Velvet Strike


Network gamers are breeding. Slowly, tense laughter and twitchy nervous systems are spreading throughout our inner-cities. Perhaps you have already been claimed. How long since your last game of “Counter-Strike”? Did you notice ‘Velvet-Strike’ on the walls, ceiling or floor? Anne Marie from is responsible for this joystick war on the war on terrorism. You are welcome to join her.

Why spray paint grafitti inside a computer game?
Using the built-in graffiti function that comes with all half-life mods was a good way to propogate our messages.

What sort of responses have u had from Counter-Strike gamers?
Some long involved responses from people who really thought about what we were doing. A number of creepy and sometimes hilarious hate mail: woman-haters, gay haters, military pro-american patriots, a couple right wing pro israeli american jews, and gamers angry we intruded on their normal game play environment. We seem to have pissed off the 14 year old CS game playing boys, judging by their spelling. Spammers keep bogging down our discussion forum and calling us gay faggots.

Have many people submitted their own “spray-paints” relating to this theme?
Presently there’s about 24 sprays by 9 different authors including some by Chris Burke, who made textures for the retail version of Counter-Strike. And at least one from Australia – by Rebecca Cannon from

What other game modifications have inspired you?
Joan Leandre’s flight sim mod that he’d put aside due to sep-11 shock. That piece was recently finished and shown at the Moscow art software show “read-me” (He has a beautiful approach to modifying games while reusing original movement algorithms.) Brody Condon was the major inspiration for the “intervention recipes”. He had done interventions inside Tribes2 and recorded them on video.

And disturbing game-mods?
Brody’s work also disturbs me in a nice way. Pretty virtual blood and gore. It can make you nauseous. Adam Killer is classic.

Why do you think military network games are so popular?
1) The gameplay in Counter-Strike is engaging and complex and exciting, regardless of whether the theme is militaristic or not.
2) Military fetishism is on the rise. The culture of gamers who play counter-strike is increasingly misogynist, homophobic and intolerant. A boys training ground. The intense reaction to our project seems to confirm this ( I thought most people would take Velvet-Strike as a little joke).

What sort of games do you think might succeed them?
I’m not against in-game violence (i often enjoy it). I’m concerned with what game violence is coupled with: militaristic, heterosexist boys clubs in the real life, outside the game, war time environment of the “war on terrorism.” We are also opposed to military fantasy masquerading as “realism”.

Anime Noir in a nutshell?
A_N is an erotic role playing game I co-designed with Melinda Klayman, inspired by Japanese Anime. A_N emphasises social interaction and flirtation with other players. Advancement occurs through seduction. Players navigate the city through a 3-D map and use an action palette of erotic actions on each others’ little naked bodies. At some point we hope to add further levels of increasing complexity.

What attracts you to surreal Japanese erotica and computer generated characters?

The mutability of the characters, the transgression of boundaries. What’s disturbing and tragic in RL is delicious in fantasy life. Bodies morphing into sea creatures, animals genetically mutating into sentient sexy creatures, chemical spills that cause a whole city to mutate. We love our female scientist and cat girl characters. Computer generated and even non-realistic digital 3-D bodies, have a kind of doll-like fetish appeal. There’s also a fetish appeal to flat anime style drawn graphics, which appear in the intro story of Anime Noir.

Had any dreams influenced by the way you use software?
When I’m scripting or debugging code sometimes I have dreams where I spend all night debugging strange dream logic word problems. The words just float in space in front of the world. It’s a little boring and not as satisfying as actually writing script. Sometimes though I have a new solution to try in the morning.

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