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From McKenzie Wark, G4M3R 7H30RY

From “Agony”:

Even critical theory, which once took its distance from damaged life, becomes another game. Apply to top ranked schools. Find a good coach. Pick a rising subfield. Prove your abilities. Get yourself published. Get some grants. Get a job. Get another job offer to establish your level and bargain with your current employer. Keep your nose clean and get tenure. You won! Now you can play! Now you can do what you wanted, secretly, all those years ago. Only now you can’t remember. You became a win-win Situationist. Your critical theory became hypocritical theory. It is against everything in the whole wide world except the gamespace that made it possible. But gamespace is now the very form of the world, and this world eluded your thought even as it brought home the glittering prizes. It’s gamespace that won. The hypocritical theorist, while dreaming, meets the ghost of Guy Debord, and proudly cites a list of achievements: Ivy League job, book deals, grants, promotion, tenure, recognition within the highest ranks of the disciplinary guild. The ghost of Debord sighs: “So little ambition in one so young.”


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