Wager 1.0
cdrom, 1999

Wager 1.0 is an existence simulator. It allows you, at least for a little while, to forget the fear of emptiness we all share. You will momentarily feel you exist, you will feel fulfilled, you will be someone. And the recipe is simple: just believe in your work.

This metaphor takes the form of a CD Rom. Why? Dilbert provides the answer in a question: "But how did we ever pretend to work before the computer?"(1) Today, two out of three salaried employees sit behind computers, which have become the industrial tool par excellence. So when you consult Wager 1.0, it will look like you're working. And you are going to play with an employer who is at once anonymous, unpredictable and inflexible: the computer.

The cathode-ray face of your interlocutor is perfectly unwrinkled. The basic colors of video, a few pixels for typography: we're the target of curt remarks from uniform screens.

The machine addresses us directly. It promises professional and personal enrichment. This promise is a form of propaganda. It is the propaganda of contemporary capitalism: management-speak. This language guarantees the centrality of work. It reassures us with a jargon of motivational euphemisms, and invites us to conform to its models of success.

The promised success never comes. First confronted with the simulacrum of a job interview, ignorant of what the machine holds in store, we slowly discover the labyrinthine structure of Wager 1.0. Players of games as alienating as work or consumption, spectators of the eternal imagery of happiness, we can only acknowledge the vanity of our dreams of fulfillment.

Using the principle of hypertext, this pathway through associations of ideas offers a non-linear reading, a vagabond thinking.

1. Scott Adams, The Dilbert principle.

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