HomeКомпьютерные игрыRelated VideosMore From: Kotaku

It's Time For Games To Own Their Politics | Viewpoints

165 ratings | 3638 views
Kotaku’s Paul Tamayo, Heather Alexandra and Cecilia D’Anastasio talk about why, despite certain developers' attempts at getting things factually accurate or presenting interesting questions, sometimes it feels like they might not be exploring their amazing worlds to their full potentials.
Html code for embedding videos on your blog
Text Comments (143)
The Universe (22 days ago)
yeah nah, its time for games to *get out* of politics
Dutch Retro Guy (24 days ago)
The one thing I'd like to add is that I see no problem with game developers choosing to make a game have whatever message they want. Seriously. But I do see a problem with how gaming related news sites (including, I'm sad to say, Kotaku) respond to any form of political or a-political message. Somehow these days it's no longer OK to just disagree and say "well, I don't agree with the position these people took, but they're free to hold to it". Somehow it always becomes about how the politics in games/movies/books/arts need to be an exact carbon copy of whatever political position the author of a piece holds. And despite lip-service to being tolerant of other positions, in reality anything that doesn't hold the same views as the authors tends to be very harshly criticised for not holding these positions. Sometimes to the point where whole games or companies are pushed under a bus for not conforming to a certain political point of view. This in it self is, IMHO, a fairly despicable thing to do. No, I take that back. There is no IMHO about it. It *is* a despicable thing to do. The quality of a game or work of art is not decided by how much you agree with the political stance it takes. Nor is it in any way acceptable to make outrageous claims about the nature of the people involved in making entertainment you disagree with. This is further confounded by the fact that most, if not all, of the games media tends to hold the exact same political views. These things combined form (IMHO) a huge problem because it pushes on games companies to hold to only 'the one true viewpoint'. And that is a very, very scary thing - there is no one 'correct and true' path in politics, each and every political viewpoint has it's good, bad and horrible aspects (whether left, center or right). Plus it is extremely healthy for your state of mind to be exposed to viewpoints you do not agree with and being taught that this ok. People who don't agree with you are not bad, they just disagree. And sometimes (maybe even most times) they're even correct to do so. And that goes for *everyone*, including those who happen to agree with the political path the games media has followed.
JHyde180 (1 month ago)
I like your comparison with literature. That if video games want to be part of the highly influential stream of media developers need to put some controversial ideas into their games. But literature has genres. Books come at us from all sorts of view points. Some surprise us with a real world meaning in an alien environment while others tell a absurd point of view from realistic world. There are books that make us really think and change our views and others that are just for excitement or passion. Ascribing political motivations to all games with varying motivations is strange. You can still have your own political interpretation. But why are you forcing writers/directors/artists to re-frame their own ideas into your viewpoint. I read books because I want to hear the author's point of view on the subject, not so that they can write a book for me conforming to my ideas. I think you should push more people to share their ideas through video games, not make those already sharing to share more of what you find important.
Matthew Robinson (1 month ago)
It's called capitalism and free market... It will regulate itself thru sales and reviews. Artists can do whatever they want, they don't need this stupid thought policing or SJW garbage. Enough of this crybaby BS, SMH....
Speeding Atheist (1 month ago)
Get woke, go broke, you regressive confused cultural marxists. There's a positive: almost no one is watching your crap...
D Flatt (1 month ago)
I look at my news feed ... I see nothing but politics. I turn on the TV .... I see nothing about politics. I listen to the radio ... I hear politics. It is literally everywhere. When I sit down to build a city, shoot some people, be the 'good guy' or maybe be the 'bad guy' I DO NOT want to hear about politics. I am sorry but I don't. I do not feel that I am alone here. I am going to go on kind of a tangent here so skip this part if you don't want to hear it: You guys are sitting here saying that you want games to own their politics. Based on articles I have read written by Kotaku, you guys only want games that push a certain political narrative. Gamers don't care. You would know this if you guys were actually gamers. You are not and it's obvious. I don't understand why a bunch of political science majors want to run a gaming 'rag'. Also, please don't talk to me about being in the 'ghetto' and riding the L train. Just don't. It's disingenuous
parken puff (1 month ago)
Oh jesus not more SJW bullshit in the gaming community, take the new Assassins Creed game set in Greece you can be a female spartan im sorry but that is just fucking ridiculous and shes not even built like a woman who could hold the equipment ie sword and shield she looks like a typical good looking slim line model not a butch well built woman im sorry you just cannot have it both ways. Games like the assassins creed saga are educational as well as historical you are now telling young children that their were sexy slim petit female spartans when in reality it just was not like that back then at all. Its the same as these games that shy away from historical accuracy as they do not want to offend people. Mafia 3 did the historical setting perfectly and that is why i continued playing even though it got so repetitive you could literally feel the racism in that game, and it was the little touches like colours not welcome on the signs of shops that was what immersed and was like oh god. You wanted to play that game as Lincoln cause you wanted to defeat the whole of that racist bigotted society and the best monet is when you actually get to mass shoot KKK members, rant over
C R (2 months ago)
After watching what is going on with The Star Wars movies and politics. I would steer clear as a dev. Plus they are trying to Market games all over the world. Not just the USA. Political views can vary dramatically in different countries and a lot of devs are from other countries. Trying to ask a company like Ubisoft to get involved in American politics is a bad business model.
Pointman (2 months ago)
Real politics sucks in real life. WHY WOULD YOU PUT SOMETHING UNFUN IN A VIDEO GAME???
groobmaster (2 months ago)
Most people that play games don’t care as long as you give them a good story. If there is a political aspect to the game then so be it.
groobmaster (2 months ago)
That’s not true at all. Need to have a balance. Also my point had to do with the topic in which they were discussing. Politics in gaming.
MediocreNed (2 months ago)
You mean good gameplay, for most story isn't even a factor for buying a game or not.
Nick A. Spyrakos (2 months ago)
Haven't watched any of your low quality content for years - coming back I'm greeted with this. Bye Kotaku - keep being the BuzzFeed of gaming media.
Learned Behaviors (2 months ago)
I think some people are missing a key thing here, which is that things you create or have a hand in creating bear a political perspective, whether you are conscious of the politics you're imparting on them or not. Even something like a live television broadcast sends a variety of messages, and those messages are derived from things like who or what a producer chose to focus on or not focus on, how an event is structured and what is featured at an event, even down to what product placements are featured in the spaces it's being held in. Whether you intend a game to have an overt political message or whether you don't, it is going to bear the politics of the people making it. You might not end up with a coherent political stance, by virtue of the number of people whose hands touch a game, but the choices that are made when creating a game are unequivocably political, and to say otherwise is willful obfuscation.
jmt1000 (2 months ago)
"It's irresponsible" that's subjective. Depends on the context. Some is, some isn't. "It's not well thought through" This is probably the most on the nose comment Cecilia made. Many developers go into ideas that are beyond their depth of care or understanding. That is where the irresponsibility comes from. However using a lot of those things are not inherently bad, just that the context can be misconstrued or seem a bit generalized. Much like Paul talked about with the whole South America thing. Ham handed and not well thought out. Not Paul's argument, the developer's take on the area.
jim _ (2 months ago)
So if games Dev's inject politics or own said politics in their game's Then you happen to find the dev's politics offenses or abhorrent Kotaku you promise not to flip your shit, its what you asked for. Who cares either way i don't in the end the market will decide.
Richard Hirst (2 months ago)
It seems like everyone who has an issue with this video didn't make it past the first minute. Fearful, knee-jerk reactions everywhere in the comments.
go gordan (2 months ago)
next thing you know there will be politics in mgs and social commentary in gta lol
Raynespyder (2 months ago)
Damm that PAC man back in the day was so political. Shit, every time I played spyro I was really looking into those alt right themes. Come on, we play games to enjoy them not to get our viewpoints justified or have an argument about politics. If a developer wants to make something political or filosofical, go ahead. Just don't force them to serve your agenda. People read into things to much
Michael Henninger (2 months ago)
Maybe it's less about being self-consciously political than letting the dialectic take hold as a more or less natural product of the art at work. Unless you're already masterful at your craft, it's probably better to try and tell a good story about *someone* than getting too caught up telling everyone about *something.* People are the most interesting thing, and people aren't mere "representations" (of someone's half-baked identity politics check-boxes), rather, they're complicated, "thrown-projections"--existential decompressions laying themselves out imaginatively in Time. Maybe instead of trying to "own their shit" (narcissistically wielding the medium in order to declare an identity for themselves or their tribe), writers and developers should try to *earn their shit.* Use the medium, in the process of trying to tell a good story, to work themselves out, to unravel an emergent worldview through the dialectic therein, rather than pushing a pre-packaged set of political prerogatives/signs/signifieds (which they've probably just inauthentically 'inherited' via an inauthentic shit culture...that's probably way more narcissistic and conformist than they've yet to reckon with fully and essentially).
Aleitheo (2 months ago)
It's time for gaming bloggers to stop forcing others to soapbox politics when they don't want to. Why do you care if they don't, you're already promoting your friends games that are 90% politics anyway.
nuka_dorm (2 months ago)
time to unsub guys
Dabaka (2 months ago)
3000 views on 200.000 sub-channel - they know what they are talking is uninteresting for their subs - just came here from a GW2 controversy vid :D
Honudes Gai (2 months ago)
isnt every one subbed ironically any ways?
Pacific Pleb (2 months ago)
nuka_dorm and miss out on all the lovely cringe?!
Cole (2 months ago)
Y’all need that Vice audience. These comments are hard to sift through for anything worthwhile :/
Chris Robertson (2 months ago)
Tetris
Loli ravioli (2 months ago)
I don't want politics in my god damn game
Loli ravioli (2 months ago)
Cole nigga you gay
The True Dark Soul (2 months ago)
Cole so you openly admit to attacking a persons character and therefore being fallacious to your argument? Kek Also i never stated that i had known your opinion, nor did i ever say i was on the side of the OP. Just because i pointed out a flaw in your logic and reasoning doesnt mean that i am in favor of what the opinion of the OP said, it means your reasoning was flawed and thats never a good way to make yourself look approachable, intelligent or slick in how you present yourself. I could care less how some person dresses himself up to be on the internet, as it is the arguments that matter not some petty profile pic. Your argument now is strong that you arent saying someone doesnt have an opinion because of what they chose to represent themselves by, and frankly i agree.
Cole (2 months ago)
The True Dark Soul I understand what you mean when you call my argument an “ad hominem”. The argument that you applied that label to WAS an ad hominem, I am not trying to deny that at all, and I was attacking OP’s character and not his argument because of his fucking ridiculous icon and username. If you think the other (non-ad-hominem) points which I made against OP’s are nonsensical, let me explain: Video games are an art just like any other medium, and because of that, they are, when it comes down to it, inseparable from politics, just like any other medium. That doesn’t mean every game has to be “This War of Mine” or something, but political games are a thing that exist and will continue to exist because people who make games are that: people. Everybody has politics in their views, politics formed by the experiences they had because of where they grew up, their financial state, where/if they went to school, who their family was, their race, gender, etc., and saying that this isn’t a true is simply denying a fact. Politics and art (i.e., games) are inseparable. Also, no, I don’t know what your point of view on this subject is beyond what you’ve already stated, but neither do you to I. That isn’t a good argument for anything.
The True Dark Soul (2 months ago)
Cole you’re so fucking focused on wanting to fight all you saw was that someone replied something you didn’t understand so you blast off with insults and nonsensical points? Do you even know what ad hominem means? Do you even know what my point of view on the subject is?
Cole (2 months ago)
The True Dark Soul You really wanna be defending the opinion that videogames, an art form, shouldn’t have politics in them, which every art form does have? Go play fuckin Pong
Sighphi (2 months ago)
16 minutes of these saying that the developers must agree with their point . It has to be their way.
Dark Star (1 month ago)
Well. Heathers involved, so thats about right. And going by the way she casually insults others in the comments on her articles, she tends to consider anyone below her if they 'dare' to think differently (read: rationally)
Sighphi (1 month ago)
Ian Ostic replying to that dude specifically.
Ian Ostic (1 month ago)
Sighphi You're saying that we are wrong and we have to think like you, thats crazy.
Sighphi (1 month ago)
Ian Ostic I gave a tldr, that's it. now you are the one reframing what I said.
Ian Ostic (1 month ago)
They are making arguments in service of a topic with the goal of influencing and informing opinion. Everyone does this all the time, its not insidious or objectionable in any way. You're reframing it to sound bad with that last sentence "they want developers to think like them. Thats crazy." Really? Its crazy to have an opinion piece about politics in games?
Rohan Loveland (2 months ago)
Wait... this video about Politics and video games isnt doing well? Love you guys but your audience probably isn't exactly the same as Vices.
JT Courchesne (2 months ago)
Love the buttons on your shirt, Heather!
Giorgos D (2 months ago)
I feel like a lot of comments are missing the point. The argument here is not about every game needing political content. It’s about the times games do have such content (often used for promotional purposes as well) but ultimately the developers tip toe around it when confronted. “Own your shit” is not that unfair to ask.
Petit (2 months ago)
Some games actually tackles very important political and philosophical issues. But there's a larger demand for games that focuses more on escapism. As the media evolves, there will be more games that will focus more on those issues.
Scott Spencer (2 months ago)
Politics suck. The end.
jmt1000 (2 months ago)
JimmyBeaton yes
JimmyBeaton (2 months ago)
Scott Spencer No.
ari kuswicaksono (2 months ago)
Our daily life is full of political views already, let me escape it man...
Flamesofame (2 months ago)
What would Duke Nukem say 🤔
Cole (2 months ago)
“fuck” or “balls” maybe
decleyredelune (2 months ago)
"Blow it out your ass."
YZ (2 months ago)
I feel like the ones who don't want games to embrace politics at all are the same ones who buried their heads in the sand when it came time to vote for Trump or Hillary. Games are an art form, same as movies, television, and books, and to deny video games an entire avenue of expression is petty, especially during the most politically important time we'll see in our lifetimes. This isn't a time where you are allowed to bury your head in the sand again, people need to own up to how each of us failed to prevent the disaster that is Trump as president. Far Cry 5 has a character that calls people "Obama-loving Libtards" without addressing the reality that is the 2018 political climate in America, and that is a cop-out games should avoid at all costs if they want to be taken seriously as a storytelling medium. Trump exists, he's affecting all of our lives, and regardless of your political opinion, games have the right to create stories based on modern reality, despite how ugly it is.
jmt1000 (2 months ago)
YZ I don't think so. Far Cry 5 isn't a good example because it is blatant. It wears everything on it sleeve. Not all games care to put a political leaning to everything, just an idea. A game can't be one or even a few things ideologically speaking because there are dozens, hundreds or sometimes thousands of hands working on them. Overwatch isn't political because it's presenting the idea of inclusiveness, rather we make it that way by our own biases. I think the base belief can be understood by many sides and spectrums. As I said earlier, since there are many viewpoints in making games it's hard to paint that game into this political sphere unless you're looking for it I didn't like this vid because it causes headaches in the gaming community. I understand their argument and there are parts of me that agree somewhat then they tangent into something that could make someone upset that is fired about a push for politics, then it's followed up by trolls tearing into the argument and changing it. I understand that these videos are meant as a communication tool to share opinions, but without a voice from another side of the argument it really feels like an attack against those that disagrees, which may reflect the dislikes this vid is getting. Have a nice day!
Kyle Kakuske (2 months ago)
I feel like if you are gonna make this argument, don't ever bother calling games art.
go gordan (2 months ago)
mmm nooo, artist here, i would say that almost all artists (in my experience) will attempt to put their own personal politics/ethics into their work, and even if they don't mean to it just tends to happen naturally. more difficult in a game with hundreds of staff but the same could be said of films. also are series like mgs and gta not full of political/social commentary?
JimmyBeaton (2 months ago)
What? Why?
decleyredelune (2 months ago)
Much great art doesn't explicitly own a viewpoint, but rather explores the nuances of multiple views, either leaving the reader to form their own conclusion or infer the artists opinion from the content. More generally, artists do what they do for the form of their medium, often more so than for conveying political or philosophical ideas. The idea that developers are ethically beholden to the content of their medium makes them companies first, and artists second. Switching this categorization around requires granting the artist the freedom of ambiguity.
Meow Poe (2 months ago)
Wreath Kakuske why?
Matteo Furlotti (2 months ago)
What's a game that does the whole politic thing well? Are there any?
jonn mace (2 months ago)
They can when it's particularly appropriate or essential for a game's storyline. Here's one example.... the 'Metal Gear' series. Besides that and several other examples that our lovely fellow viewers mentioned, video games are usually at their best when they barely have anything to do with politics.
decleyredelune (2 months ago)
Far Cry 2
Cole (2 months ago)
There are a whole lot of indie games that include politics in nuanced, interesting ways, but I can’t think of many AAA games that do it very well. I think indies can be better at this because they’re often made by pretty small teams, usually of people who are all much closer than an AAA team, which usually (i.e., anecdotally) means that they can write politics in to a narrative in a much more focused way than a huge team. (Shoutout to Night in the Woods for a good example of this, it’s a great game that I love not only for its politics, though it does those well too.)
Meow Poe (2 months ago)
Matteo Furlotti Bioshock
zack1147 (2 months ago)
Gamers want a good game. That's it. ESPN viewers want sports. Then ESPN went political and viewreship dropped dramatically. Just make a good game and keep political opinions out.
LuridContent (2 months ago)
JimmyBeaton It's fine to believe games to be tied to a political position, but are different political positions being fairly represented? There is no real shortage of "progressive" game devs or games that espouse that, but do you feel that other points of view are being represented? I don't. All you see really is more and more hard left devs and games. That doesn't open discussion, it ends it before it begins. It becomes propaganda.
MediocreNed (2 months ago)
I feel for ya, I mean swery's deadly premonition is the one few games I like that has bad gameplay but an enjoyable story. But most of time when these people are push for this 'political' angle they don't want more kojima's, suda's and swery's, they want more gone homes, life is strange, and last of us 2 (Keep in mind I have no idea if that's going to be good or not, never touched naughty dog games since uncharted). "Games" like gone home and life is strange are easy for game reviewers to do their job since there's no challenge in them and Last of Us 2 just makes them feel good for having the right politics regardless if the gameplay or story is good or not. And say this as guy I fucking hated the majority shooters, but not because the blandness but the terrible two weapon limit and regen health mechanics that plagued the genre for a god. damn. decade. Seriously that was reeaaaaaaaaaaaly annoying.
go gordan (2 months ago)
still, if anything i'd rather see developers solve that by putting more faith in individuals artistic visions rather than story by committee trash. i wanna see more kojima's, suda's and swery's, not more serialised military shooters.
MediocreNed (2 months ago)
It's not a deliberate conscientious decision to make the gameplay terrible, it's just a priorities issue; the developers want to push their agenda, the developers spend not as much time or concern about making the gameplay good. So as a result the gameplay sucks, that's really it. The politics are just the canary in the coal mine of a priorities shift. There are exceptions, but you can sorta eyeball it when the dev team has it shit together.
go gordan (2 months ago)
i mean, i just don't see how a lot of those gameplay flaws relate to politics though, i don't really see any examples of politics making gameplay worse here
captainjumptoast (2 months ago)
I feel like saying "If the argument now is, games are on par with movies, games are on par with books, games are on par with all these other art forms and then there's a huge movement in games to say it's not political, then you're really not living up to the potential that you're espousing to push product" is pretty short sighted. It's like saying there is no place for action movies unless they have a powerful political message to tell. But what if that political message is the opposite of your view? Then are the irresponsible with their platform because they said something you disagree with? Or are the still using their platform responsibly by telling a message even if you don't agree with it? Sometimes you just play a game for some fast ridiculous action. I never in a million years thought I'd be saying this until 2016, but Doom ended up being one of my favorite games. I never even played the original Doom games and had no interest, but the gameplay in Doom (2016) was so freakishly tight and well tuned that I loved every minute of it, and it barely even had a story to tell. Maybe you could try and extrapolate some theme of corporate greed and how power from coal is supposed to be an analogy for Hell Energy or some stupid thing. Would that be Doom (2016) owning it's politics? Campaigning while wearing Doom t-shirts outside of coal mines? What if some nuclear power plant blew up right as the marketing for Doom was starting? Do they need to be like, "Oh yeah in our game you are shutting down this energy production... well we need to own the political climate and in our marketing talk about how sucky these nuclear power bastards are." And you're going after Jeff freaking Kaplan!? Because Overwatch needs to market anti-war in Iraq because they have an Oasis map!? "You do better for your consumers, and your communities, maybe not your investors but (Shrug)... you know that sucks." This is really really poor thinking. I get your point, but the literal job of a CEO is to maximize shareholder wealth. You can maximize shareholder wealth and make statements. Overwatch has such a broad variety of characters working together in unison for a common goal, but you're telling me they're not "Owning their shit." A team based shooter that is trying to represent in a positive way racial diversity and promote inclusiveness is clearly not making enough steps and is veritably unsatisfying. This is Overwatch maximizing shareholder wealth while at the same time making a statement about how positive they think the world can be with inclusion. You should be praising Overwatch in the steps its taking while still being an eminently entertaining team based shooter loved the world over. Taking shots at Overwatch instead of telling other companies to be more like Overwatch is hurting your argument tremendously. "It's not like Grand Theft Auto is going to go away... you can pick up a game and just go for it." Maybe if you had started your video with this thought, then mentioned arcade style games, and popcorn action flicks and said something like, "Sometimes games are just fun and that's it, but sometimes I want a game to delve deeper with it's political meat." Then great, boom, you probably would have more likes than dislikes on this video. This video made me depressed. It just felt so short sighted. I get the message that you're trying to send, but you shouldn't blanket it onto video games as a whole. If this video had been titled, "It's Time to See More Games Active In Their Political Scenes," then sure. But trying to say "It's Time For Games To Own Their Politics" in general is ridiculous. I think you didn't want it to be like this and I'm guessing you just sat down and did one take and put the video up. Maybe not, but that's what it feels like. Can you imagine writing one of your articles without editing it though? I think this video just needed to be scripted so you could present your points in a better way.
Meow Poe (2 months ago)
If a creator wants to put a political theme into their game they will. If they don't they won't. It's not for anyone but the creator to decide where to take their game. Look at Bioshock, it's a perfect example of adding a political theme into the narrative without shoving it down the players throat.
QuestionMarc (2 months ago)
This group wants the gaming industry to be less hypocritical about its inclusion of political themes, and I agree with the sentiment, but in order to solve any problem you have to understand why the problem exists, and I didn't see them try to figure that out. It isn't just a bad habit the industry needs to break, it is calculated and rational, if disingenuous and cowardly. And honestly, there are many factors, but lets talk about what they are, then try to solve each one. One of them is that mainstream games are made by hundreds of people who inevitably don't agree on many political topics. It is either impractical or impossible to get a large team together who all agree on a political idea that has any level of relevance, or to faithfully represent all of their views simultaneously. And if these political views are strongly held, you couldn't in good conscience work on a game you fundamentally disagree with. Like if I was hired as an animator to work on a game and that game turned out to be Hatred, I would feel morally obligated to quit because I find that game's political message reprehensible. Also games are a business, they can't get made without someone with money gambling on your game being profitable for them later. Because of this, you want to have the largest audience possible to buy your game, you don't want to exclude people who might otherwise buy it. Even if some of your consumers aren't politically correct or even decent human beings, you are under business pressure to sell to them anyway. And ANY political statement you make will alienate some significant portion of the player base you might otherwise have. Like in the game Overwatch, I don't believe that it is explicitly shown which characters are gay. In this way, someone who hates gay people could buy enjoy this game. But implicitly and through less overt pieces of lore, it is clear that a few of the characters are gay, and the fan community who is accepting of this can embrace them and buy and enjoy the game. But this is a kind of hypocrisy. As far as the gameplay is concerned these characters are in the closet for fear of negative reaction from the portion of players who are homophobic. This fear of losing sales causes the level of LGBT representation here to be a lot less visible and a lot less effective than it could be. How do we fix it? Well, we would need to have smaller development teams come together and agree on a political slant from the outset, and get publishers on board with more overt political expressions. These games will need to be smaller scale and smaller budget by necessity, but if they end up with a few big hits, they could start to reshape the landscape and get the occasional AAA title to do the same. So in conclusion, let's lean on indie game developers to embrace their politics, and have games media continue to talk to larger developers about their themes and messaging so they know this is a question they need to have a good answer for.
Cagliostro Raven (2 months ago)
QuestionMarc I understand the reason for the ''hypocrisy'' you mentioned and I agreed with you till the last two paragraphs. I don't see anything to be fixed. I don't believe developers/companies should make an effort to make a political statement with their games because it's going to be alienating some portion of the audience no matter what and that will never happen with the way the gaming business works. There is also the problem of people ragging on games that have accurate or near accurate historical depictions of events/conditions of certain time periods or people looking for inclusivity in a game set in a specific geographic place and/or a time period. I think these are bigger problems than games not going all the way with the politics. If you accept games as an art form, then you just enjoy it or don't enjoy it. You shouldn't look for political messages in a game or be put off by conditions/events in a game.
late privktorian era (2 months ago)
all the kiddies thumbing down dont want to own their shit :(
muchthink (2 months ago)
Love this discussion. Browsing through the comments it looks like some may have missed the message though. It's not about telling games to have a political stance, it's about games co-opting political ideas without owning those ideas. And I totally agree; if you're going to make a game like The Division 2 you need to acknowledge the fact that it is made in a certain political climate and comes with certain political ideas. Not every games *needs* to be political, but some big devs recently seem to want to have their cake and eat it too by making politically charged content without actually going all the way towards addressing that content properly. The choices a game gives you are meaningful and revealing and it's irresponsible to act like they aren't.
TheJinashura (2 months ago)
Yeah interjecting politics especially sjw bs just ruins your company for a reason. That's why star wars is failing
muchthink (2 months ago)
kaleckton which part are you referring to with “no it doesn’t”? Also if we’re talking about satire (which wasn’t really the topic) then that’s a whole different story. You could argue that GTA is a satirization of violence in the media because it’s so over the top and let’s you do just about anything with little consequences. But by acknowledging that you’re acknowledging that there IS something inherently political about it. No ones asking you to think about that while you play though, this discussion is about developers owning it.
kaleckton (2 months ago)
muchthink no, it doesn't. In grand theft auto I dont want to think about politics. I want to run down every npc. That's it. I want it to be satire only. Against everyone
muchthink (2 months ago)
zack1147 the developers of the Division have said the game has political themes, but they also claim its not political. They don't want to take a stance on it, and seem to be using the politics of the game as a marketing tool, or set dressing, which ignores the reality of the situations they're drawing from. Another part of the problem is that because those themes are there, and the way the game is designed, it's easy for someone to draw certain political conclusions about the game. One of the examples Kotaku uses is about the game being about a paramilitary group that in some cases has to shoot civilians, who are usually minorities. It gets into some police brutality territory then but by refusing to address the politics of the game the dev makes it hard for people to understand whether they're supporting that kind of military force or condemning it. Compare that to a game like Spec Ops: The Line which is pretty clearly an indictment of its subject matter. They really just want developers to be real about the fact that they're using these themes and that there's real world repercussions to them doing so.
zack1147 (2 months ago)
muchthink are they saying. the division has a political message?
noernqknonepq (2 months ago)
Radical heights doesn't feel like a strong example because it's so obviously limited by both its budget and being rushed out the door long before it's a worthwhile product. It's not a statement on power dynamics, it's laziness. It's true that a male character gets treated as the default and that's weird, sure, but don't read so far into it that you're making shit up or it weakens your argument as a whole.
dead6 (2 months ago)
They had a female character planned, but the devs went under before she was implemented.
noernqknonepq (2 months ago)
Of course, and that'd be great, but this game as it stands is a cash grab. That's what I meant by lazy - not enough effort has been invested yet to make a product that makes the people who bought it happy. They may well plan female characters, but a rushed product is incomplete. Look, I am agreeing with you, and I'm saying this isn't a good example. Assassin's creed's "It would be too hard to put female models in" is a more telling message. Games that ship finished with only male characters. There are better examples, and someone who wants to disagree gets ammo from this one in particular.
Heather Alexandra (2 months ago)
Im not a fan of calling hard working developers "lazy." I will say that I don't think it's a statement of power dynamics so much as developers not quite considering things completely. An oversight, yeah. But one that is revealing. Like you said, it's not a direct statement but it does tell us something about who the presumed default for games is. (Which I think we both agree is weird.) What I would like—and I don't think it too controversial to ask—is that we consider changing that paradigm.
Renae Gomez (2 months ago)
I am loving this new series and super excited of where these conversations go, I'm really tired of developers saying there's no political themes when there are political themes within them or even stealing ideas from social movements. Detroit: Become Human at the moment is on my mind in how they steal expressions, symbols, and movements that reflect both concentration camps and black empowerment of both the past and present. That are symbols of repressed people but try to cover the issue of racism that ties up too nicely and have an altered ending where the whole social movement was designed from a company and in the end, these robots were made to serve, never meant to be free. Anyway I'm excited and hope to here more about series and the political themes as all games have a political statement to be shared.
SHADOSTRYKR (2 months ago)
If you don't like Kotaku's content why do you continue to view it? Theres plenty of conservative or apolitcal sites for you to go to.
jonn mace (2 months ago)
"If you don't like Kotaku's content why do you continue to view it?" I stay subscribed to Kotaku because of their entertaining comedic value like this video.
Avelier Plays (2 months ago)
Because you can listen to different arguments even if you don’t like it or agree with it, thats the point to listen and see what other people think and say and then decide. Stop living in an eco chamber.
david loya (2 months ago)
because i like getting angry
Meow Poe (2 months ago)
To listen to what the other side has to say and not live in a bubble.
Avelier Plays (2 months ago)
What do you want from developers exactly? I used to care a lot more about inclusivity in games, I still do, but I think developers got the message.
G R H (2 months ago)
Hell no
G R H (2 months ago)
JimmyBeaton because I play video games to relax
JimmyBeaton (2 months ago)
Why not?
adam quane (2 months ago)
Time for 2 things: Games to recognise their own politics And Media outlets to realise what political angle each game is utilising i.e. the Far Cry 5 scenario i.e. people thinking that the game was about life in America post Nov '16 when really the idea was developed before Trump even announced his political ambitions. Everybody needs to do better, and have fun doing so.
adam quane (2 months ago)
Mandy C. Post-election-PTSD. People will project, they always do. Yes, the objectivist politicians have risen in The US and that's a bad thing but some entertainment projects take longer than others to develop and the vibe might just be a vibe. I'm from The UK and we have been plagued by the same type for over 7 years and the one thing I've noticed is the contemporary left fights the same wherever you are. We have hope in having an actual left-wing opposition as opposed to what little we did have but both the centre and the right like to team up to try and remove any kind of socialist message. This will happen in The US soon. Ortez's victory will be the start of a very depressing show w' the Clinton-following centrists teaming up with the Trump-likes after the concept of taxing the rich gets brought up. If you aren't a lefty, you'll either feel contantly angry or without a decent side to stand on. Boo! But still.
Mandy C. (2 months ago)
That's what really threw me. It's clear that it just stemmed from "We want to do a game in America this time"; what large-scale enemy could exist there but religious separatists with guns? Without that choice they would have just had to pick another Asian or European country for 5 and I think they just wanted a change. People really lost their shit, not seeing the forest for the trees.
MH5tube (2 months ago)
Games are no different than other forms of media. Not every game has to tackle heavy subjects. But people don't flip their shit when movies take political positions. Music is often also intensely political. People shouldn't lose it when games do the same. I think the example of Radical Heights is great. If there's no specific reason why a game needs a male protagonist, and the game only has a male protagonist, we should be allowed to ask questions. Is it budget constraints? Ok. Have the developers forgotten that some players might like the choice of a female character? Let's talk about that.
Dio Brando (2 months ago)
MH5tube radical highests was a rush to market game and had a female option that wasn’t available yet I’m sick and tired of if a mans first it’s bad if a girls first then your a god worthy of worship
Luke (2 months ago)
Whoa a game in a very early state didn't have a female character as an option. WHOA STOP THE PRESSES .
MH5tube (2 months ago)
It's still a good example because that's totally understandable, and there's no reason to worry about it further
dead6 (2 months ago)
Radical Heights had a female player character planned, but they ended up going under before they could put the character out....
ari kuswicaksono (2 months ago)
People do flip out when movies goes political, they did with black panther here in the east ( we don't think it deserves the review scores, we think the scores have been corrupted by politics) I am Indonesian btw.
david valencia (2 months ago)
Games are meant to write a story and many stories are political in some way, however it's not always the intention to present their viewpoint it's just to present an idea and a setting to enhance the story. There may be some things that can feel more personal but I feel that adds to the depth of the game even if I don't always agree with it. Exposure to these real situations causes people to think and feel.
Dutch Retro Guy (24 days ago)
Many, many games have no story to speak of. I'd argue that some of the best games ever released lack story. My personal guess would be that the games that do add in politics (which the developer is obviously free to do) are not actually played by, thought of, or remembered for their political aspects. I'd go so far as saying that IMHO the majority of people playing games probably just ignore any political message in games because the presence or lack of narrative/story just isn't why they're playing the game. That's consistent with both my own experience and of the people who I've talked to about games (seriously, just check how many people skip story cut scenes or sections entirely). People tend to be interested in the game play element ("is it fun?"), the artistic side ("great art style!") or the mechanics ("is it really only single player?"). Story, narrative and political messages very much take a back seat to these thing - if they're mentioned at all. P.S. Don't take this to mean I feel story/politics/etc can't be in games. I'm just not convinced that it does any good.
ĶĚvìn Ş]PĂĆĘY (2 months ago)
Really?
SHADOSTRYKR (2 months ago)
Really? thats the name you chose?
Ex Nihilo (2 months ago)
Games are meant to be an escape from the banality of life.
MrAdonis258 (2 months ago)
Indeed. I don’t want to have to check if the games is Left or Right in the future before buying them. Fuck that shit. Peoples/Media already freak out about games made kids violence nonsense narrative. And only matter of time before they decided to have ‘no killing’ in goddamn video games. Sick fuckers have no sense on their own reality, being completely delusional where 60yo man can ‘become’ 9yo girl IRL. And you telling me, the same knobheads want their delusion to be incorporated in delusional world. Why not just try ganja instead and be done with it.
go gordan (2 months ago)
so are films and music, apart from the films and music which are political ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ also i assume anyone who doesn't want politics in their games isn't a fan of series like mgs and gta? that would be a bit hypocritical.
Cole (2 months ago)
“games are art.....buhbhh except when its political then that’s too much ://“
JimmyBeaton (2 months ago)
Games can be a microcosm for reality while still being different. Fiction and reality are not opposites and never will be, we are influenced by our world, and our world has issues that also exist in fictions.
Jacob Driscoll (2 months ago)
This is incorrect. Games have always been more serious than life.

Would you like to comment?

Join YouTube for a free account, or sign in if you are already a member.