Power Cards
Denis Maksimov | Avenir Institute

This episode refers to a work titled Pow­er Cards by Avenir Insti­tute that employs gam­i­fi­ca­tion of cri­tique with­in the con­text of power.

The pri­ma­ry goal of this game is to make play­ers ques­tion the essence of pow­er. Tak­ing this inquiry as a point of depar­ture, Denis Mak­si­mov for­mu­lates ques­tions such as: How do author­i­tar­i­an lead­ers gain and accu­mu­late pow­er? How come polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic unions, nation-states, and cor­po­ra­tions com­pete against one anoth­er and con­sol­i­date each oth­er’s pow­er at the same time? How is pow­er man­i­fest­ed with­in domes­tic envi­ron­ments or work­places? Map­ping out enti­ties that throt­tle our world, Denis Mak­si­mov probes through var­i­ous tem­po­ral­i­ties and hori­zons to reveal the infra­struc­ture that gen­er­ates and dis­trib­utes the pow­er that rules over life on earth.


Episode Notes:

1. In Latin and Ancient Greek, aura means wind, breeze, or breath. Accord­ing to spir­i­tu­al beliefs, aura or human ener­gy field is a col­ored ema­na­tion that enclos­es a human body or any ani­mal or object. In some eso­teric teach­ings, the aura is described as a sub­tle body. Psy­chics, holis­tic med­i­cine prac­ti­tion­ers, and ora­cles often claim to have the abil­i­ty to see the size, col­or, and type of vibra­tion of an aura.



2. Capi­tol Hill hous­es the Unit­ed States Capi­tol, the Sen­ate, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and the Supreme Court. In addi­tion to being a metonym for the Unit­ed States Con­gress, it is the largest his­toric res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood in Wash­ing­ton District.



3. Found­ed in 1993, The Euro­pean Union is a polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic union of 27 mem­ber states that are locat­ed pri­mar­i­ly in Europe. As a sui gener­is polit­i­cal enti­ty (with­out prece­dent or com­par­i­son), it con­sists of an inter­nal sin­gu­lar mar­ket estab­lished through a stan­dard­ized sys­tem of laws that apply in all mem­ber states in mat­ters where mem­bers have agreed to act as one.


4. The E.U. poli­cies aim to ensure the free move­ment of peo­ple, goods, ser­vices, and cap­i­tal with­in the inter­nal mar­ket; enact leg­is­la­tion in jus­tice and home affairs; and main­tain com­mon poli­cies on trade, agri­cul­ture, fish­eries, and region­al devel­op­ment. Pass­port con­trols have been abol­ished for trav­el with­in the Schen­gen Area. A mon­e­tary union was estab­lished in 1999, com­ing into full force in 2002, and is com­posed of 19 mem­ber states which use the Euro currency.



5. The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment is one of the three leg­isla­tive branch­es of the Euro­pean Union among its sev­en insti­tu­tions. It rep­re­sents the sec­ond-largest demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­torate in the world (after the Par­lia­ment of India) and the largest trans-nation­al demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­torate in the world. Since 1979, the par­lia­ment has been direct­ly elect­ed every five years by the citizens.



6. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is the exec­u­tive branch of the Euro­pean Union, respon­si­ble for propos­ing leg­is­la­tion, imple­ment­ing deci­sions, uphold­ing treaties, and man­ag­ing day-to-day affairs. It oper­ates as a cab­i­net gov­ern­ment, with 27 mem­bers that con­sti­tute the Commission.



7. West­min­ster Abbey is a large, main­ly Goth­ic abbey church in Lon­don. It is one of the Unit­ed King­dom’s most notable reli­gious build­ings and the tra­di­tion­al place of coro­na­tion. It is also a bur­ial site for Eng­lish and British monarchs.



8. The West­min­ster sys­tem or the West­min­ster mod­el is a type of par­lia­men­tary sys­tem of gov­ern­ment oper­at­ing in England.