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New Left Review 103, January-February 2017


hito steyerl

ON GAMES

Or, Can Art Workers Think?

Want to attack war? Compare it to a video game—as in: war has become as mindless as a Playstation game. People divorced from the consequences of their actions push buttons on consoles in remote locations. isis fighters are zombie swarms, drone pilots play arcade games, and so forth. The verdict is usually uttered with contempt, as if it were disgraceful for something as honourable as war to have become comparable to a game. ‘Shame on you, war! How could you end up as a game? Man up and get serious, will you?’ It’s so much more wholesome and healthy to kill scores of people if there is no screen separating you from your target. Shoot the enemy face to face, in an intimate and heartfelt way. Remember the usaf officers who personally dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima—there is nothing like an honest mass extinction.

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