We are facing the melting point between bodies in move on one hand and digital technologies of control on the other. A situation where the body becomes data, and thus becomes subject of control, but at the same time the data are materialised and become bodies.
As the team of the Border Crossing state:
"So, precisely because the migrants carry the border, because they embody the border - especially in the form of their fingers - they cannot entirely cross it. However, what they do is to transgress the border at the same time as incorporating it."
The game simulates different urban or non-urban environments, such as the city center, the harbor, the detention camp or the border zone and presents their interconnection. The player is invited to experience this fluid yet intense reality while interacting within the game and viewing videos, sound recordings, web pages, images and texts that have been integrated in the environment.
The game is based on a (non linear) storyline, connecting various migrant movements. It demonstrates in a visual manner the experiences that migrants encounter as Europe's non citizens, while also emphasizing how these movements may have a positive effect on European societies - transforming power hierarchies of gender, nation, race and class.
It also searches and examines different aspects of current migrational politics and the issues that are generated from the power relations between migrants, "locals" and authorities, which are weaving and constructing the European canvas of this new struggle field. The central axis of this struggle concerns the digitalisation process of migration flows and consequently, the transformations that occur to the different actors and the urban territories.
A major issue of debate in the social/political struggle field is the digitalisation of the mechanisms of control and surveillance (Border Crossing, Social Movements, Intercultural Conflict and Dialogue). And though these mechanisms are based on machines and devices, they appear -mostly- "invisible" and "immaterial" to those they are applied on.
The videogame Banoptikon, aspires to render these mechanisms visible and to simulate social and political situations referring to migration flow, which take place inside cities, networks, rural areas and above all to human bodies. Because bodies are the subjects on which old and new technologies are applied and therefore bodies remain the basic topos of the battlefield.
Banoptikon is part of the broader E.U research program MIG@NET: