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27

Level 1

From Farming Simulation to Dystopic Wasteland: Gaming and Capitalism

2
terms
2
notes

Bown, A. (2017). Level 1. In Bown, A. The PlayStation Dreamworld. Polity Press, pp. 27-60

33

[...] If McGonigal is right that games can seize us and affect us when we are feeling aimless, hopeless, or anxious--dealing with those feelings of fragmentation and transforming them into something concrete and apparently positive--then this should make the alarm bells ring and cause us to be very suspicious. It shows us nothing more than the extent to which games are powerful ideological tools. [...]

referring to a fairly staid TED talk by Jane McGonigal on WoW

—p.33 by Alfie Bown 3 years, 2 months ago

[...] If McGonigal is right that games can seize us and affect us when we are feeling aimless, hopeless, or anxious--dealing with those feelings of fragmentation and transforming them into something concrete and apparently positive--then this should make the alarm bells ring and cause us to be very suspicious. It shows us nothing more than the extent to which games are powerful ideological tools. [...]

referring to a fairly staid TED talk by Jane McGonigal on WoW

—p.33 by Alfie Bown 3 years, 2 months ago

(common Althusserian term) the process by which ideology, embodied in major social and political institutions (ideological & repressive state apparatuses), constitutes the very nature of individual subjects' identities through the process of "hailing" them in social interactions

34

We can perhaps say that gaming interpellates [...] if gaming interpellates fragmented subjects, giving them a sense of purpose, then it does so in the service of dominant ideologies.

—p.34 by Alfie Bown
notable
3 years, 2 months ago

We can perhaps say that gaming interpellates [...] if gaming interpellates fragmented subjects, giving them a sense of purpose, then it does so in the service of dominant ideologies.

—p.34 by Alfie Bown
notable
3 years, 2 months ago
36

[...] it is essential that such games are experienced as a complete waste of time. Their purpose is in part to erase a clear distinction between work and leisure so that the worker must "pay back" their Candy Crush indulgence by answering emails in bed at night, for example.

Such games aid capitalism not by stimulating capitalist success or endorsing its principles, but by appearing to be totally useless and nothing more than a complete waste of precious time. By appearing as such they are able to make the mundane work we perform for capitalism seem so much the more "productive" and "useful" by contrast. After we have "wasted" five minutes on Cookie Clicker, we feel like we are carrying out an act that is both productive and reparative when we return to Microsoft Excel afterward. [...] these distractions not only consolidate our impression that capitalist productivity is comparatively useful and positive, but also make us feel indebted and keen to make amends to an employer after gaming. Such games are a kind of licensed transgression that not only allows society to continue unharmed, but actually reinforces our desire to pay back what we owe for our little acts of perceived nonconformism. Additionally, they renew our commitment to capitalist production when we might otherwise be reflecting on how unfulfilling our working conditions are.

p38: mentions Benjamin's theories on distraction as an alternative to contemplation

—p.36 by Alfie Bown 3 years, 2 months ago

[...] it is essential that such games are experienced as a complete waste of time. Their purpose is in part to erase a clear distinction between work and leisure so that the worker must "pay back" their Candy Crush indulgence by answering emails in bed at night, for example.

Such games aid capitalism not by stimulating capitalist success or endorsing its principles, but by appearing to be totally useless and nothing more than a complete waste of precious time. By appearing as such they are able to make the mundane work we perform for capitalism seem so much the more "productive" and "useful" by contrast. After we have "wasted" five minutes on Cookie Clicker, we feel like we are carrying out an act that is both productive and reparative when we return to Microsoft Excel afterward. [...] these distractions not only consolidate our impression that capitalist productivity is comparatively useful and positive, but also make us feel indebted and keen to make amends to an employer after gaming. Such games are a kind of licensed transgression that not only allows society to continue unharmed, but actually reinforces our desire to pay back what we owe for our little acts of perceived nonconformism. Additionally, they renew our commitment to capitalist production when we might otherwise be reflecting on how unfulfilling our working conditions are.

p38: mentions Benjamin's theories on distraction as an alternative to contemplation

—p.36 by Alfie Bown 3 years, 2 months ago

(adjective) characteristic of or belonging to the time or state before the fall of humankind

47

European dreams of exiting the EU to return to some prelapsarian national serenity in isolation

—p.47 by Alfie Bown
notable
3 years, 2 months ago

European dreams of exiting the EU to return to some prelapsarian national serenity in isolation

—p.47 by Alfie Bown
notable
3 years, 2 months ago