Think about some of your favorite video games. The games that shaped the art form as we know it. Mario is a plumber that pops goblin-like monsters. Pokémon are tiny creatures that battle each other for fame and glory. Tetris is a mind-numbingly boring game about blocks that disappear.
What about more recent top franchises? The Call of Duty’s, Assassin’s Creed’s, and PUGB’s of the industry? They vary in style, gameplay, and story-telling. But what is the one thing they lack? Heavy-handed politics.
That’s not what The Guardian believes. In a perfect storm of unhinged idiocy and politicizing, they recently published an article that claims video games are making people more conservative. Not just conservative, but dangerously far-right.
Gaming cultures are connected to violence – but should be considered in terms of the rise of far right political discourse and the prominence of “alt-right” misogyny and racism…
[R]ightwing ideologies have been overrepresented and dominant throughout the history of video games. (The Guardian)
Once again, we see left-wing pundits grasping at straws to attack Donald Trump, Brexit, and anything close to national pride. Apparently, the Socialists at The Guardian are terrified that Americans and Brits would put their values and traditions ahead of globalism and are finding anything to blame.
But in this case, they’ve built a bridge too far.
The arguments they make in branding video games as right-wing propaganda are laughably bad.
Although affected by context, video games have long focused on the expulsion of “aliens” (Space Invaders to XCOM), fear of impure infection (Half-Life to The Last of Us), border control (Missile Commander to Plants vs Zombies), territory acquisition (Command & Conquer to Splatoon), empire building (Civilization to Tropico), princess recovery (Mario to Zelda), and restoration of natural harmony (Sonic to FarmVille). (The Guardian)
Yes, because whenever I play Plants Vs. Zombies, I’m filled with an overwhelming desire to prevent Mexicans from entering the United States. Seriously, nobody is making those connections—aside from the idiot who wrote that article.
As in many cases, they try to hide their stupidity behind intellectual sounding jargon. “Games are ideological constructions which push a set of values on the user.” Uh, what? Ideological constructions? I thought they were just, you know, games. Something fun to play to pass the time. But apparently, they are tools to condition users.
Like television and film, they often support the ideologies of their context: in the Bush years, American games endorsed aggressive foreign policy; since Brexit, British games advocate isolationism or nostalgia for empire – and the prominence of anti-Islam games in the 2000s tells it all. (The Guardian)
Wow. Was anyone in the entertainment industry pro-Bush during his administration? Movies and TV were strongly opposed to President Bush’s policies. It was no different in the gaming industry. We all know what side of politics entertainers are on. Does this writer expect us to believe the same, super-liberal people would make games that support conservative ideas?
In this way, the rationale of gaming is to unite pleasurable impulse with political ideology, a process which renders gamers susceptible to discourses that urge people to follow their instincts while also prescribing what those instincts ought to be. Trump’s discourse on his proposed US-Mexico wall and appeals to ethno-nationalism are cases in point: supporters are not merely expected to agree logically but to impulsively feel the political desire – the very logic of gaming. (The Guardian)
LMAO! What!?? From the tech industry to Hollywood, we are bombarded with anti-Trump rhetoric. Video game makers either desperately try to avoid politics or fall on the side of liberalism. Again, you see the writer trying to push his argument with intellectual-sounding writing. Maybe he thinks you’ll just agree with him because he sounds smart. But anyone with half a brain will call him on his bogus claims. Especially if you play video games.
The writer doesn’t bother going into detail to support his claims. He makes superficial statements to back the claim that games are misogynistic and racist. Apparently, he doesn’t spend much time investigating the gaming community. If he did, he’d find a much different landscape.
The gaming community is huge and incredibly diverse. It is made of up people of all ages and walks of life. That includes political persuasion. One of the things that unites them is their shared love of games. Often, they see video games as an escape from the constant drone of politics we see everywhere else. Most game developers understand this and cater to that desire.
Even basic logic can debunk Alfie Bown’s theory. Let’s assume the gaming community is split, 50% liberal and 50% conservative. The numbers are most-likely much different, as many, many gamers avoid politics altogether. But given this demographic, you can believe that at least half of the customer base would hate supporting an industry that pushes right-wing ideas. They would be able to sniff them out a mile away. Sales would plummet.
Now tell me something: would a capitalistic industry thrive in that situation? Of course not. Bown is under the delusion that free market principles apparently don’t apply to video games. We choose to buy games. A community as diverse as gamers would not support games that push propaganda. Right-wing or otherwise. Developers would have to shift gears fast, as in any other industry.
But I guess Alfie has a hard time grasping basic economics.
Then there is the ulterior motive of the article. It is a slapshot piece of work, aimed at building an argument against free expression in video games. These kind of people attack books, social media, and every other form of communication, in the hopes of silencing opinions they don’t like. It was only a matter of time before this kind of article was produced. It will give overbearing activists an excuse to censor, control, and limit what is said in games.
It’s hard to separate the writer’s bias against the President of the United States. Clearly, he’s not concerned with the integrity of the gaming industry. Or protecting customers from dangerous ideology. He’s simply lashing out at Donald Trump. Yet another knee-jerk reaction to something the POTUS said or did. Only proving how much space Trump takes up in his brain.
But you don’t have to worry that President Trump is somehow infesting your favorite games. The fact remains that the gaming community is vehemently protective of their pastime and will fight anyone that dares challenge its integrity. They don’t need Alfie’s ridiculous political policing.