The Gaming Democracy Project: Virtual Democracy in the Age of Fascism IRL (In Real Life)
Dunne-Howrie, J. and Drayton, T. 2022. The Gaming Democracy Project: Virtual Democracy in the Age of Fascism IRL (In Real Life). Zip-Scene 2022. Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary 10 - 12 Nov 2022
|Dunne-Howrie, J. and Drayton, T.
Gaming Democracy: Participatory Performance Strategies for Countering Far-Right Politics brings together a wide variety of artists, academics, and activists working in the fields of interactive theatre, criminology, political science, game design, computer science, and digital media to investigate how participatory performance, social media, and democracy interact in the present political conjuncture. The British Labour party and wider establishment left show no signs of being able to build a new political bloc that stand in opposition to fascists acting as major political actors in digital culture. We believe theatre must position itself as an interventionist force in digital spaces to halt the infiltration and normalisation of far-right ideas into the mainstream through gamification systems. Gamification refers to the far-right’s use of game attributes - playing a character in a fictional world, reward incentives, progressing through levels of complexity - in political and cultural environments to radicalise and recruit (Schlegel 2018). We are investigating the interrelatedness and distinctions between the sense of immersion generated from the online gamification weaponised by the far-right, and the gameplay systems used by performance makers both onstage and online, where immersion can be framed in terms of empathic interconnectedness and collaborative meaning-making. In direct contrast to the online gamification of hatred by the far-right (using memes, role-play on chat forums, and computer games), Gaming Democracy explores the untapped potential of gameplay as a model for alternative world-building. These worlds can enable us to imagine the future of democracy as a digital architecture that flows between and across the virtual and offline spheres. This paper will reflect on the webinar series we convened with members of the Gaming Democracy research network in 2022 to consider how egalitarian futures of modernity can be ‘imaged’ (Hall  2021, 261) through participatory and interactive performance processes. This will form the basis for our argument that the metaverse can become a vibrant laboratory for testing new democratic systems through digital aesthetics to produce globally interconnected political communities for new virtual realities.
|Fascism Participatory Theatre, VR; Radicalisation; Immersive Theatre; DeRadicalisation; Participatory Theatre; VR
|Accepted author manuscript
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Registered users only
|Publication process dates
|10 Nov 2022
|20 Feb 2023
|© 2022 The Authors
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