# Jul 20, 2012

“The video game remains an icon of its age, an emblem for the interpellation of ideological subjectivity, and a tool which continues (through its counter-claims of interactivity) ably to fulfil that function on behalf of capital, military and state. The commercial video games industry has put an extraordinary emphasis upon the significance of interactivity in its field of production; but while the digital game may be neither more nor less interactive than any other text, this emphasis itself seems not only to mislead its consumers but also to disempower them. When, then, Jane McGonigals’s dreams of a world of World of Warcraft are eventually realized, this new reality may not represent the democratic cybertopia of which some have dreamt. W.H. Auden … suggested that “each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom” – yet when each individual is not almost but absolutely convinced by that illusion of self-determination, those who are interpellated by the dictatorship of the algorithm will not even dream of autonomy and liberation, because (like all those sustained by the faux-scriptible, like the victims of The Matrix itself) they will mistakenly believe that they are already the authors of their own destinies.”

Alec Charles – Playing with one’s self: notions of subjectivity and agency in digital games