I swore that I would never go after this publication again. They officially became too low-hanging fruit after the article about how emojis are evil. That was the point when I decided that they are so stupid that responding to them is a waste of what little intelligence I have. But dammit, they make this so easy! And now they are going after a hobby that is near and dear to my heart, saying that since the inception of video games, they are helping fuel right-wing ideologies. This is so ridiculous. When I saw this article being talked about, I had to make a response. Here’s a link to the article, now let’s talk about it.
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.
Oh boy, I am sure that you are going to find a very concise, totally not bullshit way of demonstrating this point of view. I’m sure you are. I’m sure that there won’t be any buzzword usage and emotional appeal slathered all over this crap. Not even a little. If there’s one thing the far-left and the far-right have in common, it’s bad argumentation. I love them for it.
So, where do we get started on why this is bullshit? For starters, I am not going to go through all the madness that was #GamerGate and why you’re wrong. I’m going to let the archived videos of Internet Aristocrat do it for me.
As for boards on 4chan being for Trump, so what? People online talking about politics. I’m sure that gaming has a connection there. Like I said, bad argumentation is the cornerstone of The Guardian and their “news” coverage.
Games are ideological constructions which push a set of values on the user. 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.
Wow. Notice that they don’t list a single video game to back up their claims. None. It’s almost like the person who wrote this doesn’t actually play them. Maybe they just studied up on Anita Sarkeesian’s old catalog of videos and didn’t actually do any real research. Another cornerstone of The Guardian writing – bad research.
I wonder if I can think up some games that didn’t pander to the Bush doctrine. Maybe games like Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. There, you have an American operative who is used by his government to kill his mentor/lover in order to get secrets that the Americans didn’t want to get out to them. He was used and then, when he finds out how deep that well went, chose to disavow his loyalty to America and become a mercenary. That was one example off the top of my head. Idiot!
However, video games have at least two unique features compared to other media.
I can’t wait to hear this.
First, rightwing ideologies have been overrepresented and dominant throughout the history of video games. 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).
I’m dying! This is so stupid! Oh my Groj! Why is this so dumb?! Alright, let’s break this down.
First, it’s a right-wing ideology that when a hostile alien species invades your planet and is blowing everything up to fight back? Really? So would the left just lie down and let themselves be destroyed? Is that what I’m to infer? Notice I said a hostile race. These creatures are openly killing people. This isn’t aliens coming to Earth and then saying “hi, let’s make peace” and we just kill them. It’s them coming and immediately attacking humanity and killing people. Is the lesson here that this is a right-wing sentiment? If so, I am REALLY confused as to what the left-wing approach is.
Next up, we have an “impure infection.” The head-crabs in Half-Life are an alien life-form that takes over the bodies of people. They are an actual infection. Same with the Cordyceps in The Last of Us. That infection is actually based on a real-life infection that happens in insects. There are dozens of species of this fungus, all of which are tailored to one specific bug. The concept of that game was that the infection jumped species and infected humanity. Is it really a ring-wing ideology to fight back against this? I ask again – what is the left-wing response to this sort of thing? An infection is spreading out of control killing millions upon millions of people. What is the left-wing response to such a thing? Get in a circle and hold hands?
Then we come to border control. Attacking this point is more about one of your examples than the merits, since at least this is something more associated with the right than the left. How on Earth is Plants vs Zombies a referendum about border control? It’s about stopping zombies from getting into the house and eating the brains of the denizens inside, dumbass! I can already hear the snooty British retards who take this crap seriously responding – it’s about the unconscious implications associated with this that will tailor the minds of people to see it as people considered ugly not being allowed in your area. Or, because we’re not in far-left fantasy land, it’s about plants stopping zombies from getting in the fucking house. Ugh.
And we have “territory acquisition.” This is another one where I’m more going to attack your examples than your point, even though the idea of expanding American territories is bafflingly stupid to call right-wing. The right in this country (maybe you British idiots have this idea in the right since you used to be an empire) is very isolationist. The libertarian dinguses want to get rid of all American military bases and only focus on America. This is such a stupid point to make. But back to the examples, what is Splatoon doing on there? It’s a game about shooting ink because you’re a squid-person. Where is the so-subtle-it-doesn’t-exist message in that? This author is nine kinds of stupid.
What about “empire building?” Once-again, this doesn’t at all tie into the American right-wing. Not even a little. You are so stupid it hurts. Plus, games that allow you to create a fictional society and run it how you want to run it are about building empires? This ties in to me thinking that you don’t actually play video games. See, in Civilization, you can choose how you expand your empire. You can be an empire that seeks peaceful cooperation, or violence. It allows you to choose. And Tropico doesn’t have you building an empire. It has you as the leader of a Third World country that you have to make a better place. Man, that is so right wing I can’t even believe it! Your examples reek of the most blatant stupidity one can possibly imagine. I’m sending this to you so you can hopefully learn something.
The one that really made me laugh is “princess recovery.” This is a right-wing idea. The idea that if a woman who you value (as in both examples provided it is clear that the main character does value the women they are respectively trying to save) is taken prisoner by an evil monster, you should save them is a right-wing idea. What is the left-wing approach to this? Be like “well, you kidnapped my significant other, guess that’s just how it goes. Oh well”? Some little bitch you must be.
Most baffingly of all – natural restoration. Are you fucking kidding me?! Restoring nature of a right-wing ideology?! How?! When was this?! My whole life, I grew up hearing about how it’s the fucking hippy left that wants to restore nature. Now we have this idiot talking about how restoring nature if a right-wing point of view. I want an example of this. I want to see some right-wing site trying to restore nature. All the conservative idiots who say that climate change isn’t real and that we should be able to pollute as much as we want because Jeebus is coming back and Alfie dumbass Brown is telling me that the restoration of nature is a right-wing point of view. Fucking idiot!
Second, video games put the user to work on an instinctual level, making the gamer feel impulsive agreement with these ideologies. Playing Resident Evil is not equivalent to watching the movie, because the controller-wielding gamer experiences the desires of the game as their own desires – not as the desires of another.
This is basically the Anita Sarkeesian argument – that because you play games, these secret, implicit things that they are nefariously conditioning you towards are going to hit you harder because it’s a video game. A point of view without a SINGLE piece of scientific evidence for! None! There have been so many studies debunking this. There was another study done just recently that was a long-term study having people play Grand Theft Auto V for months, then doing tests hours after the game sessions were done to test if they were more violent, and came back negative. The only tests that have shown anything even remotely indicative of your perspective have come from tests that were done immediately after someone had gamed, when they are still running on endorphins from playing. It’s ridiculous. This is unproven bullshit that I am sure you are going to have some brilliant “evidence” for.
The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan distinguished between “drives” and “instincts”. While instincts come from within us, drives occur when political forces propel us in certain directions. In these terms, video games are drives masquerading as instincts, naturalising rightwing ideologies in a way other media cannot by offering its users the chance to experience them on a personal level.
That’s nothing. That was a nonsense, bullshit statement that basically exists to say “I’m smart! Can’t you see what a smarty I am!” It is basically just saying that video games are secretly nefarious for reasons that will never properly be defined. When all evidence on the subject of video games influencing your personality goes against you, this guy has to say that it is so subliminal that you can’t even tell. Almost like it doesn’t exist.
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.
An opinion not proven, for a point of conjecture that is pure bullshit. Yeah, this really is The Guardian’s MO.
In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Hollywood cinema transformed the desires, empathies and emotions of a global population (even for those who never went to the movies), but it’s harder to recognise the pattern in your own context – and we may need to consider whether we are in the midst of a comparable revolution with video games today. Currently, the new desires incubated by games lean far to the right, and without more progressive games on the market (though some are emerging), the future may be even bleaker than the political present.
You have got to be kidding me. This person is so stupid. I love that I, an American, get to look down on a dumb-shit British person. They are usually so pompous that they tend to be the other way around. Hey Alfie, art imitates life, not the other way around. I guess nobody told you that. Or maybe you just watched Anita Sarkeesian’s videos and take all of her bullshit at face value. Whatever the case may be, you’re wrong. Demonstrably wrong. The reason that the films in the 60’s-80’s reflected a change in the culture is because the culture was changing and Hollywood changed with it. The hippy movement of the 60’s, which came to a crescendo in the 70’s left a lasting impact on cinema. This was reflected when Hunter S Thompson wrote his masterpiece “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream,” which talked about how that hope and belief in the fight for change crashed down around those who fought when the decadence and decay of the 80’s swept in. Read that book sometime. It’s a great piece, from an author who saw the hope and decay very clearly.
Video games are the whipping boy of every cultural movement in the world. The left and right use them to vilify people almost in equal measure. It’s amazing. These two ideologies should really join forces on their mutual hatred of a medium that has NEVER been proven to cause violence, sexism, or anything else.
Until next time, a quote,
“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken