games against the state (2013)

We’re not interested in these types of  risk-free “riots”…….On the contrary, we aim to make sure that for them and all the other forms of capital it’s  Game_Over


Best game show ever : Numberwang (though this episode is 1.35 times better). And for those morons who haven’t quite grasped the rules, here they are:

Rules & Regulations

  1. Don’t.

  2. If a number precedes the previous anticipated percentage of its fraction, do not cross the road.

  3. However, if a number ranges between a minus number and the square root of the logarithm of X factor divided by 6 ounces of Stilton, never ever try to calculate it.

  4. If you can multiply the total of the original sum added to the original sum then you are liable to be hit by a Syrian nail-picker.

  5. Numbers not listed in Burkes Peerage are not permitted to those older than exacerbation.

  6. Given the lowest common denominator of the absolute value of a complex number’s affine-regular polygon abstracted from the binomial coefficient bissecting their universal convergence on a scale of 1 to 6.980006, it is essential to follow the second theorem of Apollonius in relation to the hypercycloids of a heptadecagon’s vase of roses.

  7. Run.

From “The thought of a thoughtless world”:

There was a piece of graffiti put up in Sheffield during the Gulf War which said “Hi-tec war kills and maims but the media shows us video games”. Video games often involve military combat which anaesthetise you to the horrors of real military combat. At the same time, various anti-violence moralists criticise video games for encouraging aggressive behaviour, but spectacular violence co-opts real rage into passive forms, so they should be grateful. Sure, maybe such games numb people a bit to any notion that shooting and killing are real situations and have real effects, but undoubtedly the ideological justifications for capitalist wars are far more numbing – as, indeed are the totality of social relations (it’s the feeling of fatal inevitability that numbs people most of all to capitalist wars). With video games it’s more people’s underlying good reasons for expressing genuine anti-hierarchical rage that gets numbed. The rage against alienation becomes pacified into a risk-free fight with fake aliens on a screen: a false exit from isolation which leaves you just as, if not more, isolated as before. From the outside, playing such games seems pathetic, a waste. Sure they are – they distract people from social relations. But this is just moralism, if it ignores what games represent subjectively. In fact the adrenaline-flowing pleasure, the switch between anxious tension at the prospect of getting ‘killed’, and those moments of ‘success’ when you can relax a little if you want, that people experience when playing these games derives from the player’s determination to beat the programmed machine. They are ways of co-opting the excitement and anxiety people always feel when they revolt against this world. That’s one of the reasons that kids playing truant are often found in Amusement Arcades. The games are sometimes a superficial and simplistic representation of people’s complex repressed and anxious rage against the machine of society. They are like drugs – dreadfully addictive and obsessional, blocking out daily life to the degree that you can even neglect some of the basic tasks of the day (just like the proscribed drugs). This can last up until the moment you win, when you find yourself alone and indifferent, wondering what it was that gave you the buzz from that particular game, and yearning for a greater hit.

Above all, these games, and computers and the Internet altogether, present people with an image of space – a window onto endless corridors, large rooms, weird streets and lush vistas – to console the dispossessed for the increasingly claustrophobic lack of freedom which they are increasingly forced to endure.

There are now ‘revolutionary’ computer games, with ‘radical’ choices, none of which involve chucking your computer out the window [1] or looting your local supermarket. But even if they did wouldn’t that just be a way of taming people into not really doing these things? The habit of seeking virtual adventures usually prevails over any desire to practically realise some of the options presented: the isolation of video games makes being teased with the image of collective rebellion unlikely to lead to the awkward and complex tasks involved inreal struggle.

Video games give the players the idea of constantly making choices and the sense of freedom of choice, when as with computer graphics, the choices are defined for you. If the desire to beat the machine is the co-optation of the desire to destroy the commodity machine that distracts and destroys us then we must reverse perspective on this not just theoretically but practically. In 1981, in the April riots in Brixton, an amusement arcade in Stockwell Road was trashed and the Space Invaders machines were put out across the road as a mini-barricade against the real Space Invaders – the State in the form of the cops. This is what is meant by “reversal of perspective”: the masses of individuals putting machines in the service of humanity, not humanity in the service of machines.



A recent example of destroying computers occurred in Paris in mid-April 2005, when an annexe of the Ministry Of Educqation was temporarily occupied by rebellious school students as part of their struggle against a new law. 2 computers were chucked out of the window, whilst most of the others were wrecked or damaged in some ways, an action far more educational than the virtual education that school students are increasingly subjected to as part of the economy’s project of education on the cheap (educating people to become ignorant, that is). See our text on the movement of secondary school students in spring 2005

4 Responses to games against the state (2013)
  1. N_ says:

    (M)aybe such games numb people a bit to any notion that shooting and killing are real situations and have real effects

    “Maybe”!! Are you serious?

    As for the “rules and regulations”, what’s the point of mocking mathematics? Mathematics is a valid field of human endeavour.

    • It’s not mocking mathematics – it’s mocking game shows and their rules. But it’s not in any way a serious take on game shows either – it’s just a joke, which you may or may not find funny. However a critique of certain aspects of mathematics would be worth doing.

  2. N_ says:

    OK – I have no issue with mocking game shows. But whether or not I understand a joke has partly to do with its producer 🙂

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