Lately, leftists have been railing against the scourge of video games. According to them, playing with pixels is responsible for many of society’s ills. Take this op-ed from The Guardian for example. This monumental dunce is claiming your Xbox is at risk of turning your kiddos into Republicans. Yeah, for reals.
It’s not simply that many gamers are right wing, or that the right recruits gamers, but that the logic and pleasure of gaming itself has served and continues to serve the political right.
Rightwing ideologies have been overrepresented and dominant throughout the history of video games. Although affected by context, video games have long focused on the expulsion of “aliens” (Space Invaders to XCOM), fear of impure infection (Half-Life to The Last of Us), border control (Missile Commander to Plants vs Zombies), territory acquisition (Command & Conquer to Splatoon), empire building (Civilization to Tropico), princess recovery (Mario to Zelda), and restoration of natural harmony (Sonic to FarmVille).
Yeah, you read that right. Braining synthetic zombies, saving pixelated princesses, and planting virtual vegetables are “problematic.”
It used to be social conservatives who were anti-gamer. They thought Grand Theft Auto turns kiddos into sociopaths who steal Ferraris and run prostitutes over to reclaim their money. Now, things are flipping and leftists are the ones who think we need to crack down on video games.
I don’t see what the problem is with these “right-wing” ideologies. Planting corn in FarmVille promotes industriousness and self-employment. Repelling waves of Covenant hordes in Halo promotes taking a stand for your fellow Earthlings. Mario promotes curb-stomping evil turtles and getting the girl. If those are “right-wing” values, consider me the rightest of the right.
You know leftism is reaching peak stupidity when being a hero and saving the day is a no bueno. I’m trying to picture what a leftist’s ideal video game would feature. I imagine a character creator with 64 genders would be a must. Also, no winners or losers, because that would promote values like meritocracy and capitalism. Sounds lame.
I think we’ll stick with stomping the turtles.