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Pete Lawrence - 22 Oct 2017


For Debord, The Game of War wasn't just a game - it was a guide to how people should live their lives within Fordist society. By playing, revolutionary activists could learn how to fight and win against the oppressors of spectacular society.

We all like to play games, don't we? It's all part of imagining how things could be different, building a utopia. Changing the mindset.

The game of war is somewhat different, though. "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."

This is the message coming from the Games for the Many website set up by a long-standing friend Dr Richard Barbrook.  In short, it is a political games studio.

Their website states "We're working to pioneer the use of games as political campaigning tools. We believe games can help change the world, for the many, not the few. Together we're using play to change the face of British politics.

Although waiting for official affiliation with the Labour Party as we speak, the loyalties are clear in their statement of intent:

"Getting the Labour Party message out is now more important than ever. On the streets, in the press, the telly, through social media and as campaigns around the world have shown - games!

That’s why for this year’s election Games for the Many created the viral election game CorbynRun that reached over two million people, and for the next we’re working on new and exciting political games.

We're planning new games, big and small, to help build the growing mass movement around Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party. But we're not interested in doing this alone. Games are for sharing. Politics is a participatory process - to that end we're planning to run a series of game-jams across the country, building a community of political game makers."

The New Statesman's article details how the co-conspirators plan to chage the face of the political scene. Although largely tight-lipped they do offer "The war games planned for the shadow economics team will not be quite as edgy, with participants seated round a table and asked to make decisions in a variety of situations, which have consequences. Experts will be invited to attend, such as former Bank of England officials. “We’d ideally have the whole shadow cabinet playing,” says Barbrook."

Come to Campfire Convention 002.UK in London on November 4th (10am-6pm) and hear Richard Barbrook talking about Games For The Many at the thinkshop 'Reimagining politics - a slow burn or revolution?'



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