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Being Faust: Enter Mephisto

“If I sold my friends to find love and get rich … wouldn’t that be a good deal?” “Being Faust – Enter Mephisto” is a “big game”.
It’s a physical game enriched with online and social media elements, based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s drama “Faust”. The game format is unique: A group of players gathers at a specific site at a specific time. Each player assumes the role of young Faust. Equipped with a smartphone and the intention to take life on, the players enter the tempting digital world of MEPHISTO&co., where values and ideals are up for sale. Upon logging into the game, the deal between Faust and MEPHISTO&co. is sealed; the soul sold, and thus begins the game of seduction: how far are the players willing to go? Can success and beauty really be purchased? Is there a way back into “uninvolved pleasure”, to true love and friendship? The starting point for this innovative project, which has been developed by Goethe-Institut Korea and NOLGONG, was the question of how and with which means Faust and Mephisto were to meet in the digital age. The universal questions remain the same: What do I value in life? What are my personal values based on? Which price am I willing to pay for success?
Working with Nolgong and the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, I was the production manager for the "Being Faust: Enter Mephisto" game that formed part of the Amaze Johannesburg Festival. This project was the start of an ongoing relationship that I have formed with Amaze and Goethe. For this project my role was to co-ordinate the installation, running and strike for the duration of the team's visit.
For weeks leading up to the arrival of the NOLGONG team, Francois (Goethe-Institut Client manager) and I were in constant email contact with NOLGONG, working on the designs, fabrications and site preparations.
My first priority was to ensure that the Ithuba Gallery was prepared for the arrival of the NOLGONG team and that all the required materials were onsite and the onsite team were prepared. Once Peter and his team arrived it was a fast paced build to construct the boxes, test the server and the system and practice the game, ahead of the first guests arriving. After 2 days of preparations, we were ready to open to the public. Once the game was live, my responsibility was to monitor the attendees, manage the client, manage the crew, ensure that the game was running correctly and that all other services were running smoothly.
After the final evening we were set to break down the set up and assist our clients on their way to the net location.

Project Tags

  • gaming
  • faust
  • Literature
  • large scale
  • gallery
  • Amaze festival
  • Nolgong
  • Goethe-Institut
  • game art
  • books

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