strip! the original strip mall shopping video game

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2019-2020 Installations, Exhibitions, and Performances listed below.

“Strip! The Original Strip Mall Shopping Video Game” is an interactive installation video game that the viewer plays using a motion sensor (Leap Motion) that responds to “credit card swiping” motions of the hand to collect and purchase items like food, toys, cosmetics, clothing, tickets, gas, and more. The scene in the background traverses moving aerial landscapes the artist “curated” from Google Satellite images of strip malls in the Midwest. The game’s objective is to accumulate an expensive shopping receipt as the user / viewer is rewarded for combinations (Date Night! or Taco Tuesday!) based on items purchased in sequence.

Contag worked with Creative Developer, Nathan Glynn as well as Artist and Audio Engineer Ryan Black to create this work. It has been exhibited at The Wilmette Theatre for the interactive Black’s Backbone performances, The North Park University Brandel Library, the Wilmette Chamber of Commerce, and at The Palatine Library.

The music that accompanies the game is a 9-minute audio track the user hears through headphones of the artist NAE featured in a video game remix (by Ryan Black) of her original pop song, “Strip!”. The song satirically lists various stores at the strip mall with the chorus, “I can come and go and you don’t mind / I know you’ll be there for me every time.”

JaNae Contag installation of Strip! the Original Strip Mall Shopping Video Game at North Park University Brandel Library
Strip! The Original Strip Mall Shopping Video Game installed during the Art Department Faculty Exhibition at North Park University Brandel Library.
Above: This demo video is a screen view of the gameplay. The screen recording contains the full-length audio of the Video Game Remix which loops as the viewer / user plays the game.
NAE performs Strip on stage with Black's Backbone
Strip! The Original Strip Mall Shopping Video Game was played by audience members during the Black’s Backbone show series at The Wilmette Theatre while NAE performed the song and taught shopping-inspired dance moves on stage.
Audience members at Black's Backbone play the interactive video games, projected on screen.
During the Black’s Backbone show series, audience members “went shopping” with their imaginary credit card during the song performance on stage by NAE.
JaNae Contag as NAE sings Strip on stage at The Wilmette Theatre
At the end of the song performance, audience members were presented with a large receipt for all the items they “purchased” on their virtual shopping spree, narrated by JaNae Contag as NAE.
JaNae Contag as NAE teaches dance moves for Strip
JaNae Contag, as NAE, taught shopping-inspired dance moves on stage while audience members played the shopping video game.
The control monitor showed progress as audience members played the game during the show.
JaNae Contag installation at North Park University Brandel Library
Ryan Black, collaborator, tested the game installation at the North Park University Brandel Library.
JaNae Contag installation at North Park University Brandel Library
North Park University students engaged with the video game on the first floor of the Brandel Library.
Instructions for playing the game accompanied the installation as a single sheet.
Black's Backbone at Palatine Library's Steam Fair event.
Strip! The Original Shopping Mall Video Game was installed at Palatine Library’s Steam Fair, a community outreach event for artists, musicians, and programmers.
Black's Backbone at Steam Fair at the Palatine Library
People of all ages took turns engaging with the motion sensor device, while music from the game played in the room.
NAE Strip Video Game installed at Palatine Library Steam Fair
Strip! The Original Strip Mall Shopping Video Game installed at Palatine Library’s Steam Fair.

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