The Evolution of Arcadism: Decades Retold
Why we made the documentary about 80s Pop Culture (And why it's called "Arcadism")
I think it’s appropriate to share with you how Arcadism came to be as a media theory. This will help give insight into where the research and related projects are going. This is an opportunity for me to include some additional background information that didn’t make it into the final video.
Lets start at the Beginning
SoI was interested a couple of years ago in the idea of gaming and arcades being a great life teacher. It was through Arcades and other gaming experiences that I was able to learn more about the world. I thought that great games had a lot in common. I thought the best games celebrated “The Crossover”: Combining two ideas or intellectual properties that don’t seem to go together but find a reason to cross paths in the same fictional universe. Crossovers allowed us to see video games as art-works and in a totally new context. Thus, these artworks of popular culture furthered the youth’s imagination on what could be possible.
I suppose, as a kid in America, you’re often told what’s not possible. And you’re definitely not shown how to cultivate your interests or way of thinking. So I started to realize that, as we grow up, our interests were sort-of downplayed by people older than us.
But at the same time, I understood that practically all interests are grounded in some culture, science, or philosophy. There’s a reason why you like what you like. So I started investigating.
I kept seeing relationships between what the Arcade experience felt like for me and the various subcultures and genres discussed online. There were many really cool conversations going on in different threads, but there wasn’t an intentional connection between these subjects all in one place.
For example, you can find Vaporwave artwork that features arcade machines. And arcade machine work well within several artistic frameworks; they work as symbols of nostalgia and Japanese culture…but they also work as something more metaphysical…this metaphysical nature I plan to write more about in the future…
But for now, let's get back to the documentary and why we decided to tell the story through previous decades ……