The Virtual Frontier
digital video, color, sound, 3’, 2020, The Netherlands
Created by Sjors Rigters
The popular video game Minecraft exemplifies the inner contradictions of the digital age. Lauded by many pundits as a highly creative form of entertainment, the so-called “digital LEGO” is a powerful vessel for neoliberal ideologies and hyper-capitalistic imperatives, with its frenzy of accumulation, extraction, circulation, production, and exploitation. An effective indoctrination tool now pervasive in thousands of US elementary schools, Minecraft is a techno-dream of endless growth, a manifesto for the perpetuation of devastating patterns of consumption, competition, and destruction. Informed by colonialist principles, its gameplay elevates numbing grinding routines into a recipe for the good life, casting the player as both a conqueror and an entrepreneur. In his video The Virtual Frontier, Dutch designer Sjors Rigters brings to the foreground the toxic message of one of the most successful video games of all time.
Sjors Rigters (b. 1995) is a graphic designer specializing in visual identity and editorial design. After receiving his BA in Graphic Design at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, he opened his own studio. Sjors lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.