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 Apr 11, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
* On Videogame Politics

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
VideoGameReviews has an op-ed on games that have politics embedded. The author takes on some well-known titles that, for lack of a better word, are laced with political statements from one side of the spectrum or the other.

Kevin Parker thinks it's a bad thing:

Political ideas are infiltrating not just the back-stories of games but their "play mechanics" -- the inner workings that shape game behavior. It may be the scripted parts of the games that explicitly state political notions, but what?s ultimately more significant is the way games can communicate doctrine by demonstration, the same way sports communicate physics. As Salon?s Wagner James Au once put it, "Socially minded films and television programs can only dramatize their politics, but we now have a medium where you can interact with them, as an engaged participant." If cinematic spectacle grabs eyeballs, then gameplay grabs minds.
Personally, I don't quite see where he's coming from. At some point, a game needs a premise. Even if you don't quite agree with the premise, settling in and accepting that, for the purposes of the game, the premise is valid, makes a difference in the game's enjoyability. Even if the premise is as lame as "oops, time to go save the princess again."

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