Usually when we talk about video games, we are talking about their gameplay, story and graphics, but another topic that can be talked about is the theme. Games are the way human issues are reflected in them and the ability of games to change our discourse about important human issues.
There is no doubt that video games play an important role in shaping the mindset of future generations. Currently, a large segment of the world is experiencing video games, and this segment will form the next generation. So we must sooner or later learn how to "interpret" video games like literature and cinema to better understand the mentality of generations.
In literature, there are many "readings" of a literary work: Formalist, political, cultural, historical readings, but video games are rarely taken seriously. The purpose of this article is to include such readings.
Before reading the rest of the article, consider a few points:
But propaganda is not the only way governments connect with works of art. Censorship is another aspect of this relationship. For example, the creators of Medal of Honor (2010) were forced to change the name of the Taliban in their game under government pressure.
Governments have a problem, they directly create criticism of it.
But sometimes this relationship is secret. A game may seem neutral at first glance, but there is a political message at its heart. In a sense, given that we are all "political animals", everything we do and everything we build has a political aspect. Thus, a political reading of all games, in all genres, is possible.
Here are ten games whose political theme is public:
10. Tropico Series (Absolute Dictatorship) Platform:
Personal Computers (some titles have been published on consoles) br
/> Year of publication: since 2001
You play the role of such a dictatorship in the Tropico series. (Simcity) was created by PopTop Software. In this game, you play the role of "El Presidente", the dictator of an island in the Caribbean during the Cold War. Your main goal is to maintain your power as much as possible. The humorous atmosphere of the game well illustrates the political tension of such dictatorial regimes, and everything related to such regimes is present in the game. you have. You have the choice to either meet the needs of your people or suppress them. The most likely path to governance is the path taken by all totalitarian regimes: the abuse of the military as a tool of power, coups, fraudulent elections, martial law, and corruption. Even your success at the end of the game is determined by the amount of money you can deposit into your bank account in Switzerland.
Two factors make this game very interesting. The first factor is its humor and the second factor is its realism. It is quite clear that the creators of the game had a good understanding of the concept of dictatorship.
Perhaps nothing introduces us to corrupt dictators as much as playing the role of a corrupt dictator. It can be claimed that this is what the game is trying to do: show the mechanism of these dictatorships step by step.
9. Bioshock 1 & 2 ( Bioshock 1 & 2 )/Goodwill Dictatorship
Platform: PCs, Xbox 360 and Xbox One , PlayStation 3 and 5,
Release Year: 2007 (BioShock), 2010 (BioShock 2)
But evil dictators who only seek power are not the main danger. The most horrible tyrants in history are those who follow ideology and sincerely believe that they are telling the truth and fighting on the right side. They also have a key that opens all the doors: it justifies the purpose of the device. These people have both the immorality of bad people and the self-confidence of good people. Hitler was such a dictatorship. He had a vision for the future. Stalin sincerely believed that his work would eventually make the world a better place. Al-Qaeda members think that they are God's chosen fighters. As you can see, these types of dictators are just as dangerous as the previous ones. Andrew Ryan and Sofia Lamb, the villains of BioShock 1 and BioShock 2, are similar. Both are well-meaning people. Ryan intends to free the people from the tyranny of God, the state, and other state institutions, and to establish the rule of reason and logic, and to ensure that everyone is paid only according to their hard work and effort. Sophia Lamb has only one goal: to make everyone happy. Their goal seems noble and sublime.
Unfortunately, the problem of these two dictators and their cult of personality and destructive effects is not their intention; It is their work. In order to achieve his goal, Ryan turns the rapper into a nightmare city, and Lamb harasses the children. They both do terrible things. After all, they are more filthy than all the dictators in the Tropico series.
These two games show how right-wing goals make you more filthy, especially when you are in power. Power can corrupt even the happiest people.
So we can interpret these two games from this political perspective. These two games depict the process of turning a person into a dictator with exemplary accuracy.
8. The Political Machine ( The Political Machine )/Elections
Platform: Personal Computers
Release Year: 2004
Let's move the issue from dictatorship to democracy. Many countries prefer to allow people to choose their own leader so that they do not face the problems of tyranny. Although democracy is a better way to govern, it also has its problems. One of the problems is that the election, which is supposed to be a way to elect the next leader of the country, can be turned into a game. A game like a political machine.
I have seldom seen games that simulate a phenomenon so accurately. In this game, you have to choose one of the big American parties and launch a campaign to win the election and become the president of the United States. In this game, you have to set up advertising centers, give lectures, hire logistics staff and attract the positive opinion of important groups. If you do all this right, you will win the election.
What makes the game interesting is that you can use dirty tricks to win. Dirty tricks, but not illegal; For example, you can personally attack your opponent. The interesting thing is that after a while you realize that your success depends on the money you spend. Therefore, budget management is one of the main mechanisms of the game. You do not need to manage your opinions or positions; Things to manage are your budget, consultants and buildings. Your success depends on how you present yourself. So elections seem shallow in the game, because success depends only on imagery, money and resource management, not on political and managerial ideas.
Everything revolves around Real Politik. Even when you are lecturing, it does not take long for you to learn to avoid talking about controversial topics and to talk about general issues such as "improving the economy" that everyone can relate to.
This simulation game Simple but strong satire is one of the weaknesses of one of the greatest achievements of humanity, namely democracy.
7. Civilization Series ( Sid Meier's Civilization )/Diplomacy
Platform: Personal Computers (and Many Other Platforms)
Year of Publication : 1991 to date
A series of civilizations consisting of games It is a complex that simulates many political elements. In this game, you do not need to use diplomacy. In fact, you can wage war left and right and block the path of diplomacy to your rivals. But for now, let's focus on one aspect: diplomacy. Because despite the fact that diplomacy exists in many games, it has been used in the best way in the series of civilizations. It turned out to be a dirty game. When the victorious nations of World War I laid the foundations of an institution that eventually became the United Nations, they had other goals in mind. The goal of people like Woodrow Wilson, the then President of the United States, was to create brotherhood between nations, to make peace and to solve problems through dialogue and agreement, not violence and war.
But if the documents are to be published Government Secrets We have learned a lesson from WikiLeaks, which is that diplomacy as an ideal differs from its manifestations in reality. In real-world diplomacy, secret agreements and money laundering come first and last. Ultimately, the motivation behind the individual and collective activities of human beings is money.
Diplomacy has a similar effect in this game. The goal of the game is to cultivate a civilization from its inception and write its history as you wish. In this way, you can choose the way of interacting with neighboring civilizations. One of these ways is war.
The following are factors to consider:
As you can see, this game is an accurate illustration of the mechanism of diplomacy in today's world.
6. Fable III ( Fable III )/Revolution
Platform: Xbox 360 and PCs
Release Year: 2010 p>
Well, instead of government issues, let Focus on people's issues. The issue I want to talk about in this entry is revolution, that is, the attempt by the people to overthrow the system of power.
One of the titles of the twentieth century is revolutions. This is a worthy title, because many revolutions took place in this century. The first great revolution of the century was the Russian Red Revolution in 1917, led by Vladimir Lenin, a follower of the communist school, and the last great revolution of the century was the Iranian revolution in 1979, led by Imam Khomeini. Almost all twentieth-century revolutions were left-wing revolutions aimed at challenging the domination of the superpowers of the time. However, their success depended on one factor: what the leaders of the revolution did after taking power.
Unfortunately, revolutions have great potential because of their chaotic and uncontrollable nature. To become dictatorships worse than what they were fighting. The question is: what decision will those who are in power after the revolution make? Do they limit the power of the people and commit crimes? Does their language change from the discourse of the people to the discourse of power? The French Revolution, the first modern revolution in human history, finally failed. This revolution led to the Reign of Terror and later to Napoleon's tyranny. Lenin himself was a hard-hearted dictator, but his successor Stalin made the tsar of the previous regime look like a saint compared to him. Other failed revolutions include the Castro Revolution in Cuba and the Mao Revolution in China. But what about the successful revolutions? A successful revolution is one in which revolutionaries do not forget the ideals for which they revolutionized and their corrupt power. One successful example of this is George Washington, who, according to the beautiful description of the Atlantic monthly, "defeated a king, but refused to take his place." Other successful revolutionaries include Mandela in South Africa, Lech Walesa in Poland, and Kim Dae-jung in South Korea. In this game you have to overthrow the king of Albion. You do this by uniting and attracting support for your movement. But the game does not end with the overthrow of King Albion. When a revolution succeeds, you become a king. After gaining the helm of power, you are faced with a choice: to become a good or bad ruler; Remembering your ideals or letting power corrupt you.
For example, you can use your treasury for your own benefit or to help others. You can do justice or do injustice.
The examples are so clear that they do not need to be explained. The strength of the game is that it does not end after the shallow point of "achieving victory" and continues the narrative line in a realistic way to show you what you do with the power you have gained. From this point of view, this game adequately deals with one of the most important historical events for any country.
5. Freedom Fighters ( Freedom Fighters )/Armed Resistance
Platform: PCs, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox
Year Published: 2003
Continuing our talk about revolutions , An important point should be noted: how to resist evil governments? Gandhi's answer to this question was peaceful resistance. But implementing this idea in video games is difficult and requires creativity. So video games have shown interest in the point against Gandhi: Che Guevara, who chose the path of armed resistance. In fact, there is a game named after people like Che Guevara: Freedom Fighters.
This game takes place in a parallel history in which the Soviet Union wins World War II and saves the world from the Nazis. Dad, not Americans (of course, every non-American knows this is the historical truth, but this game is made for an American audience). Now the Soviet Union has become the world's first superpower, and the evil communists have invaded the United States.
The main protagonists of the game are two pipelines. So these two are not only Mario's colleagues (!), But also ordinary citizens. This game is not about professional armies and trained mercenaries, but the heroes of those ordinary citizens who take up arms and fight for the victory of their movement. In this sense, the game is an accurate depiction of armed resistance in history: such as the French resistance to the Nazis, the overthrow of the Cuban regime by the people, and
the main character of the game, in addition to patriotism, personal motivations for resistance Yes: His friends have been arrested. From a simple pipeline, he rises to become the leader of a guerrilla resistance group dubbed the Freedom Phantom by the media. People and their reaction to this issue is accurate. The game also depicts the lives of people caught up in armed conflict and the impact of the political situation on their lives and relationships is great.
Freedom fighters are great games that are not given enough attention; This game can be examined both from a political perspective and from the perspective of the personal life of its characters.
4. Mirror's Edge ( Mirror's Edge )/Peaceful Resistance
Platform: PCs, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Year : 2008
Mirror Edge Closest Illustration of Resistance Peaceful in video games. Of course I know what you are thinking. In this game, you kill the cops! You killed everyone! I know this, but at the same time, the main type of resistance in this game is non-violent, and the violence that the main character uses is to defend himself. !
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