Loot Box is an exhibition of the artist collective MASSACRE, formed by André Pereira, Hetamoé and Mao, which transposes the idea of graphic narrative to media such as drawing, video, and installation, in works specially conceived for the library of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the NOVA University, in Almada, Portugal.
In the videogame industry, the term “loot box” is used to refer to a random selection system—akin to a sachet of collectible cards—for obtaining virtual items or performance bonuses. These are “treasure" that you discover or are rewarded with upon completion of a goal, in a logic that goes back to roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, promoting the looting of enemies and desecration of corpses. Despite its recontextualization in today's online games, the causality “to the victor go the spoils" remains in the etymology of the term. Recently, loot boxes have been the subject of scrutiny for the way they monetize certain aspects of the game, creating pay to win schemes in which players depend on a real financial investment to progress virtually.
This exhibition treats the “loot box" as an extended model which, in addition to its explicit and functional content, contains ways of thinking inherent to the extractivistic ideologies responsible for the environmental breakdown in the Anthropocene. “Gamified," the economy discovers a new market that seems to fulfill a fantasy of endless growth.