The Struggle Over Gamers Who Use Mods To Create Racist Alternate Histories

Last December, a 22-year-old modder who calls himself Ted52 purged the Steam forums for his Hearts of Iron 4 mod, Millennium Dawn. Steam's infrastructure made it difficult to remove unsavoury threads individually, and he tells me he has more control of things over at his Discord channel, where he can eliminate any racists, idiots and anti-Semites with reasonable efficiency.

Ted seems almost amused by this burden. As someone who's found himself in the centre of the culture war raging inside of the Hearts of Iron 4 mod scene, this is just how things work.

Illustration: Angelica Alzona

"The immense toxicity that is developed by these fundamentalistic ideological fronts within the community is where my patience ends," said Ted when I interviewed him over Discord last year. "I am not getting paid for any of this, and I can't be bothered to explain to every 15-year-old edgelord who just discovered 4chan last week why fascism is not something I want to see."

Here's what Ted is referring to: Paradox Studios' Hearts of Iron 4 simulates the tumultuous political landscape of the early 20th century, from 1933 to 1949. That was an era of fascism, communism, political revolt and genocide, and the game's toolkit lets you play with it all.

You could, for instance, take control of the British parliament, plunge it into Nazism, and replace Winston Churchill with the real-life wartime fascist Oswald Mosley. You can also do the same in Germany and build the Marxist, Soviet-sympathising state that Hitler feared.

Millennium Dawn

Ted's work in Millennium Dawn essentially does the same thing, except it simulates the political rumblings of the 21st century. Players can control the Islamic State's caliphate and continue the campaign into Damascus. Or they can pilot the United States, and welcome Jill Stein in as the champion of a new far-left brigade.

Ted52 achieves this by reworking the game's National Focus system, which allows you to determine exactly which policies and ideologies your state will focus on. But like the rest of Paradox's games, some of Ted's work on Millennium Dawn has been embraced by the fringes of the ultra right-wing.

For instance, the leader of the nationalist faction in the United States is Richard Spencer. If you decide to push the country in that direction, he'll be made president. From there, you can pass segregatory legislature, introduce David Duke as a government employee, and rebuild the country as an ethno-nationalist state.

This thread, archived from 4Chan's infamously turgid /pol/ board, features a screenshot of a Spencer regime in North America, saying, "I guess I have no choice other than to secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." (This is a reference to the 14 Words, a white supremacist slogan.)

A few posts down, another user responds: "Hearts of Iron 4 Millennium Dawn is awesome. You can focus on racial superiority."

This attitude is also reflected in Millennium Dawn's submod scene. There's an edit on Steam that makes Lauren Southern, a YouTuber from British Columbia who projects white nationalist values, the leader of the Canadian Libertarian Party, of which she has been a member of in the past.

A few months before last year's political upheaval in Zimbabwe, someone released a submod that implemented the unrecognised colonial state of Rhodesia and its deceased Prime Minister Ian Smith back into Africa. (Rhodesia has long been a touchstone for white nationalists. Dylan Roof, the gunman from the Charleston church terror attack, operated a blog called "Last Rhodesian".)

This puts Ted in an interesting position. He swears up and down that his mod isn't meant to be digested as a political statement, or a conduit for some sort of Nazi fantasy, but he's still been inundated with those kind of fans.

"It doesn't feel great," he says, when his community is overrun by "either by far-right forces or by trolls pretending to be far-right". Obliterating the Steam forums, he says, was a necessary first step. Unfortunately, as any fan of Paradox games knows, that air of xenophobia in the scene isn't going anywhere any time soon.


There's a long history of racist mods for Paradox's grand strategy games.

Last year the company stomped out mods for its space sim Stellaris that removed people of colour from the human factions and advertised itself with the proclamation, "No multiculturalism here!"

There's a mod for Hearts of Iron 4 called "Aryan Goddess", designed by the ethnonationalist Taylor Swift fan-site of the same name, which has since been purged from the internet. It makes Swift, in full Nazi regalia, the leader of the Third Reich, and includes custom tech-tree options such as "Bad Blood" and "1989", both of which are adopted from her music.

But perhaps the best and most prominent example is the Deus Vult mod, which, according to Steam, has been downloaded 9210 times.

Functionally, the mod offers a daffy, puerile interpretation of the 11th and 12th century crusades. One of the most powerful National Focus options in Deus Vult is called "Enslave Saracen". ("Saracen" is a Medieval-era catch-all for Arabs and Muslims.)

The description of the upgrade reads: "The purging of all infidels and saracens will take time, by enslaving them we will have a disposable workforce." Functionally, it boosts your campaign's construction speed, expediting your conquest of Jerusalem.

Deus Vult

Obviously, Deus Vult directly demeans the Islamic world, which sets it in an entirely different paradigm from nonpartisan works such as Ted's Millennium Dawn. You can only play as one faction in Deus Vult, The Knights Templar, which holds both Adolf Hitler and Jesus Christ in its ranks.

There's a tech-tree option called "Gas, Gas, Gas", which allows the player to merge their empire with Nazi Germany. "We and the German Reich have a common enemy," it states. "Together we can destroy our antagonists and rule the world!"

The player is also given a chance to sympathise with the Middle East in the form of a National Focus called "Become Infidels". But it saddles you with a 90 per cent debuff to your National Unity, making you easy pickings for any other country that sets their sights on your borders.

The creator of Deus Vult, a Steam user named TauronSS, doesn't divulge any identifying details about himself other than that he's a "Swedish guy" who first got interested in Paradox around Hearts of Iron 3.

"Memes tend to be offensive and absurd," he writes to me over email. "I like absurd and offensive jokes, no matter what the subject is."

His claim that everything in his work is played for jokes is reflected in the name of the mod. The term "Deus Vult" is a long-running gag within the Paradox community.

In Crusader Kings 2, a classic grand strategy game set centuries before Hearts of Iron, the in-game Pope will occasionally declare a holy war on a specific region in the near East. Those announcements are blessed with the incantation "Deus Vult!" which translates to "God wills it!" The player musters their troops and sets out on the warpath.

The history of internet verbiage is always complicated, but "Deus Vult" is now the most iconic phrase in the Paradox dictionary. The term was repurposed into an image macro of a Medieval knight, dressed in a white tabard bearing the Red Cross of Constantine, holding a sword over an unseen infidel. Before long, Deus Vult earned a Pepe-like formalisation as an online rallying call for the alt-right.

Here is that same crusader chopping through a wooden door, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, to confront a screaming man in a turban cowering in the corner. Here he is again, taking up arms to storm a coffee shop promising "100 per cent Arabica beans".

The Deus Vult mod maintains the spirit of the meme: It's over-the-top, zealous, full of genocidal fantasies of religious and racial purity. TauronSS tells me he wanted to create something realistic: "What would medieval religious fundamentalists do with heretics? Most likely kill them, or at least severely oppress them."

But when I ask him if he injected any of his own personal politics into the code, he demurs. "I'm just messing around with a meme," he says.

"If there are Islamophobes among those who enjoy my mods, then that's how it is. I will not start a witch hunt against people who have different political views," he continues. "I'm just here trying to make enjoyable mods."


The makers of these games are aware of the issues but have so far exercised a fairly light touch, partially as a matter of resources and partially as a strategic way to avoid giving extra attention to the worst in their community.

Hearts of Iron 4 game director Dan Lind told me that in 99 out of 100 cases, Paradox won't squash out mods for objectionable content, and the company is instead inclined to "let the community decide whether they want to play a mod or not".

"There is always a risk that a zero-tolerance approach makes martyrs in a community that has shown itself very able to mobilise petty grievances and overwhelm the conversation," he says. "It comes down to observation and intuition in most cases, and whether a mod is using a game as creative context, or as an excuse to offend."

Lind describes parsing the space between authentic and sarcastic hyper-nationalism as a "daily challenge" for Paradox. The term "kebab" is banned from the company's forums because of its use as a pejorative in the "remove kebab" meme (which itself is associated with an old Serbian nationalist fight song).

Deus Vult, on the other hand, is not banned, which makes sense when you consider the heritage of the term within other Paradox series before it was co-opted by the alt-right.

"We're only so many people here, and sometimes we can be late to discover that a meme within our community has taken on an unfortunate new meaning," explains Lind.

Deus Vult

Similarly, it's hard to find many people up in arms about the cultural issues surrounding Paradox games in the community itself. Plenty of Hearts of Iron YouTubers have featured the Deus Vult mod on their channel without any serious condemnation - if anything, they seem happy to participate in the supposed joke.

You will occasionally find an open discussion about the latent racism in the Paradox community. A Reddit user recently described how he was kicked and blocked from a server after a week of play once the administrator discovered he was not white. But there isn't anything resembling a grassroots movement to snuff out the bigotry at its source.

To be clear, Deus Vult is an extreme example, but that hypernationalism seems to tail everyone who's making mods in this scene, sometimes in unexpected ways. Look at Fall of Islam, built by a Canadian named Tiago. The title of the mod might come off a little charged, but in practice it's a fleshed-out alternative history module of Europa Universalis 4 that imagines the medieval world if Byzantium never fell to the Ottoman Empire.

"In 1444, Arabia has shattered, caused by the many schisms of the faith," the description reads. "Will you help the Arabs rise again in the name of the Allah and His Prophet, or will you deliver the final blow to his followers?"

The Fall of Islam is polished with a distinct history-nerd touch. A Zoroastrian Persia! A Coptic Egypt! If you're a fan of medieval history, it's a fascinating, studiously arranged conceptualisation of what the map might've looked like if the caliphates failed.

The vast majority of Tiago's players seem to digest his work that way, but unfortunately, you can also find comments on the Steam Workshop page that celebrate the mod as a way to actualise ethno-nationalist visions.

"This is how the world should look."

"Removing kebab from the entire world? Sign me up."

"Nice, wish it turned out that way."

Tiago references those interpretations on Fall of Islam's Steam landing page: "To my Muslim friends, take no offence to this mod! Consider it a challenge!" In the next line he writes, "For everyone else, Deus Vult!"

Sure enough, he tells me he's dealt with angry comments from Muslim users, including a few written in Turkish that he can't understand. He either ignores them or tries to explain how his mod isn't meant to be read as a political treatise or a historical rightening.

"[My mod] is free for anyone to use however they wish, whether it is to do a Zoroastrian Persia world conquest, a Shia caliphate world conquest or an Orthodox Byzantium world conquest," says Tiago. "Heck, go for a Buddhist, German-culture, Mali empire run for all I care."

As for the other, more Islamophobic comments, Tiago leaves most of them untouched on Fall of Islam's page, he says, out of a firm belief in freedom of speech. Sure, if a user is a problem and repeatedly espouses racist views, he'll block them, but generally Tiago believes The Fall of Islam's community should act as a meritocracy. He feels no responsibility to serve as the moral compass for the people who enjoy his work.

"With the world being so politically polarised at the moment, I can see why my mod wouldn't, shall we say, help the situation," he continues. "However, I made this mod simply for fun and being able to play the game I love with a different starting scenario.

"There needs to be more civil, rational discussions than ever before. We need to be able to be less 'butt-hurt' at everything and listen to the other side for once. You can disagree, and that's perfectly fine, but there needs to be communication. Simply blocking people you disagree with can only make the wall taller for both sides, which is a great disservice."


Out of everyone I spoke to, Ted52 remains the only creator who took tangible action to eliminate the racist presence in his mod's community. The Millennium Dawn Discord channel is curated and mostly tasteful, and clearly Ted believes that the tenor of the community is a personal responsibility, rather than an uncontrollable state of nature.

"I have long lost my idealism of bettering people," he tells me. "Instead, we have set out community rules, with 'don't be a douchebag' the most important one, and if you break that one rule, the banhammer might fall on your forehead."

Mod scenes are known for their lack of ombudsmanship. That is what makes them special and bizarre. Nobody advocates for publisher approval for everything that passes through the Steam workshop, but it is odd how the far-right undertow in Paradox games has been left unchecked. The people I spoke to for this story all confirmed its existence with a half-shrugged sense of normalcy, as if it's something that hasn't been shocking in a long, long time.

It reminds me of a post Ted made on the Paradox Plaza subreddit last November, responding to a thread expressing concern about the number of "arseholes" in the Paradox community.

"Tankies, wehraboos and just straight up neo-fascists are all to be found among us, that is true," Ted wrote. "Beneath all that, you will find the great majority of Paradox games players [are] a loveable bunch of people who are connected by their common interest in history, war-deciding dice rolls, dubious combat mechanics, dubious AI, sniffing Swedish video game developers and all the Deus Vult memes you can handle.

"This is our community, and if we want to have fewer arseholes within it, we should work on getting more nice people on board and getting more people to be nice."

Ted52's logic is sound, but exiling neo-fascists takes more than sentiment. That kind of progress is not achieved by neutrality or meekness, nor the belief that social responsibility is fundamentally detached from video games.

Are modders responsible for how their work is interpreted? Do people like Tiago or Ted need to include a disclaimer to educate the angry people in their wake? Does alternative history need to be challenged beyond the merits of its own grotesque imagination? So far, the answer has been no.


Comments

    Gaming is simply a reflection of society...yes, racism in gaming shouldn't happen, but then again we shouldn't see people, primarily leftists and anarchists, rewriting real world history into their guilt-ridden visions of social engineering, either.

    Fact is, HOI is a game, a mod is a mod of a game...personally I think my time is better spent and my humanity reaffirmed by giving a beggar a couple of dollars than spending a night ranting about the evils of a game mod or attempting to rewrite history into my vision, regardless of my agenda.

      *Reads article about racists online*

      B, b, b, but leftists

        Maybe I'll think differently when Britain is declared a Celtic homeland and recognised as such by the UN, and social engineers campaign for Celtic cultural rights...

        Last edited 07/06/18 5:38 pm

        *Sees comment about how both political sides create racist histories*
        B, b, b, but why attack leftists?

          It's irrelevant whataboutism.

            If you didn't make an argument, its just pointing out hypocrisy.

          'Leftists' aren't racist - by definition. That's kind of the whole point. Anti-racism is a defining point of progressive views. If you're being racist, you're not a 'leftist'. Why no, Stalin, Mao and Hitler weren't 'leftists', which poorly educated alt-right Youtube channels have you been watching?

          B, b, b, but why confuse authoritarians with progressives?

            The anti-racism you talk about is still racism, perhaps a better thing to strive for would be non-racism.
            Using prejudice to judge entire groups of people based solely on skin colour/gender and advocate discrimination based on those superficial attributes is not okay.

              No, telling people not to be racist is not 'still racism'.

              Jaysus.

                No, that's fine. I tell people not to be racist, and it is not racist.

                If you say something like "white people are racist" or "black people can't be racist" or "black people should have systematic advantages because being black is an inherent disadvantage". That's when you start hitting the racist territory.

                  'If you say something like "white people are racist" or "black people can't be racist" '

                  No one says that, outside the fever dreams of 4Chan.

                  "black people should have systematic advantages because being black is an inherent disadvantage".

                  That's not racist. You really need to look up the definition of that word.

                  That is using prejudice to judge an entire race of people and advocacy of discrimination based on their race. That's racism.

                  Also it takes a simple google of "black people can't be racist" to find plenty of situations of people saying such.

      You know how I know you don't have a problem with far-right racist mods in games?

        I don't have a problem with any mods in games...the problem that we face, and this article highlights it, is that by marginalizing a view, and polarizing a subject, we lose the middle ground position, which automatically pushes people who may be quite balanced and reasonable, to actually have to choose one of the extremes. This is primarily a tactic of the political correctness crowd...and it is probably worse behavior than that which it is attacking. It's one thing to be a racist, it's an entirely different and more abhorrent matter to force people to accept 'your' view, and only your view.

        However, be that as it may, this article has a parallel in a gun manufacturer promoting sale of a type of gun that becomes favoured in mass shootings, and then the manufacturer states that the fault lies entirely with the shooters, without accepting the moral responsibility they hold in relation to their product. In this case the modder creates a mod that enables players to create a vision which the modder doesn't approve, and then he shuts down discussion and debate and takes a stance against the behavior that he has enabled...that basically makes this article arty-farty twaddle.

        Last edited 08/06/18 9:14 am

          ' This is primarily a tactic of the political correctness crowd...'

          *Looks at 10,000 years of recorded history dominated by right wing authoritarianism*

          Yeah, nah mate. That's primarily a tactic of conservatism.

          But given your views here, it's unsurprising you're unwilling to see that.

          'It's one thing to be a Nazi, it's a worse thing to call someone a Nazi...'

            You changed the scope of the conversation by widening the context to the near useless.
            According to 10,000 years of history, most people don't believe Australia exists.
            Gunmans context was clearly present day.. If you think marginalizing a view, and polarizing a subject is bad though, there is middle ground to be had yet :)

              I don't. 'Middle ground' is the delusional playground of people who want to maintain the status quo because they benefit greatly from it - which is why white middle class males make up the bulk of self-avowed 'centrists'.

              It's not a more 'reasonable' approach at all, that's semantic nonsense. It's simply a position that tries to maintain the social order in a position of comfort for the speaker.

              You may find this helpful but I imagine probably not :)

              https://thenib.com/radical-centrism-101

                I don't think I found it helpful, but that is likely to me not conflating "middle ground" with centrism. There are still positions on the left which are not leftist.
                The centrists here are seen more as people who don't care about anything, which is barely a political position. A more appropriate middle ground would be something like "some oppression is good" (Taxes, police, laws, regulation etc.) and "some oppression is bad" (Not that examples are needed, but systematic racism/sexism, military states, terrorism etc.)

                I'm also just assuming you agree that you brought the context of that discussion to a position where it was useless.

                  ' This is primarily a tactic of the political correctness crowd...and it is probably worse behavior than that which it is attacking.'

                  Yeah nah mate, it was useless well before I got there.

                  I think that he actually managed to turn it into a much more useful conversation than your implication that he is a far right racist.

    So far, the answer has been no.
    Well, what do people expect? Mod authors to not make mods for fear of people posting alt-right memes? Do we avoid alternative history because, shock-horror, history has had some pretty awful periods of violence? Are only some events or periods off limits?

    I get the author's sentiments but this leads us to a slippery slope of restricting what people can create not because of the content or the intent, but because of people posting bullshit memes.

      Whilst that's true, using 'JKS!' as an excuse in this instance could also just be a way to promote a hateful ideology without having to deal with the consequences - a transparent attempt to deflect and ignore valid criticism. I doubt that the 'it's just memes' excuse actually continues behind closed doors in a lot of cases, but given that intent is subjective we'll never know for sure.

      Both situations are not ideal. We need to move the conversation away from the vocal minorities on both fringes and into the middle.

        I agree, but articles like this demonstrate that there is no middle ground - there's a massive push to polarise it into a "right and wrong" argument. I mean they critise the first guy because even though he condemns hate speech he isn't 'doing more' by adding 'disclaimers' to 'educate' people or something.

        Nobody's interested in middle ground, and to be fair for some issues there is no middle ground. But demanding restrictions on modders because some people are shit is ridiculous. it's not up to mod developers to police the political opinions or behaviours of everyone who plays it.

          There's no middle ground because people are to lazy to listen to your reasoning. You're either with us or against it. It's much easier on my low intellect.

    "The immense toxicity that is developed by these fundamentalistic ideological fronts within the community is where my patience ends,"

    Hear hear. Pretty good description of politics too come to think of it.

    It's a shame that this is getting thrown under the "alt-right" bus. I think there is something to learn in a game like this by allowing such ideologies to exist in-game. It could show that something that insane could work, or not work at all.

    The other side of thing seems to be that is something doesn't fit into current era liberal or "leftist" ideologies, then it shouldn't exist or even be a thought in someone's head. Which in itself becomes very dictator-ish in nature. 1984 wasn't just a sci-fi book anymore, it's become a warning of where we might be headed.

      'It could show that something that insane could work, or not work at all.'

      *Looks at Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany*

      'The other side of thing seems to be that is something doesn't fit into current era liberal or "leftist" ideologies, '

      Ahhhh. That explains it.

        *Looks at Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany*Exactly! A perfect example of things not working out. If someone with an "alt-right" mindset wants to use the game to create a racist, white majority run, sexist country... Let'em! Then once it fails, they might come around on their way of thinking. Or maybe not. Who knows. Why should it matter what someone does with a game in their own home?

          Why gamble like that with something that has demonstrated to have the capability to end the lives of millions? "Ooopsie, allowing Nazism to fully resurface ended in a billion deaths as opposed to entirely removing the ideology from humanity! Who woulda thunk? But now we know better!: If Nazism wants to resurface a third time... well, we'll have to let it happen again because Nazism has never resurfaced twice; who can tell whether the third time will be the cinch?!"

        They didn't work because they were stopped. But if they didn't attack Britain or Japan didn't attack America were would we be today?
        If you look at the early endeavors of the French, Spanish, Asian nations or African tribes. We are all by products of a tyrannical, xenophobic nations at some point in their history.

    Why though, real history is racist enough

    I get that we all hate racism and we can agree on that, however i think it is sometimes okay to make a little joke and not subscribe to that way of thinking; that form of comedy is more pointing fun at actually being racist.
    the internet is full of people who have some outlandish ideals and when you give them a blank canvas to mod (like this game), then when they paint their picture we cant be surprised.
    at the end the games creator has created a platform in which people can share their ideas, and somebody has made something offensive.
    we cannot remove everything that offends our ideals no matter how controversial they are because thats censorship (and we know how fun that is).
    i agree this is pretty gross to make a mod dedicated to that level of racism but im sure there are other in-depth mechanics added too.

    Maybe this creator just wanted to be a provocateur and now that we're all offended and playing into it, he has achieved his goal. so eitherway the crazy guy wins.

      That's the way of thinking of people who are not discriminated against: "It's just a little joke, where's the harm!?" People who are discriminated know that little jokes are the perpetrators' way of normalising discrimination, of making elastic the tolerance of such discrimination by society at large. I know you'll allege that, still, when /you/ joke like that or laugh at one of those jokes, you are a 100% not being discriminatory... and you may even be genuinely meaning it! But if so, I ask you: if you are truly not a racist, why would you willingly join in the entertainment of choice of people who are truly, awfully racist?

        Country music?

    "This is our community, and if we want to have fewer arseholes within it, we should work on getting more nice people on board and getting more people to be nice."Ironically this is how most conflicts start. "This is our community/land and if we want to have fewer people that don't act or believe according to how we perceive people should act we should work on getting more of the people who fit our ideals on board and getting more people to follow our ideals." I'm all for nicer communities but at the end of the day, there's still a human deciding what their definition of "bad" and "good" is.

      That's ... literally what a community is. Common ideas, standards of behaviour, expectation of adherence to certain norms, social enforcement. Without that you just have a bunch of people.

    Its just a mod. Sure its stupid and intentionally offensive.

    But i mean come on. Who is it harming? You are not forced to download it. If someone wants to live their political dream through a video game why not let them?

      Well how about that, it IS possible for us to agree on something.

      Last edited 08/06/18 2:41 am

        In trawling my comments to downvote them? How is that surprising? All three or four of you always seem to agree on that instead of engaging in discourse. Yep, that downvote-bombing to eliminate into moderation (i.e. censor) the positions that you don't like, all while your comments focus on the freedom of speech of those whose offend and marginalise entire communities of people.

        One has to wonder, is it disingenuous hypocrisy, or intent, calculated evil?

          You’re delusional if you think djbear and I always seem to agree on things. I barely get to comment on this site because I am the constantly downvoted into moderation hell voice of reason. Sounds like you finally got a taste of what it is like to go against the groupthink.

            Finally? I get downvote-bombed all the time by the same people. I don't know how much you disagree with djbear normally, but my statement is that you seem to agree on the necessity of removing opposing opinions via the abuse of downvoting.

            (btw, in case you don't believe me, I have spotted other few recent articles where both you and djbear--and a few other usual suspects--have enthusiastically agreed to mass downvote anybody presenting dissenting opinions in those threads. Maybe you two have more in common than you thought!? Are those church bells that I'm hearing? ;)

              I downvote anyone who downvotes me. I won't however downvote someone who is civil in a debate and remains so. Take from that what you will.

                Well, I am really sorry for having to call you a liar, but only in this thread that response is demonstrable as a falsehood: you downvoted each of my comments, including those in subthreads where you were not participating (which is what djbear and other serial downvoters of people who speak up against discrimination do). You also downvoted responses to posts of yours that I did not downvote to begin with. And you have done so in threads of other articles as well.

                Do you downvote obsessively without your conscious mind realising it? There was another thread in which you were criticising people who mass downvote. I have to say that I'm confused by the contrast between what you say and what you do.

          Yes,

          Because i would totally waste my time going through your comment history just to downvote comments.

          /s

            I never said "history", please actually read messages before responding. I was talking of particular comment threads which is perfectly verifiable as you went and downvoted every post of mine in this one, including those made in conversation with other people.

      That was my thought on reading the headline, but on reading the rest of the article, it appears that it's really more about the author of the original mod having to deal with having the community around that mod being invaded by racist assholes who are associating themselves with him.

      It doesn't feel good to be associated with the scum of the earth, to be thanked for enabling something horrible that you sure as fuck didn't intend.

      It didn't take much reading for me to immediately empathize with his decision to nuke the fucking forum from orbit.

      Reality is: you can't stop people from coming up with their own little sick virtual playgrounds to live out their horrible, horrible fantasies, and you probably shouldn't bother trying... but you also don't have to enable, support, or engage with them.

        It feels like every time I go to a 40k tourney someone needs a talking to about their Nazi themed army and why they've been disqualified. It's not as bad as it used to be, but fucking hell get some perspective.

    GTA: Shoot people in cold blood; that's fine

    COD: Pose as a terrorist and shoot unarmed civilians; no problem

    HOI 4: Create entirely fictional alternate history

    BUT... BUT RACISM!

    Jesus, people will cry about anything these days.

      The article isn't about the in game content as much as the toxic forums, which goes the same for those games you listed and people getting banned.

    I feel like this may be a little hypocritical of the stance taken for something like say Battlefield V where apparently an alternate history (females on the front line with robot arms) is fine but not so much for HOI. Leave people to their artistic/creative freedoms. Censoring will only make things worse and really who is it harming when they sit in their dens playing these singleplayer games by themselves roleplaying a scenario? it migh be hard for many people here to believe but I take a fairly strong stance against racism in the real world but that doesn't stop me sometimes firing up a game of Civ 6 or Stellaris and saying "Ok, this playthrough I'm going to be a facist/xenophobe empire that takes what they want."

      I mean its no different to WW2 that allow you to play as either the Axis or Allies.

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