Video games can be a creative avenue for activism. They have the power to weave current events and socio-political themes into an interactive gaming experience, helping to spread awareness about human rights issues. In recent years, designers and players alike have capitalized on video games to advance their causes: from using multi-player games as a virtual platform to host protests, to fostering empathy and understanding in order to bolster support for their work.
More Than Just a Game: Gaming and Activism
The gaming industry has taken the world by storm since as early as the 1970s. Technological advancements in the past several decades have allowed PC, mobile, and console games to incorporate new designs and new storylines. These advances have helped the industry to expand dramatically, attracting diverse audiences with various interests ranging from sports, fantasy, music, and even current events. This panel discussion will explore how video games have become not only a hobby, but also an avenue for activism.
The Aesthetics of Dictatorship
Dictatorships frequently use art and culture as propaganda tools to create cults of personality and maintain legitimacy. The totalitarian aesthetic is familiar to many of us from films and documentaries of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany: tanks driving down wide boulevards, paintings of toiling workers, military uniforms laden with medals, and films depicting past glories. But for billions of people who continue to live under authoritarian regimes, these images and experiences continue to be a part of everyday life. This discussion will explore how dictators co-opt cultural institutions and use dress, art, film, architecture, and other kinds of visual propaganda to impose upon citizens their vision of society, instill fear, and reinforce their authoritarian regimes.
The Oslo Freedom Forum is a global conference series produced by HRF, that brings together the world’s most engaging human rights advocates, journalists, artists, tech entrepreneurs, and world leaders to share their stories and brainstorm ways to expand freedom and unleash human potential across the globe.
At the 14th annual Oslo Freedom Forum, you will…
- Listen to talks from some of the world’s bravest human rights defenders in the magnificent Oslo Concert Hall
- Engage with interactive art installations and live music performances
- Explore the struggle for freedom through panel discussions and workshops with thought leaders from around the world
- Discover exciting initiatives at the intersection of innovation, freedom, and technology
- Collaborate with our diverse community to protect democracy where it is most at risk
Described by the Financial Times as a “Davos for dissidents,” the Oslo Freedom Forum is more than a conference — it is a global gathering of some of the world’s most brilliant minds. Over the course of the Forum, you will make lifelong connections with activists and civil society leaders working on the frontlines of social change. The Oslo Freedom Forum has a powerful and impactful ripple effect: inspiring social innovation, policy changes, greater awareness for human rights, alliances, and new philanthropic support for pro-democracy causes. Together, we can create a world that is more peaceful, prosperous, and free.