Video Game Politics

let me play next! from debbychens flickr

let me play next! from debbychen's flickr

I remain unconvinced about the politicization of videogames – I don’t really believe in organizing on SecondLife, socialization via EverQuest, or any of that bullshit, generally.  I think that videogame environments (and Facebook environments) are designed for highly-specialized purposes, and attempting to hijack them for political ends is more or less useless.

Which is not to say there can’t be lessons learned.  TechPresident featured this article on MyBarackObama (‘myBO’ for those in the know), calling the system the campaign season’s best videogame.  I think the name appropriately characterizes the Obama campaign’s ephemerality, it demonstrates how organizers can benefit from thinking about new media.

What keeps people playing MMORPGs and slavishly attached to Facebook is accumulation.  They offer ways to cement your existence in time and space – Facebook gives you a record of all your freinds, MMORPGs allow you to create characters and build them into something permenant, collecting gold, skills and experience.  Movements might look to mirror MyBO and build structures of participation that lend a sense of permenance to the relationships built in organizing, as a way of building-in acomplishments to the grueling, grinding work of creating a movement.  (this also means blogging, and creating your own media history as a way to lend legitimacy and permenance to the work you do on a daily basis)


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