Civic and political transgressions in videogames: the views and experiences of the players


Video games are commonly considered transgressive for providing the context for excessive violence, hypersexualized imaginaries, cheating, bullying and other sorts of inadequate behavior. Transgressions can be linked to struggles for social change, and video games present and represent ideological materializations, and therefore it is possible to look politically at the transgressions that different video games challenge players to negotiate. To explore the civic dimensions of video games, data was collected in a series of ten workshops involving 73 participants, in mixed groups of students, researchers and lecturers of various fields of study. Analyses allowed us to identify four types of transgression - i) the transgression of linear narratives; ii) the transgression of the ideologically aseptic idea of truth; iii) the transgression of the idea of free choice and merit and iv) transgression of individualism and the myth of “Other” - that were present in the experience of players, and that can contribute to understand how video games can contribute to the promotion of meaningful civic learning experiences.