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The Soccer Game ~Impression and Memory~

2007 Artist Statement:

This work stems from the seed planted in my mind by a soccer video game from my childhood, fifteen years ago now. It has been that long since Iíve last seen it until I found it again a few months back. In my mind the seed sprouted to great heights, as I have been very impressed by it in my childhood, often reminiscing over those beautiful illustrations and the great experience of playing that game. I now realise that the illustrations grew more beautiful with each passing year in my mind, manifesting in my memory a perfectly intricate copy without a definite original.

My impression, you see, of the experience remained constant; while with age I grew psychologically more difficult to impress, as people do. Therefore, to justify my feelings towards that memory, I subconsciously filled in the holes to maintain an impression of awe towards that beautiful game. Upon this discovery, I recognised that I did so by unconsciously implanting whatever impressive soccer-related imagery that happened to accumulate over the past fifteen years into that memory. In reality, however, upon reencountering that video game I was immediately taken aback by how different it had been in comparison with my memory, for I somehow remembered the graphics being much more inspiring. The experience, nevertheless, was overwhelmingly nostalgic and emotional, and it got me thinking about the greater process at play, that of impression and memory.

In this work, I aimed to recreate not the game, but rather the impression of the game from my childhood memory. Indeed, I truly even convinced myself that this is what I feel that game is in my mind. Having accomplished such a thing, of visually reproducing the impression from my own memory, I feel confident I can convince any other of this impression as well. I had a great deal of fun with it, and it has by far been the most interesting and enjoyable project I have worked on in all my time at university.

I should mention that I was not disappointed in the least by the original game. On the contrary, I still found it to be very enjoyable upon revisiting it recently and it was clear why it left such a strong impression on me. Now, I have two very distinct impressions in mind of the one thing, that of reality and that of awe-struck childhood memory. As for myself, I can only be amazed at having painted such a beautiful vision in my subconscious, and I owe it all to that seed that was planted fifteen years ago. It really is a beautiful game.

2012 Addendum:

This was one of my final projects at university. It was more of an interactive installation than a game when it was done, if you played it you would shortly find yourself annoyed that you couldn't actually score a goal no matter how many times you tried. Thatís not because the universe is against you, itís because I never added this fundamental feature which separates the work from game and installation. It has been on my mind since then, and I always wanted to come back to it and finish it right.

I felt that the things I realised about myself at the time, and was trying to express with this game struck at the heart of how peopleís minds play unconscious tricks on them about their childhood experiences. I remember my classmates seemed to really relate to this issue. To me this game is a manifestation of a vivid, tangible connection I have to my carefree childhood innocence. Without a doubt, this represents the most articulate I have ever been at visual communication. I often get mad at myself for not being able portray the things in my mind, but the more I worked on this game the more I knew that this is expressing perfectly that little joke I share with my childhood self. I hope you enjoy it and laugh along.

You can check out the original here.