Dyer-Witheford, de Peuter – Games of Multitude

“The importance of immaterial labour to Empire can be grasped by thinking of how central media, marketing, communication, and surveillance are, not just in creating new commodities—such as videogames—but also in managing the workplaces that produce them and appealing to the consumers that buy them. It is, moreover, through the fiber-optic cables and wireless connections of digital networks run by immaterial labour that the tendrils of business stretch around the planet, the equivalents for today’s Empire of the Roman roads that tied together Caesar’s domain.”

“Game making blurs the lines between work and play, production and consumption, voluntary activity and precarious exploitation, in a way that typifies the boundless exercise of biopower. At the same time, games themselves are an expensive consumer commodity which the global poor can only access illicitly, demonstrating the massive inequalities of this regime.”

“…so virtual games are media constitutive of twenty-first century global hyper-capitalism and, perhaps, also of lines of exodus from it.”

“Multitudinous subjectivity is not only technically astute and culturally creative but also potentially subversive because its skills, aptitudes, and desires exceed the uses to which Empire tries to confine them.”

“Virtual gaming is ambivalent: one face points toward the increasing corporate absorption of unpaid “playbor” to extend the life and profitability of games; the other turns towards intensifying autonomous production, with periodic but increasingly frequent flashes of conflict and outbreaks of anticorporate game activism.”



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