“TICK//TOCK” is a 5 Minute video based upon the ideas of time within virtual and non- virtual realms. The video takes place inside of the world of Tamriel of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The viewer is transported and experiences a slow, elegant journey on a small road towards the town of Whiterun. The Avatar or player in the game is not present, there is no HUD (Heads Up Display) presenting the HP (Health Points) of the player, and there are no arms indicating anyone is actually playing the game. Unlike the default for Skyrim, there are no sounds for footsteps, giving the player an ethereal presence in the world, is anyone playing the game or is the game simply moving itself? As well as the lack of footsteps sounds, there is also no ambience sounds, no birds chirping or leaves rustling as is expected in Skyrim. The sound of music is almost overwhelming for the viewer, without a contrast of any other sound in the game.
The shadows shift and night turns to day within seconds, and weather falls and leaves rapidly over and over again. Unlike the game of Skyrim, the character does not interact with the environment, passing by Wolves and in-game NPCs (Non-Player Character) without provoking and fighting them. The viewer questions who is playing the game, who is in control of what we are viewing. The entity seems benign, with no interest to what happens around them. What is the use of Skyrim if a user does not interact and fight and level up?
The video continues on, as the entity travels towards an unknown destination, and then the video slowly blurs and begins to repeat itself once again. How long does the entity walk for? Is it for 5 minutes as the video runtime suggests? Or is it for multiple days, with each minute of runtime being an eternity for the entity. Is time such a delicate construct that can be manipulated so easily? Perceiving time may be the most important feature of time itself, as if one does not experience the seconds of a day, do they even happen? If someone says there is only 5 minutes left until you can leave, how quickly do those 5 minutes go?