Who decides society’s definition of culture and how do we evaluate the various forms of cultural expression? Over the last few decades, video games have consolidated their position as pastime, interest and career among a (large) swathe of the population. More than 500 million people play video games every day.
Simultaneously, few mainstream newspapers report on individual games or on gaming culture in the same manner that they report on other genres such as music, literature, television and film. This affects how we as a society talk and think about games and those who enjoy them.
Organised by the Fritt Ord Foundation, ‘Digital Lives’ invites the public to discuss the topic both through a call for essays and a series of public debates. 180 texts were received for the anthology, including both academic and personal essays. The ten writers selected for the anthology touched on language barriers, addiction, gender equality and the connection between violent video games and the 2011 Utøya massacre. The winning essay was a careful deconstruction of the lack of diversity in games, and dealt powerfully with colonialism and historical narratives.