The Free Culture Game

The Free Culture Game

The title alone lets the person know what the game is about. There are very simplistic and clean colors and graphics. The instructions of the game are easy and the learning curve is just as light. It is a game of collecting and avoiding. The game is a playable theory trying to convey the message that keeping knowledge amongst the general public leads to more ideas and a more effective spread of knowledge. This is evident by the fact that knowledge as “cooperatively created and shared” is accentuated and bold. Therefore, the point of the game is to avoid letting the market dominate knowledge, creativity, and ideas.

After the introduction stressing the need for cooperation and “the common,” gameplay advanced the theory. If the lightbulb bubbles representing knowledge were properly distributed to the public, more bubbles were made available, signifying that when you spread information properly, more ideas, creativity, and knowledge are generated. The Vectorialist is the enemy and its goal is to copyright ideas and create scarcity. This is representative of a monopolistic governance where the people do not have much control and the market becomes commodified to the point of complete dominance. The Vectorialist also has an unfair advantage in taking the knowledge because it sends out little red rays that act as magnets in collecting the bubbles. This shows how the industry is advantaged in copyrighting ideas because many times the general public may not know how to go about copyrighting an idea.

As you continue to play, the Vectorialist gets a little more intense and takes more and more knowledge at a faster rate. People who cannot access the knowledge will stop producing new ideas and turn into passive consumers. This is done by the people turning a shade of gray. This symbolizes how people become mindless zombies to the media, corporations, and copyright market. They become pawns to knowledge and no longer contribute to advancement. They just take what the Vectorialist gives them.

There did not seem to be an “end” to the game, per se. It just became more difficult to spread knowledge because the bubbles were coming out at a snail’s pace once the Vectorialist got a strangehold on the market. I think it is effective to do this because it shows that there never really is a finish to this and that there can always be a dying effort to protect ideas, even though it may become difficult. The statement of the game is clear- it is to protect free knowledge and liberate all the consumers from the domain in the market. The graphics, gameplay, and instructions all played a pivotal role in conveying this message. It is clearly trying to make strides at social change and not letting the industry dominate.

1 comment
  1. I understand the concept, given by the game, that the market is taking control of human knowledge and turning people into mindless consumers. However, I don’t necessarily agree with this argument. The products and ideas sold in the market can come from anyone at anytime. All people have the ability to contribute knowledge to our planet even if they find themselves to be a consumer in the market. Even the products we buy can contribute to our own growth in knowledge.

    I just don’t believe that you can put restrictions on the domain of knowledge as this game does. Everday our understanding of the world and our knowledge as human beings grows, even if the market has created consumers out of all of us.


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