Games For The Many: computer games finally meshes with political activism in the UK


This is something we've been waiting to see happening in UK politics and activism for a while - and it's perhaps no surprise that it comes out of the enthusiasm that Corbyn is currently generating among youth culture (see Corbyn 4 Grime).

It's a new computer game studio called "Games for the Many", whose most notable recent production was the casual game "Corbyn Run" (A/UK featured it here) which went viral at the General Election this year.

Here's their blurb: 

Games for the Many is a collective of artists, designers and developers focused on using the power of play to change politics. Games change the way you think. They can educate, subvert, move and inspire. We're developing games to bring people together around a shared vision for a better world.

There are some interesting characters/scenes in and around GFTM. We previously profiled Edward Saperia's Newspeak House, which has opened its doors to what it calls "political technologists" for over a year now (Corbyn Run came out of their pre-General-Election hackspace). 

Also involved is the Westminster University media academic Richard Barbrook, who is a serious input into Corbyn's digital policy. But for years Barbrook has also has been running clubs in London based on Guy Debord's Game of War - a highly abstract strategy game designed by the famous sixties Situationist.

All this seems to be fusing together, with news that the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is going to be "war-gaming" various potential political scenarios over the next few years. 

The UK is late to this kind of gameful activism. In Italy, Molleindustria have been creating "radical" casual games since the 2000s. Also the work of Jane McGonigal for the Institute for the Future has been creating civic game experiences for a while. 

Following up our recent 'politics of VR" event in Brighton, A/UK is very interested in initiatives and activism around the use of tech and games. If you want to join us in this, please mail here.