Computer games are political even if entertainment is often in the foreground. Computer games reflect social values and political ideas. Games such as the best god simulator game take up real conflicts in fictional scenarios. Games address flight and migration and offer the potential to rethink gender clichés and pose ethical questions to players. In addition, they can be social experimentation areas in which concepts of society and new forms of coexistence can be tried out.
Computer games are becoming political
Whether imaginary worlds, every conceivable game, or even a farming simulator, video and computer games are exceptionally diverse in their subjects. There is only one topic that has been largely ignored by the industry: politics. But that is gradually changing.
Games are political – always
Anyone who thinks politics breaks games should never have liked any game. Because even if games are not explicitly political, almost all of them are indirect.
Every game transports a political message. For example, when the gamer in “Papers, please “, as the controller at a border crossing, decides whether immigrants are allowed to cross the border. The way women appear in games, active protagonists or passive victims, are all political statements.
Even in “Tetris”, the Russian classic game, which ostensibly has no plot or meta-level, there is a lot of political controversy behind the scenes. There were disputes over rights and secret contracts, even political pressure on Gorbachev personally.
Whenever a game is published that works with politically charged images, the discussion breaks out on new ones. Are computer games political? Many developers persistently deny this dimension to their products. This also has to do with the fear of a radical minority.
Games are still a very young medium. This form of culture has so far neither developed the self-image nor the critical apparatus. For example, the cinema has had it for decades, literature, theater, film, and the visual arts even for centuries. Before the computer game is reconciled with the fact that its content is always also political, the audience and the gaming industry still have to mature a little. The recurring discussion about it is the way to get there.