THE MYCOLOGICAL TWIST — TROLL SWAMP — ROLE-PLAYING GAME
JUNE 20 — 26, 2021
AT GOODBUY GALLERY
94 BERTHELOT ST., BUCHAREST
THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE NATIONAL CULTURAL FUND
Games provide a mode of experimentation with alternative strategies and tactics in a competitive and constantly changing environment. Game-worlds gesture towards unrealized potentials; their rules and metaphors can be found in every social or political action. They are at once models of the world and in it. Come play and discover the analogue environment of the game.
Troll Swamp is a large-scale board game for multiple players, based on the formats and characters from the popular tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons. The game has been initially developed and tested with various groups in Bergen, Norway, and utilises role-play and teamwork in order to act out scenarios about online trolling. Through the analogue nature of the game, a playful situation emerges where one plays an imaginary character. Guided by the Troll Master (a storyteller navigating the players through the game), each player will face their own online habits as well as their relationship with others. Troll Swamp has the potential to enable its players to regain confidence, rethink dynamics of interaction and reclaim a different space of expression online.
The scenarios of the gaming sessions all start in small tight-knit communities that are being disrupted and torn apart through some of the community members. Using role play as a game mechanic, each player creates their own persona that is part of that community. This mechanic allows for each player participating to create a buffer between the in-game experiences, and those one might face in everyday life.
The beginning of the game lets the players introduce their newly built characters and ease into their new identity through a couple of rounds of exploration. However, rather quickly, the peaceful community gets disrupted by online Trolls creating a tense atmosphere where suspicion is built on each member of the community. In the quest that follows it is up to the players to decide which spaces are visited and who is to be trusted. As such the development of the narrative is completely different each time the game is played.
As a continuation of this project, the Mycological Twist are developing new scenarios which are updated to recent developments. Past versions have focused more on the political campaign around the Trump election, and the vile online trolling aftermath. In Troll Swamp you would meet characters that would take traits from Alex Jones and 8chan members alike. While navigating those, one has to be careful not to be sucked into a swamp of flat earthers, fake newsers, conspirationists and health gurus. While many of the past characters could continue into the new scenario, some prominent figures that stand out in the current Covid-19 crisis would be a source of inspiration for new Trolls.
— Sunday, June 20, 4pm
— Tuesday, June 22, 5:30pm
— Wednesday, June 23, 5:30pm
— Thursday, June 24, 5:30pm
— Saturday, June 26, 1pm
Game length: 3—4 hours
Where: We invite you to Goodbuy Gallery (94 General H.M. Berthelot Street, Bucharest) to take a seat at the gaming table and play in one of the open sessions.
— Choose your preferred date and send us an email with your choice at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Instagram direct message @quote___unquote____.
— Participation is free and open to all ages and backgrounds.
— The game is played in English.
— Max 10 participants per session.
THE MYCOLOGICAL TWIST is a project by Eloïse Bonneviot and Anne de Boer, both based in Berlin. They take mycology as a source of inspiration in engaging with ecological and social practices. Their point of interest extends through the mushroom fruiting body into the rotting matter deep below ground level. DIY methods are woven into digital cultures to construct utopias for alternative modes of living. The Mycological Twist started in 2014 in London. Since then, the materialization of the research results in a program of commissions, lectures, camping sessions, performances and works.