Games and Politics

Eine interaktive Ausstellung des Goethe-Institut in Kooperation mit dem ZKM I Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe / An interactive exhibition by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with ZKM I Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Cover of the catalog »Games and Politics«: a reflective cover with structures in rainbow colors
Type of publication
Exhibition catalog
Author / Editor
Publishing house, place
Goethe-Institut, München

Whether computer games are seen as a political issue, as an entertainment medium or – even – as art, they all have to be views in a contextual manner. Every game positions itself in a society and picks it out as the central issue at the same time. A political relevance can be postulated for all computer games, even if they seem to evade any political action. Because the following holds true even in these games: The players issue directions but must play by the rules of the game in order to be able to play at all. At the other end of this spectrum are games which are consciously used for the purposes of political education or propaganda objectives. The touring exhibition »Games and Politics« as well as this catalogue examine how computer games unfold their political potential.

With texts and interviews by Johannes Ebert, Jeannette Neustadt, Christian Huberts, Pierre Depaz, Stephan Schwingeler, Katharine Neil, Pablo Abend, Nina Kiel, Michael Schulze von Glaßer, Lea Schönfelder, Miguel Sicart, Souvik Mukherjee, Malath Abbas, Tom deMajo and Albert Elwin.

Johannes Ebert Greetings 12
Jeannette Neustadt Preface 14
Christian Huberts Game World Views 28
Pierre Depaz Computer Simulations as Political Manifestos 36
Stephan Schwingeler The Gravity of Games: Digital Games as Political Signifiers 48
  A converstation with Katharine Neil 58
Pablo Abend »Greetings Arma fans. I submit to you this humble contribution to the mod-a-verse.«-Modding as a Critical Appropriation Practice for Digital Games 63
Nina Kiel Representation and Innovation: The Significance of Diversity in Digital Gaming 71
Michael Schulze von Glaßer Political Pixels - Virtual Sabre-ratting and the Subject 'Exodus' in Digital Games 80
  A conversation with Lea Schönfelder 97
Miguel Sicart Challenging the Moral Player: Ethics and Videogame Design 102
Souvik Mukherjee A 'Minoritarian' Literature: Stories in Videogames 113
  A conversation with Malath Abbas, Tom deMajo, Albert Elwin 126
Making Opinions  
  The Cat and the Coup 132
  Madrid 134
  Yellow Umbrella 136
Militrary Matters  
  Killbox 138
  Unmanned 140
  This War of Mine 142
Multiple Perspectives  
  Perfect Woman 146
  Dys4ia 148
  Coming Out Simulator 150
Media Critique  
  Phone Story 152
  TouchTone 154
  Orwell 156
Migration Stories  
  Papers, Please 158
  1378(km) 160
  Escape from Woomera 162
Mapping Power  
  Sunset 164
  Democracy 3 166
  The Westport Independent 168
  Biographies 170
  Games 175
  Imprint 176
German and English
176 p., ill. soft-cover
Production / Corporation / Exhibition

Key topics