The sociologist who links Marx to video games talks about the borders of India in the industry

I interviewed British Marxist sociologist and researcher Jamie Woodcock (34) on the Diário do Centro do Mundo (DCM) website. In 2019, he published the book “Marx no Arcade”, which was translated the following year by the publishing house Autonomia Literária. Woodcock claims he became a fan of Karl Marx by criticizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq by his student fighters.

He said he is a fan of the British studio ZA / UM role-playing game Disco Elysium, which openly addresses topics such as leftism, anarchism and fascism in the investigative story. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

You think indiegames [jogos independentes] Are they another way of creating games without the ideology of neoliberalism?

Indie games can offer distance from AAA studios [a chamada grande indústria] Test different ways of making games. Many indie games are very different from the annual licensed sports games [como FIFA] Or the final title of the FPS franchise [jogos de tiro em primeira pessoa].

The video game industry has always had resistance and push dynamics since the first developers created the games. This continues to this day, with people changing games and turning them outside of traditional industrial structures.

Take Counter-Strike, DOTA or League of Legends, for example, which started as modifications [modificações ilegais] From existing games. However, capitalism has been very successful in rediscovering the creativity and subversive dynamics of other ways of creating games.

Independent games are not the solution to the problem of neoliberal or capitalist ideology, but they can be part of an experiment in what an alternative culture or practice might be like.


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Marxist sociologist Jamie Woodcock, 34, author of the book “Marx in the Arcade” – a personal collection.

“Marx in Arcade” is the book of 2019. Do you think movements like GamerGate, the ultra-right movement, want to maintain the neoliberal structures of the video game industry?

The extreme right is organizing online rather than the left for some time. To some extent, popular right-wing movements were evolving in online spaces today before taking to the streets. Obviously, the far right will not be in favor of taking progressive steps to change the structure of the video game industry, and parts of this can be found on GamerGate.

However, my opinion in “Marx Arcade” is not that video games are bad or that violence should be removed from games. Instead, video games can be a means of expressing more than they currently are. Criticism is not the same as censorship.

This applies to the struggle for video games – both work and leisure – which can be part of thinking about alternative ways of organizing society, as well as what we can do to relax at the end of the day.

Read the full interview here.

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** This text does not necessarily reflect the views of the portal UAI.

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