Playing Faust

Peter Lee and Benjamin von Blomberg at Nolgong

Peter Lee and Benjamin von Blomberg at Nolgong

After almost one year of production (and even more time in development-hell), the game Being Faust finally kicked off with a short showcase this Friday night. The project is a cooperation between the Goethe-Institut Korea and the game developers from Nolgong (놀공발전소, see also their Facebook-page). The “Faust Game” is a live-action game based on Goethe’s Faust (파우스트) and uses the internet and cell phones as game devices. The showcase was very promising and the final game will be open to the public this July. This is a short video trailer for the game:

Last summer I did some translation and interpretation when, in the early stages of the project, German dramaturg Benjamin von Blomberg visited Seoul to support Nolgong with some theoretical inspiration on the original drama. Benjamin collaborated with director Nikolas Stemann on the monumental Faust I + II project at Thalia Theater Hamburg (see a video-trailer). I really enjoyed the time with Benjamin and the Nolgong-team, who have a wonderful studio stuffed with all kinds of books and board games. The picture above shows Peter Lee, head of Nolgong, and Benjamin debating over the neverending question: Is there some Faust in all of us? And who is our personal Mephisto?

It soon became clear that the game shouldn’t follow the Faust-storyline, but rather allow the participants to reflect on their own desires and ambitions—and how they’d be willing to pay for attaining them. The final game will offer some psychological challenges to make us reflect on the way we live.

my personal values

Back then, we also did some experimental test games to work out possible game mechanics. One of these games included quantifying one’s own personal value system—to determine the prize of these values when the devil makes an offer. The picture shows my decision (this is probably the most personal thing ever posted on this blog). I wonder what I’d receive for sacrificing, for example, my time…

– 30 May 2014 (金)

About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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