It can often feel as though some people who like video games want to have it both ways: They want games to be taken seriously and acknowledged as an exciting artistic medium, but the moment someone critiques a game’s politics they respond, as if cued by an invisible conductor: “It’s just a game! Stop taking it so seriously!”
It’s a conflict that’s likely familiar to anyone who cares about and engages in the broader video game discussion. And while most of us have figured out the fallacy evidenced by those two incompatible mindsets — heck, we’ve argued similar points here, from time to time — I still liked this video from Errant Signal video essayist Christopher Franklin breaking it all down.
In the video, he looks at the disconnect that still runs through the core of a lot of mainstream games discussion while rightly pointing out how politics already infuse a ton of mainstream games, from BioShock Infinite and GTA V to Civilisation and SimCity. It’s a useful encapsulation of the issue, particularly for those who might not be as familiar with it as those of us who hunker down in the rhetorical trenches every day.