Did you know that kidnapped princesses are yesterday? Computer games are increasingly devoted to political issues. They deal with escape or have homosexual main characters. However, this discussion of politics often remains on the surface.
Politics and computer games, not really a new phenomenon?
Even if Super Mario saves the kidnapped Princess Peach, there is already a certain image of society in it. The woman remains passive, the man is active and solves the problem. Like other forms of culture, computer games such as the god simulator game reflect the social values and political ideas of the time they were created. In recent years, a new quality has been added. Game developers are increasingly making targeted political statements and reflecting on stereotypical representations. Politics is no longer a side effect, it is an intention.
Well, the political agenda is added to the fun of the game. That might put players off. The end product, however, carefully avoids taking sides. Nobody should be deterred from buying computer games.
The rules of the game are based on the real political dimension
Just as an advertising poster tries to convince you to buy with visual rhetoric, certain relationships are also expressed in the regular processes of computer games. This can be rhetorically convincing. A game can be very progressive on the surface, for example, through the representation of marginalized groups. The game mechanics nevertheless convey a more conservative view of the world.
In terms of cultural history, computer games are a by-product of the development of scientific and military measuring and control instruments. This legacy can still be seen in their play structures to this day. The majority is about optimizing control and measuring performance.
Computer games have rarely been used as explicit propaganda
It still seldom happens very explicitly. Since 2002, the US military has been actively trying to recruit new recruits with the free first-person shooter America’s Army. And the Islamist Hezbollah tried the same thing in 2003 with the first-person shooter Special Force. However, it is mostly smaller developer studios and private individuals who develop propaganda games and game modifications. So far, however, their influence has been minimal. In the future, however, it will also be decisive how the mentioned, unconscious handing down of ideologies is dealt with on a game-mechanical level.