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“Video Game” by Sufjan Stevens Rejects the Status Quo

On August 13th, alternative singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens released his newest single, “Video Game,” the second song revealed to be included on his upcoming album, The Ascension . The upbeat, synth pop anthem is Stevens’ reflection on being true to yourself and going against the status quo. The effects used in the music sound like a retro video game, emphasizing the monotony and mindlessness Stevens sees in the world around him. His lyrics reject boxes he believes society is trying to fit him into, stating “all you want is what the resume tells you.” He doesn't care if it is what everyone around him is going along with, he doesn’t want any part of it, as he repeats “I don’t wanna play” over and over. In a statement on the release, Stevens explained: “It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where the value of people is quantified by likes, followers, listeners, and views.” His lyric, “I don’t care if everybody else is into it” reinforces his sentiment to live not according to others’ approval, but according to what makes you happy. The music video, which was also released on the 13th, stars TikTok dancer Jalaiah Harmon. She dances in what looks to be a vintage space video game scene full of animated neon lights, spaceships, and circuit boards. Stevens’ upcoming album, The Ascension , will be released on September 25th. Until then, stream and download “Video Game,” available everywhere now.


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