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Op Ed

GamesIndustry.biz - Stop asking "is it political?" It always is.
"Look, I get it; there was a hell of a lot of grim humour to be had from watching developers who are clearly under the cosh of a tedious publisher edict struggle to throw together some bland inanities about how their game definitely has no political meaning whatsoever. It was the perfect 'gotcha!' question, because everyone in the room knew that the games being discussed had clear political meanings and intentions, but the interviewees weren't allowed to actually say that, so they ended up embarrassing themselves rather often. Hilarious, at least the first, oh, dozen times or so."

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16. Re: Op Ed Aug 18, 2019, 09:04 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2019, 02:23:
Beamer wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 01:59:
Asmodai wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 00:41:
Ignore politics and never apologise... The old "arguing with idiots" adage applies, you can't just create something you think is cool and deal with every butthurt sperg on the planet because there is always someone who is offended. You win by not playing their game.

I don't get the "never apologize" thing. Sometimes I accidentally say or do something stupid. The right thing to do is step back, realize you made a mistake, and try to right it.

I think there was some court case where someone saying "I'm sorry" was interpreted as an admission of guilt. After that, all lawyers recommend to never utter those words, thus we find ourselves in this world of mealy-mouthed non-apologies. Not sure of the legal history or specifics, but here's a primer.

I think it just stems from a self-important self-righteousness; that s certain group thinks you never need to apologize for something you didn't mean to do. As if intent always takes priority.
 
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15. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 18, 2019, 07:56 eRe4s3r
 
Eirikrautha wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 16:42:
MrCharm42 wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 09:50:
The game should if not show then at least mention the horrors of 1800-1900 colonialism and not just sugar coat it with all happy pink unicorns and Mexicans that JUST SO HAPPEN to work on your plantations (And yes, there are plantations). Because that is the opposite of what the setting and the historic victims of this deserve.

So what do they deserve? Force the player to watch a history video that delves deeply into the nuances of various victims? All Civ-like games would then be endlessly tedious to develop/play. Can you imagine watching long lecturing videos every time a new civilization is discovered?
Fiction is fiction - if we're going to have that standard, then all novels are out (unless they have long balancing/edifying afterwords). Or is it all just fine if instead of calling them Mexicans (as in your example) they are just called Xicans or some other made up name?

Somehow I get the feeling that the same people who are upset at the lack of historical examination of colonialist inhumane behavior were also the same folks who complained that historical accuracy was not a reason for Kingdom Come: Deliverance to not include anyone other than white people.

The call for "political" video games is disingenuous at best. Games can address political topics without being "political." They can also address no politics at all. The call for all games to "recognize" their politics is a totalitarian sentiment (by the literal definition of the word totalitarian), similar to the phrase "the personal is political." Its primary purpose is to justify the application of political censorship towards ideas and art the complainer does not like. If everything is political, then the complainer is justified in demanding that his politics be either explicitly rejected (with the threat of furious backlash if the author dares to do so) or included in any work. Otherwise the complainer can insinuate that the author is denying the "correct" politics by not mentioning them at all (arguing that lack of rejection is the same as enthusiastic acceptance).

Anyone so arrogantly sure of their own politics that they believe EVERY medium should reflect their worldview all of the time is someone whose worldview is almost certainly unworthy of said focus...

So you write all that, and don't bother to read my original post which neither complains nor really wants anything. Just points out that black people on plantations that aren't called what they clearly are is historical white washing.

Which is what you are basically advocating.

You know which group does that? White supremacists.

What I don't get is why you think that a game shouldn't at least acknowledge the setting it's placing itself in? Games can be a-political and not show black people on plantations, or they can be political and show this without comment, and then I ask you, is that still fantasy?

That doesn't even make Anno 1800 a bad game. It's just a weird in-between of not wanting to say anything and clearly saying something. And not wanting to say something is also saying something. Nothing can ever be a-political nowadays when it puts itself in the era we know the the absolute most about. Which is 1800-2019.

I don't want all games to do anything. I simply want in general that games aren't so scared to say something (doesn't even matter what) for fear of offending anyone on twitter.

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2019, 08:11.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Aug 18, 2019, 02:23 jdreyer
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 01:59:
Asmodai wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 00:41:
Ignore politics and never apologise... The old "arguing with idiots" adage applies, you can't just create something you think is cool and deal with every butthurt sperg on the planet because there is always someone who is offended. You win by not playing their game.

I don't get the "never apologize" thing. Sometimes I accidentally say or do something stupid. The right thing to do is step back, realize you made a mistake, and try to right it.

I think there was some court case where someone saying "I'm sorry" was interpreted as an admission of guilt. After that, all lawyers recommend to never utter those words, thus we find ourselves in this world of mealy-mouthed non-apologies. Not sure of the legal history or specifics, but here's a primer.
 
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The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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13. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 17, 2019, 16:42 Eirikrautha
 
MrCharm42 wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 09:50:
The game should if not show then at least mention the horrors of 1800-1900 colonialism and not just sugar coat it with all happy pink unicorns and Mexicans that JUST SO HAPPEN to work on your plantations (And yes, there are plantations). Because that is the opposite of what the setting and the historic victims of this deserve.

So what do they deserve? Force the player to watch a history video that delves deeply into the nuances of various victims? All Civ-like games would then be endlessly tedious to develop/play. Can you imagine watching long lecturing videos every time a new civilization is discovered?
Fiction is fiction - if we're going to have that standard, then all novels are out (unless they have long balancing/edifying afterwords). Or is it all just fine if instead of calling them Mexicans (as in your example) they are just called Xicans or some other made up name?

Somehow I get the feeling that the same people who are upset at the lack of historical examination of colonialist inhumane behavior were also the same folks who complained that historical accuracy was not a reason for Kingdom Come: Deliverance to not include anyone other than white people.

The call for "political" video games is disingenuous at best. Games can address political topics without being "political." They can also address no politics at all. The call for all games to "recognize" their politics is a totalitarian sentiment (by the literal definition of the word totalitarian), similar to the phrase "the personal is political." Its primary purpose is to justify the application of political censorship towards ideas and art the complainer does not like. If everything is political, then the complainer is justified in demanding that his politics be either explicitly rejected (with the threat of furious backlash if the author dares to do so) or included in any work. Otherwise the complainer can insinuate that the author is denying the "correct" politics by not mentioning them at all (arguing that lack of rejection is the same as enthusiastic acceptance).

Anyone so arrogantly sure of their own politics that they believe EVERY medium should reflect their worldview all of the time is someone whose worldview is almost certainly unworthy of said focus...
 
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12. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 17, 2019, 13:04 Cutter
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 10:45:
I don't want lectures, but I want the game to handle the topic like an adult and not hide it like a child that has nothing to say. Not even that slavery was bad. I mean, the game literally acts as if slavery didn't exist and those magical South American colonies produced happily coffee, sugar and tobacco and got of course paid for it a decent living wage and enjoyed adequate housing too....

Or maybe a game in that time period has the balls to show us pre-industry age south American colonies as the horrible unethical cesspits that they were.

I mean it's pretty crazy that most pirate games show you this time period more realistically than games actually set in it.

So, I'm confused, do you want to be lectured to or not. Because you're saying you don't but your examples are lecturing. If you want to be a captain of industry than you need to play the role of one and be psycho/sociopathic enough not to give a shit about the people your exploiting in order to make your fortune. Otherwise you're talking about a completely different game where you're the benevolent leader of some hippy commune and your goal isn't to be a captain of industry. So what if they're presenting some alternative history that didn't exist?

What are we supposed to do keep apoligizing to each other ad infinitum because of our cultural insensitivity to each other? It would never end. Every one on this fucking planet for the history of the fucking planet has been a victim at one time or another. Where does it stop? My family is Irish so where is my apology and reparations from the English? Before that we likely came from Iberia. Where is my apology and reparations from Italy from when Rome likely enslaved and murdered my ancestors?

It would never end. It'd just be one big circle jerk of everyone demanding an apology and money for slights real or imagined. The only way we move forward is to suck it up and move the fuck on. Otherwise we end up like Germany. Why did WWII happen? Because Germany got screwed hard after WWI.

And that's the case for most everything if you don't learn to let go. You keep punishing people sooner or later they're going to get angry and do something about it. This why you're seeing all these reactionary politics from white men today. They're sick of being told they're fucking villain in all things. And the sad irony is that the groups doing this don't even realize they're doing the exact same the thing as has been done to them - painting a group with broad strokes instead of holding individuals to account. The hypocrisy is galling, and worse all it does is foment conflict. It doesn't resolve a fucking thing, and just makes things worse.

So, yeah, like most of us we play games to take a break from reality. The last thing we want is someone - and not even a qualified historian - is being lectured about the inequities of the world because we're already quite aware of them, thank you very much. You want reality? Get into wargaming. Meantime I'll happily exploit my people in Civ to end up top dog.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Aug 17, 2019, 12:14 Red886
 
this article is for mainstream gaming journalists?

is he trying to get them fired or what? not injecting liberal identitarian politics into their gaming articles is a big no no
 
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10. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 17, 2019, 11:27 eRe4s3r
 
MrBone wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 10:52:
eRe4s3r wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 10:45:
MrCharm42 wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 09:50:
The game should if not show then at least mention the horrors of 1800-1900 colonialism and not just sugar coat it with all happy pink unicorns and Mexicans that JUST SO HAPPEN to work on your plantations (And yes, there are plantations). Because that is the opposite of what the setting and the historic victims of this deserve.

So what do they deserve? Force the player to watch a history video that delves deeply into the nuances of various victims? All Civ-like games would then be endlessly tedious to develop/play. Can you imagine watching long lecturing videos every time a new civilization is discovered?
Fiction is fiction - if we're going to have that standard, then all novels are out (unless they have long balancing/edifying afterwords). Or is it all just fine if instead of calling them Mexicans (as in your example) they are just called Xicans or some other made up name?

Anno 1800 is calling them Jornaleros and Obreros, paints them as clearly Mexican/South American and that's to me some pretty big tone deafness especially considering how your average South American colonial holding looked. And if you think those terms are adequate, may I remind you that slavery was a thing in South America till late in the 1890s and a game that plays in that setting wanting to tell me those south americans are all happily working on my plantations is maybe a bit problematic.

I don't want lectures, but I want the game to handle the topic like an adult and not hide it like a child that has nothing to say. Not even that slavery was bad. I mean, the game literally acts as if slavery didn't exist and those magical South American colonies produced happily coffee, sugar and tobacco and got of course paid for it a decent living wage and enjoyed adequate housing too....

Or maybe a game in that time period has the balls to show us pre-industry age south American colonies as the horrible unethical cesspits that they were.

I mean it's pretty crazy that most pirate games show you this time period more realistically than games actually set in it.

I didnít realize you lived back then. Thatís incredible!!

No I wasn't alive, I just know how to read a history book. And if you are not joking I would suggest you read up on the Dutch colonies. And what lovely fun interaction the colonial forces had with the local populace.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Aug 17, 2019, 11:10 NKD
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 01:59:
Asmodai wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 00:41:
Ignore politics and never apologise... The old "arguing with idiots" adage applies, you can't just create something you think is cool and deal with every butthurt sperg on the planet because there is always someone who is offended. You win by not playing their game.

I don't get the "never apologize" thing. Sometimes I accidentally say or do something stupid. The right thing to do is step back, realize you made a mistake, and try to right it.

Yeah, but sometimes people accuse you of saying or doing something stupid when it's not clear that you actually did. Instead of attempting to placate them, ignoring them is the only way to go in such a situation. Any attempt to placate them is just lowering the bar on what warrants an apology.
 
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8. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 17, 2019, 10:52 MrBone
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 10:45:
MrCharm42 wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 09:50:
The game should if not show then at least mention the horrors of 1800-1900 colonialism and not just sugar coat it with all happy pink unicorns and Mexicans that JUST SO HAPPEN to work on your plantations (And yes, there are plantations). Because that is the opposite of what the setting and the historic victims of this deserve.

So what do they deserve? Force the player to watch a history video that delves deeply into the nuances of various victims? All Civ-like games would then be endlessly tedious to develop/play. Can you imagine watching long lecturing videos every time a new civilization is discovered?
Fiction is fiction - if we're going to have that standard, then all novels are out (unless they have long balancing/edifying afterwords). Or is it all just fine if instead of calling them Mexicans (as in your example) they are just called Xicans or some other made up name?

Anno 1800 is calling them Jornaleros and Obreros, paints them as clearly Mexican/South American and that's to me some pretty big tone deafness especially considering how your average South American colonial holding looked. And if you think those terms are adequate, may I remind you that slavery was a thing in South America till late in the 1890s and a game that plays in that setting wanting to tell me those south americans are all happily working on my plantations is maybe a bit problematic.

I don't want lectures, but I want the game to handle the topic like an adult and not hide it like a child that has nothing to say. Not even that slavery was bad. I mean, the game literally acts as if slavery didn't exist and those magical South American colonies produced happily coffee, sugar and tobacco and got of course paid for it a decent living wage and enjoyed adequate housing too....

Or maybe a game in that time period has the balls to show us pre-industry age south American colonies as the horrible unethical cesspits that they were.

I mean it's pretty crazy that most pirate games show you this time period more realistically than games actually set in it.

I didnít realize you lived back then. Thatís incredible!!
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Aug 17, 2019, 10:50 MrBone
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 01:59:
Asmodai wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 00:41:
Ignore politics and never apologise... The old "arguing with idiots" adage applies, you can't just create something you think is cool and deal with every butthurt sperg on the planet because there is always someone who is offended. You win by not playing their game.

I don't get the "never apologize" thing. Sometimes I accidentally say or do something stupid. The right thing to do is step back, realize you made a mistake, and try to right it.

Apology accepted. Next...
 
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6. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 17, 2019, 10:45 eRe4s3r
 
MrCharm42 wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 09:50:
The game should if not show then at least mention the horrors of 1800-1900 colonialism and not just sugar coat it with all happy pink unicorns and Mexicans that JUST SO HAPPEN to work on your plantations (And yes, there are plantations). Because that is the opposite of what the setting and the historic victims of this deserve.

So what do they deserve? Force the player to watch a history video that delves deeply into the nuances of various victims? All Civ-like games would then be endlessly tedious to develop/play. Can you imagine watching long lecturing videos every time a new civilization is discovered?
Fiction is fiction - if we're going to have that standard, then all novels are out (unless they have long balancing/edifying afterwords). Or is it all just fine if instead of calling them Mexicans (as in your example) they are just called Xicans or some other made up name?

Anno 1800 is calling them Jornaleros and Obreros, paints them as clearly Mexican/South American and that's to me some pretty big tone deafness especially considering how your average South American colonial holding looked. And if you think those terms are adequate, may I remind you that slavery was a thing in South America till late in the 1890s and a game that plays in that setting wanting to tell me those south americans are all happily working on my plantations is maybe a bit problematic.

I don't want lectures, but I want the game to handle the topic like an adult and not hide it like a child that has nothing to say. Not even that slavery was bad. I mean, the game literally acts as if slavery didn't exist and those magical South American colonies produced happily coffee, sugar and tobacco and got of course paid for it a decent living wage and enjoyed adequate housing too....

Or maybe a game in that time period has the balls to show us pre-industry age south American colonies as the horrible unethical cesspits that they were.

I mean it's pretty crazy that most pirate games show you this time period more realistically than games actually set in it.
 
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5. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 17, 2019, 09:50 MrCharm42
 
The game should if not show then at least mention the horrors of 1800-1900 colonialism and not just sugar coat it with all happy pink unicorns and Mexicans that JUST SO HAPPEN to work on your plantations (And yes, there are plantations). Because that is the opposite of what the setting and the historic victims of this deserve.

So what do they deserve? Force the player to watch a history video that delves deeply into the nuances of various victims? All Civ-like games would then be endlessly tedious to develop/play. Can you imagine watching long lecturing videos every time a new civilization is discovered?
Fiction is fiction - if we're going to have that standard, then all novels are out (unless they have long balancing/edifying afterwords). Or is it all just fine if instead of calling them Mexicans (as in your example) they are just called Xicans or some other made up name?
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Aug 17, 2019, 09:15 Dmitri_M
 
Don't be so hard on yourselves. It's negative and will prevent you from being better people. Certainly don't waste your time negatively apologising for things that happened centuries ago.  
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3. Re: Op Ed Aug 17, 2019, 01:59 Beamer
 
Asmodai wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 00:41:
Ignore politics and never apologise... The old "arguing with idiots" adage applies, you can't just create something you think is cool and deal with every butthurt sperg on the planet because there is always someone who is offended. You win by not playing their game.

I don't get the "never apologize" thing. Sometimes I accidentally say or do something stupid. The right thing to do is step back, realize you made a mistake, and try to right it.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Aug 17, 2019, 01:28 eRe4s3r
 
Asmodai wrote on Aug 17, 2019, 00:41:
Ignore politics and never apologise... The old "arguing with idiots" adage applies, you can't just create something you think is cool and deal with every butthurt sperg on the planet because there is always someone who is offended. You win by not playing their game.

I actually kinda disagree, and for me a good example here would be a game you probably weren't thinking about. Anno 1800. The game should if not show then at least mention the horrors of 1800-1900 colonialism and not just sugar coat it with all happy pink unicorns and Mexicans that JUST SO HAPPEN to work on your plantations (And yes, there are plantations). Because that is the opposite of what the setting and the historic victims of this deserve.

If a developer wants to be a-political in the current day and age that's totally fine. But if it goes so far as to wrongly show an era that had monumental impact on our existence as a human race then that is questionable propaganda.
 
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1. Re: Op Ed Aug 17, 2019, 00:41 Asmodai
 
Ignore politics and never apologise... The old "arguing with idiots" adage applies, you can't just create something you think is cool and deal with every butthurt sperg on the planet because there is always someone who is offended. You win by not playing their game.  
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