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Area 51 To Deal With Tense Political Issues 102

Posted by Zonk
from the you-got-your-game-in-my-politics dept.
Since the days of the arcades, the Area 51 games have been brainless bughunts: find the aliens, shoot the aliens. When game designer Harvey Smith was hired a few years ago to work on the next iteration of the franchise, he began to despair at the lackluster story elements in the game. As he put it: "Area 51 just bored the sh-- out of me, and I was like, 'How can we make this interesting?'" As MTV News reports, frustrations with politics both in the United States and abroad led to a solution that required months of convincing executives to see implemented. Blacksite: Area 51 will feature a new and more poignant story, as the aliens become poor American citizens put in harm's way. "Wait, what if they are terrorists we helped create? What if the people supporting us in our fight against the terrorists aren't completely clean either? What if they're sending us after them now, but what if 10 years ago it was safe for them to create them?' ... So what we have in 'BlackSite' is a delta-force assassination squad hunting down and killing members of an Army training program. So on American soil, Americans are fighting Americans, basically." The game is intended to be enjoyed regardless of subject matter, but Smith hopes that gamers will accept a title that even touches on some of the issues that popular television shows deal with on a regular basis. What do you think about this? Is there room for politics in gaming, or do you just want to shoot stuff?
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Area 51 To Deal With Tense Political Issues

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  • by seebs (15766) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @02:47PM (#18014686) Homepage
    Fallout 2's explanation of how the holocaust happened blamed American politics. :)

    I am all for having some story to games. It's generally a plus.
    • by Cadrys (43897)
      F2 however had tounge firmly in cheek the whole way. This Area 51 concept is worty of tinfoil hats.

      I shall vote with my wallet and play something else.
      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        so you decide not to buy a game because the politics of the game story line hit a little too close to home? maybe you should judge it on gameplay and quality of the storyline
    • by revlayle (964221)
      Me too... but if the gameplay is bad, i can only tolerate playing through the game once if has a GOOD story (and sometimes even getting through once is trying)
    • by malsdavis (542216)
      "I am all for having some story to games. It's generally a plus."

      I agree, as long as it's an original story. The one suggested in the article sounded worryingly similar to Deus Ex which - while undeniably an amazing game - has now been done (and repeated by several other games). I think originality is the key to a good story.

      I guess we will have to wait to see what they can come up with though as often the devil is in the detail (i.e. Half-life 2 had a great story premise, but the story-telling was absolute
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ectal (949842)
        Execution and presentation are the keys to good storytelling. Originality is cheap.

        I will now avoid the cliche of citing most of Shakespeare's work as a key example of this--Whoops, there I go.

        That said, I doubt the story will be any good for an Area 51 game. Though I don't see anything about the basic storyline that would make it hard for someone with enough skill to weave a good story, one better than Deus Ex, even.
        • by malsdavis (542216)
          "Execution and presentation are the keys to good storytelling. Originality is cheap."

          Hmm, after thinking about it, I agree 100% with the first sentence, it is extremely insightful (*hint*, *hint* to any moderators about). No matter how good or poor a story's core is, "Execution and presentation" will trump it in a game (this is where Half-life 2 - along with many other games - fell flat, imho).
    • There's obviously a market for games with political elements. Fallout and Deus Ex are both widely hailed as amongst the best games ever released for the PC. Both depicted an artistic vision of how life could be if certain negative aspects of modern culture are not challenged, and it was the storyline that engrossed it's players.
    • Their choice was America, or some other nation yet to be named, (post soviet oppoisition problem) which fallout was not set in. (remember, the original was set in the American west.)

      -GiH
    • I am all for having some story to games. It's generally a plus.

      some? For me, if a game doesn't have a good story, it's not worth buying. Story is what made the Final Fantasy series so popular.
      My 2 cents.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just like there was in earlier wartime cartoons.
  • by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormon.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @02:50PM (#18014724) Homepage Journal
    I think there's room for politics in the sense of relevant issues with today's politics, but I don't want polemics in my video games. I think a lot of people who want to inject "politics" really mean "polemics". They have an axe to grind. Even if it's someone who shares my general political outlook (which I highly doubt, coming from a video game designer) I would really hate to have basically propoganda in a game I'm playing.

    I mean bad story and bad dialogue and bad characterization aren't horrible enough? Now we're going to get stupid 8th-grade reading level political treatises as well? When game designers figure out how to write a script that doesn't suck maybe I'll trust them to inject politics.

    Until that day this can only end in tears. Frustrated tears of tortured gamers crying out for entertainment that doesn't suck.

    -stormin
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bunions (970377)
      > Until that day this can only end in tears. Frustrated tears of tortured gamers crying out for entertainment that doesn't suck.

      So business as usual then, gotcha.
      • No - business worse than usual. It's better to not include a "feature" at all than to include it badly. It looks like we're headed for bad, horrible, awful politics.

        Someone save us please.

        -stormin
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rei (128717)
          Politics has been done well in games. Final Fantasy Tactics had a pretty harsh assault on Christianity, for example (read the Germonik scriptures?). Besides, sometimes there are things that are just subtle, amusing jabs. I ran into one in FFXII the other day (I took a picture of the screen, but haven't offloaded it from my camera yet), and no, I'm not talking about the fact that the game is about a powerful empire that exploits weak desert nations for their natural resources, whose actions can be seen as
      • by pallmall1 (882819)

        Frustrated tears of tortured gamers crying out for entertainment that doesn't suck.
        And games that work. Ironic that the same folks forcing an agendized political view into their game are the same folks who included the infamous computer wrecking malware known as Starforce [game-overdrive.com] with Area 51.
        • by mink (266117)
          There was an official patch that removed Starforce. I know that means you have to let it in once before you can banish it.
    • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:10PM (#18014910)
      I mean bad story and bad dialogue and bad characterization aren't horrible enough? Now we're going to get stupid 8th-grade reading level political treatises as well?

      Hey, sometimes it really works out well for you. Just look at Ayn Rand.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Talking about politics without expressing any actual viewpoint is pointless. The purpose of debate is controversy. Rational arguments can & SHOULD offend people.

      It was fear of polemics that let a nation ignore debate on an issue as grand as war. It was our (corporate friendly) 'creative' people - hollywood & music industries - that were scared into avoiding any discussion/debate of the war in Iraq. The right wing martyr'ed the one country act that spoke their minds, and everyone else fell in l

      • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:45PM (#18015334)
        Talking about politics without expressing any actual viewpoint is pointless. The purpose of debate is controversy. Rational arguments can & SHOULD offend people.

        What the GP is talking about is crossing the line between presenting a moral dilemma and pushing an agenda.

        The best political plot lines ask a question. The worst try to force an answer. You most you can do without ruining a story is to suggest one by framing the story to be in favor of it, but once your characters become mouthpieces for the "correct" answer, you've lost the story.
        • Dang, should have read your post before I replied. You said what I said, only with brevity. Which makes it better.

          -stormin
        • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
          There is an alternative - create a story with a clear and obvious moral conclusion, but frame it in such a way to provoke outrage or self-reflection.

          I've always wanted to play alternate history games where you assume the role of victims of American tyranny, such as a slave or a native American, and then turn the tables on your oppressors.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by pyrrhonist (701154)

            I've always wanted to play alternate history games where you assume the role of victims of American tyranny, such as a slave or a native American, and then turn the tables on your oppressors.

            There is no need to use an alternate history to find good examples [wikipedia.org] of this that could be used for a game.

        • This is incorrect though, a poorly written story with a mouthpeice is going to be horrid, but there is no reason why a story with an agenda cannot be good and intresting.

          A good story teller can tell you a story about a peice of string and make it sound amazing, a bad story writer can tell a story about the coolest thing ever and make you yawn
          • This is incorrect though, a poorly written story with a mouthpeice is going to be horrid, but there is no reason why a story with an agenda cannot be good and intresting.

            I disagree. No matter how good the technical execution, I don't like agenda-driven art/entertainment (regardless of whether or not I like the agenda itself).

            -stormin
      • by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormon.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:56PM (#18015480) Homepage Journal
        Talking about politics without expressing any actual viewpoint is pointless. The purpose of debate is controversy. Rational arguments can & SHOULD offend people.

        The purpose of debate is controversy? No, I think not. That sounds more like the CNN.com obligatory "teacher sleeps with student/ random celeb does something awful/ etc.". The point of debate is to arrive at truth, or at least somewhere in the vicinity. If controversy is necessary along that path, so be it. But controversy for the sake of controversy is good for nothing but selling papers.

        Furthermore, that's debate. We're talking about a game. I'd prefer games to have enough substance to provide fodder for interesting extra-game debates, not actually take a side in the debate. I'd prefer my games to raise issues, not try to tell me how to vote.

        This is what we expect out of good literature, and it's what I love (and all to often find missing) in sci-fi. Good art, in my opinion, should raise questions. Not try to answer them.

        -stormin
        • Marketing of news networks, whether it be propagandist preaching to the converted masses or middle of the road schlock....either way they all make a buck by reporting on pandering, dead models and oddity. Corporate News is a product that occasionally reports facts, and even more & more rarely offers reason. They don't offer controversy, they offer product.

          Controversy, by definition, is a dispute...different reasoning...differing opinions....debate. Controversy is NOT questions - it's different ans

          • by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormon.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:52PM (#18017602) Homepage Journal
            You'll never find the truth if you only ask questions.

            Two things. First of all, I think it's naive to assume that you're going to "find the truth" at all. There is no truth to be found about exactly which type of government works best, how much socialism, how much free-market capitalism, etc. Not that there isn't any such objective truth, but pat answers will never be found. Getting closer to the truth is a cyclic process of asking questions and proposing possible answers. Any body that says "this is it, the final concrete truth" on any given serious topic is lying or deluded.

            So I'd say the process of asking questions and proposing intelligent, open-ended possible solutions is more important that rushing in with "solutions". I'm not really sure which end of this spectrum you fall into, and I don't want to judge you, but your tone so far is a little too "the truth is obviously X" for my taste. Anyone that takes that tone in a game is going to make a game I don't want to play.

            2. And that's really the point. We're talking about what makes a good game. Even if you did find the right answers, even if you could prove they were correct: why foist them into a video game? It makes the games annoying (to people like me) and it's arguably not a great way to get your ideas spread across. People don't like to be talked down to, and that's exactly what you're going to sound like when you try to present a tight, final, immutable answer in a game. Even if you're right. You'll turn people off, whereas a more subtle question-raising approach that allows people to put the dots together is both more fun and more effective.

            This is the same way plot works in a movie/book/game. If you have to get into long-winded exposition to explain the plot, the theme, or the point of your narrative you've already screwed it up.

            Much as you seem to want to turn this into a discussion about the war in Iraq and politics in America, it's a conversation about what makes a good game. And someone trying to foist their particular political philosophy onto the players does not.

            -stormin
    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
      You're whining that a game called "Area 51" is using a standard X-Files plot device because it is too "polemic"?

      Have you ever read a book? Do ideas threaten you? Even cartoonish strawmen repudiations of your beliefs?

      Maybe you should stick to Left Behind: Eternal Forces [leftbehindgames.com]. There is a rebellious subtext to most video games that will make you uncomfortable.
      • You're whining that a game called "Area 51" is using a standard X-Files plot device because it is too "polemic"?

        No. I'm responding to the article. Novel concept. Please read it. I'll post some of it for you here:

        The game is intended to be enjoyed regardless of subject matter, but Smith hopes that gamers will accept a title that even touches on some of the issues that popular television shows deal with on a regular basis. What do you think about this? Is there room for politics in gaming, or do you just
        • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
          I attack the messenger, and you hen-peck my message. The point is most real-worldish plots are already polemic. Your argument is null in a world already populated with the likes of Splinter Cell and Rainbow 6. If you don't see the politics inherent in any real or imagined conflict, you're exactly the sort of namby-pamby audience who ruins games I might otherwise enjoy.

          Too many people are afraid of being offended, going out of their way to avoid anything that frames a reality different their own. And what's
          • I attack the messenger, and you hen-peck my message.

            Stop me if I'm wrong, but that's a good thing when in debate, no? Hen-pecking the message instead of attacking the message avoids ad hominem attacks or just plain non sequitors.

            Your argument is null in a world already populated with the likes of Splinter Cell and Rainbow 6.

            I'll be honest, I've played neither game very much. From what I have played, however, the philosophical implications are rather shallow at best. A traditional tale of political intrig
            • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
              Yeah, not many games make explicit connections to real politics (though there is one set in Venezuela [ushov.org] that's ruffling feathers), but there is the assumption in most real-world military simulations that the other side is evil while our side is innocent. The absence of any moral justification for these pretend wars against real countries is worse than any polemic. If the ideology or agenda of some games is overt (and possibly even offensive), then maybe more people might start questioning games (and politics)
              • The absence of any moral justification for these pretend wars against real countries is worse than any polemic.

                I just can't get worked up about this line of thought. It's just a repeating cycle. Star Trek: Klingons are bad. Movies 1 - 5. No, wait, really we just need to get to know them and understand they are people too. Movie 6. Crap, no we're out of villains. OK, now Romulans are bad. You get the picture.

                Not every game can be an accurate reflection of the fact that all people are unique and indiv
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)
      I would really hate to have basically propoganda in a game I'm playing.

      Well, one man's propaganda is another man's scripture.

      Hopefully this is something in between that will be fun to play. I know I'm looking forward to playing this conflicted-conflict game.

      I wonder how open-ended it will be. And I don't mean GTA-style. Will there will be multiple endings based on how you play it. It sounds like it could be, especially if after the game play is finished your character must face the consequences of his a
      • Well, one man's propaganda is another man's scripture.

        Well I would also hate a game that attempted to push another man's scripture. Yes, including a game that tried to push Mormon scripture. It would suck.

        -stormin
    • I would love a game where I can hunt down this elusive Haliburton Weather Machine and put a stop to it!
    • Wow. You are a real voice of sanity.

      That sort of thing is my number one pet peeve: fiction that tries to regurgitate some kind of political propaganda. I see that everywhere; there's a ton of fantasy that has an extremely obvious environmentalist agenda. Now, I am not opposed to environmentalism. Furthermore, that sort of thing would probably have been fresh and innovative anout 40 years ago. It's just, at this point, /everybody/ has already heard about the fricken trees, and you don't accomplish anything b
  • ..."is there room for storyline in gaming?"
    And the answer is 'yes'. I seem to recall the KOTOR titles, as well as Deus Ex and System Shock 2, being regularly held up as examples of engaging storytelling as well as good gameplay.
    • by toleraen (831634)
      I'd add Max Payne into that list too. Definitely one of better "storyline in gaming" shooters I've played.
    • Weird, because I seem to recall KOTOR 2 being held up as an example of a game who had its story brutually riped apart so it could be shipped earlier.
      • by Firefly1 (251590)
        Ah, thanks for clearing up that bit about KOTOR 2. Would I be correct in assuming that the first was not subject to such 'surgery'?
  • Secret Military Project Goes Bad And Now You Must Clean It Up!

    Yeah, I've never heard of that concept before. Very original. That's bound to add a lot of depth to the game.
  • With apologies to South Park...

    "There's the girl that I like....
    Now it appears that she likes another guy...
    it must be because he's political and stuff....
    I bet I can be political too!"
  • Of course there is. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:04PM (#18014854) Homepage
    Is there room for politics in gaming, or do you just want to shoot stuff?

    Is there room for politics in art, or do you just want to listen/watch/taste/sense it?

    Of course there is place for politics in gaming: It's not as if there -haven't- been any 'political' games around yet, some might be more upfront about it (random example: www.powerpolitics.us), while others still give out a political message, but are very clever in hiding it (see americasarmy.com).

    For myself, I don't mind if a game has 'politics' in it: But I think that the game from the article is a lame attempt at trying to intermix all the popular elements of today, together with some hot mix of controversial sauce. Trying to pass it off as anything more than that, is ridicilous.
    • by witte (681163)
      (Sorry, I feel a bit pedantic today.)

      A lot, if not most, of the FPS games I played over the past 10+ years had the player running around as an American/Allied soldier, shooting and blowing up Germans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Iraqi, ... you name it.
      How is that not political?

      Imagine a German game producer making a FPS game where you get to kill American soldiers. I'm pretty sure it would never be sold in the States because of political sensitivities :)
      • Sorry, I feel a bit pedantic today.

        Nah, you're right: They're definitely political too, and I've always been amazed at how much slack other (violent) games received, while the WWII games seem to be spared, as "hey, you are fighting nazis, so what's wrong with that?".

        The reason why I mentioned Americas Army was because of them excluding the possibility of using the 'bad' side: As it's only multiplayer, two teams are opposing eachother but both, from their POV, are the Americans... One could of course re
        • The reason why I mentioned Americas Army was because of them excluding the possibility of using the 'bad' side: As it's only multiplayer, two teams are opposing eachother but both, from their POV, are the Americans... One could of course reason that I shouldn't be expecting more from a game named "AMERICAS Army", but together with the overall propaganda of the game, it has been a game that has bothered me for some time.

          The public release of "America's Army" was primarily as a recruitment tool, or at least a
          • Hey, as said: I accept it (America's Army) for what it is, but that doesn't have to make me ignore my feelings towards those aspects mentioned.

            I've played several games build on advertising a certain product/service and I don't get bothered by it at all: As you mentioned, I am aware it's meant as a commercial, but if gameplay rocks it doesn't really matter what assets they are putting in.

            I just think that AA is taking it one step further and is using the medium as an(excellent) propaganda tool: The thou
        • by witte (681163)
          Hmmm. I think I misunderstood your original post :-)
          My mistake !

          I will read the parent post with more care before replying.
          I will read the parent post with more care before replying.
          I will read the parent post with more care before replying.
          etc.


          Cheers
    • Lame question... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Even if I just want to shoot stuff I can still acknowledge there is room for politics in gaming.

      My own personal opinion is that games are too large of a time commitment to support politics. Sure, if the message is easily ignored and does not affect enjoyment of the game, no problem. But games are longer than movies by a factor of 15x or more, so... If the game is the equivalent of Fahrenheit 9/11, forget it. I'll sit for two hours watching a political movie in order to challenge or reaffirm my own views, bu
  • Shoot stuff. Sorry. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:05PM (#18014866)

    Is there room for politics in gaming, or do you just want to shoot stuff?


    Shoot stuff. Sorry.

    In real life, I'm a left-leaning SOB, but I completely enjoy smacking people over the head with a hammer and jacking their ambulances in GTA. I also enjoy squashing other cultures under my heel in any number of RTS games and generally being a dick in MMORPGs. Do you know why? Of course you do: it's not real.

    Is this new game really political? I'm not sure. Remember in Warcraft III you had all these random "stories" behind why battle 1 is humans vs. humans, battle 2 is humans vs. elves, etc.? I think what this guy's done is similar to that rather than being political.

    If you want political treatment, write a sim where you're an arms contractor and you need to pay off your local congresspeople in a legal or at least hidden way. Or, write a sim where you get send to a base in Cuba with no hope for escape, rescue or legal representation. There's plenty of dirt to really dig into without making up crap about spec.ops. vs. spec.ops.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kabocox (199019)
      If you want political treatment, write a sim where you're an arms contractor and you need to pay off your local congresspeople in a legal or at least hidden way. Or, write a sim where you get send to a base in Cuba with no hope for escape, rescue or legal representation. There's plenty of dirt to really dig into without making up crap about spec.ops. vs. spec.ops.

      Nah, by writing the spec.ops. vs. spec.ops. the general public gets paranoid and thinks of that movie Enemy of the State. When they look for that,
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Shoot stuff. Sorry.

      Does that mean you're opposed to political content in videogames when it doesn't interfere with shooting stuff?

      In real life, I'm a left-leaning SOB, but I completely enjoy smacking people over the head with a hammer and jacking their ambulances in GTA. I also enjoy squashing other cultures under my heel in any number of RTS games and generally being a dick in MMORPGs. Do you know why? Of course you do: it's not real.

      Yeah, werd to that. Like just about everyone else's my girlfriend hate

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by scot4875 (542869)
      generally being a dick in MMORPGs. Do you know why? Of course you do: it's not real.

      Umm, no. Those people you're being a dick to *are* real. You are aware that MMORPGs aren't entirely populated by AI characters, right? Maybe you lack the empathy to understand when you're causing grief to someone who you can't see, but that doesn't make you any less of a tool.

      --Jeremy
  • Guy 1: What a crash.

    Guy 2: Hey! You got political viewpoints in my video game!

    Guy 1: You got video games in my political viewpoint!

    Both: Eeew.

    Really, who cares? Area 51 was about shooting aliens. So the new one is shooting rogue agents. It doesn't matter if it's that or terrorists or what. How many people do you REALLY think this game is going to make stop and think "Wow, our government's actions could have serious implications in the future." It's a simple shoot-em-up. It's not going to happen.

    Get

  • Flashback (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:14PM (#18014980) Homepage Journal
    I for one was hugely offended and disgusted when the mayor told me "My dear Mr. Firefly, we are at war with the SPANISH." [wikipedia.org]
  • Release the game with state-of-the-art graphics, a few unique gameplay elements, and quality online/multiplayer elements and you will be a success.

    99% of the people purchasing this game will not pay attention to (or care about) the politics.
  • by dlhm (739554)
    Has Slashdot really got to the point where we use that "Wonderfully reliable for accuracy" news network MTV? Give me a break. There doesn't need to be politics in video games unless it has an Adult only ESRB rating. We don't want to be indoctrinating our children with a "reason" to kill. I think killing just for killing is good enough.
  • Yes, even though he claims there are some Republicans around the office, there's no doubt where his sympathies lay.

    However, I'd hope that this isn't just a one-sided treatment. It sounds interesting, certainly more thoughtful than killing 1000 more ghosts/vampires/terrorists/bad guys of whatever sort.

    His comment "'Wait, what if they are terrorists we helped create? What if the people supporting us in our fight against the terrorists aren't completely clean either? What if they're sending us after them now,
  • So... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:32PM (#18015200)

    So on American soil, Americans are fighting Americans, basically."

    Ah. A Civil War sim.

  • the logical sequel, has become yet another game industry conquered by Blizzard...
  • Politics and gaming? No, this is more like politics and politics-- the near-forgotten scandals of Reagan's Iran-Contra shenanigans, mated to more recent rumblings about class-based conflicts and paranoid militias. Really, the only thing that this guy's done is replace the usual lousy hodge-podge of space-alien myths with slightly more down-to-earth conspiracy theories.

    You're shooting at American soldiers. Ooh, edgy. It's not like we haven't been gunning virtual marines down since Half-Life.

  • "aliens become poor American citizens put in harm's way."
  • Is there room for politics in gaming, or do you just want to shoot stuff?
    America's Army
    'nuff said?
  • Shooting stuff is fun. If I get to shoot americans, that's even better :p
  • in the first one you are an alien in the 50's fighting traveling across america fighting police, soldiers, and "men in black" agents called majestic. the game is full of sarcasm about how cold war americans in the "golden age" were all secretly gay, or on drugs, or worse.

    in the second one you are an alien in the 60's fighting the KGB for world domination in america, britain, japan, and russia. the game is full of jokes about cultural stereotypes.

    in both games, the governments hate you and want to destroy you, but harvest your technology and stuff to use against you and their enemies.

  • Hasn't Michael Moore been saying that all along? Honestly, this guys sounds like another leftist moonbat to me.
  • I have to say that political or socially conscious messages in video games aren't new. The whole Metal Gear Solid mythos (and Kojima's other games like Zone of the Enders) deal with everything from the threat of nuclear proliferation, to censorship, to the futility and tragedy of war, to how the allies of today can become the enemies of tomorrow and vice versa. Some of the themes are a bit too blatant for my tastes (though that may be a function of the translation from Japanese to Western culture), but I
  • Ultima 6 is a prime example. That fictional universe was probably a prime reason in me becoming pro-multicultural at the time. Looking back on it, the propaganda aspects are obvious.

    All these Gargoyles have invaded Britannia. You start off killing them, encouraged by your king, Lord British. Of course, part way through you discover that they are only coming through to your world because their world is falling into a void and they need you to rectify it. And they aren't evil, they in fact mean you no harm an
  • "... aliens become poor American citizens put in harm's way."

    Is it just me or does this sound like an elaborate excuse?
    (Let's skip making aliens and just release another run-of-the-mill fps...humans killing humans, but we'll call it 'Area 51!!!'
  • and politics in gaming? anyone heard of metal gear solid? sons of liberty?

    oh yeah, this guy is breaking new ground. Not.
  • Previous posts have mentioned that a political spin on a game can make it a propaganda of sorts, and hence, damages the integrity of gaming. But, moral and ethical choices have appeared in games (KOTOR was used as an example) and those too are propaganda. Just because a game says something doesn't make it evil. Someone said earlier that when the game "asks a question" it retains its integrity, but when it tries to "force an answer," it destroys what it set out to do. If games take a more "applicable to

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