Sunday, 28 September 2008

Videogames as metaphors---Democracy to come



If we consider the case of an ''avantgarde'' video game like the EidosInteractive,(2000) Deus Ex, we observe that users faced the option of some multiple choices. The ability to choose some features of your avatar and alternative plots which have three or more possible overlapping storylines, do not really represent a democratic choice but this notion that Derrida defined as “democracy to come” (democratie à venir).

The democracy to come is a state where the notion of democracy approaches utopia, where the common good that it promises could be fulfilled in the future, but it is always unrealised in the present. The process of going towards the realisation of common good is a dynamic process, which contains in its structure amongst other democratic elements, but democracy itself lies far into the timescape always as a ‘democracy to come’.

Democracy is not something static, an object or commodity. Its real opposition lies within the core of democracy from those who claim that they already realise it, as Oliver Marchart clearly indicates. With the same tactics Deus Ex suggests that we could create a space where choice is important, but because technically is impossible, due to the usual problem of technological inability combined with creative stagnation, we stay with a few naïf alternative plots.

These plots don’t negate the fact of a ‘democracy to come’ even if we don’t see the plurality of the production of discourse. But it could easily fall to a state where Deus Ex, in between others, claims that they realise democracy, a fact that is encouraged by the stagnation and repetition of the creative industry. In fact as Buckminster Fuller said “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a NEW model that makes the existing model obsolete”
This tactic clearly indicates a process of becoming, where democratic virtue is the key stone for the creation of the necessary condition which gathers the potentiality of transformation.

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