. blog —

TEXT a::minima Feature on Molleindustria

By Rhizome

Molleindustria is a project that takes aim at starting a serious discussion about social and political implications of the videogames. Using simple but sharp games we hope to give some starting point for a new generation of critical game developer and, above all, to test pratices that can be easly emulated and virally diffused. So far we have published nine games (four of them are available only in italian), some theoretical essays and other web-based project like Mayday NetParade or where-next.com.

A spectre is haunting the net: the spectre of political games. Small and viral online games able to spread dissonant messages. They emerge and disappear in the ever-changing world of the blog, forum and mailing lists. Sometimes they are blended into the undeground gamedesign scene, sometimes they pop in the glossy pages of popular magazines, sometimes they are disguised as works of art.

I’m talking about a spectre because political games don’t exist, or better, they have always existed: every video game - as every cultural product - reflect author’s ideas, visions and ideologies. Every video game is essentially political.

Why super Mario is a plunder? Has anybody ever seen him fixing a pipe? He probably fit better into the shoes of a rampant Wall Street broker, a social climber who attack every being that comes across his path. His eternal dissatisfaction, his continuous run, his orderliness in killing enemies sounds suspicious. In the typical level-based structure of arcade games we can recognize some qualities of the yuppie ideology: success is like a ladder that gets harder and harder to climb. There are many partial achievements but the whole plan is often difficult to understand. Individualism, competition an accumulation of useless points are constant. It's the neo-liberal short-sightedness, the means that becomes the end, the carreer, the 80's dream.

— Share this Article —