The mobilisation in and as play of relationships of control and passivity, of playing by the rules and resisting, distorting or simply ignoring them, of social hierarchies that might be inverted or reinforced in any particular game… a dreamlike fluidity of power relationships evident in the medieval carnival and the… something else. Not immediately recuperated by or reducible to either a compliance to social norms and hierarchies, nor to an ideal protean resistance of the imagination to these same norms and hierarchies. What protopolitics of play do signify is a mobilisation of imagination, material objects and environments (from sticks and balls to videogame worlds) and sociality (social relationships between human players, nonhuman play objects from technologies to animals). At the very least we can appeal to protopolitics to reject the assumptions, dire diagnoses and ‘reading off’ of everyday and popular technocultural behaviour from the symbols, ephemera and bad press of media objects.
Extract from Gameworlds: The protopolitics of play