Aspects of the Political in Games
Even for a game culture criticism that is still emerging, it is crucial to understand where the fundamental differences in the reception of the art form mobile game lie and what the concept of the political actually means in it.
Rather, four possible definitions of the political in relation to mobile games emerge
- Games as a political entity of the market or money
- The game as a political issue through its influence on culture
- Mobile game as a political issue out of its game mechanics
- The game as a political narrative based on its individual narrative
What is done in parliaments is only political in a very narrow sense. In a broader sense, it is anything that somehow influences public opinion, culture, or other public things.
Why the mobile games are political
First of all, this makes every published game political, regardless of whether this game has a decidedly political content or not. Because even the appearance as a commercial form that tries to get a crumb off of the big money cake is at least an intervention in both the distribution of wealth and the composition of a market that is in the three-digit billion range worldwide. As a commodity, the game – every game – is of course political.
And the bigger the game is, the more widespread it is, the more political the game becomes from a cultural point of view, even if its content is apparently non-political. When millions of people play the same thing, on the one hand, it says something about our culture and on the other hand, it influences it, so it’s political.
Mobile games: Politics label from the grab box
It is difficult to deny the political nature of a game. But it is also predictable at the same time because it results solely from the nature of the game as a publicly available art form. In the end, there are no differences to any other art form. So far, the argumentation can be transferred one to one. But the line of argument that all games are therefore political may in fact be true according to the definitions, but ultimately translates the term “political” into a trivial statement in the sense of meaningful cultural criticism of individual work.