Governance: Unity’s Democratization Dispositif

  • Benjamin Nicoll
  • Brendan Keogh


This chapter treats Unity’s slogan—‘democratizing videogame development’—as a policy discourse and dispositif that functions to legitimize neoliberal modes of work and identity formation. It discusses videogame culture’s conflicted view of democratized development tools by looking at the anxieties surrounding ‘asset flipping’ and the ‘indiepocalypse’, both of which are often linked to Unity’s ‘democratizing’ effects. It argues that people feel empowered by Unity not only because of the tools it provides, but also because it appears to make a sustained, policy-driven commitment to democracy and equality in a political environment where such a commitment is typically felt to be lacking. It concludes by discussing alternative ‘grassroots’ game engines and by pointing to further uses of the circuits of cultural software.


Software culture Platform governance Asset flips Indiepocalypse Democratization of videogame development Unity game engine 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Nicoll
    • 1
  • Brendan Keogh
    • 1
  1. 1.Digital Media Research Centre, School of CommunicationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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