BEING FAUST – ENTER MEPHISTO (2014-present)
Interaction Media Art
Official website : goethe.de/beingfaust
Created by Goethe Institute Seoul & Nolgong
Excutive Creative Direction by Peter Lee
Creative Direction and Storytelling design by Jiin Ahn
Photography and Videography by Yunsik Lim
“If I sold my friends to find love and get rich … wouldn’t that be a good deal?”
“Being Faust – Enter Mephisto” is a “big game”. It’s a physical game enriched with online and social media elements, based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s drama “Faust”.
The game format is unique: A group of players gathers at a specific site at a specific time. Each player assumes the role of young Faust. Equipped with a smartphone and the intention to take life on, the players enter the tempting digital world of MEPHISTO&co., where values and ideals are up for sale. Upon logging into the game, the deal between Faust and MEPHISTO&co. is sealed; the soul sold, and thus begins the game of seduction: how far are the players willing to go? Can success and beauty really be purchased? Is there a way back into “uninvolved pleasure”, to true love and friendship?
The starting point for this innovative project, which has been developed by Goethe-Institut Korea and NOLGONG, was the question of how and with which means Faust and Mephisto were to meet in the digital age. The universal questions remain the same: What do I value in life? What are my personal values based on? Which price am I willing to pay for success?
The game is based on a contemporary interpretation of the original play, and was adapted for the digital world in cooperation with playwright Benjamin von Blomberg of Theater Bremen. Development began in 2013, the official launching took place at Seoul Metropolitan Library in September 2014.
By making use of various virtual and physical game formats, “Being Faust – Enter Mephisto” encourages the players to take a second look at themselves and their digital environment, to compare themselves with other players worldwide, and to take an interest in the literary source. And the game can be played by players of all age groups - it’s fun for people who know Goethe’s “Faust” by heart as well as those who have never read or seen the masterpiece before.