So why do games have to be political?

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

  1. Eshanas

    Eshanas Mildly Dipped

    533
    Jul 6, 2016
    AT BEST, in Literacy courses and studies, we were told that if we have a theme or message, that it doesn't need to be neutral, but it does need to not be heavy-handed. The trope 'Anvils were dropped' or somesuch come to mind, but this goes further.

    The Theme must be what the work is built around, covered by cement and wiring and floors and furnishings. It is important, but barely seen, but often felt. Dig?

    I don't mind politics in games, or even heavy handed ones, but like adding too much nutmeg to a dish, it can be overdone for a vast majority of other people to handle.
     
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  2. RangerBoo

    RangerBoo Vault Fossil

    Jun 15, 2015
    To be fair, the Legion ending is presented as the worst ending for New Vegas. The majority of people you interacted with or became friends with get screwed over in the end by the hands of the Legion. As we are told in the Legion ending; Civilization-savage as it was- finally came to the Mojave Wasteland."
    A heavy price is paid when siding with the Legion. A price that many players refuse to pay for many different and justified reasons.
     
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  3. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    If a game has a Fascist Regime ending, it would be terrible writting to try to downplay it, basicaly coddling the player.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  4. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    Mr. House is your model fascist ending, dummy.
     
  5. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    He is too hands off to truly be fascist.
     
  6. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I don't think that necessarily reflects better storytelling as every story is going to say something whether you do heavy-handed or not.

    What is "not judging them" anyway?

    Because if you depict Caesar's Legion as having left a bunch of shattered lives, broken bodies, crucified innocents, and raped innocents then people will say, "What about the GOOD they did?"

    Who says they have to do any good?

    There's merit to saying Both Sides is bullshit and that's going to be the case unless you try. Not judging is political by itself.
     
  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    "I am an autocrat."
    -Insistent Terminology

    Which is, to be fair, actually a decent rebuttal. Not all dictatorships are fascist. To be fascist you need a cult of personality, a warrior subculture that exalts glorious death in battle, an "Other" to scapegoat, and a romanticization of the past according to Umberto Eco's essays. Which means that Caesar's Legion is fascist and the Enclave both but not Mr. House or the Institute.

    It does mean the F4 Brotherhood of Steel is fascist, though.
     
  8. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Yeah, FO4BOS is text book fascism.


    Speaking of FO4 that's an example of why whitewashing player options to not have a wrong choice and no judgement actually results in a world devoid of weight or imediacy. I think you can bullshit all your companions into staying with you no matter the path unless the companion is directly tied to a faction, and I think only 1 or 2 of them are.
     
  9. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    Caesar himself is autocrat par excellence, isn't he? Yet you consider Legion to be fascist.

    House's got digitized warrior subculture alright, programmed and manufactured by himself. "Other" is everybody outside Vegas, with tolerated three families in Vegas being considered untermenschen and savages as well.

    So is BOS in first Fallout, according to your definition.
     
  10. Eshanas

    Eshanas Mildly Dipped

    533
    Jul 6, 2016
    Fascism relies on Class Conflict, because it's the third major answer to the Class Conflict question of the 19th and 20th centuries. Instead of supporting the Bourgies like Capitalism does, or the Proles for Communism/Socialism, Fascism says for all of them to get in fucking line and support the state which is in permanent competition with the rest of the world/other polities.

    Without that underline of Class Conflict, it ain't fascism. It's just Militarism or Authoritarianism or Autocracy with a heavy hand. Caesar himself is just an Imperial Slaver State (which was basically most of them before the Middle Ages).

    The BoS were an army without an state, isolationist militarists following a Creed. The NCR edges from a Liberal Republic to a Liberal Capitalist one supporting a variety of classes as their nation grew in number and diversified outside of meagre towns. Etc, etc.
     
  11. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    I don't remember any cult of personality in The Enclave either, rather entrenched institutionalism relying on bureaucratic/military hierarchy. They didn't give a fuck who's the person in charge, referring to the official function "president" all the time.
     
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  12. RangerBoo

    RangerBoo Vault Fossil

    Jun 15, 2015
    Mr. House is more or less a "benevolent dictator." At least according to Avellone and Sawyer in the special edition Fallout New Vegas Game Guide that I once had but gave to Tremere as a gift. He isn't really controlling in regards to the lives of his subjects and is more or less a Laissez-faire capitalist. Sure, House does shady things to maintain his rule and squash out threats but he isn't really trying to change human nature or the lives of his subjects unlike Caesar.
     
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  13. KingArthur

    KingArthur Y Ddraig Gymreig Yn Codi

    Jun 25, 2018
    The way I’ve always seen it is that Caesar is a dictator because he physically influences the lives of his Legionaries and the people under his control in Legion territory.

    House is just a glorified boss. He doesn’t give a flying fuck who you are or how shady you are, so long as you bring in money and are productive to him. TheKilianExperience once made a joke that essentially compared House to Andrew Ryan from Bioshock; it’s a pretty clear cut and accurate comparison, one even the NV creators saw (see the “A Slave Obeys” GRA challenge)
     
  14. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    I'd have argued that there's lot of House's rules in play, being enforced by army of securitrons right in the streets. The securitron army strike me as fanatical fascist army btw, with its "ideology" copy-pasted instead of learnt the old fashioned biological way being the only difference.
     
  15. Kohno

    Kohno Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    860
    Jul 30, 2009
    Think about it from the perspective watching a good WW2 documentary. It doesn't shy away from explaining and portraying the horrors of war or the atrocities committed there, but it also doesn't make value judgements along the way to caress the viewers possible emotional tenderness or political standing. It just tells how things were.

    Now, if you add that kind of portrayal to a game and offer the player a choice. Be honest and careful about it, be comprehensive about it, and don't wave the figner in front of the player. Let him make the value judgements for himself based on how the fiction handles those aspects as per how the side he chose sees them and how the oppostion sees them, and let him express the character of his choice (facing the consequences of it -- which should never be just black and white). Be the controversial topic what ever... rape, misogyny, racism, oppression, genocide, what ever.

    If you can't or won't do that (for what ever reason), don't give the player the choice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  16. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I'm more inclined to say House is fascist than the Legion isn't.
     
  17. TheHouseAlwaysWins

    TheHouseAlwaysWins Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    353
    Nov 28, 2015
    tbh i can't believe people are taking this shitpost i made earlier this seriously. it was a gamingcirclejerk esqe post towards people who think the legion are morally grey which I see a lot on youtube comments.

    House is just your average ancap. Caesar is like a combo of mussolini and pol pot
     
  18. Eshanas

    Eshanas Mildly Dipped

    533
    Jul 6, 2016
    Hell the NCR existing invalidates the Legion's whole mantra against women, and maybe on worldview itself. For the most part they have gender equality (even if the recent presidents have toned it down) and they have more people than they can put to good work or use. I wouldn't be surprised if homelessness and near-starvation are constant issues in the NCR as they push people off the land for their big herds of Brahmin who consume a lot of food and water themselves. Razz talks about how his career was limited to either being a Lite Raiders/Street Gangster or being NCR; and I think someone mentions it was this or shoveling Brahmin shit back home.

    The Legion is just going against women because they think they need more numbers, but that's because they chose the fucking Southwest to live in, which is probably dried up and even more of a desert than now or in 2077. Caesar should had marched north and started making his army up there. Hell, everyone needs to basically march north. The Tropics, Subtropics, and Temperate zones no longer basically exist. Siberia and Canada are the new powerhouses waiting to be cultivated.
     
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  19. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    It's kind of sad that anyone from any place other than ISIS-held territory would think the Legion had a point.

    "Yes, let's enslave all the women, re-institute slavery in general, and crucify anyone who disagrees."
     
  20. KingArthur

    KingArthur Y Ddraig Gymreig Yn Codi

    Jun 25, 2018
    You’re aware that Caesar has plans that don’t involve that? Apparently not.