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In Games, How Political Is Too Political?

By / 03.08.12

Kotaku has a feature today about a new enemy in “Bioshock: Infinite”, a Motorized Patriot. It’s a robot George Washington, with a machine gun. And you blow its face off. Fox News is probably already prepping cameras and hiring Jack Thompson as we speak.

The “Bioshock” franchise has been a lot of things, but none of those things are “subtle”. The first game was, and fairly deliberately, a condemnation of extreme right-wing ideology, followed up by a condemnation of extreme left-wing ideology in the sequel.

Now in the third one we’ve got angry Communists running around fighting racist corporate fat-cats in a city that’s supposed to represent the American Ideal, but something has gone terribly wrong. Let’s not even pretend this game doesn’t end with Columbia falling out of the sky; that’s a symbol too good for any writer to pass up. And this game is streeting on the eve of an election that’s been contentious as both parties have supposedly gone further to the left and right.

What do you think? Is this a clever analogy for a contentious couple of years? Is it just a game and we’re reading too much into it? Or do you think Irrational, and other game companies, should stay out of the political arena altogether?

image courtesy Irrational


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