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Jul 27, 2011



Off the top of my head:

1. Politicians are themselves involved in an extremely high stakes game, or at least at work within a game like system.
2. Games and game like systems (including various forms of gamification) are wending their way into more and more aspects of peoples' (aka their constituents) lives.
3. Over a decades of educational policy driven by high stakes testing has significantly damaged our educational apparatus. An injection of playful curricula could potentially do a lot to counter that impact (which means looking to games).
4. Games (digital ones) have become an incredibly important piece of the entertainment economy. Sure, it's not the biggest sector, but it's one of the few things America seems to have going for it these days.

I'm sure there are other reasons.


I agree with Moses wolfenstein. The revenue generated by online and console games should be more then enough of a factor to gain more attention from our countries politicians. Look at large mmo's like world of Warcraft, everquest and runescape, they have millions of people willing to pay monthly fee's to enjoy the world and virtual interaction they provide. why wouldn't the amount of revenue produced by online and console gaming be enough to garner more attention from politicians?


I'm tempted to say politicians should care about games because voters play them.

For a less flippant answer I'd go with the games as culture approach. Games are a huge part of our culture, if you step back and look at the numbers a huge proportion of the creative jobs, wealth creation and popular discussion centres around games and people choose to spend their leisure time playing them.

It's only historical accident that games don't have the same status as Hollywood or Television. What's more those cultural elements are declining, going the way of comic opera and Morris dancing. It may take TV a long time to die but games are the future. One day we won't watch the news, we'll play it.


Players have to understand systems of rules and constraints. Very good players learn to push at these boundaries and basically engage in inherently subversive acts--undermining the system--to be successful.

Politicians in a democracy should be encouraging this subversion and helping gamers extend this practice into everyday civic life. Politicians not in a democracy should be keeping a careful eye on where this subversion could lead.


I wouldn't go as far as to say we'd play the news. But I agree with the rest of this.


Yes, I agree with Stabs. The first line may be flippant, but it works for all politicians (at least in countries where there are elections).

Games are older than literature and theatre; their only contemporaries are perhaps music and dance. Bears play games: games predate human beings.



Politicians live in a sort of a synthetic world of their own. Their characters' avatars are more known and recognized than their actual self (the player). As larger and larger portions of the governed become experienced participants in synthetic realities and the dichotomy between it and their physical existence, I can conceive of an increasingly sophisticated body politic that is not so willing to accept the public face of the politician.

As television affected the elections of post WWII democracies, synthetic realities may impose new electability requirements on candidates.


Oh, the other practical reason why politicians should be interested in games is that 20 years from now the leader of the country will have grown up playing them.



How about this for a grouping of the points thus far:

Community & Culture
- everyone is a gamer of some type, games pre-date literature and their modern pervasive form ‘computer games’ are played by an increasing number of voters

Games and understanding
- Game play helps us understand systems. This form of learning can help everyone understand politics and could be used to reform the education system

- Computer games are an increasing part of the economy


Well there's the obvious point that they're fun, too. Plus, they're avenues for artistic expression. In many cases, the answer to the question "why should politicians care about games?" is the same as the answer to the question "why should politicians care about novels, movies and theatre?".



They should care about them in the same way they should care about movies, books and other forms of art... Not too much.


People like people who are like them and gaming has a huge community. Perhaps to get more votes?

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