Politics in Games

Many controversies have come about the gaming industry as of late, and gaming has always been a hot topic for legislators and politicians, specifically violent video games and their affects on society. Here, I discuss why gaming and politics should stay forever divorced.

I’ll never understand the idea behind putting political rhetoric into gaming, not necessarily the games themselves, mind you, rather the way we perceive and critique games. “Too much of this” “not enough of this” is fine when critiquing elements of gameplay or content, but not really in the sense of “there were too many black people” (you know who you are), or “there are not enough black people”. Just play the game, if it has a pro-communist message, and you ascribe to the Pinochet school of thought regarding communism, then you’re likely to not like that message, but if the game is fun, then why does it matter?

When I, or anyone really, decide to play Grand Theft Auto, I am not really interested in any commentary on the degradation of society, which allowed this game to exist, rather, I just want to rob a bank and run from cops. While I am ignorant on when exactly gaming and politics decided to jump into bed together, it likely happened when Mortal Kombat came out in 1992, which led to the creation of the ESRB, I do know that controversies like GamerGate (stupid name, by the way) managed to open the door to letting politics into the genre moreso than they were before. Despite your own opinions on the controversy, I don’t think the letting of politics into gaming will bode well for anyone, of any ideology. This is merely because it could possibly get out of hand, if, for example, Rockstar was no longer able to develop games like Grand Theft Auto, due to political backlash, then that would affect the entire industry, from the creative aspect to the financial. Deciding a developer cannot be creative enough to produce what they want, due to political pressure, would likely result in a lot of very talented people leaving the industry, leaving us with games like Ride to Hell: Retribution, but replace the motorcycles with unicorns and the guns with pillows.

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