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Type 1.5.11.

Artist Feature of Maxim Zmeyev

Hello everyone!

I want to present to you my first major project related to video games. This is my graduation project from the Rodchenko Art School.


Virtual Photography

Kallitype process

Contact printing

The project “Type 1.5.11.” represents a conceptual photo series made in the postapocalyptic MMO Action RPG Fallout 76. In the games of the last decade, there has been a transition to the model of game services that is being criticized today. In them, the player gets the opportunity to personally customize the content through permanent DLC additions (downloadable content). This allows you to think through the architecture and design of buildings to the smallest detail, which affects the roleplaying of characters in RPGs. Having gained a dubious reputation among gamers, Fallout 76 has become a real metaphor for the bad influence of the capitalist race on the gaming industry. Raw, overloaded, buggy and unfinished, this game doomed players to a dull wandering through an empty post-apocalyptic world. This makes Fallout 76 an interesting object for social research.

Referring to the nostalgic cataloguing of modernist functional buildings in the method of Berndt and Hilla Becher, the front-facing in-game camera captures the facades of the shelters-bases of various players. In the process of working on the project, more than a thousand personal buildings (c.a.m.p.) of the players were photographed. Based on the visual and functional elements used in the architecture, several types of interaction between players in the virtual world and with each other can be distinguished.

Applying the philosophical method of classification of the social division, from the ancient ‘State’ of Plato to the modern sociology of ‘cities, the author L. Boltanski identifies and classifies the differences and patterns that reflect functionality, as well as architectural and visual features of buildings built by players for themselves, thereby highlighting and distinguishing five types:

Guards (warriors) – military

Traders – business

Farmers – eco

Artisans —craft

Philosophers – ascetic

The result of the visual study “Type 1.5.11.” presents eleven photographs - five of which are arranged in a research diagram - the dimensions of the photo length correspond to the percentage of types represented relative to the total number of players. For the production of the states of art, the historical photo process was used - calytypium, patented in 1889 by the chemist V. Nikol, in which the image is developed as a result of a chemical process based on a mixture of iron salts, oxalic acid and silver nitrate.

When we examine a digital human dwelling - a house, a camp, a building - we can't determine with certainty the appearance, gender, age, and race of the players. Still, we can see their way of playing and the logic of in-game social interaction. The study “Type 1.5.11.” makes one wonder about the evolution of relations between a person and their habitat, the search for their own space and the feeling of something of their own and personal - from the Roman concept, ‘property’, where it was understood as an ancestral place in the world, the abode of secrets, a place of both birth and death, through the epochs, the social order - to the new perception of one's own home in a virtual realm.

Maxim Zmeyev is part of »Guest Room: Varun Gupta & Arpan Mukherjee«.