Digital Commons:
Video games and activism in the age of COVID-19

This illustrated and interactive blogpost describes the role of digital platforms, such as video games,  as portals of community engagement, social organizing, and disruption. It intends to create a visual relationship with the reader while introducing long-researched concepts about the role of gamescapes in reproducing and reinterpreting reality. Video games have the potential to bring in a wider public to engage in social organizing and to understand the development and the function of a city in crisis through designed domains. Digital machines can fuel participation of communities in isolation towards more immersive and interactive platforms to interpret and  analyze issues and movements, thus becoming positive tools in the production of the city. Some games seek to create a series of networks that allow the public to understand social and spatial relations and create collective outcomes that are reproduced in real life.  While most games approach these relations through cultural satire and cynicism, players can adopt the simulations to generate transactions and imitate life when life is constrained. They can blur the real world with gameplay and build new relations of power, while providing tools to resist cultural, political, and economic capital within programmed but ephemeral structures.


Alejandra Guerrero is an architect and urban planner who focuses on community development, design and the relationship between space and politics. She has a degree in Architecture, a Masters in Urban and Regional planning from UCLA and in Urban Design from UCL and is currently pursuing a PhD in Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Oxford.