Serge Bourchardon et al

“12 Labors of the Internet User” mirrors the labors performed by the mythic, Greek figure, Hercules. The tasks include, “The Lernaean Hydra,” when Hercules had to figure out how he could cut off the monster’s heads when every time he cut one off, two more grew in its place.

First viewers read a plain text that describes the labor. Then, green letters fly down the screen, as if we are watching a shot from a science fiction film. Readers receive a “new message” and are asked to perform a task that is a common problem for internet users. The first task is basic – connecting to the internet – what do you do if you cannot connect to the internet, and you cannot email a support team? A practical solution is found – and the player is directed to a plug in the back of the computer that allows them to connect. Humor and absurd situations drive the interactions with the game. There is a set of keys on the second task, where content is locked from the viewer with a password. The other link suggests that by clicking on it, you would be given the password to open the locked link. When you click on this second link you are taken to a pop-up, “Error 404: Component Not Found.”

Serge Bouchardon is currently associate professor in Communication Sciences at the University of Technology of Compiegne (France). He has been teaching in Compiegne from 1997 to the present. Before this, he worked as a Project Manager at Editions Pierre Winicki. He has been widely published with articles and books, most recently, Un laboratoire de littératures. He presented his work at professional conferences.


Anna Factorovich