In a time when most gamers’ experience with video games was the action-packed, quarter-eating world of the arcade, early role-playing games for home consoles, like The Legend of Zelda, offered a slower, longer, gameplay experience that could unfold over weeks and months. An important element in such games was the save point: a place where the character had to return before quitting so the player could pick up where he left off. In games from the popular RPG series Final Fantasy, the save point was often represented as a bed—a fitting choice, since beds are a space of comfort and daily return in everyday life. When the player brings his character to the bed and saves, the character ostensibly goes to sleep, entering the world of dreams: an invisible fantasy within fiction that blurs the potentials of the game world and the player’s world.
Daniel Leyva—an avid player of the Final Fantasy series and other Japanese role-playing games—has materialized this ambiguity in his installation Save Point (2012). A child’s bed with gaming scenes projected on it stands as a post marking the viewer’s progress. It inverts the game’s modeling logic by bringing an element of a game into the space of the gallery: a real bed becomes a save point, an image that viewers can hold in their memory to save their movement in the world. Leyva is fascinated by the seamless intersection of online communities and everyday life. “Perhaps by providing physical manifestations of (virtual) objects we could address the relatedness of our virtual and real selves, to begin exploring the future of creating an even more symbiotic world and what this inevitable future may look like once everything has a connection to the web,” he says. “The bed save point is a perfect way for to me to express this link between fantasy and reality.”
Video link: Save Point (2012) by Daniel Leyva
Text by Gene McHugh
Save Point (2012) by Daniel Leyva is on display at 319 Scholes as part of Big Reality curated by Brian Droitcour until March 29th.