The politicization of games
I’m a gamer. I don’t think I am a particularly good gamer, but I’ve been playing games ever since I was a very small child. In fact, I kind of would rather play Elder Scrolls Online right now, but I have to have dinner soon, so yeah.
I have heard of the Far Cry series, but I’ve never played any of them, and now I never will. I saw this on Vox Day’s blog and was rather dismayed.
So, apparently, the villains in the fifth installment of the game will be white, straight, redneck males. And the branded sinner is probably some bleeding-heart liberal progressive who just wants to hold hands with everyone and sing stupid hippie songs.
Excuse me while I barf.
I’ve seen this shit before. A few years ago, Bioshock: Infinite was released, a game that depicted patriotic Americans as evil racist assholes. Conservative outlets like The Blaze defended the game because the story had a secondary villain — the Occupy Wall Street type organization called Vox Populi.
I actually own two copies of Bioshock: Infinite. I bought it for my Mac through Steam, but it took up too much disk space (and caused my laptop to overheat) so I bought a two-pack that also included The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Needless to say, I enjoyed Skyrim a hell of a lot more than Bioshock: Infinite. I’ve created three characters on my Xbox 360 version and one character on the HD remaster for the Playstation 4. I have yet to finish Bioshock: Infinite and to be honest, it’s not because of the politics as much as it’s due to the fact that I suck ass at first person shooters on consoles. Since Fallout 4 and Destiny have made me better at first person shooters, I might give it another shot, especially if the HD remaster for the PS4 goes down in price.
But this politicization of games really irritates me. Yes, I know all about GamerGate, and I am a supporter. I don’t really pay much attention to game-related journalism because it’s all hopelessly biased to the left. Screw that.
This kind of stuff has been in games for quite a while, now. I can give you several examples. First one would be two games I greatly enjoyed, and both were released about a decade ago. Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil is an underrated gem that is essentially all about how horrible the Iraq War was, and how noble and wonderful journalists were. The message isn’t really that heavy handed, though, and the game is seriously enjoyable despite the politics. I originally played that one on Playstation 2 and now I have an HD remaster for the Xbox 360.
Then there’s Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, another game that I absolutely loved. It’s actually the second in a series (the first one being The Longest Journey, released in 1999). It’s basically the same thing — Iraq War is bad, imperialism is bad, excessive escapism is bad. It’s still pretty good, though.
The long-awaited sequel to Dreamfall called Dreamfall: Chapters was released in 2014 (and only recently landed on consoles). More politics this time around, and it’s more heavy-handed. Main character Zoe returns to Earth (or Stark, as it’s called in the game) and lands smack-dab in the middle of a political campaign. Her candidate of choice is a moderate woman, and there’s a communist candidate (who is portrayed as extremist but well-meaning) and the racist Golden Dawn Aryan-nation white dude running as a Nazi in all but name. I haven’t gotten very far on this one because nowadays I’m not that into plain, linear adventure games anymore. I like open world RPGs with characters I can customize.
Some of my other favorite games, like Dragon’s Age: Inquisition also had some political stuff in it, but it’s mostly cultural. This game, like the Elder Scrolls series, includes a crapload of in-game literature you can read, and one of them essentially promoted recreational sex. That bothered me a little, but not so much that I didn’t buy some DLC. You can also have your character, the Inquisitor, enter in some gay relationships, but I didn’t have a problem with that. It’s something you choose anyway.
Elder Scrolls Online also pays lip service to the gay marriage thing by including some non-playable characters that happen to be in same-sex marriages or relationships. You only encounter them when doing certain quests. It’s not that big a deal, but it’s there, and I have to praise the developers of both games for the way they included this. It’s not the whiny, heavy-handed “gays, good; Christians bad” sort of thing you find in movies and books.
I also have to mention that a few years ago, some random douchebag created a game in which you kill zombified Tea Partiers.
Oh, and I almost forgot about Assassin’s Creed. I used to have a copy of the first game for the Xbox 360. I left it at my parents’ house. It’s a stealth game, and you play as a Muslim assassin. Your targets are the Knights Templar. Yeah, I can’t believe I played that game. Some of the gameplay mechanics really wowed people upon its release (providing inspiration for Tomb Raider: Underworld, a game I enjoyed far more). I got pretty far, and then my save game data inexplicably disappeared. I pretty much suck at stealth games, so I just gave up on it. I played through the tutorial of the second game, Assassin’s Creed 2 but since it was my brother’s copy, I just decided to leave the whole series alone.
The idea of killing Christians really bothered me. Call me biased, I don’t care. I think, over the course of the game series, your targets for assassination were the kind of people liberals hated, up to and including the American revolutionaries. I’m glad the stupid movie flopped.
Liberals are already excited for Far Cry 5 because they can pretend to kill conservatives in a video game. Make a game with Muslim terrorists as the antagonists and everyone will jump down your throat, call for boycotts and send you death threats. But simulate the killing of white Christian Americans? Oh yeah, fun and games for everyone!
The left is just so utterly hypocritical about EVERYTHING. As I said, I won’t play this game or anything else in the series, and I’m personally boycotting Ubisoft as well. Screw them. They don’t need my money.