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.