To Call a Horse a Deer 指马为鹿
video game / b&w and color / sound / 2018
https://vimeo.com/248164492/ab29085dbf (game demo)
https://vimeo.com/289434782/9b0f4741ac (Chinese version)
https://vimeo.com/236291529/57814c1c0d (Japanese version)
https://vimeo.com/293488436/1a92f1f645 (Korean version)
TO CALL A HORSE A DEER is an experimental video game about language, hand-eye coordination, truth-bending and acts of complicity.
The title of the work is an inversion of "to call a deer a horse", a Chinese idiom that is used to describe the deliberate act of confusing truth with untruth. The idiom originates from a story in the Chinese classical text Shiji (The Records of Grand Historians) in which an ambitious Qin politician tried to identify adversaries and silence dissent by colluding others to confuse a deer with a horse.
This ancient tale resonates with our times in which truth-bending became an everyday political reality and tools of governance. The game, available in multiple languages, is both a mirror and a critique, a training simulator of truth-bending and its resistance.
The player competes by answering rounds of “true or false” questions, following the instructions as given in the game.
The player will score 1 point by giving the CORRECT answer if he or she is instructed to LIE.
The player will score 1 point by giving the INCORRECT answer if he or she is instructed to TELL THE TRUTH.
An answer that does not conform to the given instruction will result in a deduction of 1 point.
The player can choose not to answer the question. In that case, no point will be added or deducted.
keywords: critical game, hand-eye coordination, truth-bending, complicity, binary game for a binary world