Videogames against Control

If the fantasy of control is the problem, then videogame controllers are the solution.


If the fantasy of control is the problem, then videogame controllers are the solution.

What can videogames tell us about the politics of contemporary technoculture, and how are designers and players responding to its impositions? To what extent do the technical features of videogames index our assumptions about what exists and what is denied that status? And how can we use games to identify and shift those assumptions without ever putting down the controller? Ludopolitics responds to these questions with a critique of one of the defining features of modern technology: the fantasy of control.


What if we took a closer look at both the design and the play of videogames to find out how politics and technology intersect there? Ludopolitics takes us beyond the more familiar criticism of the way games represent the world to inquire into what kind of world is enacted there, and what other worlds might be possible. The stakes of the game, and the stakes of the world, appear to be a kind of algorithmic control. But perhaps games at their best are a kind of art work where designer and player can meet and learn something about how the mechanics of control might function. Ludopolitics is a theory-assisted speed run through these big picture questions of our time. ~ McKenzie Wark, Gamer Theory

Liam Mitchell
Liam Mitchell Liam Mitchell is an Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, as well as the Chair of th...
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