Photo: Godmode Epochs (2023), courtesy of dmstfctn

Godmode Epochs

dmstfctn (UK)


Godmode Epochs is a single and multiplayer AI training clicker game set among the lined shelves of an infinite, simulated supermarket. Each playthrough is a numbered “training epoch” during which players race against time to teach an AI to identify products. As players inevitably frustrate the AI, they are taken into its mind—a dungeon filled with memories to be discovered, each releasing frustration and unlocking special abilities that help the AI complete its training. Crucially, the memories discovered by players are historical examples of AIs who have cheated during their training.

Godmode Epochs aims to represent how AIs trained on synthetic data come to understand our world by asking players to assist a machine learning agent in learning about supermarket items. Yet a second aim of the game is to encourage players to explore memories and stories of creative problem solving in machine intelligence, framing AI not as misaligned but rather as differently aligned, able to “take [us] by surprise with great frequency”, as Alan Turing famously wrote. In this sense, Godmode Epochs simulates a reciprocal training program: as players train an AI to understand our world, the game trains players to understand AI.

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Developed by dmstfctn
Music: Hero Image
With support from: Alan Turing Institute’s Public Engagement Grant 2022; Serpentine Galleries’ Arts Technologies Programme, and Serpentine’s Creative AI Lab; Center for Postidigital Cultures, Coventry University.


dmstfctn (UK) is a London-based artist duo working with audiovisual performance, installation, and video games. Their work investigates complex systems, most recently focusing on simulation and AI folklore. dmstfctn have performed and exhibited internationally in venues such as Berghain, Serpentine, and HKW, and at festivals such as Unsound, CTM, and transmediale. Their AV performances have been released on labels such as Mille Plateaux and Krisis Publishing. In 2021 their performance, ECHO FX, which tells the story of market manipulation on the night of the Brexit referendum, was included inHyperdub’s Ø book (Flatlines press).