Lockdown live: ‘Can video games change the world?’

Globally, 2.5 billion people play video games. Is the left in danger of overlooking their immense power and influence? Join the debate live on April 30, 6pm

April 28, 2020 · 3 min read

One in three people play video games – that’s 2.5 billion people globally. The gaming industry is huge, raking in more money than global music sales and most cinema franchises. But stereotypes about ‘gamers’ linger in the popular imagination. It’s time to ask: is the left overlooking the immense social and political power of games? And can video games really change the way we think and act in the world?

Join Red Pepper on Thursday 30 April, at 6pm (UK) / 1pm (US East Coast), to discuss the social and political power of gaming, from battles for labour rights to the military entertainment complex to efforts to queer and diversify the industry.

Whether you’re a joystick master or a video game skeptic, bring your burning questions and join our panellists as we broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube, or watch right here:

You can also read our recent series on the politics of video games on this site, which explores the history and concept of play, debates over what games count as ‘political’, the radical potential of gaming, how the military is shaping the industry, and the neoliberal myths of game designers.

Featuring:

  • Marzena Zukowksa, writer, organiser and researcher, based in London.
  • Carolyn Petit, veteran game critic and regular commentator on Feminist Frequency Radio.
  • Sher Jamal Stone, music, culture and justice-focused writer and communications strategist based in New York City.
  • Paolo Ruffino, Lecturer in Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool.

Review – You’re History: The Twelve Strangest Women in Music

Lesley Chow argues for a new kind of music criticism that re-evaluates women musicians and "meaningless" music, writes Rhian E Jones

Prevent strategy funding Birmingham theatre

The government’s Prevent strategy is funding productions that will damage community relations, argues Keith McKenna

"Books of Knowledge Picton Library Liverpool" by Terry Kearney is marked with CC0 1.0

The working-class voices publishing against the grain

Luke Charnley reports on the new publishing houses getting working-class writers onto the printed page.


Review – Angela Carter’s ‘Provincial Bohemia’

Despite some omissions, Stephen E Hunt's examination of radical novelist Angela Carter's time in Bristol and Bath provides a useful lens to analyse the countercultural history of the two cities, argues Sue Tate.

Screenshot from Cyberpunk 2077 showing a character from the game sitting in front of a futuristic cityscape and the word 'broken' graffitied onto a wall

Video games and anti-capitalist aesthetics

As more and more video games infuse their narratives with explicitly political themes, B.G.M. Muggeridge asks why so many fall short in actually challenging capitalism

Terrible films about the Troubles

Taking a cinematic tour of predictable plots and improbable accents, Stephen Hackett finds himself asking: hasn’t Ulster suffered enough?

Want to try Red Pepper before you take out a subscription? Sign up to our newsletter and read Issue 231 for free.