“A Serious Game: New Media, Censorship, and the Spectacle” presented by Poynter


Session Title:

  • Games and Play

Presentation Title:

  • A Serious Game: New Media, Censorship, and the Spectacle




  • An austere reality of the 21st century human identity is denial towards the self-myth. Forces further than perception bestow surveillance upon Western and Eastern civilization to the effect of weaving simulacrum from the most tangible of artifacts we interact with. Narrative, dreams, and romanticism projected from new media often comes at an unseen labor. This taboo is due to dialogue between virtual realities and who is employing its mirage to shield a massacre in action. A complete work I propose for demonstration is a mobile game application that assaulted this reality from a political vernacular. For its efforts and a timeline of 900 work hours to this date, it received removal and censorship from the Apple iTunes merchandise store. Since the exodus of entitled In a Permanent Save State from distribution, it has received international tech and political media coverage throughout the viral blogosphere. It is an artwork heavily critical of the human rights violations surrounding electronic media devices produced by Apple itself, gaming outlets, and the Chinese labor campus Foxconn. In a Permanent Save State is a cerebral, fantasy driven application about these happenings. It serves as a game that falls into the evolving category of ‘serious games’ or if you will ‘games for change’. The interconnected narrative it tells sheds nameless perspective upon the Western spectacle vs. the Eastern dream. It chronicles the afterlives of seven migrant workers who died in the Foxconn factories. There is an effort to deconstruct the idea of where the games we cherish come from and an effort to deconstruct the video game form itself. Those who assemble the dreams of this world now have their own at a fatal cost.