A Game Where You Go Bowling For Fascists

A Game Where You Go Bowling For Fascists

It’s been a few weeks since we saw inexplicably famous white nationalist Richard Spencer punched in the face, and the world has only gotten stranger. Luckily, games are an excellent outlet to explore the world around us. Handväska! is a silly response to the rise of modern fascism.

Handväska! was made as part of the 2017 Global Game Jam. It was inspired by the 1985 photo of Danuta Danielsson swatting a Nordic Reich supporter in the head with her purse. Danielsson was a Polish Jew whose mother died in a concentration camp during World War Two. It’s a serious source of inspiration considering Handväska’s comedic tone.

The game is simple enough. Line yourself up and charge towards a blocky group of fascists. With enough speed and a powerful swat of your purse, you’ll send them tumbling into the air in a dazzling display. It’s a game that you play in bursts, a sort of digital stress ball for the current, dire zeitgeist.

It’s definitely healthy to use games as an escape from the world from time to time. To enter into a less political sphere where you slay demons, kiss aliens or cruise the countryside. Handväska! leans in the other direction, wearing politics on its sleeve and turning real anxieties into a cartoonish but cathartic experience.

Even small gestures like this help express how powerful games can be for confronting dangerous realities. Handväska! is silly and brash. It’s a reminder to find some humour in the day to day messiness around us and a great example of how politics don’t always have to be depressing.


  • Still waiting on the game where you have to remove fascists who use threats of violence to prevent you from speaking.

    • AHAHA or one where you oppress a gay immigrant Jew and get upset because some one has a hat saying “make bitcoins great again”.

    • I’m pretty sure those are Hillary supporters defending Shia Labeoufs art project while burning a Muslim immigrants limousine service as they trash predominantly Democrat Washington……

      But remember they are the smart ones… chuckle

    • I forgot that nowadays we should be tolerant of intolerance.

      Not saying that what some of the protesters are doing is right but this guy is a close minded bigot that thrives on controversy to further his and the extreme/alt right agenda (note that I said some because they will be in the minority, they might not even be a part of the protest just jumping on the bandwagon to create wanton destruction without the threat of repercussions). I don’t feel like universities that typically promote progressive thinking should be required to give this guy a platform.

      • “I don’t agree with what you say but I’ll defend til death your right to say it” is a pretty old saying I think.

        • I love that quote, it is very powerful. However, there’s a part of the quote that people who misuse or misunderstand the quote usually miss: The part where it says “defend til death”, implying that there are causes worth fighting and dying for… against causes that are not worth fighting and dying for, such as the people who would take from us our right to express ourselves, as per the intention of the quote.

          Now, if you have someone not only saying, but in fact, indoctrinating other people to take away from a group of people the right not only to express themselves but also the right to live… who should you be fighting for? Those guys’ right to say what they want, or their intended victims right to live without fear of persecution?

          • The point here more being that it’s hardly a “nowadays” phenomenon.

            The speaker of the quote is not saying that he is intends to cause death of his opposition through defending, but that he will continue to defend until such defence brings about his own death. But nobody was ever talked to death. The only way the speaker of the quote would have been killed in his defending would have to be at the hands of the opposition, and if the opposition never raises a hand against him then he does not have to die. Also, the key word in the quote is defend. Not “fight”, and even then fight does not have to mean physical violence.

            In all these various clips going around I have seen people just innocently standing on the street talking when suddenly someone flies in from the side and punches them in the face, or douses them with pepper spray, or sets their fucking hair on fire. I don’t know about you but I find that kind of unprovoked behaviour to be absolutely disgusting, I don’t care who you are or what you think you’re standing up for, and cannot fathom how anyone could advocate for that at all. We hammer into our children that they need to use their words and not their fists, but apparently grown adults are incapable of grasping such concepts.

          • I /do/ find the behaviour deplorable and offensive in general. I am not advocating for it. I would not do it myself, I would not suggest it to anybody and if a friend told me they were considering doing it, I’d do my best to dissuade them.

            However, this is a thing that already happened. And it happened to, arguably, one of the people in the world who’d deserve such treatment. The thing about that punch is how it went viral in a comedic fashion. It became instantly a meme which is fascinating since the alt-right intently uses memes to mock and undermine their opposition. If the thing had gone almost unnoticed, a footnote on a newspaper: “bystander gets randomly bashed by a masked stranger”, I’d perhaps go “what’s the world coming to!?” But since this was “previously untouchable genocidal asshole gets bruised, made into a caricature by the world at large”, I feel like celebrating it. I do not applaud the means, but boy, the results are nothing short of laudable.

    • I am personally waiting for the one that is kind of a quick shot game where you must identify the purest evil in the world but not to mistakenly take out an innocent because of jumpy reflexes. So it goes [Guy who called all Mexican rapists!] /hold/ [Guy who has told his thousands of followers that other races have inferior souls and that genocide would be a proper measure] /hold/ [Guy who once punched one of the previous characters] /hit!/ TRUEST SATAN, SOURCE OF ALL THAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD FOUND! 100000000 points! A Winnar is you!

      • Nah, Richard Spencer is a Nazi. People that say he has feelings too aren’t Nazis, I just disagree with them.

      • Sorry, sorry. Obviously, /just/ preaching literal genocide against “inferior races” doesn’t make one Hitler. Hell, as long as you don’t go over 5,999,999 deaths of those races, you are in the clear, right? It’s at the 6 millionth one where we, alarmist whiners, finally gain the genuine right to call someone ‘Hitler’.

  • What the fuck is wrong with the Kotaku staff?

    Its not ok to illegally attack people because you disagree with their views, even if they’re complete fucking scum.

    Its not reporting the game that’s the problem, it’s the reporting of it in a way that justifies that kind of action.

    Its also scummy click baiting because the last article got so many posts. Low.

    • Remember, it’s always okay to use physical violence against people who you disagree with.

      …Honestly the law has nothing to do with it my opinion. If you are the one who escalates a disagreement to physical violence, you are the fucking douchebag no matter how hateful the other person’s opinion is.

      • Pretty much.

        If what the other person is saying is wrong, then it should be easily beaten with words.
        If you’re escalating it to violence, you lost, not them.

      • Seriously. Those despicable “Allies” using extreme force to silence those poor National Socialists, only because they “disagreed” with their views, set a terrible precedent. Now you cannot preach genocide against inferior races without getting a punch to the face! A whole ONE punch one to one of our sacred white faces for merely advocating the murder of millions! How disgustingly disproportionate.

        • You may recall that in the case of WW2, it was actually the Nazis who started the violence.

          Advocating the slaughter of groups you don’t like is against hate speech laws in many parts of the world and can be punished by law in a civilized society, not by people resorting to hitting each other like little children who haven’t learned to use their words yet.

          • Yes, ideally that would be the best path, I entirely agree. But apparently, such laws do not exist in America? Because the guy is not only unimpeded, he’s actually become successful from his little platform. Then, what do you suggest it is to be done?

            Note that in the case of WW2 the Nazis did indeed start the violence. A violence they /publicly/ boasted of and preached about for years before the fact. Waiting until they did good on their word cost the civilised world millions of lives. Knowing this, wouldn’t you have attempted to stop them or delegitimise them back when they were at the preaching stage?

          • Yes, I would’ve. And I’m not saying that any group is required to take this shitstain seriously or give him a platform to speak. I would much rather see hate speech law actually enforced against him than not.

            Delegitimise and deplatform people like this through ridicule or argument. Disrupt their ability to speak through non-violent protest.

            I’m not in favour of extremists physically attacking gay rights activists because from their (highly warped and deluded) perspective homosexuality is a massive threat to their way of life. I can’t be in favour of people I agree with throwing the first punch against what they perceive as massive threats to their way of life either, or I’m a hypocrite. We need to apply the standards we want for ourselves to others, even those that we hate, because if you decide it’s okay to use violence in these kinds of situations, expect to have violence used against you in turn.

          • I definitely respect your position. However, ridicule or argument through the years has done very little to undermine or stop his growing influence. A punch to the face, while not being terribly damaging physically, is the first serious, widely publicised challenge that he and the people that he represents have received.

            A cursory glance at the Internet today reveals that racists, homophobes and the such have become emboldened and bullish under Trump’s presidency, leaving the dank, filthy corners of the Internet where an increasingly progressive society had forced them into under previous administrations. This is, they believe, their time and their chance to revert the current of social progress. The punch, while unfortunate for the reasons you mention, is a timely and powerful message delivered in the language they speak among themselves when talking about others.

            I understand your fear for establishing a precedent for any crazo to punch people they disagree with. But Spencer makes, really, a very exceptional case. In the least, the punch has sparked enough discussion and publicity that, maybe, the powers to be would start considering the creation of laws that stop hate speech (and the necessity? justification? for civil retribution). On the other hand, the powers that be include Bannon, so we may be waiting for a while on that hope…

    • They’re just reposting US articles, I really wish Kotaku AU would stop reposting these. They have little relevance here and just serve to incite arguments.

      • They’re only posting it because it causes arguments.

        Caustic, socially disruptive, non-gaming related arguments. They’ve intentionally trawled the internet looking for something to reopen the argument from earlier in the week.

        This is one of the biggest problems will all forms of online media IMO. No matter what your speciality is, it’s almost always better for the core business (getting hits) it’s you just post inflammatory drivel.

  • Like turning a light on a dark room sets cockroaches scurrying about, punching one /unmistakable/, loudly vocal and proud Nazi (oops, what a silly typo, I meant “alt-right spokeperson”, two totally different things) sends all hidden Naz- er, “alt-right” sympathisers to the Internet to protest it under the guise of morality and the rule of law. I mean, who better to instruct us, “violent liberals” in the ways of peace and the respect of human rights than the people who back and defend someone who has outright called for genocide!

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