Search graduate:

    Samuel Lehikoinen

  • Contemporary Art
  • MA
  • Unemployment Simulator 2018
  • Tutor: John Grzinich
  • Video game

Self developed video game depicting an uneventful period of the artist’s life in the year 2018. The game works as an endless loop where the objective is to survive as long as possible in the mind numbing limbo of the Finnish unemployment system. To progress through each day you must complete mundane tasks while dealing with loneliness, anxiety, and staying distracted and dopamine filled to avoid death by boredom. 

In addition to being an ironic self portrait, the work depicts themes of modern masculinity and male loneliness, giving an empathetic and relatable view on the so-called “Hikikomori” phenomenon, of young men confined to their apartments and living as shut-ins from the rest of the world. This is done through the Finnish context, painting an alternative view of the welfare state, where the generous benefit system can work to enable vulnerable individuals to further isolate themselves from society and social life.