Play as Persuasion, Subversion, Politic
Three interdisciplinary perspectives on the way games engage and critique the ideologies of their creators and audiences. Hear from designers that work within academia, indie development circles and international NGOs about making games that inform and challenge through play.
Mohini Dutta & Ben Norskov:
“Games are a hot commodity and everyone from corporations to NGO’s want a piece of the pie. Being new and unfamiliar these games often become culturally invasive, and don’t take into account the existing cultures of play in their intended audiences. Aside from passing down essential information, these games aim to “re-educate” people in the act of “fun”. Here, Ben Norskov and I will discuss our 4-part guidelines for making games in the true spirit of play: as inclusive, engaging experiences for everyone. Join us as we discuss ways to reduce the invasive impact of forcing fun.”
“As a second-year MFA student at the NYU Game Center, I am currently working on developing my thesis project, a digital simulation of political theories. The simulation allows players to test out different assumptions about general human behavior, such as their relationship to violence, their tendency to honor the dead or not, their tendency to stick to a certain community when they’re part of it, etc. This talk would then be a walkthrough of how the act of coding a game about deconstructing assumptions of how communities of people can be formed is itself an act of deconstructing and reconstructing political biases, while currently showing the work in progress.”
“An exploration of the use of humour and comedy as tools of cultural subversion and a voice for minorities and oppressed groups to counter the mainstream culture. Using the historical context of humour as a tool against oppression, its’ approachability, healing power and even negative aspects that might arise from the use of it. The talk will focus on how humour can be used in the creation of subversive games, both as a way to create new and different game mechanics and as a tool of rebellion against oppressive trends, tropes and negative exclusionary behaviours that permeate the game industry today.”