Mark Franz, Zelda Deforested
Zelda Deforested is a serious game that revises the Legend of Zelda by removing all of the forest elements and replaces them with a rocky and monotone landscape. The graphics and sound have been redesigned to create a new narrative in which the protagonist is found in a dystopian world where people have taken to living underground due to changes in the environment . Within these bunkers the protagonist encounters characters hoarding supplies and trying to deal with the struggles of living life underground. Only one animal species has survived in a terrain without trees and water. The hero has taken to hunting in order to gather food and barter for tools. This work intends to challenge viewers to critically consider the role of technology in modern life and its relationship to the natural world.
Mark Franz is a designer, artist, and educator whose exhibitions and primary research projects involve the creation of interactive installations that reflect on issues of violence, dislocation, and other social constructions important in contemporary cultures. Recently this work has been exhibited as part of the PhxArtcade in conjunction with The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Art of Video Games presented by the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, AZ and at TriTriangle’s Magic Mansion Offline exhibit in Chicago, IL. Franz’s secondary research involves creating custom hardware and software for audiovisual performance and installation, and references the art historical current of visual music commonly discussed as part of animation history. This work has been exhibited at Pixelerations at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University in Providence, RI, the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, IL and the Society for Literature Science and the Arts conference in Milwaukee, WI.
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