So why do games have to be political?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by TheHouseAlwaysWins, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. TheHouseAlwaysWins

    TheHouseAlwaysWins Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 28, 2015
    Every game I play should be like Fallout: New Vegas, where I get the choice between status quo liberals and fascists.

    You may think that the legion are fascists, but I say you're wrong, You see, Caesar quotes Hegel, he's a genius. You might say "but thehousealwayswins, that's just rhetoric! you have to look at their actual actions!", and to that I say: "Who cares about their enslavement of a entire gender or the fact they use biowarefare on locations like searchlight? a single trader gave them a 3 star review for having good trade routes."

    I generally dislike all this cyberpunk that has these critiques about capitalism... Or our active deteoration of culture (including Fallout) because of it. You just gotta stop being political and biased and learn that the legion is grey tbh
  2. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I can't tell if this post is being sarcastic or not.
  3. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    Cyberpunk is great eat dicks.

    The specific kind of politics I can't stand in games is identity politics. Shit mega gay brosef
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  4. Kohno

    Kohno Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 30, 2009
    Politics speaks to people.

    But the politics the game has, shouldn't be coloured with an attitude. It should observe the politics it handles from a neutral point of view (covering all the bases, even the possibly offensive ones) and let the player draw his own conclusions: supportive, ambivalence, opposing.

    And if there's judgement to be had in the game about certain political views, it should come throught the context of the setting from the specific characters/instances that specifically oppose it, whilst other groups might agree with it. Not through the opinionated minds of the developers.
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  5. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I dunno, it depends on the context.

    The X-men are an identity politics story. Your identity as a mutant is the purpose of the story.

    Again, I think it depends on the politics.

    There's no reason to present Caesar as neutral. He's a slaver and rapist.

    Fuck that guy.

    Why does he deserve a fair treatment by the narrative? Be like Boone and headshot every one of them.
  6. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    When did he rape anybody? Besides I'm pretty sure he's gay.
  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I dunno, instituting a draconian misogynist slaver society? I don't think we need to argue about whether him doing it personally matters when he's the warlord behind the roving band of football hooligans.

    Similarly, Wolfenstein is political in the sense that it's anti-fascist by default.

    I don't think we need to say those Natzees are misunderstood.
  8. Kohno

    Kohno Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 30, 2009
    He's not neutral. Neither is NCR. That's not the point.

    The point is that the game should be neutral about the players choice, be informative about that choice from an unjudgemental perspective, and support that choice. And if the parties involved are multifaceted and not "heaven vs hell" type by definiton, they should be portrayed as such for the player. Especially if he's to make a choice of allegiance. The parties have an agenda, and they oppose one another -- they can berate each other and paint themselves as the best choice. But the game should not take an overall stance on what is good and what is bad.

    Not about choosing the good guys or the bad guys, not about preaching virtue. Let the player draw the conclusions and act accordingly (and support that).
  9. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Dedman oTO Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    All men are rapists.
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  10. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I don't see any reason not to frame slavers, rapists, and Nazis with an explicit condemnation. The game taking an overall stance on these things shouldn't be controversial.

    If you're Batman, for example, Joker=bad.

    #NotAllMen are part of the Legion.

  11. KingArthur

    KingArthur Y Ddraig Gymreig Yn Codi

    Jun 25, 2018
    First off, leave the Legion alone you fucking degenerates. Secondly, politics are in games because everyone's got an agenda. Everyone wants to push their beliefs, and it's rare when you see a game like NV that does it right.
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  12. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Speaking as an author, if a story has a message that's called....storytelling.

    Star Wars = Dictatorships are bad.
  13. Kohno

    Kohno Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 30, 2009
    It doesn’t matter what they are or what they can be compared to.

    If you are giving the player the choice, you shouldn’t demonize the options to imply the player might be ”wrong” with his.
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  14. RangerBoo

    RangerBoo Vault Fossil

    Jun 15, 2015
    Upper Echelon Games made a great video on why games can be amazingly political but aren't right now, at least in the West.

    To me it mainly has to do with developers no longer seeing their games as a work of art or a critique but rather a form of activism and I, for one, am sick of it.

    To me, a good political game makes the player think and question things. With the developers and writers putting their own feelings aside and wanting the audience to come to their own conclusions and exploring different consequences for different actions and beliefs in the games world. Instead of beating them over the head and saying to them, "My side is right! Everyone that thinks differently or disagrees with me is Hitler! REEEEEE!"
    As it just comes off as propaganda. I believe that it was Aristotle that once said; an intelligent man is able to entertain an idea and not act on it. Is it really that hard to empathize with another side? Do we really need to dehumanize everyone we disagree with?

    With the Legion I find them fascinating. One of the things I admire with one of the New Vegas co-creators, J.E Sawyer is that he has a degree in history. Josh stated one of his biggest inspiration with the Legion was writing them from the lens of a historian. As someone who is going to study history myself, you learn right quick that you can't judge history with a modern view and sensibilities. Something that idiots on Twatter or in California seem to forget. For instances, slavery was commonplace in the ancient world. To us, with a more enlightened view and morals, slavery is seen as abhorrent and one of the evilest things a human can do to another human being. To the ancient world, slavery was just another fact of life. Someone needed to til the farms and pave the roads. To the free citizens, life was good and their cities were being run well. In a time when morality was high, people really didn't give much thought to the plight of slaves.
    Also as a historian we have to see how other cultures perceived their rivals. For example, a majority of Arabs do not look favorably in the least towards Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. You so much as say his name and a Arab would probability spit in disgust and curse him in Allah's name. To the Mongols however, Genghis Khan is a national hero. His name and likeness grace nearly every corner in Mongolia and he is even revered as a god in some parts. This reminds me of Josh talking about how one of his biggest regrets with New Vegas is not allowing the player to explore Legion lands and talk to Legion subjects. Josh wanted the player to see what life was like in the Legion for "free" subjects. Many of the Legion subjects would praise Caesar, crediting him for bringing law and order to the Southwest. The Legion subjects would also be prospering. Trade is abundant in Legion territory and there is plenty of clean food and water to go around. One was to get the idea that, despite being a war mongering tyrant, Caesar knew how to run things and bring order to a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

    Now don't get me wrong, I gladly in all my playthroughs enjoy taking down Caesar and his boys. However, when it comes to politics there needs to be more nuance. It can't be "the righteous bringers of justices side vs. literally the most evil group ever who kicks puppies for fun side". History is anything but that. As someone once said; "rarely are great men good men."
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  15. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    A lot of the people Caesar enslaved are evil pricks that were hellbent in pillaging and killing. People make it sound Caesar and his Legion are enslaving only good people.

    Also hilarious the person here saying we should be basically condemn the Caesar's Legion, and then that person wants to join the fucking Enclave (you know who it is). Which in many ways is far worse than Caesar's Legion. Gotta love hypocrisy and double standards.
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  16. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Must we defend our brother gamers who think the Legion rape camps are cool?

    There's nothing wrong with playing bad guys like the Legion because it is FICTIONAL but there's no reason the game can't make it disgust clear because fuck people who don't play them that don't see a problem.

    If I play Wolfenstein, I damn well expect the game to drip disgust for the Reich and with good reason.
  17. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    But in Wolfenstein, you can't play for the Reich faction. :lmao:
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  18. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    And you know some people complain about that!

    Fallout 3: You can't play the Enclave.

    Fans: BOO! Why not!

    Fallout 3: They're genocidal psychos.

    Fans: Don't judge me!

    Fallout: New Vegas: You can play the Legion.

    Fans: They're unsympathetic assholes. Why write them so one-dimensional!?

    Lone Fan: They're justified in all the rape and pillage.

    Fallout New Vegas: Uh...
  19. Kohno

    Kohno Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 30, 2009
    It's not about defending anything. It's about giving all players fair grounds for their choices. Because if you are giving the the players a choice like that, you better make it fun for them, and by all means not judge them for it or put them through some premeditated guilt trip.

    Every coin has two sides to it. Every topic can be viewed from a multitude of perspectives. If you can't offer the choice for the player without judging it, without the ability to portray the choice in a light that makes sense and is logical within the setting, and without designing it in a away that's not fun for the player, you better not give the player the choice at all.

    If you can, how ever, you should make all those choices as comprehensive and multifaceted as you possibly can, so that the player can "immerse" (I hate that word) himself in the situation.

    If someone had the gall to made an RPG that gave the player a choice to play a nazi in the third reich and wanted the game to be taken seriously, of course the developer should portray the nazis from their own and their supporters perspective, and look at the matter deeper than "boo nazis", and let the player decide what to make of it - for the sake of the experience, that is, not due to an insistence of trying to say something, or telling your audience that "Yes I hate nazis. Who's the good boy? Who?". Nobody will, of course, but that can work as an example.
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  20. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    I think not presenting any option as bad or wrong is kind of a hugbox and actually robs choices from their weight. You can't have a quest route where you go around massacring everybody and then have the game world not judge you, this should cost you alliances, companions, etc. Otherwise it just becomes a lame power fantasy. There is very little to present the nazis in a good light without basically whitewashing them and not representing the extent of their philosophy fully, and at that point isn't THAT a propaganda piece instead? Same thing can be applied to "Good choices", you go on a pacifist route and give mercy and forgiveness to a faction, you might get a lot of positives but then maybe you have a companion who was VERY against that, they hated the faction with a passion, maybe they killed his family, maybe he just that hard headed, bam, there, if you wanted to keep that guy in your good graces you just chose wrong.
    I agree with you to an extent (specially manipulative guilt trips being just hackney writing, it's what puts me off about Undertale) but complete neutrality to every action is also hackney writting.

    And even going outside the realm of morality or whatever if there are no options to fail there are simply no options. I have been thinking that there should actually be quests in RPGs with choices where having stats that are TOO HIGH might actually makes you fail, like if you meet some super egocentric type of person, and you need to convince them to help you or give yo usomething, but they feel that you are too big for your breeches with your fancy pants talk, and your inflated sense of intelligence they would just tell you to fuck off, like imagine if you have a higher Int stat to Caesar, you constantly give him smart answers to questions and even give him some alternate solutions, and he starts growing wary of you, after all, you are kind of what he is intending to clear the wasteland from and you would also present a risk, you could start plotting against him and then after a certain point, or right at the end quest line he turns on you, so you would need to handle yourself better around him, try to play to his ego, and then you would end with a better relationship to him on at the end of the qestline.... so you could then overthrow him with your plot. That would be fun.

    Anyway, everything will reflect the beliefs of whoever writes it, people only complain about politics when they are heavy handed and/or poorly written. Altho some are very sensitive and just complain everytime they see somethign they disagree with, but who cares about those people?
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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