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Have you ever stopped playing a game you were really enjoying because of its politics?


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1 minute ago, Thor said:

Would this qualify as politics? In my brief stint as a reviewer for Gamestyle. I naively offered to review Omega Quintet on PS4 (much to @bradigor's amusement). It contains japanime styled overt sexualisation and objectification of young teenage girls. I called the game out for it in my review, and no I did not finish the game, because it was just so so bad. However I did play more than enough to judge it fairly.

 

If you look the game up on metacritic the snip from my review is still there, but the link doesn't work anymore. The review attracted comments from, let's say a certain set of individuals, who took offence at my review. :lol:

 

I stopped playing Bayonetta for similar reasons, I just felt embarrassed while playing it, to the point I felt I couldn't continue. 

 

Could you review Senran Kagura for me? Seems like a top (heavy) game.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/502800/SENRAN_KAGURA_ESTIVAL_VERSUS/

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I played MGSV recently and stopped playing, number one because the story was absolute shit and Quiet, the way she was dressed and the explanation why is fucking awful and then the straw that broke the camels back was when I got back to base and had a cutscene where I had a shower with Quiet and a bunch of soldiers in the background were saying stuff like "oh you're a nasty girl", that was pretty fucking awful and made me closer it down and uninstall it right away.

 

Spec ops: The Line, is another game I put down but it feels a lot like that was their intention and I did go back and finish it later on.

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14 minutes ago, Thor said:

Would this qualify as politics? In my brief stint as a reviewer for Gamestyle I naively offered to review Omega Quintet on PS4 (much to @bradigor's amusement). It contains japanime styled overt sexualisation and objectification of young teenage girls. I called the game out for it in my review, and no I did not finish the game, because it was just so so bad. However I did play more than enough to judge it fairly.

 

If you look the game up on metacritic the snip from my review is still there, but the link doesn't work anymore. The review attracted comments from, let's say a certain set of individuals, who took offence at my review. :lol:

 

I stopped playing Bayonetta for similar reasons, I just felt embarrassed while playing it, to the point I felt I couldn't continue. 

 

 

I remember that review. I used to do a lot of those god awful Hyperdimension Neptunia reviews for GS which were the same creepy anime bullshit. The fans of those types of games were the same ones who moaned when Mortal Kombat characters no longer wore outfits with their tits hanging out.

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I didn't bother with Kingdom Come after the director's racist/sexist nonsense that seemed to be invading the game, although that was an easy game to ignore. The same went for Ion Fury.

 

I can't think of a time I actually stopped playing a game for this reason though, although I can't think of anything I've played that was quite so offensive.

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I’m playing Wildlands off and on right now and my enthusiasm is petering out. Yeah, cartels do some heinous shit but most of the people you’re wasting with sniper rifles, mortar fire, and hand grenades are poverty-stricken and desperate, living in a country where education and infrastructure are quite poor. Most of the people who work for and with the cartels do so out of necessity and/ or threat of execution of them and their families so Uncle Sam raining death on a cartel camp is really rubbing me the wrong way, especially given the CIA and DEA’s sordid history in S and C America.

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Haha yeah, that's another one, and a game that got slammed in reviews for it. Personally, although I 100% agree with what you're saying and, I never got tired of being an arrogant spec ops jarhead dispatching cartel goons without a moment's hesitation. The fact that the Ghosts themselves are so utterly unlike me, and they totally believe in their ooh-rah mission, I never got the ludonarrative dissonance that I may have were I encouraged to sympathise more with my avatar. I can just guiltily immerse myself in the gun-nut fantasy.

 

EDIT: there are even bits where you drive past poor locals strung up and mutilated by the cartel, and your man comments that it's revenge for the Ghosts' actions. Rather than any introspection, someone else on the team just says "fuckers" and on you drive.

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I do wonder if I've just normalised a lot of clearly problematic politics in games - and in films - because it's been that way the whole time I've been playing. Plenty of first person shooters that place you as a soldier for a western power shooting whoever is the enemy du jour at the time of the game's release. Politics where I'm happy to criticise the actions of the state when they do it for real, but in a game I'm more inclined to shrug and get on with it. Or games like Uncharted or Tomb Raider where western protagonists waltz into exotic environments to discover relics steal things while equally western bad guys try to do the same, and native inhabitants of those exotic environments - so often depicted as primitive - get caught up in the crossfire.

 

I'm less inclined to see my historic position as "it's only a game, it's ok", but rather closer to "it's a problem and I don't really care", which then leads me to think about it a bit more. I think in those cases through it's more important to call the creators out on likely unintentional, equally normalised attitudes rather than silently decide to not participate.

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I’ve not stopped playing a game for solely thematic reasons but I’ve either not bothered buying one or it’s contributed to my eventually losing interest in mediocrity. Few big franchises with good gameplay have strongly regressive themes anyway.
 

In terms of franchises I’ve not bothered with, I’ve only played one CoD. I got it for free with my PS4, it was the space one and I kept waiting for a “we are the real baddies” twist in the story about your obviously proto-fascist space army crushing an outer planets rebellion but it never came. Oof. At least that was short and full of good action.

 

The middle third of Bioshock Infinite with its quickly thrown together and rapidly forgotten “both sides” crap alongside generic arena battles also came close.

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Just now, Alex W. said:

In terms of franchises I’ve not bothered with, I’ve only played one CoD. I got it for free with my PS4, it was the space one and I kept waiting for a “we are the real baddies” twist in the story about your obviously proto-fascist space army crushing an outer planets rebellion but it never came. Oof.

 

:lol:

 

That's a good one. I played my first Call of Duty since Modern Warfare 2 earlier this year and it's the very definition of a guilty pleasure. Exploitative, sensationalist, right-wing gun-porn, and great fun with it.

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I guess to answer the question of whether you should play a game that’s politically dreadful, there’s no harm in exploring trash with a critical mind if you have the stamina for it. God knows I’ve finished plenty of truly terrible books out of a sense of intellectual integrity.

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I aggressively pursued unlocking Quiet's XOF uniform, so I wouldn't be embarrassed about adding her to my loadout. Then never found her useful anyway :(

 

Xofoutfit.jpg?width=1920

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If I can get on my soap box about Bioshock Infinite for a second, the fact that the game’s designers could basically say “well, the oppressed underclass of largely black working class people could take control from the privileged whites, but they’d surely kill the intellectual class and society would collapse because those people don’t know how to run things”, and nobody batted an eyelid, says a lot about how little attention people were paying to its story.

 

I doubt the designers meant to say that but that’s what they wound up shipping.

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2 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

It wasn't a conscious decision as such not to play it but I was put off MGS5 by the whole Quiet thing. I don't know if it was a political decision exactly, and I certainly don't think I was offended or that it was a "snowflake" response. I just like my story-driven games to have good, well thought-out characters and storylines, and thought that if that stupid sounding crap was typical of the rest of the game, I'd probably rather spend my time on other things. 

 

Ironically, with the exception of how she's dressed, Quiet is probably the only truly interesting character in the game. That's possibly because she doesn't have to say lines like "the wolbachhia is responsible for the vocal chord parasites that allowed this proxy war against Zero".

 

Kojima is my favourite problematic fave. He will create an amazing character then get completely derailed to put them in some Benny Hill soft porn sex comedy nonsense, because he has no separation between high and low art.

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25 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

Kojima is my favourite problematic fave. He will create an amazing character then get completely derailed to put them in some Benny Hill soft porn sex comedy nonsense, because he has no separation between high and low art.

 

Hold R1 during the cutscene for a first-person view of EVA's cleavage from Snake's POV! :eyebrows:

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1 minute ago, Nick R said:

 

Hold R1 during the cutscene for a first-person view of EVA's cleavage from Snake's POV! :eyebrows:

At least Kojima was consistent: Solid Snake is largely an asexual paragon of virtue who is terrible with the ladies, whereas Big Boss was a thirsty old fucker running about rubbing his knees whenever he saw a bit of exposed ankle meat.

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2 minutes ago, Floshenbarnical said:

Or spin her around in the Med screen and watch her tits jiggle, and then she throws up from dizziness when you unpause

I dread to think how many fetishes Kojima is responsible for. I bet there's someone out there who can only cum if their partner puts on cowboy boots, a fake moustache, and shouts "LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES" at them at the moment of climax.

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3 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

I dread to think how many fetishes Kojima is responsible for. I bet there's someone out there who can only cum if their partner puts on cowboy boots, a fake moustache, and shouts "LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES" at them.

 

Just reading it gives me a semi tbf.

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About a year ago, the 2010 game Comic Jumper turned up on Games With Gold. In the mood for a twin-stick platform shooter that I could blast through for some quick Achievements, I played through it. At first it seemed like it might be quite fun, with stuff like the special attack where FMV footage of the developers punching and head-butting the screen (which becomes a lot less amusing when you realise it plays exactly the same over-long clip every time).

 

About halfway through, there's a level based on Silver Age '60s comics. The villain of the level is a man-hating Straw Feminist, who the main character treats about as well as he treats all the other women in the game.

 

And then this character turns up:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KGj6Umh3Mc#t=46m48s

 

lejLQNu.png

 

 

They play it off as "Haha, isn't it messed up how old comics of the '60s didn't allow swearing but were really sexist and racist? Isn't it great that we know better now? Don't take offence; we're pointing it out, which makes it into clever, ironic SATIRE!"

 

 

gfxuSyo.png

 

 

But as in the recent Little Britain/Bo Selecta threads, when you go that far in making an exaggerated racist character, inviting us to "Laugh at this, but in an ironic way, not in the face-value way people would have done decades ago!" doesn't really make it any less racist.

 

After that, I did continue playing through it to the end, but I wish I hadn't bothered. Not just because almost all of its attempts at comedy missed, but because the gameplay was clunky and frustrating.

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3 hours ago, Mogster said:

I didn't bother with Kingdom Come after the director's racist/sexist nonsense that seemed to be invading the game, although that was an easy game to ignore. The same went for Ion Fury.

 

 

 

Yep, Ion Fury is what sprung to mind for me too. Looks like it could be a lot of fun, but is a complete no go as a the developers are homophobic arseholes (who are so brazen about it, they've even put slurs in the actual fucking game) 

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4 hours ago, Thor said:

Would this qualify as politics? In my brief stint as a reviewer for Gamestyle I naively offered to review Omega Quintet on PS4 (much to @bradigor's amusement). It contains japanime styled overt sexualisation and objectification of young teenage girls. I called the game out for it in my review, and no I did not finish the game, because it was just so so bad. However I did play more than enough to judge it fairly.

 

If you look the game up on metacritic the snip from my review is still there, but the link doesn't work anymore. The review attracted comments from, let's say a certain set of individuals, who took offence at my review. :lol:

 

I stopped playing Bayonetta for similar reasons, I just felt embarrassed while playing it, to the point I felt I couldn't continue. 

 

 

Oh yes... this one!

https://web.archive.org/web/20150701010221/http://gamestyle.com/review/omega-quintet-review/

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5 hours ago, CarloOos said:

I mean, can you name any genuinely left-leaning action films? They're nearly all about trigger happy cops or former military operatives who are invariably proved right about their paranoias and suspicions. Even in a film as aggressively populist as Elysium the protagonist was a selfish dickhead.

 

Robocop and Starship Troopers leap to mind, through the medium of satire.

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If I was aware that a game or film was peddling right/centrist ideology, or was trying to undermine progressive movements, it’s straight in the bin.

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3 hours ago, Alex W. said:

If I can get on my soap box about Bioshock Infinite for a second, the fact that the game’s designers could basically say “well, the oppressed underclass of largely black working class people could take control from the privileged whites, but they’d surely kill the intellectual class and society would collapse because those people don’t know how to run things”, and nobody batted an eyelid, says a lot about how little attention people were paying to its story.

 

I doubt the designers meant to say that but that’s what they wound up shipping.

I had no idea what was going on at that point of the game

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8 hours ago, Bobby Digihill said:

Borderlands 2 is a rare example for me. I'll say I expected to drop it pretty quickly, but some of the first enemies are called Bullymongs & Midgets, so didn't get further than that.

 

Yeah I started playing one of the Borderlands games, came across a character called a something-mong (probably the one you mention; no idea if there are more) and felt pretty fucked off by it. 

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6 hours ago, Alex W. said:

If I can get on my soap box about Bioshock Infinite for a second, the fact that the game’s designers could basically say “well, the oppressed underclass of largely black working class people could take control from the privileged whites, but they’d surely kill the intellectual class and society would collapse because those people don’t know how to run things”, and nobody batted an eyelid, says a lot about how little attention people were paying to its story.


I think this is the main thing, for all the big publishers desperation to make art that is powerful, they’re also terrified of politics in case some of their audience do exactly what this thread is about. It’s obviously working too, because we have a lot of discussion here about the power of the experiences these games can give us, and we’re all here admitting that we rarely actually avoid buying things. Because at least some of the time, we’re just ignoring the story anyway. 
 

Much like other people, I can’t ever remember stopping playing a game because it was offensive. I’ve definitely felt uncomfortable and angry about regressive bullshit in my games, but if I’m enjoying the game I keep playing. I think I also feel that games are so bad at telling stories that it’s harder to feel like it’s a real problem, because surely nobody is actually bothering to listen to a story told as badly as games generally tell them. 
 

I think it also contributes to me not buying things more. Obviously I’m not buying COD, but that’s easy because as well as being a racist right wing wank fantasy it’s also the single most boring, generic looking series of games I can imagine. Kingdom Come deliverance was harder because it’s exactly my type of game and I was desperate to play it, but the developers are shitty people and the game literally features their racist shite, so I guess that’s the closest. 
 

Nostalgia plays a part too. There’s things I find problematic now that I am deeply attached to as I’ve been playing (or reading or watching) them for most of my life, and love the worlds and narratives and creators. There, it’s really hard to avoid indulging in things that make me feel really safe and comfortable. 

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I didn't get past the Dragon Quest XI demo because I couldnt be arsed with playing a game that has a tag along girl created to be useless as per the norms of RPGs. The combat felt a bit tired to me in any case.

 

Most FPS games based in "real world" do nothing for me really. Enjoyed CoD: MW and BF up to 4 but have recently felt them all to be so tiresome.

 

Which CoD makes you play the terrorists at the start in the airport? Felt a bit pointless to me. At the time and reeked of trying too hard to cause a sensation.

 

GTA V turned me off completely too.

 

Whilst I'm in a roll - Although not a game but the treatment of Slytherin in the final Harry Potter films/books was fairly bloody shite too.

 

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