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Genesis: A Computer Game Becomes Reality

The big live experiment where everyone can take part. Anything is possible. Everything becomes real.

Schools and offices are empty, with not a soul in sight. Cinemas, restaurants, clubs and cafés are deserted. The world is under house arrest. There could be no more fateful moment for the launch of the computer game »Genesis«, which responds to our crippled social life with a visionary approach: users can create their own world together, live and seen through the eyes of avatars – without leaving the house. The difference from a normal computer game is that the characters in »Genesis« are real people.

Livestream: Watch now!

Total view


Sequence View


At a glance

27 April (midnight) till 3 May (23:59)
Time slots of 55 minutes (Update: fully booked)

Steering: from home
Avatars: in a factory building

Free, equipment needed: laptop (Chrome/Firefox), microphone, loudspeaker

Click here for the game

This is how it works

Between 27 April and 3 Mai 2020, a separate world develops in the Bille Power Station where anyone can play God – virtually, from his own screen. Participants steer four human avatars who move around in the old Hamburg factory building.

The game begins in the dark, in the deserted power station. The avatars wear head cameras, so the players see the world through their eyes. Each avator can choose five objects and tools, such as a violin, a hammer or a mirror ball, from a total of more than 2,000. Using their own microphone, the players now give their avatar instructions, while the avatar in turn communicates through messages that appear on the screen. Status bars show levels of tiredness, hunger and thirst.

Genesis: Trailer


The game runs non-stop for one week. Participants book the time slots they want in advance. Each slot lasts 55 minutes, and any time can be booked, day or night.


»Get yourself a chainsaw, a vase, a candle and a mouth organ!« in the the Elbphilharmonie Magazine, Renske Steen looks into the background of the computer game and talks to its inventor Alexander Schubert.

Click here to read the article


Unlike in conventional games, there is no goal here. The end is open, and actions can be chosen freely. Every action leaves a mark, and the sum total of the interactions creates a new world. If you only want to watch instead of taking part yourself, you follow the course of the game round the clock as a live stream.

© Alexander Schubert


You can take part in the game for free, and from any location in the world. All you need is a computer with a microphone, loudspeakers and internet access. The game supports the browsers Chrome und Firefox. If you are interested you can log in on the Website and check your connection in the test area before you start to play.


The idea

The originator of the concept is the neuro-information scientist and sound designer Alexander Schubert: together with his Decoder Ensemble, an intrepid New Music** collective, he plays the role of the avatars for 168 hours non-stop.

Schubert himself has been fascinated by computer-generated music and sounds since childhood. He later studied neuro-information science and cognitive science in Leipzig, and multimedia composition at the Hamburg College of Music and Drama. His pieces often examine themselves critically, likewise the role of the musician, of the audience and the concert format. He pursues these issues with the Decoder Ensemble in the Elbphilharmonie series »Unterdeck«.

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