Edwin Lo, Over His Dead Body (2022) courtesy of the artist
Edwin Lo, 'Over His Dead Body' (2022) courtesy of the artist

ACMI & Videotage present

ART+FILM: Do NPCs Dream of Electric Sheep?

Unclassified (All Ages)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.





Tue 2 Apr 2024

What are our moral obligations to virtual beings?

“An Android,” he said, “doesn’t care what happens to another android. That’s one of the indications we look for.” “Then,” Miss Luft said, “You must be an android.”

'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep', Philip K Dick

The initialism ‘NPC’ means non-player character – any person or animal who appears in a videogame setting but is not controlled by the human player. Whether they are carefully hand-designed or procedurally generated, these virtual characters come into being through lines of code, existing purely for our entertainment.

As videogame sales boom, and videogame technology becomes more refined, we are spending more and more time socialising with these digital, non-sentient beings, which are designed to act, and react, and look, like real humans. But even if they are not, meaningfully, alive, could we have ethical obligations to them? How does our treatment of our uncanny virtual reflections shape our own humanity?

Featuring screen-based works by Lawrence Lek, Edwin Lo, Ip Yuk-Yui, and Tsui Hou Lam, Videotage’s Do NPCs Dream of Electric Sheep? brings the moral quandary posed by a century of speculative fiction writers to the videogame medium: what does it mean to be human, in a post-human world?

Event duration

90 mins


Unclassified (All Ages)


Screening 70 mins
Read about the works

Panel 20 mins
Read about the artists


Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

Plan your visit

About Videotage

Videotage is a leading Hong Kong-based non-profit organisation specialising in the promotion, presentation, creation, and preservation of moving images and media art across all languages, shapes and forms.

Founded in 1986, Videotage has evolved from an artist-run collective to an influential network, supporting the creative use of media art to explore, investigate and connect with issues that are of significant technological, social, cultural, and historical value.

Videotage Curator: Angel Leung

Videotage Assistant Curators: Lewa Chan, Myra Chan, Chung Wing Shan

About the works

Edwin Lo_Over His Dead Body_2022_Courtesy of the Artist_2

Over His Dead Body

Over His Dead Body (2022) is a single-shot observational machinima that turns an obscure and glitchy scene of the video game Sleeping Dogs (2012) into a subtle reference and critique of the current social and political mentality of Hong Kong.

Edwin Lo, 2022, 9 mins 34 sec, digital film

Still from HBG (2018) by Ip Yuk-Yiu, Courtesy of the Artist

Trailer for HBG: HUMANS, BEASTS & GHOSTS 人.獸.鬼

Inspired by the works of the Chinese literary master Qian Zhongshu, HBG is an experimental videogame, a playable life simulator in which the player, assuming the role of an interventionist or passive God, facilitates the everyday being of the different worlds inhabited by humans, beasts and ghosts. HBG is a real-time machinima and an allegorical play about human existence, its dilemma and other catastrophes.

Ip Yuk Yiu, 2018, 2 mins 11 sec, digital film

Sound design: Ulf Langheinrich

Tsui Hou Lam, Rabu Rabu, 2023, courtesy of the artist

Rabu Rabu

Rabu Rabu manipulates the framework and aesthetics of bishōjo games, or gal games, a genre of Japanese videogame that centres on interactions with attractive young girls. It presents a fictional gal game in which the typical path of falling in love and winning over the female protagonist no longer exists. Mirroring the digital and physical AFK (Away From Keyboard) worlds, Rabu Rabu explores one's agency within and beyond the screen in a heteronormative society of late capitalism and blurs the boundary between game and video. The title, “Rabu rabu,” means lovey-dovey in Japanese.

Tsui Hou Lam, 2023, 18 mins 18 sec, digital film

This piece is commissioned by Times Museum, Guangzhou, China, and the project Follow the Feeling, curated by Qu Chang.

Still from Geomancer (2018), Lawrence Lek


On the eve of Singapore's 2065 Centennial, an adolescent satellite AI escapes its imminent demise by coming down to Earth, hoping to fulfil its dream of becoming the first AI artist.

Lawrence Lek, 2017, 48 mins, digital film

Originally commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017: Neither One Thing Or Another

About the artists

Edwin Lo Headshot (no photographer listed)

Edwin Lo

Edwin Lo Yun Ting is an artist working in time-based media. His practice, which uses sounds and moving images as focal points, concerns the individuation of aesthetics, history and human sensorium through appropriation, fabrication and digital objects.

Since 2008, Lo’s works have been widely presented in various local and overseas exhibitions, festivals and residencies including Image Forum Festival (2022), Pesaro International Festival of New Cinema (2022), FCEDP (2020, 2021), Loop Barcelona (2019) and Tokyo Arts and Space (2017). In 2014 and 2016, Lo presented two solo exhibitions “Time Spent, Lost, and Regained…” at Goethe Institut Hong Kong in 2014 and “Traces and Scenes” at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, the United States in 2016. In 2017, he presented his solo project “OBJEKT” with the sound art organization Singuhr in Germany.

Lo lives and works in Hong Kong.

Visit his website
Ip Yuk Yiu_Courtesy of the Artist

Ip Yuk-Yiu

Ip Yuk-Yiu is an experimental filmmaker, media artist, art educator and independent curator. His works, ranging from experimental films, live performances, media installations to videogames, have been showcased extensively at major international venues and festivals, including European Media Art Festival, New York Film Festival (views from the avant-garde), the Image Festival, FILE Festival, VideoBrasil, Transmediale, NTT ICC, ZKM and WRO media art Bienniale. IP has over twenty years of curatorial experience in film, video and media art.  He is the founder of the art.ware project, an independent curatorial initiative focusing on the promotion of new media art in Hong Kong. Currently, he is Associate Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.  His recent works explore hybrid creative forms that are informed by cinema, video games and contemporary media art practices. In recognizing his artistic achievements, he was awarded the Artist of the Year (media arts) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2019.

Visit his website
Tsui Hou Lam_Courtesy of the Artist_Photo by Florence Yuk-Ki Lee

Tsui Hou Lam

Hou Lam Tsui (b. 1997), is an artist based in Hong Kong. Her work encompasses a wide range of mediums, including moving images, installation, sculpture, and text. Her practice centres around gender, emotions, body, and personal experiences. Drawing inspiration from pop culture, anime, and TV commercials, Tsui critically explores the tension between agency and consumer desires and rethinks how capitalism shapes the commodification of bodies. Tsui received a BA in Fine Art and History of Art from the University of Leeds in 2018. She is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She held her solo exhibition Blind Curve at Hong Kong's independent art space RNH Space in 2022 revolving around the politics of love and the mediatisation of female bodies.

Visit her website
Lawrence Lek Photo by Ilyes Griyeb. Courtesy Art Basel

Lawrence Lek

Lawrence Lek (陆明龙) is a London-based simulation artist known for his CGI films, soundtracks, and immersive virtual worlds, often set within a Sinofuturist cinematic universe. His work explores worldbuilding as a form of collage, incorporating historical and imaginary elements to develop speculative fictions based on the perspective of the Other. In 2021, he received the LACMA Art + Technology Lab Grant and the 4th VH Award Grand Prix. Lek holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art, and is represented by Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Visit his website

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