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Have you ever stopped playing a game you were really enjoying because of its politics?


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9 hours ago, CarloOos said:

I think political escapism is just an inherent part of certain genres though. I mean, can you name any genuinely left-leaning action films? They're nearly all about trigger happy cops or former military operatives who are invariably proved right about their paranoias and suspicions. Even in a film as aggressively populist as Elysium the protagonist was a selfish dickhead.

Banlieue 13: Ultimatum, whilst not being a particularly good film is staggeringly left-wing.

 

Basically, a bunch of crime-lords and drug dealers who inhabit the titular slums join together to overthrow the corrupt, upper class government.

 

It’s very French.

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Reading about the Hotline Miami 2 rape scene killed my interest in playing it. Even if it's revealed to be part of a film and not actually taking place, sexually assaulting someone (or pretending to) isn't something I play games for.

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I grew up in the '80s so muscle-bound American men saving the world while scantily clad women look on admiringly is just what I expect from the media. It's tiresome and boring but it doesn't offend me because I'm a white male. I'm not going to pretend to be offended on another group's behalf even if I know it's wrong or that I should be.

 

Personal politics like that, which is how I categorise that sort of thing anyway, never really bothers me - it's just a taste thing. I've got my own opinions on these things but other people's sexism is their own problem. Actual real politics rarely crops up in games. Many have a message of some sort of imperialism (conquering worlds or fighting wars etc) that has maybe put me off but I think it's more that I just don't enjoy those sorts of games. I gunned down the innocent in the COD airport like everyone else but it just felt like cynical marketing shock tactics than anything meaningful to me.

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I tend to have an easy time avoiding anything politically dodgy but when it comes to games I ended up liking more because of their stances I can think of plenty.

 

I find JRPGs tend to be a pretty progressive mainstream genre, probably because their stories tend to play on a hero combating an imperialist antagonist such as in Final Fantasy VII and Fire Emblem:Path of Radiance.

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10 hours ago, jon_cybernet said:

I stopped playing COD games when I realised they were paying real weapons manufacturers licensing fees to use the names and likenesses of their guns. 
 

It turns out my line in the sand is actually funding gun manufacturers. Simon Parkin wrote a good article about it a few years back. 

 

Aye, on Eurogamer.

 

Quote

The marketing of imitation adult products to children in the hope they will blossom into customers of the genuine article is widespread. The video game presents further opportunities for manufacturers to target young people. Toyota and Nissan work with racing game developers to show off their vehicles as pristinely desirable. Nike and Adidas position their logo on virtual boots. Gibson licenses plastic versions of its guitars in the hope players will progress from the coloured buttons of the peripheral to the nickel-wound strings of a Les Paul.

 

And Barrett, creator of the M82, a shoulder-fired, .50-caliber semi-automatic sniper rifle, hopes that the appearance of its weapon in a video game will, in time, turn young players into gun owners.

 

"It is hard to qualify to what extent rifle sales have increased as a result of being in games," says Ralph Vaughn, the man who negotiates deals with game developers for Barrett. "But video games expose our brand to a young audience who are considered possible future owners."

 

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20 hours ago, Alex W. said:

If I can get on my soap box about Bioshock Infinite for a second, the fact that the game’s designers could basically say “well, the oppressed underclass of largely black working class people could take control from the privileged whites, but they’d surely kill the intellectual class and society would collapse because those people don’t know how to run things”, and nobody batted an eyelid, says a lot about how little attention people were paying to its story.

 

I doubt the designers meant to say that but that’s what they wound up shipping.

 

I remember there was some criticism at the time and it led to some changes in the DLC that somehow made things worse by being a hamfisted retcon.

 

But yeah, the lesson that came across was that punching up was as bad if not worse then punching down.

 

I've played through it a few times and each time it comes across worse.

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22 hours ago, Thor said:

 

I stopped playing Bayonetta for similar reasons, I just felt embarrassed while playing it, to the point I felt I couldn't continue. 

 

 

I'd like to say that's the reason I stopped playing it but it was the early revelation that her skin tight shiny suit was (gag) made out of her hair. I just found it really creepy and repulsive and it made me want to throw up.

 

Which is ok because I can imagine the creator's valid response being "I didn't make her for you!"

 

There's a few games i haven't played but the only political one I can think of recently off the top of my head was The Division.

 

I'm really surprised that there hasn't been a reaction against the stridently left wing Final Fantasy 7 Remake which rather than backing away or softening some themes leans into themes such as anti-corporatism, eco terrorism and gender fluidity.

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21 hours ago, Alex W. said:

If I can get on my soap box about Bioshock Infinite for a second, the fact that the game’s designers could basically say “well, the oppressed underclass of largely black working class people could take control from the privileged whites, but they’d surely kill the intellectual class and society would collapse because those people don’t know how to run things”, and nobody batted an eyelid, says a lot about how little attention people were paying to its story.

 

I doubt the designers meant to say that but that’s what they wound up shipping.


It should be said that Infinite didn’t become the game it was supposed to be. 
 

 


 

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5 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

Which is ok because I can imagine the creator's valid response being "I didn't make her for you!"

 

I think Kamiya's response to being asked that on Twitter would probably be more along the lines of "Blocked, insect."

 

Bayonetta's an interesting one for discussions like this. It can be true that she is both an exploitative male gaze sex object, cringeworthily in the ways @Thor describes (wouldn't want to execute that Joy torture attack in polite company!); and also true that some people can defend her as an empowering character.

 

Maddy Myers has said a lot about this, primarily in this article:

https://www.pastemagazine.com/games/femme/femme-doms-of-videogames-bayonetta-doesnt-care-if/

 

And also in the ones listed on her site here:

http://midimyers.com/blog/2015/12/15/the-bayonetta-reading-list

 

I also remember listening to a podcast where she talked about it. It might have been this one - though I remember it being longer ago than 2018:

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2018/02/fave-this-debate-around-games-like-bayonetta/

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I completely fell out with Dead or Alive once all the new characters started looking like they were ten years old. No wonder the 6th game flopped hard - catering solely to hyper enthusiastic weirdos who like half dressed kids in their anime / games probably isn't the best course for a franchise like that to take.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

I'm really surprised that there hasn't been a reaction against the stridently left wing Final Fantasy 7 Remake which rather than backing away or softening some themes leans into themes such as anti-corporatism, eco terrorism and gender fluidity.

 

It's not that black and white. I view it as highlighting the evil of a totalitarian regime. Whilst Shinra is a private company, their actions in the game are very similar to that of the worst Communist regimes  - for example Shinra employees get to live above the Midgar plate in company housing; they perform medical experiments on their own citizens and they don't care one bit about the environment. Not that different to North Korea for example.

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40 minutes ago, Timbuktu said:


I’m not clear on who is paying who to have these products in the games.   Is it manufacturers paying games companies like with movie product placements or the other way round?

 

Games companies pay the manufacturers for licensing, much like EA and Konami pay for football teams and Gran Turismo and Forza pay for cars. 

 

From the article:

 

Quote

However, the gun makers are more forthcoming. "[It's] absolutely the same as with cars in games," says Barrett's Vaughn. "We must be paid a royalty fee - either a one-time payment or a percentage of sales, all negotiable. Typically, a licensee pays between 5 per cent to 10 per cent retail price for the agreement. But we could negotiate on that."

 

Evidently the publishers and developers feel that the absence of real weaponry in their games would hurt sales, and/or the developers feel it would make the game less authentic. 

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