Safe Space Participation Experiment

Although Valentina came out of the gallery I created and went to explore the world itself, I found that this experiment in my safe spaces was successful in that it helped me experience other people in my safe space – how they react in a space that was exclusively mine. It created an interesting parallel to real life: as if you were to see art in a gallery you would not go and blow it up with dynamite or fill it with lava, yet the participants in this experiment had no remorse for my art work in this space. Seeing the participants destroy/exist in my safe spaces made me feel extremely protective and territorial although it made me feel more resilient towards my art in that it is disposable. I could recreate it again, nothing is that precious.

On a personal level, I have created safe spaces, although on a bigger level, I am living in these online worlds which allow me to have a larger sense of control over the aesthetics. I invited others to experience this in my experiment and the outcomes were mostly predicted: as with Minecraft where the main use of the platform is to remove and place down blocks, the earlier is most likely to encourage the participants to do as the game indicates, destroy your surroundings.

The experiment gave others the chance to play with how my or their world may be, which is another aspect of escapism that Minecraft can bring to everyday people. It is interesting to see what games can do for people, especially as Minecraft does not have to be a social platform: you can spend hours and days completely living in this world that you are in complete control of which can be very domineering although interestingly this experiment allowed me to see their own experiences of my world. In Minecraft they could do whatever they wanted to do and there are no limits which enticed quite a few potential participants.

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