'Polybius' by Halisia Hubbard // December First Friday / by Jack Metcalf

We at Real Good were (oh so) excited/proud to present Real Good's own Halisia Hubbard this past First Friday. The exhibit/event was not to be missed. It challenged, it will entertained, and most importantly, encouraged interaction with the work. Here is the skinny:


Halisia Hubbard

Real Good

1205 Defoe St #1

December 4th // 8-10 PM


According to urban legend, an arcade cabinet called "Polybius" appeared in several suburbs of Portland OR in 1981.  Though the cabinets disappeared without a trace, it was said to have been wildly addictive and induced amnesia, insomnia, and night terrors in the players; many stopped gaming completely after their engagement in Polybius.  The cabinet vanished after one month and has since lived on only in lore. Polybius is thought to take its name from the Greek historian of the same name who was known for his assertion that historians should never report what they cannot verify through interviews with witnesses.

The exhibit Polybius is a deconstruction of the American video arcade.  The success of these venues, or more importantly, the games within them relies on a firm set of goals and guidelines to achieve said goals.  When one or both of these certainties are stripped, the game is essentially chaos.

Polybius takes advantage of this by removing the comfort of consistency.  In any given game, the rules may be ambiguous, the mechanics unsound, or the objective vague.  It is uncertain whether one is playing with or against the arcade cabinet.  The player is neither a winner nor loser – they are a participant.  Welcome to Polybius, the arcade in which assurances are dismantled and the answer to most questions . . . is a question.

Take care, and remember there ain't no party like a Real Good party, because a Real Good party don't stop,

Jack Metcalf