Politics in Video Games

If you live in the United States, the idea of politics polarizing people is probably not very alien to you. It’s been going on for a long time. It’s gotten so bad that I can personally attest to hearing stories about how local stores were making policies in which politics could not be talked about at all in the office. This may sound reasonable to “keep the peace” but think about that for a moment. You can’t voice your view because it might piss off the guy next to you because you lean right or left? Really? But it wasn’t even for reasons that “benign,” but because customers were actually choosing to shop or not shop based on what some guy at a cash register believed in their political views….. and that was 6 years ago. Things have only gotten worse since then, and now it’s spread like a plague to our favorite hobby and the gamers we share it with.

The best way to explain this issue is with the best current example, a little game coming out called “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.” You see, in the advertisement for this game, Activision seems to understand that Call of Duty can basically show anything and sell, but who will show it for them. My attention was drawn to them initially thanks to the works of The GameOverThinker, a game commenter who generally I find myself agreeing with when it comes to gaming itself: both in tastes (as far as console gaming goes) and in the very concepts that give meaning to the Red Sector itself. But as far as politics go, we are often on the reverse sides of the arguments. And if he knew where I stood on such things, he would probably assume I would have written in to defend their trailer against him as he portrays it in this video. Instead, I saw it for exactly what it was… a cheesy attempt to rile up one side of the isle because in bitching about the ad, they would DISPLAY IT ALL OVER THE WEB FOR THEM. The GameOverThinker was no exception...

Nor was he the only one. It would appear (if you take the lines of a fairy character directly) that his attention was drawn by people who were already upset and sharing the trailer online. But since most of the COD’s fanbase is too young to remember what happened, this wasn’t the going to be their only try.

Recently, a new trailer was released, revealing a villain that suggests the 99% movement is involved with the story of the game by implying one of their heroes is the villain…. and holy-shit. While they got a few extra hits to get a trailer out without paying for it with their first shot… this one literally put the story all over the web. Some post it because, “hey! It’s COD!” but the real bonus are people like the GameOverThinker here who’s reason to put it up on their page is to make a case that “OMG! Activision is against a movement I like! They’re all political now!”

Sorry, Mr. Overthinker. They are not, but they know a good portion of the community who can and will write for others to hear are, and they came up with a brilliant plan to use you, drum up controversy, and get attention to the game they don’t have to pay for. They used you. They used everyone who reacted like you. Hell they used people like Mr. Jim Sterling who loves to cause controversy in the comment sections of his articles and watch the fun. And the rage around all of it is fueled by nothing more personal than political feelings.

This needs to stop, guys. I'm all for a good argument, but if it means you can’t stand the person you argue with or even the game you argue about because it stands on the reverse side of the isle as you…. you’re losing the point of video games and the gaming community at large. I don’t want our hobby to become a reflection of a world where people literally choose where they buy their god damned food based on the politics of the cashier…. It must end.

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