Molleindustria, the “brand” name of Italian game designer Paolo Pedercini, has been a project of reappropriation of video games and a call for the radicalization of popular culture since 2003. On the occasion of the “All Work, No Play” exhibition at Aksioma Project Space in June 2015, a significant selection of its games was made. The exhibited games deal with the theme of the conflict between life and work, as (video)games can be used to address critically socio-political issues such as flexibility, precariousness and alienation. In this essay, Paolo Ruffino, member of the art group IOCOSE and academic, explores the working conditions of independent game developers, who are often forced into patterns of self-exploitation and are exposed to the risk of over-individualisation. With its unresolved co-existence of an individual and a group, Molleindustria provides an enlightening case giving meaning to the word independence.

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