molleindustria   18

Nova Alea: A Gentrification Demonstration | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Neat article about Paolo Pedercini's game "Nova Alea," an interesting exploration of the systems behind gentrification and real estate speculation. The best part is actually a comment under the article:

"Okay, so, a little essay from your local Geography lecturer:

If we think of this small area in Nova Alea as synonymous with a wider metropolitan region (i.e. a city and its subrubs and environs), it kind of much models what is known as a the ‘rent gap theory’ which attempts to expalin gentrification in purely economic terms.

Investors come in when there is an exploitable difference between existing rental income and possible future rental income. In the game this is the decision making about when to buy: Is this area likely to rise in price soon, if so, buy it up.

Basically, what you get from this is the see-saw effect you see in the game. Areas go up in value, this effects nearby areas, eventually the ‘bubble’ bursts, areas massively de-value, but, after time, become viable investment opportunities again.

This model has been used to explain the kind of to-and-fro of wealthy middle class families moving in and out of surburban areas over the 20th and 21st Century in the US.

There is also a somewhat mroe abstract argument which disputes the idea that it’s all about ‘buying low and selling high’ and you just wait in-between for the prices to rise (which is basically the rent-gap theory). Instead, the argument suggests that ‘regenration’ is a necessary by-product of the contradictory nature of capitalism. Basically, capital produces a surplus, this needs to go somewhere. ‘Run-down’ areas of the city are then argued to proide what has been called a ‘spatial fix’ for capital investment. Investors pump their surplus into these areas, the after-effect of this is that they raise in value, producing more profit (and more surplus…)

The model only kind of works in this context, and doesn’t really work in many nother cases.

In the UK, at least, this purely economic model doesn’t really work. This game suggests that as prices rise, this radiates out from the area. Anyone living outside of London and near ex-industrial areas will tell you this is not the case. Many places simply will not be viable areas for ‘regeneration’ until public governance and money go into developing these areas. It’s big business for councils now to basically package up market areas as viable investment opportunities for regeneration firms. What you note, Pip, with regards to the narative that runs “first the students, then the coffee shops, then the middle class” is a familiar story. And it’s now been latched oto by many planners who see what they term the ‘creative class’. Basically: try to fil your warehouses with artists by renting them as cheap studios. This will encourage the kind of services that the local artists want (nice coffe shops, interesting shops, a littly bit ‘quirky’ etc.) which, then, makes it viable for those warehouses to be replaced by apartments, as the area can be sold to the middle classes because of its ‘character’ and the nice shops / coffee bars.

What happens to the artists renting the cheap space? Well, if they’re not successful enough to afford the new space, screw them; they’ve done their job in laying the framework for regeneration! It’s a horribly intrumentalist attitude, but it’s rife amongst planers.

What the game does that’s interesting is that it takes the economic model of rent gap theory and places you in the position of someone for whom that model is basically ‘the way the world works’ (quite literally, that’s the code of the game). But then starts to make it awkward as the messy, difficult processes of people, politics, communities and legislation ‘get in the way’ of your nice investment-wait-profit system.

Through the game we start to see gentrification as something that happens on many scales; something social, cultural, political and econnomic, something that involves many different actors all exerting agency on the processes.

The problem is, this idea of the nice neat economic profit-maximising model being ‘disrupted’ by local forces doesn’t ring true.

Go back to the idea of the ‘creative class’ I mentioned earlier. Neoliberal planners have already found ways to make best USE of nice ‘community’ aspects. We might see an artists commune, with artists, startup tech companies, community projects etc. We might even see ‘counter culture’; projects emerging out of these tech companies and artists that are explicitly challenging the kinds of economics and poltics behind neoliberal regeneration.

Except, the planners and dveelopers want this! They know that these kinds of communities will make the area appealing to the aspirant middle classes, who are looking for ‘quirky’ shops and bars rather than costa and weatherspoons.

Planners & developers don’t see these kinds of communities as a challenge as the game sets them out to be. They see them as part and parcel of the ‘regeneration’ process. By setting the groudnwork for making the area marketable. The same processes that up-roots communities and understands the poorer working class areas not as existing communities but, despite people living there, as some kind of run-down ‘urban wilderness’ for ‘urban pioneers’ to move into (seriously, these are the kinds of collonial terminology developers use!).

Basically, the kinds of communities that ‘get in the way’ of developers, as in this game, have become the kinds of communities develpoers want to encourage. yet again, neoliberal captialism has found a way to absorb its criticisms and sell them back to us!"
game  rps  molleindustria  gentrification 
january 2018 by elq
Casual Games for Protesters
"Casual Games for Protesters is an ongoing collection of games to be played in the context of marches, rallies, occupations and other protests. They require very little preparation and equipment.

Protests can often be alienating or difficult to access for some people — whether that’s because of safety concerns, lack of physical accessibility, burn-out or just not knowing how to get involved. And rallies and marches can be overwhelming, formulaic in their structure, unnecessarily grave, or even boring to attend.

We believe it doesn't have to be that way. Participating in social change should be exhilarating, social, intellectually and physically stimulating, liberatory and fun. Games can help craft those collective experiences.

Of course, context is crucial, and not all games make sense in all situations. The dignity and rage of the Ferguson uprisings involved mourning victims, expressing anger and campaigning for better lives. The blockade of the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock is shaped by the traditions and beliefs of the Native American tribes that lead the protests. Such situations may not always leave room for playfulness — or they may call for a different kind of play.

We have tried to compile a wide variety of games from many different sources and imaginations. We’ve remixed folk and parlor games, added a political twist to acting and training, borrowed liberally from our precursors, and made up new things entirely. We are indebted to a long tradition, from the experimental theater of Augusto Boal and the New Games Movement, from the creative protests of C.I.R.C.A. to the world of modern live-action games. Direct inspirations were the Tiny Games format popularized by Hide & Seek, Metakettle by Terrorbull games, and the playable poetry of Harry Josephine Giles.

What we haven’t included yet are less casual and more pre-prepared games for specific events. Such games could be deeply integrated with the theme and the tactics of a protest, complement its theatrics, and inform actions of civil disobedience. We hope that some of our games might inspire such inventive, radical and effective tactics.

We will see an escalation of unrest and mass participation in the coming years, in opposition to the resurgence of the extreme right in Europe and North America, as part of global responses to climate change and floundering neoliberalism, and in both local and international movements. Countering protest fatigue and making activism more approachable and stimulating must be a priority for everyone.

Casual Games for Protesters is a project initiated by Molleindustria and Harry Josephine Giles in February 2017. All games are public domain, when not otherwise specified. Attribution is appreciated, remixing is highly encouraged.

Do you have a protest game to submit or recommend? Get in touch with us! "
games  play  protest  molleindustria  harryjosephinegiles  paolopedercini  resistance  socialchange  rallies  marches 
february 2017 by robertogreco
EA2014 05 Paolo Pedercini on Vimeo
"While mainstream videogames keep striving for a cinematic feel and photographic realism, a new wave of independent games are developing an autonomous, medium-specific language for interactive storytelling. Paolo will present some Molleindustria projects such as Unmanned, a story game about a day in the life of a drone pilot, and discuss the contaminations between animation and gaming focusing on low budget, DIY productions."
paolopedercini  2014  games  gaming  videogames  gamedesign  storytelling  molleindustria  towatch 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Videogames and the Spirit of Capitalism | Molleindustria
"We are only learning to speak of immeasurable qualities through videogames. It’s a slow and collective process of hacking accounting machines into expressive machines. Computer games need to learn from their non-digital counterparts to be loose interfaces between people. A new game aesthetic has to be explored: one that revels in problem-making over problem-solving, that celebrates paradoxes and ruptures, that doesn’t eschew broken and dysfunctional systems because the broken and dysfunctional systems governing our lives need to be unpacked and not idealized.

Strategies are to be discovered: poetic wrenches have to be thrown in the works; gears and valves have to grow hair, start pulsing and breathing; algorithms must learn to tell stories and scream in pain."

[direct link to video: ]
videogames  gaming  paolopedercini  molleindustria  games  art  design  capitalism  economics  efficiency  control  rationalization  marxism  bureaucracy  consumption  commerce  standardization  socialnetworks  quantification  sybernetics  gamification  goals  society  taylorism  relationships  pokemon  facebook  farmville  zynga  management  power  labor  addiction  addictiveness  badges  behavior  measurement  commodification  rogercaillois  play  idleness  ludism  leisure  leisurearts  artleisure  maxweber  resistance  consciousness  storytelling  notgames  taleoftales  agency  proteus  richardhofmeier  cartlife  simulation  2014  douglaswilson  spaceteam  henrysmith  cooperativegames  collaborativegames  tamatipico  tuboflex  everydaythesamedream  unmanned  systemsthinking  human  humans  oligarchy  negativeexternalities  gamedesign  poetry  johannsebastianjoust  edg  srg  shrequest1  simulations  pokémon 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Braxton Soderman: Every Game the Same Dream?
Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Video Games
gaming  molleindustria  art  writing 
september 2013 by robray
Toward Independence – Indiecade 2012 | Molleindustria
"There is a practical way to conceptualize the immensity & absurdity of this continuum. I borrow it from the Utopian & Anarchist thought.

Utopia is by definition unattainable but it provides a direction.

Utopia is a tiny flickering mirage at the horizon.

By the time you reach it Utopia already moved forward…yet an utopian idea is fundamental because it provides a direction.

It encourages you to a constant tactical engagement with the status quo. It pushes you to continuously break away from the forces & entities that make us miserable & are screwing up the world.

This is how I like to think about independence in gaming and in culture.

Not a status but a tension and a direction to pursue.

And the corollary is that we should not be here at these indie festivals to celebrate our little club, to exchange tricks on how to milk the indie brand for profit.

No: we should be here to conspire about how we can be *more* autonomous. About how we can move another steptoward independence."
freedom  independent  indie  corporations  post-fordism  alienation  creativework  automation  capital  autonomy  fordism  history  paolopedercini  cv  improvement  purpose  values  utopian  utopianism  utopianthinking  indiegames  anarchism  control  power  economics  videogames  molleindustria  2012  direction  vision  utopia  capitalism  labor  creativelabor  creativity  making  gamedesign  games  purity  vectors  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Welcome to the desert of the real on Vimeo
A short "anti-propaganda" film by Paolo Pedercini (of La Molleindustria) with text from the post-traumatic stress disorder checklist and video from the US military's recruiting game, America's Army.
ifttt  vimeo  molleindustria  machinima  ptsd  war  video 
september 2011 by elq
La Molleindustria
Very political Italian Flash game devs.
activism  flash  politics  game  italy  molleindustria 
september 2011 by elq
Home Page EN | Molleindustria
Molleindustria aims to reappropriate video games as a popular form of mass communication. Our objective is to investigate the persuasive potentials of the medium by subverting mainstream video gaming clichè (and possibly have fun in the process).
molleindustria  games4change  gameg  toplay 
november 2010 by lofting
Every day the same dream - molleindustria
Interesting game about the meniality (and possibilities) of everyday life, but Italian Flash geniuses Molleindustria
game  flash  molleindustria  crossovergregynog10 
december 2009 by mugla

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