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The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game

The idea of The Making of Balkan Wars:The Game project came from one of those discussions within the Personal Cinema group about the reality (or virtual reality) presented through official narratives and industrial entertainment, about war games and epic strategy video games, about the primacy of an American Californian industry in the production and complete control of this specific market, which engages millions of people, worldwide. In a desperate search for the creation of local heroes and imagined zones of conflict, the creators of these visually realistic virtual games, very often present a simplified interpretation of human history and culture. As a consequence this form of virtual reality does not adequately describe the experiences of the people who are caught within the actual war games, and by entering homes all over the world threatens the character of national identity and any kind of democratic principles and rights to free opinion. In the live real-time/real-war videos of CNN and in video games, this simplification of culture and history is itself a form of violence.

The name Balkans sounds as a synonym of war and it is easily the subject of an analysis from that perspective, a point of view that represents the local history of nations and cultures as an omnipresent war game that defines the real and the imaginary in the lives of people. The rationalization of European societies during the 18th century and the appearance of the nation state were reflected in the Balkans through several national revolutions and the emergence of nationalism. The co-existence of three major religions mostly defines the interelational space of activity in the area. In many cases, the politics of culture and religion that brings pressure to bear upon the area, leads to isolationism which results in phenomena of the Bosnia and Kosovo type. Despite the politics of division practiced by the separate religions, they embrace some common basic values. A transcendent condition to the borders of South East Europe can only emerge gradually from the development of these common elements. It should be noted that apart from the rules of neutrality and mediation, a third rule for peace in a multicultural, multireligious environment is the rule of the common elements ... considered through sensitivity, understanding and adoption of the ethics and practices of people of other cultures.

The presentation and the distribution of the project have been possible so far via: The videogame Balkan Mall , the DVD documentary that contains the basic concepts and physical shows of the project, the web site and the online version of the game and as well as the catalogues of the presentations. In addition the Personal Cinema group is shooting actually a movie/documentary in Balkans which is scheduled to be ready at the end of the year (2005)

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Page last modified on October 11, 2005, at 01:47 PM