Games are all around us. They let us escape from drudgery and experiment with other worlds and ways of being. But they can be traps too: apps designed to be addictive, producing only the most hollow sense of achievement.
In this Trip, Nadia, Jeremy and Keir throw their polyhedral dice to explore how games shape our inner and outer lives. How has game theory been used to explain human behaviour? How can we make play emancipatory in a gamified world? Is there such a thing as a left-wing game? And how has the figure of the ‘gamer’ become synonymous with introversion, misogyny and reactionary politics?
The gang discuss games both ancient and modern – from chess to Super Mario, Go to Dungeons & Dragons – with music from Koji Kondo, The Who, Tinie Tempah and more. An ever-expanding playlist of all the music discussed on the show can be found on Spotify.
Look out for a Microdose episode on Dungeons & Dragons in the next few days.
Books & articles: Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations / Roger Caillois – Man, Play and Games / Johan Huizinga – Homo Ludens / Patrick Jagoda – Experimental Games: Critique, Play, and Design in the Age of Gamification / James Carse – Finite and Infinite Games / Alex Williams & Jeremy Gilbert – Hegemony Now: How Big Tech and Wall Street Won the World (And How We Win it Back)
Music: Koji Kondo – Super Mario Bros. Theme Song / Masato Nakamura – Sonic Theme Song / The Clash – ‘The Card Cheat’ / Joe South – ‘Games People Play’ / Tinie Tempah – ‘Passout’ / Janet Kay – ‘Silly Games’ / Business Man AKA Trentemøller – ‘Dubby Games’ / The Who – ‘Pinball Wizard’ / Amy Winehouse – ‘Love is a Losing Game’ / Koji Kondo – The Legend of Zelda Theme Song
Games: Apocalypse World / Chess / Comrades / Disco Elysium / Dixit / Dungeons & Dragons / Go / Microscope / Sonic The Hedgehog / Super Mario Bros / Red Plenty Games / Tomb Raider