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Let's play. Post-Escapism: Video Games as an Instrument of Political and Cultural Critique

IAM. Episode I. Laboratory
14 June 2018


The program for the exhibition IAM includes a Let’s Play session with philosopher Alexander Vetushinsky, devoted to post-escapism—the use of video games as an instrument of political and cultural critique.

More than a form of entertainment, video games have become a complex cultural phenomenon—a medium that borrows devices from literature, comics and film, and influences other forms of cultural production in its turn. Video games are an integral part of contemporary business culture; an increasingly popular object for scientists and scholars and a useful aid in journalism—an effective instrument of political and cultural critique. The medium that was until recently associated with escapism, has reached a new, post-escapist, stage in its development. Today’s video games do not necessarily offer an escape from real life, but an opportunity to see it from a different perspective—they direct our attention to the tears in the social fabric that might not be part of the general discourse. Alexander Vetushinsky will discuss the critical potential of the medium and introduce listeners to several post-escapist games, including those featured at Games for Change festival: works by Molleindustria, Gonzalo Frasca, Anna Anthropy, Nicky Case and other designers.


Alexander Vetushinsky was born in 1987 in Moscow. He graduated in Philosophy from Moscow State University in 2013, and got his research degree there in 2016. He is currently a researcher and lecturer at the university’s Ontology and Epistemology Department. He also conducts research at Moscow Game Center and gives lectures on the history and theory of video games (Game Design program) and B&D (Digital Design program) at the Higher School of Economics.

how to take part

Free admission with advance registration

Let's play stream will be available at our Twitch account.



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