If video games are to be politically revolutionary, we need to reimagine what they could look like
In recent weeks the well-trodden argument that “games aren’t political” has resurfaced, fuelled partly by the refusal of the developer of The Division 2 to acknowledge the political significance of its forthcoming game, set in a devastated post-pandemic Washington DC kept in order by the military. On the contrary, like all art that arises from culture, games are deeply political. They are also often biased – even when their designers intend them to be impartial – towards conservative, patriarchal and imperialist values such as empire, dominion and conquering by force.
But video games can and should be put to work for leftwing politics at this moment of cultural and political uncertainty. Many games communicate progressive values in their narrative and content – but if they are to go further, we must reimagine what a game could look like.