The "Balkan Mall" (Balkana) is a multi-user, 3D video game which hosts 40 videos and documentaries, sounds, images and texts contributed by more than 50 participant artists from 16 countries who look into the Balkan territory and way of life. The virtual environment is formed by 20 different spaces shaping an imaginary shopping mall, which is an elevation of social, historical and cultural elements of the Balkans. It is a poetic metaphor, which has many moments of ironic stance towards the prevailing multicultural concepts, historic and religious disputes and contemporary political developments in the area.
How to login and select an avatar
Entering the game the player forms her/his identity/avatar by selecting three characteristics/words out of 16 available choices. These words refer to the semiology of an imaginary re-construction of the Balkan character, as perceived through time and history.
By choosing the three preferred words, the player is given one of the following avatars.
The factor of Balkanisation
Moving within the space the players discover that their behaviour defines their degree
of participation in this simulated Balkan reality. The game play of the Balkan Mall is based on the variable of Balkanisation
(and de-balkanisation) and players are asked to keep the balance between those two in order to go on.
The Balkanisation factor changes depending on which video the player is watching and how much time he or
she is spending in front of them. One should be aware of the fact that each video has a different degree of
balkanisation or de-balkanisation. Balkanisation"s balance is also influenced by the interaction between
the avatars as they may throw to each other various symbolic objects which increase or decrease their balkanisation level.
If limits are exceeded, one should start all over again.
Players are informed about their level of Balkanisation from an indication on the interface of the game.