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 EbertGreetings12
Jeannette NeustadtPreface14
Christian HubertsGame World Views28
Pierre DepazComputer Simulations as Political Manifestos36
Stephan SchwingelerThe Gravity of Games: Digital Games as Political Signifiers48
 A converstation with Katharine Neil58
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 Games63
Nina KielRepresentation and Innovation: The Significance of Diversity in Digital Gaming71
Michael Schulze von GlaßerPolitical Pixels - Virtual Sabre-ratting and the Subject 'Exodus' in Digital Games80
 A conversation with Lea Schönfelder97
Miguel SicartChallenging the Moral Player: Ethics and Videogame Design102
Souvik MukherjeeA 'Minoritarian' Literature: Stories in Videogames113
 A conversation with Malath Abbas, Tom deMajo, Albert Elwin126
Making Opinions 
 The Cat and the Coup132
 Yellow Umbrella136
Militrary Matters 
 This War of Mine142
Multiple Perspectives 
 Perfect Woman146
 Coming Out Simulator150
Media Critique 
 Phone Story152
Migration Stories 
 Papers, Please158
 Escape from Woomera162
Mapping Power 
 Democracy 3166
 The Westport Independent168
German and English
176 p., ill. soft-cover
Production / Corporation / Exhibition

Key topics