While the idea of Fluxus closely followed the trends and ideas of Dada
before it, the shift from absurdity and procedurality to more
readymade, usable art is what seems to have made it more popular and
able to transcend different genres. From the 1950’s and still now in
computers, the idea of things transformed and shifted in many different
ways lives on, but the usable aspect really sets it apart.
One example of the Fluxus idea in games is the flux timekits that people like George Maciunas, Robert Watts, and other artists created. The idea of the timekits is that they were kits for games that anybody could buy cheap. The idea that anybody could play the game, and based on who was playing it, the maker had the choice to assemble it how they wished was something that fit very well into games. People previously had classified games as being something that was not extremely limited by specific concrete rules, but more of a tougher roundabout way of doing things; this idea that people started with the same toolkit and followed the basic guidelines in making and using it but were able to do what they wish follows that idea of playing well.
As time went on, the ideas for software and art fueled by the internet followed this trend of do-it-yourself play. With things like open-source or even simple graphic and programming tools, it is easy for almost anybody to modify something for their own tastes. Open source software are basically flux timekits for today’s programmers and artists, giving access to anybody using it for modification and play.
One of the most successful examples of modding in computer games and the idea of the new play tools that you can create yourself, which is mentioned in Celia Pearce’s “Games as Art”, is Counter-Strike. While Half-Life was an award-winning and revered game itself, the mod community around the game was more popular that the game itself. As one of the people who bought Half-Life simply for its mod Counter-Strike, I spent more time on user-created content than I did playing the game itself. I spent hours creating levels and playing games such as Day of Defeat, Frontline Force, and of course Counter-Strike, while what I bought was Half-Life and its mod toolkit. The idea that with that game, the mod options were limitless is essentially what the idea about flux timekits were centered around. Computers are amazing at what the art is about, which is procedurality, and in a digital world with limitless amounts of resources, more is possible.
With computers, even full games don’t need to be modified for the idea to get across. Instead of timekits from scratch like mods, people can switch out resources like textures or small bits of code in a game to make a statement. The switch from what was previously there compared to the changes can allow artists to make some large statements easily. “Female skin pack excerpts” by Sonya Roberts does this, replacing textures on a male model with those of a female. The juxtaposition of the new textures on the old models shows how often women are more feminine, and females similar to those in the game are almost never seen in video games.