PLAYING AT THE POLLS: VIDEO GAMES IN/AS PLATFORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
Keywords:video games, digital platforms, participation, live streaming, political discourse
This panel explores the rise of ludic technologies as both figurative and computational “platforms” for American political participation. As COVID-19 forced many politicians to abandon massive rallies and other in-person engagement into 2020, American politicians turned to video games for alternative means of public outreach, from “Biden Island” in $2 to Twitch streams with Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez and Bernie Sanders. This panel contextualizes these and other “ludopolitical” phenomena from a variety of perspectives, ranging from digital media studies to queer studies and political economy. We attend to the mass re-politicization of games and question the politics of identity, content moderation, and labour that are downloaded onto policy when party communication becomes strategically playful.