Autosave: The Shing Mun Redoubt 1941 is an artwork situated within the computer game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It is a publicly available game map that accurately reconstructs the fortification along the Gin Drinker’s Line, the scene of the first encounter between the Japanese and the English in the Battle of Hong Kong during World War Two.
In this work, we are interested in how online games present a space that is very different to the physical environment. By reconstructing this heritage site within a popular online game, we are drawing attention to a rapidly crumbling piece of history here in the mountains of Hong Kong, but we are also looking at how history and site can exist within the abstract competition that defines games like Counter-Strike.
As artists, combining historical survey data with online gaming puts us at a cross-roads of competing expectations - those of historical preservation, those of competitive gameplay, and those of artistic speculation. It is within this ambiguity that we hope to make an artwork that asks some interesting questions. It’s not a game map that conforms to the optimised laws of gameplay (it’s not symmetrical, it’s confusing, and the distances to run are long), and it’s not a museum recreation of a site either (it exists only on Counter-Strike servers). More difficult still, it’s an artistic comment based within a first person shooter game that seeks to make it’s commentary through the subtleties of architecture, light and sound design.
In this blog we will detail our process and all the problems and revelations we found along the way. We hope you find it interesting!