Well, ever since a mysterious year where we allowed the rest of the planet to finally make their way onto the internet, and Supervisor Boris from the Abandoned Borscht Factory could beam the political propaganda into their brains with Facebook, the whole world has gone absolutely fucking crazy.
And in the process of doing this, we have managed to politicize just about every single thing imaginable. We’ve politicized sporting leagues, clothing lines, shoes, restaurants,
With each and every one of these non-issues comes a series of talking points that essentially amount to two sides of the internet coming together and furiously scribbling arguments that respond to the other side’s argument.
And yes, on the way there, we’ve politicized certain videogames, because the feminists want to ban the lolis who wear the boob armor in order to hide their flat chests, and the Nazis are very upset that videogames portray them as monsters who are willing to dehumanize their enemies on the way to murdering them, and then badass mothefuckin’ games like The New Order let you return the favor.
And you can imagine that right now, in your head, I bet you’re screaming about false equivalences, mocking the notion that “both sides are bad”, and can you hear your brain going to war? How easy it was to get you riled up with the most superficial commentary possible?
And what you may have noticed is that most of the things which become imagined political stories are UTTERLY IRRELEVANT. Most politics are merely human interest stories that tap into the long-standing biology of human beings that you cannot blame nature for your mistakes, but you CAN blame other human beings, because socialization is a means to mobility and resources.
The idea of blaming nature is so foreign to us, that even when we create incredible stresses on human beings through roughly five centuries of technological progress, we force them to compete on global leaderboards, we make them sit at desks to earn their keep, we make everyone fat by creating massive cities that require automobiles, we still channel that stress into various politicians, groups, genders, races, etc.
It’s how the most popular sporting league in a country of allegedly rugged individualists who value personal responsibility over all others turns to the football league that diminishes individual accomplishment, dehumanizes the individuals, and seeks out an inherently socialist structure that allows any team to have a chance at the beginning of the year and any team to have a chance on “Any Given Sunday”.
So no matter how many different people try to ban the lolis who wear the boob armor to hide their flat chests, videogames still remain a place where people let their guard down, a place where you can truly see an individual’s psychology in motion, see what drives them, see what they’re willing to pursue and for what reason.
Hell, it’s part of the reason that videogames became so stupidly popular, especially with the youngin’s. Because in a society where the individual is helpless against many of the forces that define his life, videogames have become one of the few places that an individual feels he actually has some diction and agency within his life, even if it is fake and digital and imagined.
It’s gotten so bad that there are individuals out there who would rather do tedious labor inside of a digital world instead of the real one, because they find the digital labor to be more convenient and rewarding. But why I bring up the laning phase in Dota 2, I have no idea, so nevermind that.
It’s kind of how you read reviews from movie critics, and with every passing review, you get a better and a better idea of what kinds of movies that critic likes, and enjoys, and what his idea of the best possible movie is, whether he loves loud and expensive movies with lots of blood, or they love pretentious arthouse bullshit for children.
But videogames go a step deeper because you’re an active participant in the proceedings and the goal of any good videogame is to convince the player that the actions and goals on the screen are something worth participating in, which requires videogame creators to understand the psychology of their players and present their content in a way that makes them want to keep going.
I mean, if you’ve been reading my writing long enough — and I pity anyone who has actually read this fuckin’ site — you should have been able to figure out what kind of personality I champion simply from the kinds of games that I play, the complex first-person shooters and the real-time strategy games and leading on to the multi-genre games that require genre-bending skillsets, all favoring the idea that the individual — or one individual managing a small team of personalities — is the king.
And in having run the Learn to Counter community, which qualified for tax benefits when I successfully argued in court that it was a daycare facility, you can very much see the varying personalities going to war with each other, individuals with strong drives operating on functionally different wavelengths, all arguing their own idea of what makes different videogames fun and immersive, to absolutely no avail.