Th3 Unlikely Affair of Politics and Video Games

Game Reviews have become Political Propganada (Part 2):

I follow a few gaming channels on Youtube and one particular channel inspired me to shed light on a topic that I believe as a gamer is very important. Upper echelon gaming created a 2 part video on how  some game reviews have gone from being informative pieces of content used to help fellow gamers gauge on if games are worth purchasing or playing; to now in some case being used to further propagate political opinions of either the liberal left or conservative right. In the second portion of the video he highlights some major media content creators who practice this kind of reviewing and informs users to use multiple sources of game reviews when trying to make an educated decision. As politics have become more of a talking point in today’s society I believe we should be able to draw a line as to when politics is allowed to influence our consumption decisions. Personally and I don’t speak for all gamers, I look for games to be a relaxing experience (unless you’re raging at the camper in call of duty who has killed you multiple times despite your attempts to lure them out of their camping spot) that allows me to unwind from the daily grind of work and the stresses that comes with life as you grow older and try to establish yourself. It is meant to be a fun activity where a combination of story and gameplay make for an interactive experience to not only entertain but in some cases challenge myself to workout different scenarios to find the optimal strategy to complete the task at hand. I’m not looking for the games I play to provide me with opinions as to which political party I should be aligning myself with and demonizing.

The increased blurred lines of game reviews utilizing political propaganda to create buzz and almost click bait articles needs to stop. The example brought up in the video was Far Cry 5 which is an open-world shooter role playing game created by Ubisoft which was released on March 27th, 2018. Some reviewers were upset at the fact the game did not provide a clear enough position on the political stance the game was taking given the similarities to the antagonist of the games motivation to “make hope county great again” to the real life political climate within the United States. If game reviewers are going to give games a less favorable score due to these kinds of factors and not properly critique the gameplay aspect which is usually what most gamers are looking for, game reviews from major media outlets are going to be even less credible sources of providing consumers with opinions on how well made and enjoyable a game is to play. Though I get that people who are much more inclined and knowledgeable when it comes to politics do also enjoy playing video games, but I do not believe that should be the focus on determining on if a game is playable or not. If the core mechanics of the game has influence on your real world political alliance, I personally do not see why these types of ideals cannot be separated from the work of video game developers. I’m sure even within the video game industry the people who make up the various video game studios have people with differing political stances and if they can collaborate to create the game without blatantly injecting their biases into the game, I don’t see why we as consumers cannot do the same thing.

To wrap up, I believe when reviews are created with skewed biases due to political stances as a gamer we are not being provided an objective viewpoint on how I might enjoy the game. Your ability to make political implications as to how the story of the game works should not hinder or heighten your viewpoint on how entertaining and enjoyable the game will be for other consumers given that the objective of the review should be to help other consumers of video games make better decisions as to if this is a game they will enjoy based on your playthrough of the game itself. But for continued dialogue, do you believe video games and video game reviews have a responsibility in educating and voicing political discussions given the political climate we are in? I would also like to provide a disclaimer that the original inspiration for this came from the upper echelon gaming channel on YouTube (Source material at the top of the page). As well as provide a thank you and recommendation to subscribe to his channel as he provides very interesting and up to date information on trends and stories going on in the gaming industry.

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