Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

October 6, 2009 -

Responding to a recent Bitmob piece which asked whether games can deliver a political message, a blogger has penned a resounding answer.

Yes, Video Games Are Political, written by Lee Bradley, begins by noting that independent games such as Cutthroat Capitalism, Kabul Kaboom! and Super Columbine Massacre RPG! all delivered hearty political statements, regardless of their reach or palatability.

Bradley then meanders through history, using Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Gordon Gekko in an attempt to illustrate that videogames of the 80’s reflected current politics, much as games today do.

Videogames, as cultural artifacts, are unescapably political. Even the most vacuous of games, despite their ostensible mindlessness, cannot fail to reflect the politics of the culture in which they were produced.

If the 80’s equaled “greed and me,” and resulted in a slew of games featuring lone heroes, then, Bradley argues, today’s political “notions of society and community are once again on the agenda” and are reflected in current titles like Left 4 Dead:

Even in games where the co-operative element of co-op is less pronounced, the ideology is the same; you are not on your own anymore, you are part of a team. What’s more that team is more than likely multi-cultural and/or multi-gender.


Comments

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

Yet another article on this subject that gets it half right.  He's right in saying that games are political, but he's wrong in saying that games can't be subversive.  Heck, if games followed what was politically en-vogue we'd be seeing fewer shooters right now.  I haven't noticed any developers dropping shooters in favour of pro-environmental games.  And let's not forget that Mass Effect, with some pretty politically subversive messages, including homosexuality, came out during George W. Bush's administration.

In short, yet another BS article that's trying to sell a very flawed premise.

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

The Metal Gear series in particular is a major treatise on politics and warfare.

Of course, trying to follow the storyline can be headache inducing.

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

I think he's looking too much into it, games where you get to be the lone hero are by no means abandoned. I think they only had lone hero in the 80s because that's all technology allowed for, or they figured that would be the most fun. Now we can have good AI, and lone hero games have been done so much that people might get tired of them.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

So the 80s was the "age of greed" hense single player games?  Um Fallout 3, Oblivion, hell even the hated GTA 4 are all single player based games and fairly new.   That and I am So glad that said greed is behind us (sarcasm).   

That and modern games "is more than likely multi-cultural and/or multi-gender."  Is simply a vain attempt to keep the minorites from bitching and whining.   And as pointed out the tech as improved considerably over 20 odd years. 

Mind you I agree there are elements of politics in games, as well as books, movies, music etc.  since all these works of art are created by people who live in a world that will not let them escape said politics, but to point to that for it own sake leaves me asking the question. 

Yes?  So?

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

I have to say this was an interesting reading.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

 Um, not to be a pedant, but in the 80s most games were not capable of being playing co-op as most people weren't on the internet or even on a LAN. Hot-seat gaming is not co-op. I think the lone-hero of the 80s vs the modern L4D co-op comparison is specious at best. 

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

Except arcades whith 2-4 player co-op, and home consoles which had 2 player as standard practically from the get-go. Bubble Bobble was co-op, for example.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

games and politics ... wait that sounds familar? ... game ... politics ... ??? where have a heard that before?

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

I think the problem is still people is still convinced that games are for children. There´s also a number of people who think videogames are not the way to represent real life issues like the war on Irak and feel very offended because "warz iz not a gamez, bawwwww" retarded retoric.

That´s why producers have to use alien invasions when they want to take war themes on games. Fiction can be a good way to criticize the society, but I agree that´s not very fair if others media can use those themes more freely than games.

They will look up and shout "Give ROFLCOPTERS to us"... and I´ll whisper "NO". The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Yes Virginia, Videogames are Political

*Yawn* Yeah yeah we all said as much in the comments of GPs last article about this.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
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MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
Andrew EisenAccounts are already linked. Have been for quite a while. Also, Mario vs. Donkey Kong was announced as a cross-buy title during last January's Nintendo Direct.02/27/2015 - 9:25pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/20…/…/27/olli-olli-3ds-wii-u-cross-buy/ I wounder if this is a sign that Nintendo may finally link accounts across the 3ds/wiiu in the near future.02/27/2015 - 9:18pm
prh99http://www.romanoriginals.co.uk/invt/70931?colour=Blue The dress does comes in white and blue but both have black lace and a sheer back top, I don't see gold or brown. 02/27/2015 - 8:54pm
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MechaTama31I don't even want to know...02/27/2015 - 8:22pm
ZippyDSMleeFun? I can do fun…. I think LOL. Dungeons 2 is on preorder but not via steam... >> Hell I am breaking all kinds of personal butthurt rules to even THINK about pre order...02/27/2015 - 8:12pm
E. Zachary KnightHad some fun discussions about that dumb dress on Facebook. I opened the original picture in GIMP and sampled the colors and determined them to be Blue and Gold. People still say I am wrong.02/27/2015 - 7:41pm
ConsterTime for something completely different: #teamwhiteandgoldllama!02/27/2015 - 7:27pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: I'll try. ^^02/27/2015 - 5:40pm
 

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