For Immediate Release April 1st 2003


Staying in to Play
by John Paul Bichard

Variablemedia is pleased to announce it's latest project, 'Staying in to Play' by John Paul Bichard. Bichard will develop a 3D video game environment during his 90 day on-line residency at the site, starting on April 7th 2003. Beginning with a near blank 3D digital space, regular visitors to the site will see the environment, structure and functionality of the game mutate and modify, towards an indeterminate end.

'Staying in to Play' will explore the illusionary, immersive space that is first person digital game play. Interaction drives the logic of the sophisticated gaming environment. The player is posited as a potential victor in a space where endless replay, repetition or a broad narrative spectrum masks it's limits. Bichard's project will reconfigure the usual relationship between the player and a game's internal logic, questioning ideas about compulsive gaming experiences.

"I am interested in exploring the zone where consciousness is blurred and beliefs and values are suspended or subverted. The First Person digital game is particularly relevant in that it positions the player as prime effector, prime focus and target, eroding the distance between the real and fantasy. Key to this is the means by which players are empowered and develop influence through the uncovering of patterns and narratives, through encountering multiple 'death' or transformation experiences and how this affects implied identity and consequence within the game space."
John Paul Bichard 2003

John Paul Bichard is an artist, writer and games designer. A contributor to the 'International Corporation of Lost Structures' ( he was computer and video games editor of Mute magazine from 1995 to 2000. He has regularly participated in exhibitions and projects across the globe including; 'Artificial Horizons' (ICA, London); 'White Hysteria' (Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia); 'On a Clear Day' (Viper, Luzerne); 'Happy Families' (Brooke Alexander Editions, New York); 'A Fete Worse Than Death' (Factual Nonsense, London). John lives and works in London. was created by artists Michelle Deignan and Simon Goodwin as a space for artists to explore place, process and temporality. The site hosts a continuing series of artists' "site specific" web projects. Artists occupy the site's space for a period of between one and three months. This space is available for them to change, update and add to during their project's run.


'Staying in to Play' will be on-line from the 7th April until the 28t of June 2003 at:
More work by Bichard at: