bcchang.com / art / Philosopher DeathMatch

about PDM | screenshots | technical requirements | download | credits


"Welcome to the Arena, where high-ranking philosophers are transformed into spineless mush. Abandoning every ounce of common sense and any trace of doubt, you lunge onto a stage of harrowing landscapes and veiled abysses. Your new environment rejects you with ontological uncertainties and existential angst as legions of foes surround you, testing the gut reaction that brought you here in the first place. Your new mantra: Out-argue or be finished."

Philosopher DeathMatch is a complete game based on the Quake III Arena engine, where players argue to the death against the great thinkers of history. The finely distilled aggression and conflict of the original game remains, but is recast and often obstructed by the discursive force of reprogrammed AI bots with amplified chat features. New game maps from the Agora to the University of Frankfurt provide the backdrop for battle between philosophers from Aristotle to Adorno in a furious bloodbath of ideas. Traditional Quake items like the Gauntlet, Railgun, and Missile Launcher are augmented with brutal new weapons such as Occam's Razor, the Dialectrocution Blaster, and of course the unmatchable force of the Western Cannon.

This game is intended to be presented in two ways. In Single Player Mode, individual gamers fight an army of philosopher bots, as in the original Quake. Philosopher DeathMatch is also designed for a public performance - a deathmatch between living philosophers. This tournament is a combination between a panel discussion and a LAN party. On stage, a panel of six philosophers sit facing the audience with microphones, glasses of water, and souped-up gamer PC's. Each round features a topic - dasein, ethics, the nature of consciousness, etc - which the distinguished panel must debate while fragging each other. All the action is displayed on a projection screen overhead.


Technical Requirements

Philosopher DeathMatch will run on any PC system qualified for Quake III Arena. The current development build is available for Linux, but the final release will also be available for Windows and Mac OS X.

To play the demo build, download the tarball below. After uncompressing, launch "pdm".

The demo was tested on Ubuntu 8.04 with a GeForce 6200 graphics card.


Currently available only for Linux

philosophy_deathmatch_release.tar.gz (37 MB, TAR GZIP)


An artGame by Ben Chang.

Philosophy consulting by Anne Nester at Cornell University.

Thanx & Greetz: Galen Curwen-McAddams, xPac27