There mustn't be much to do in Reno, Nevada. A bunch of college kids from the local university have staged a reenactment of an episode of the Friends TV show on an online Quake 3 server. The ringleader was Joseph DeLappe, an self-proclaimed "artist" who played Ross. Before we begin, it must be said that Joseph has already, in all likelihood, been condemned to spend eternity in the fiery pits of Sheol, so we shouldn't be too harsh on him.

DeLappe is a performance artist, which basically means he repurposes existing objects in attempt to create art, as in this piece involving a model train set drawing a circle. This is not the first time he has "performed" on online gaming servers - in fact, the Quake Friends piece is part of a series started last year when he logged on to a Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force server and proceeded to quote the entirety of Allen Ginsberg's poem, Howl. DeLappe has also claimed artistic status for playing Unreal, shopping on eBay, and doing his taxes. He also has a thing for the mouse, not to mention sex dolls.

Of course, this is not the first time FPSs have been used for artistic purposes, with entire movies being created within FPS engines at sites like Machinima, but the Quake Friends performance was in real time, which makes it somewhat different. There was no work done in skinning the Q3A models to make them resemble the actual characters. One notable fact in the performance was that all of the actors were male, which hardly subverts the hegemonic paradigm when it comes to online gaming. In a display of good taste which brings a tear to the eye of every Friends-hatah, the other players on the Q3A server at the time took great delight in killing the "cast" multiple times.

Our performers functioned as passive, neutral visitors to the game - we were constantly killed and reincarnated to continue the performance. The work is intended as a parodic mixing of popular entertainment to create a temporal occurrence of clashing inanities.

Is Quake Friends a brilliant critique of the Buddhist nature of online gaming, where all the world's a stage, and the players get reincarnated continuously to serve their place on the great wheel of life? Or is DeLappe the laziest performance artist in history? Can valid art exist in an online gaming server? What next: UT2k3 Touched By An Angel?
Home » Topic: Quake Friends

|«« - Previous Page - Next Page - »»|
#1 by Ryslin
2002-11-23 08:14:40
(waves piece of paper)
It's my fault. I like talking about wierdness.

At least I like watching you guys do so.

#2 by Dethstryk
2002-11-23 08:22:55
Valid art? No, it's just silly.

Any faith I had in humanity has taken a train to Monte Carlo and spent the last of my savings on roulette.
#3 by Squeaky
2002-11-23 08:26:18

morn is our weekly special at an incredibly low price of $7
Pitiful DVD Collection
#4 by LesJarvis
2002-11-23 08:39:46
Back in the Quake 1 days, I used to follow the "machinima" movement somewhat closely, via the Quake Movie Page.  I enjoyed seeing people take on these big, messy experiments, like "Eschaton: Darkening Twilight" and "Devil's Covenenant."  While these projects hardly qualified as high art, and perhaps failed even to achieve the label of trash art, it was still compelling to see people trying to do something interesting using this new, unproven medium.  They occasionally even produced memorable results, such as "Blahbalicious."

This, however, is just a complete load of shit.

Instead of actually putting work and effort into creating something new and original, this guy basically took a "Friends" script, and sat there typing it in.  Even if one ignores the poor choice of source material, you're still left with a project involving little work, and less imagination.  This qualifies as "art" about as much as a polaroid of me taking a piss would.  Which is to say, not at all.

#5 by Matt Davis
2002-11-23 08:49:35
There could be so many better things to be doing in life, even for a bunch of no life geeks.

Like posting on a message board for instance.

Happy Birthday to me!
#6 by jafd
2002-11-23 10:10:44
I'm in favor of anything that lets me turn Ross into gibs.

Don't laugh -- you're next.
#7 by "DarkYouth"
2002-11-23 13:04:50 HTTP://
Examining those screenshots reveals they all suck at Quake III Arena too.....
#8 by Russ
2002-11-23 13:20:37
I may be the only one enjoying this. Look at the screenshots. That goofy "Friends" dialogue mixed with Quake 3's death messages during the constant killing gave me a chuckle. I'l like to see them do this while performing as Oprah and Dr. Phil.

You're a bit late to the party. We gave up on that discussion days ago. It was too on-topic.--Ergo
#9 by Ashiran
2002-11-23 13:57:07
Art is art the moment someone percieves it as such. So art only exists in your mind. And therefore discussing if something is art or not is even more futile then discussing musical tastes.


"This is planetcrap, where we nuke everything from orbit." - Bailey
#10 by Matthew Gallant
2002-11-23 14:14:05
Examining those screenshots reveals they all suck at Quake III Arena too.....

I laud this post as a superior piece of work to the one presented in the topic.

"Is the internet making people less intelligent?"
"You mean like how video cameras cause thrown objects to hit men in the crotch?"
#11 by jjohnsen
2002-11-23 14:59:27
They could have at least found, or made, some Friends skins.

I am trying to catch up to Ergo's Dvd collection.
#12 by jjohnsen
2002-11-23 15:04:08
The One Where Emma Cries

[Scene: Rachelís Hospital Room, Ross is sitting next to Rachel.]

Ross: You said youíd marry Joey?

Rachel: Okay you have to realize, I was exhausted, I was emotional, I would have said yes to anybody. Like that time you and I got married! (Pause) Iím not helping.

Ross: So you said yes to him, and you just had our baby?

Rachel: That is right and traditionally the daddy is supposed to give the mummy a present but I am prepared to let that go.

Ross: So when I came in here to see if you wanted to maybe start things up again, you were engaged to my best friend.

Rachel: WellóReally? I thought Chandler was your best friend.

Ross: Well, Chandlerís my oldest friend, but Joeyís myóNo! Ah! (points at Rachel)

Rachel: Ooooo!

I am trying to catch up to Ergo's Dvd collection.
#13 by jjohnsen
2002-11-23 15:04:28
Joey: (Enters) Hey you guys Iím gonna take off. I just wanted to let you guys know, say goodbye.

Ross: Rachel said sheíd marry you?!

Joey: (He looks around the room) This isnít the right room, sorry folks. (leaves)

Opening Credits

[Scene: Ross and Rachelís, Monica, Phoebe, Joey and Chandler are waiting for Ross and Rachel to come home and Monica is looking at the sign Phoebe bought that says, "Itís a Boy!"]

Monica: Ok, I donít wanna be negative so Iíll say that most of the signs you bought are good.

Phoebe: No they ran out of "Itís a girl" but I can fix this one, (She writes "not" in between itís and a) See?

Monica: (looking at Chandler sleeping with a balloon in his mouth) So sexy. (Waking him up.) Honey.

Chandler: Yea yea. (Pulls the balloon out of his mouth)

Monica: Honey why donít you go lie down.

Chandler: No, no, Ross and Rachel will be back soon and then I gotta go to the office (Pulls another balloon out of his mouth) Am I producing them?

Joey: Whyíre you so tired?

I am trying to catch up to Ergo's Dvd collection.
#14 by jjohnsen
2002-11-23 15:04:48
Chandler: Couldnít sleep last night you know, then I started worrying about this big divisional meeting that I have later today, the more I worried about it the more I couldnít sleep.  Yíknow? I was like, if I fall asleep now Iíll get six hours sleep, but if I fall asleep now Iíll get five hours sleep. Not matter what I did I couldnít fall asleep.

Joey: You know what you shouldíve done, you should have told yourself that little story.

Rachel: (enters with Emma) Hi!

Everyone: Hi, welcome home!

Monica: Phoebe did the signs!

Rachel: Oh you guys thanks for doing this.

Phoebe: Look at all the stuff people sent!

Rachel: Oh Ah! (Sees a big stuffed gorilla) Oh my gosh thereís something every mother needs, a giant stuffed gorilla that takes up the entire apartment! What are people thinkÖ (Reads the card) Oh you guys I love it.

Joey: Hey so whereís Ross?

Rachel: Heís downstairs getting the rest of the stuff out of the cab.

Joey: Is he still mad at us?

I am trying to catch up to Ergo's Dvd collection.
#15 by jjohnsen
2002-11-23 15:07:01
Should I keep going?  Or do you all think I'm an artist yet?  Look, I'm typing dialogue from a funny sitcom!  IT doesn't belong on a messageboard about games, hot coffee and blaming the Jews!  I'm an arTIST!

I am trying to catch up to Ergo's Dvd collection.
#16 by Matt Davis
2002-11-23 15:12:29

I would love to!
#17 by jjohnsen
2002-11-23 15:13:06
You just don't understand art.

I am trying to catch up to Ergo's Dvd collection.
#18 by Marsh Davies
2002-11-23 15:46:27
The only thing I'd give credit for in this display of banal imbecility is that at least DeLappe himself believes it's art, whic......


#19 by Marsh Davies
2002-11-23 15:52:28

As I was saying...

At least DeLappe himself believes it's art, which, in age of duplicitous rip-off merchants making sensationalist crap to deluge the public sphere, is pretty unusual. His art won't get very much press, comparatively, and yet he does it anyway; the sign of being genuine? An idiot, of course, but genuine.

#20 by Hugin
2002-11-23 15:57:41
I think the art of it is in the incongruity, not the act itself.  That is to say, a Freind's script isn't art, it's just commercial media.  Typing it out isn't art, it's just typing.  But doing it in the middle of a Quaker server I think is art, interactive or participatory performance art in this case, with the regular players still capping them.

Putting familiar things in a new environment or context to get you thinking differently about the thing, or the context is pretty solid, standard art theory stuff.  I mean, in other threads in the past we've talked about how odd video game worlds are, worlds where the sum total of interaction possible is jumping on things, or shooting things, or the way video game worlds have thier own logic, how from game to game to game, even in different genres made by different people, there's a sort of identifiable logic to say the "power up" that doesn't map to the real world in any way. Or the (almost) universal "game logic" that no matter how horrible a monster or room full of monsters is, it/they cannot for some reason follow you through doors, etc.  Or just the logic that whole ecosystems of monsters will wander around in a cave waiting evidently only to fight you, but never each other.

And if we talked about sitcoms, we'd be able to make similar observations about "sitcom reality".  The ability of young struggling people living in New York to live in apartments that would cost thousands of dollars a month. The 'universal living room layout'. That people seemingly never lock thier doors, to better facilitate the wacky neighbor/nosy mother/gruff landlord popping in.  Etc.

Squishing one very odd 'reality' into another one is kind of interesting.  And of course they butt heads with each other, the Quake players really don't have a means to stop the Friends people from doing the "show", and the Friends people don't really have a means to stop the Quake people from capping them.   But what if say...they did an episode featuring a significant quest star, and one of the Quake players knew the ep, and started "playing" that boyfriend of the week or whatever?

Real TV shows and movies and books do this idea all the time of course.  Sending people out of thier reality into another to see how they clash, usually for laughs, but sometimes for drama.  Time travel stories, send the hick to the big city or vice versa stories, send the ethnic majority member into a minority environment stories.  Bring two rival factions together to work towards a common goal stories.

Or sex (and porn) where doing regular things in irregular places is exciting (or profitable).

Anyway, it seems to me like this is just a continuation or extension of something that's very human, using juxtaposition or recontextualitzation to make you think a little differently about your reality, or just make you laugh at the absurdity of it.

Whether it's good or bad art is a personal thing, but I think it's safe to call it art.  It's certainly not commerce or craft (which is the big sticking point in many discussions like this, whether some movie or book is art or just a functional tool for conveying information or making money)
#21 by Marsh Davies
2002-11-23 16:09:31
Oh, it's art alright, and whether you like it is certainly a subjective issue; but I think you can be more objective about it's quality as art: A simple, and vaguely satisfying juxtaposition does not compare with kind of ideological complexity, craftmanship and originality of works in years past.

#22 by Hugin
2002-11-23 16:16:50
Yeah, but where is this going? We're talking babay steps right now, and even the greatest artists we know generally had early, unpolished works before they really clicked into their thing.  Maybe Friends isnt' the right material. Maybe it's ER, or Seinfeld, or Shakespeare, dunno.  Maybe Quake servers isn't the right place.  Maybe an MMOG environment.  Like, a guild of people setting up a little slice of "Sitcom New York" right in the middle of some fantasy thing, EQ or whatever.  I dunno.
#23 by Marsh Davies
2002-11-23 16:34:34
Hmm. True enough, but I'm not sure you're getting my point - the best art is an assault on every aesthetic and intellectual facet of understanding and communication. I strongly believe this. With a script from main stream media juxtaposed with an ultraviolent video game environment, you are stripping down art to one element - the concept. This I feel cannot compete with art which has aesthetic appeal, craftmanship and originality as well as a powerful concept.

More generally: just what is he trying to say? Is it simply the juxtaposition of comedy and violence, or the constant rebirth and continuation in adverse circumstances that m0nty suggests. Is it both? No clear answer, and I don't think DeLappe cares there to be. This is my beef with a good deal of modern art and modern critical theory - that you can draw your own meanings from art, and authorial integrity, context et all are worthless.

This I find to be wholly useless and shallow: there may well be a plethora of vague meanings you can draw from this art, but when you do, it is not because the art is directing you at any one, it's because you are attempting to analyse it; and as such it is producing meanings that are only relevant to you. To this end you only ever see a relfection of yourself in such art, and personally, I feel it's a bit of an insult to think that I lead such an unexamined life that I require, or even find it interesting, to examine myself in such a banal and narcissistic way via a piece of art. I want to be challenged, and given new ideas; if I just impose my own existing ideas on something, there is no challenge, nothing new.

#24 by Battle-Dwarf
2002-11-23 16:47:53
Re: Art

Cell shaded graphics seem to have a pleasant design aesthetic.  I've been hearing a lot about Jet Grind Radio so I picked up a copy.  I like it.
I have an old  friend who traded away Jet Set Radio Future for XBOX and asked why? He said he just didn't like it. The colors. The art. The theme.  He also said it made him dizzy.

In spite of what he says,  I liked a lot of things about the first game. So I'll be collecting games w/ cell shaded art.

The Male Battle-Dwarf

Battle-Dwarf was here.
#25 by jafd
2002-11-23 16:55:05
"You call yourself an artist, you son of a bitch?"

Don't laugh -- you're next.
#26 by Hugin
2002-11-23 17:03:50
Hm.  I think we disagree about art then.  I mean, I see what you're saying, and I agree with it to a point, but I also feel that there's a place (for example) for art to simply convey something like beauty, without it necessarily being a challenge to anything or an examination of anything aside from the beauty itself.  

And I very much believe that it's vaild to let the observer be stimulated to thier own insights or conclusions, without directing them, there's nothing wrong to my mind in letting the concept stand alone, because then the art happens in the mind of the viewer.  The piece itself serves as a catalyst, a fulcrum, and the creation of meaning may be invisible (unless it engenders a reaction that can be seen by a third observer), but that doesn't devalue it.  It's not just an imposition of your pre-existing ideas, but hopefully, the sythesis or even creation of new ideas as you see the world in a new way.  Heck, maybe secretly the art is supposed to be in us talking about it, I'd love to put portions of some of the weirder 'crap threads up in a gallery somewhere.

 Maybe you feel you're introspective enough that such an approach is meaningless to you, even insulting, but idon't think that's universally true, especially in an environment outside of the crap where you have high levels of participation in popular culture like gaming, but not necessarily much thought about it.

As for the artist himself, as I said I personally don't necessarily require the artist to weave his or her intent into the presentation of the work, maybe Delappe will be more forthcoming later in life, or in reaction to attacks on his work, or in reaction to his own philosophical evolution, I don't think it affects the work itself much.

Overall, I just think it's too soon to draw any major qualitative conclusions. It's new art dealing with a new media (even TV, the other half of it, is pretty new) by a young artist, it may be his greatest contribution is simply that he sparks some later person to react to his work (even as a repudiation of it) with something different that turns out to be truly great.
#27 by Battle-Dwarf
2002-11-23 17:15:45
With cell shading,  it'll be cool to see comic book artists (like Jim Mahfood, or Kyle baker)  do some incredible stuff for games.

The Male Battle-Dwarf

Battle-Dwarf was here.
#28 by Sgt Hulka
2002-11-23 17:34:15
What is Friends?

#29 by Neale
2002-11-23 17:37:02
Something that normal people have. It's part of a social life.

You can't derail this train of idiocy, Shadarr. Not even with a big fat cow of logic on the tracks.
#30 by Battle-Dwarf
2002-11-23 17:39:59


Battle-Dwarf was here.
#31 by Warren Marshall
2002-11-23 17:41:18

"Quit whining you haven't done anything wrong because, frankly, you haven't done much of anything."
#32 by Battle-Dwarf
2002-11-23 17:42:06
Heh Heh.


Battle-Dwarf was here.
#33 by Sgt Hulka
2002-11-23 17:52:18

#34 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-11-23 17:56:04
Who voted this abortion in?

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#35 by Marsh Davies
2002-11-23 17:56:12
Good points, Hugin - I agree, there is certainly a place for art that concentrates on a single element, like beauty, for example. Often the most beautiful works are those that simply concentrate on this and no other element. I think perhaps I'm more harsh on conceptual art, because more often than not, the concept that's focussed upon has been done to death, and I feel originality is an integral part of the quality of a concept; where as it's not so much tied to the quality of aesthetics. I get so horribly depressed when I think about how little main-stream art has evolved over the last hundred years: the Dadaists with their ready-mades did in the 1920s a lot of what Warhol then repeated in 1960s. And then Damien Hirst comes along with his juxtaposed 'Young Scientists' toy and says it all again. Shut up! Shut UP! SHUT UP! Get a new idea! This kind of round-and-round cynical conceptual introspection is just art incest.

#36 by Hugin
2002-11-23 18:29:26
It's funny Marsh, I think part of what you're complaining about (and I agree with you largely) in terms of a certain repetitiveness in conceptual art is due (maybe) to a couple of related-ish factors.  

One, I think the 20's, 30's and 40's are in some ways a lost time artistically, blown away by Wolrd War 2 and the massive shifts in attitude that came afterwards, this whole attitude you can see pervading political and social debates nowadays that acts as if nothing before WW2 existed, in terms of race relations, gender relations, political and religious thought, etc. The nascent cold war and the rise of TV/suburban culture ground a lot of art and artists off the face of the map for all intents and purposes.

The other part of it is the idea that in a lot of these cases, the artists are trying to get a lesson across to the culture, about reality, about commercialism, about social mores, about conformity, etc, and the culture gets it for a brief period, but then complacency sets in or there's a backlash,  or the young whippersnappers don't want to hear some old crap by some old or dead folks, and the "lesson" has to be taught all over again.  Just as political topics come up again and again in different generations (let's have another round of that old standard, "freedom vs. security" why don't we?), maybe certain conceptual ideas need to be brought back up and re-examined again and again too.  But unless you're really into art, you simply don't know to look to the Dadaists of the 20's, all you know is that Warhol guy really seems to be onto something.  

Kids needs to get a better art education anyway.
#37 by Matt Davis
2002-11-23 19:27:22
Hard to give kids an excellent art history education when parents are so busy burning and banning books and sticking thier noses in everything at school but paying no attention to what the kids get up to at home and with thier friends.

I would love to!
#38 by Marsh Davies
2002-11-23 19:31:00
What do you mean, Matt? What books have been banned?

#39 by yotsuya
2002-11-23 19:35:27
I just got Neverwinter Nights brand new for $15. Good deal?

"He's not a moron at all, he's a friend. My personal relations with the president are extremely good."
#40 by Ergo
2002-11-23 19:36:56
A very good deal, and far more interesting than debating whether idiots who act out Friends on a Quake server are making "art."

I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T! I mean S-M-A-R-T!

#41 by jafd
2002-11-23 19:41:46
I am still hoping for a Crap Campaign in NWN. It's a pretty heavy endeavor, so I'm not surprised one hasn't come about.

Or perhaps it did, and no one invited me. That'd be more likely. Fuckos.

Don't laugh -- you're next.
#42 by Matt Davis
2002-11-23 19:42:12

Not here in the UK, I was talking about your average small town america.

I would love to!
#43 by yotsuya
2002-11-23 19:44:37
RE: His Art

I've had pieces in art shows and can appreciate abstract art, performance art, and modern art. However, simply typing the script of a Friends episode during a game of Quake III is a big stretch for me. It doesn't "say" anything to me. If he's going for social commentary, typing the speeches of such pacifists as Ghandi, MLK, and others would have had more of an effect. Typing the text of one of Bush's saber-rattling speeches would have made a statement. But Friends? Or any sitcom for that matter just really doesn't DO anything other than present the point of blending TV with video games. It COULD be an effective type of visual presentation, but I just didn't see it in what he and his group did.

"He's not a moron at all, he's a friend. My personal relations with the president are extremely good."
#44 by yotsuya
2002-11-23 19:46:40
MC Pink-

I wouldn't say AVERAGE small town America burns books and bans stuff. It's more like Christian fundamentalist groups in ANY town pushing their agendas.

"He's not a moron at all, he's a friend. My personal relations with the president are extremely good."
#45 by yotsuya
2002-11-23 19:48:02
While I'm at it, can anyone recommend some good NWN single-player user made campaigns?

"He's not a moron at all, he's a friend. My personal relations with the president are extremely good."
#46 by MCorleone
2002-11-23 20:07:26
Hugin - I disagree that the 20-40's were artistically bankrupt.  I'm a fan of the propaganda art - The originals of the stuff that places like SomethingAwful like to photoshop.  That's some phenomenal stuff and really has a tangible connection to the emotions of the time: art by definition.

Imagine the world in a bottle.  We take that bottle, smash it, and open your throat with it.  I warn you, we are murderous - COIL
#47 by Hugin
2002-11-23 20:15:10
I wouldn't call it literal book burning or book banning.  But a whole lot of politics go into textbook selection and what books and magazines a school library is allowed to procure and what books a teacher is allowed to assign.  At least that was the case back when I was ducking out of gym classes by being a library assistant and listening to the librarian and the teachers griping about it in the lounge. :p

The politics goes in all directions of course, for example, there was griping in some cases about books by black or female or gay authors being taught instead of the "classics", your (stereotypical dead white usual literary suspects).  

I'd say the place where conservative or christian fundamentalist influence was most damaging was outside of things like history, and literature, but rather the sciences.  School boards being pressured to teach creationism alongside evolution, or sex/health education being shaped heavily by abstinence vs. birth control, or whether or not there'd be any discussion of homosexuality, etc.

Yotsuya, I'd argue that Friends being banal is sort of part of the point.  In a way, I think standing in the middle of a virtual warzone and reciting the words of a famous pacifist would be actually kind of heavy handed and obvious.  Is the point of the piece to say violence is bad?  Or is it more subtle and absurdist than that? I dunno.
#48 by LPMiller
2002-11-23 20:56:58

I believe I can fly......urk.
#49 by Caryn
2002-11-23 21:02:47


Speak for yourself...I don't know enough about art to contribute meaningfully at all to the conversation, but I'm really enjoying reading the discussion.

"Went to eat my breakfast the next morning, the blues started to walkin' all over my bread..." -- Sonny Boy Williamson, 23 Hours Too Long
#50 by yotsuya
2002-11-23 21:38:09
Hugin, you said-

Yotsuya, I'd argue that Friends being banal is sort of part of the point.  In a way, I think standing in the middle of a virtual warzone and reciting the words of a famous pacifist would be actually kind of heavy handed and obvious.  Is the point of the piece to say violence is bad?  Or is it more subtle and absurdist than that? I dunno.

You are totally correct here when you mention we really don't know the intent. If the purpose is to be absurd, then I suppose they picked the correct message. I'm saying I think they would be taken seriously if they had some purpose in using Quake III and typing text.

"He's not a moron at all, he's a friend. My personal relations with the president are extremely good."
Home » Topic: Quake Friends

|«« - Previous Page - Next Page - »»|
P O S T   A   C O M M E N T

You need to be logged in to post a comment here. If you don't have an account yet, you can create one here. Registration is free.
Simple formatting: [b]bold[/b], [i]italic[/i], [u]underline[/u]
Web Links: []Cool Site[/url], [url][/url]
Email Links: []Email me[/email], [email][/email]
Simple formatting: Quoted text: [quote]Yadda yadda[/quote]
Front Page (ATOM) • Submission Bin (2) • ArchivesUsersLoginCreate Account
You are currently not logged in.
There are currently 0 people browsing this site. [Details]