How Wolfenstein: The New Colossus takes the white dudebro hero apart

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a shooter that often feels at odds with its own protagonist, the worn-out vanilla action hero who is somehow the heart of a neurodiverse, multi-ethnic cast of socialist firebrands, civil rights campaigners, pacifists, lapsed jazz maestros and rabid UFO chasers. At first glance, it has a lot to say in spite of BJ Blazkowicz rather than through him, its levels and intermissions thick with references to feminist activism and race rights movements that risk being swallowed up in the bloodshed. Many of the allusions are very timely, for all the retro silliness of Wolfenstein’s Nazis – it’s hard not to draw a line between in-game propaganda about the “cancerous” press and Donald Trump’s frequent denunciations of the US media, for example.

MachineGames has downplayed these parallels in conversation, but Bethesda’s marketing teams have latched onto them rather opportunistically, going so far as to parody Trump’s infamous #MakeAmericaGreatAgain slogan on social media and subtweet his defence of rightwing marchers following the murder of Heather Heyer. Ultimately, however, The New Colossus offers no straightforward rejection of the bigotry Trump and his followers have tacitly and not-so-tacitly endorsed. Rather, the game’s achievement is to show how BJ’s story of white heroism risks echoing that chauvinism, and how it and toxic social archetypes at large may become instruments of resistance. With spoilers right up to the final moments, let’s look at how all that holds together.

Wolfenstein’s social commentary is pervasive, extending from bonkers plot points such as the concluding talk show scene to the nooks and crannies of the levels and incidental writing. It offers up a world of sly or stagey asides on recent political upheavals, a world in which dear old Blazko often seems a stranger – the character is, of course, literally a man out of time, having spent a decade in a coma during The New Order.

Buried in one chapter you’ll discover a Baltimore Sun excerpt from the 1920s that has been doing the rounds on Twitter lately, care of Trump’s opponents: as it savagely concludes, “on some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” While roaming the tunnels beneath Roswell, you might overhear a chat between stormtroopers which echoes the well-known online gag about over-sensitive right-wing punditry: “so much for the tolerant Left”.

To place a man like BJ at the centre of such a shifty, incendiary fiction, a fiction that regards the centrality of burly white dudes with considerable rancour, may seem at best a missed opportunity and at worst, deeply perverse. But The New Colossus is more an exercise in deconstructing than celebrating the character, tracing his stoical demeanour to a history of paternal abuse, and lingering on the links between his disdain for bolsheviks and pacifists and National Socialism’s love of martial supermen. Throughout the game you are constantly reminded that he embodies many of the ideals his opponents prize – those Aryan features, that boundless capacity for violence – a running theme that peaks when BJ’s head is grafted onto the body of a bio-engineered Nazi supersoldier following his capture and execution, unlocking a batch of new abilities in the process.

Experienced in first-person, BJ’s decapitation comes across as pure B-movie sensation and a crude resetting of the gauges, but there’s a lot more to the sequence than gore and upgrades. For one thing, it’s a franchise in-joke: BJ began his career as a bodiless head back in Wolfenstein 3D, squinting at the player from his snug receptacle below your crosshairs. It’s also a remarkably grisly ludo-narrative gag, drawing the line between who characters are on paper and how they function in the player’s hands right across BJ’s muscular neck. Most importantly of all, it speaks to BJ’s function within the Wolfenstein universe as a transferable signifier, his square-jawed persona a form of cultural capital that is too valuable to abandon, even as the man himself withers and disintegrates under the punishment.

BJ might be the centre of the plot, and the character who enjoys emotional development at the expense of other, equally travelled and arresting personalities like Grace Walker, black panther and the survivor of a nuclear attack. But in being killed and reassembled, he is exposed for an object, a mechanism freighted with enduring symbolic power that may be upgraded and reconfigured as necessary to achieve the rebellion’s objectives.

In this light, it is rather sinister that BJ’s romantic interest Anya expresses barely any qualms about his brand new vat-grown Nazi flesh, cuddling up to him on his sickbed as though he’d just stepped out of the shower. The implication is that BJ’s bodily existence is less important than what he represents: even to those who love him, he is on some level nothing more than a head in a jar. The same callous reasoning naturally applies to how MachineGames has resurrected the character, transforming this mute cartoon gunslinger into a man creaking with injury and regret, even as it continues to rely on BJ’s overclocked whiteness and virility for “mass market” appeal.

If The New Colossus is yet another variation on the journey of the hulking white avenger, in other words, it is also a lurid exploration of how such tales are wielded for political advantage – by or against their authors. As a political document, its greatest lesson is that grizzled “everymen” totems such as BJ are not, in fact, timeless norms that must be granted their place, but constructs available to abduction and reinvention.

This lesson is hammered home during your encounter with Hitler, now an addled and incontinent old man, tottering around a space station over Venus in a soiled dressing gown. By this point in the story the Fuhrer believes his enemy dead but, much like your allies in the Kreisau Circle, he is unable to let BJ go: “Terror-Billy” is too perfect and irresistible a nemesis, a man of Jewish ancestry who nonetheless passes as Aryan and whose strength and courage cannot be waved away. The episode in question sees an undercover BJ auditioning for a part in a film Hitler has written about him. In the process, you’ll see various slick and pompous actors, including a youthful Ronald Reagan, offer up their own interpretations of your legend.

The game’s interrogation of its own protagonist is mirrored by the evolution of Eva’s Hammer, the prototype U-boat that serves as your mission hub and a repository of optional story interactions. Prised from Engel’s fingers at the close of Wolfenstein: The New Order, the submarine is essentially one giant monument to hate, but it’s a monument that has been colonised and reworked by waves of resistance recruits and survivors from across Europe and America – its once-forbidding steel and scarlet overtaken by fairy lights, psychedelic crayon murals, Persian rugs, dartboards and Soviet flags.

There’s even a pinball machine that is rather tragically adorned with Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan, “yes we can”. Like BJ’s new body, Eva’s Hammer is a figure that has been productively wrenched from its original purpose, and also like BJ’s new body, it still harbours something of the worldview that created it. As you discover, there are Nazis lurking deep inside the vessel, a legacy of malevolence that must be engaged head-on. That legacy extends to Sigrun, General Engels’ estranged daughter, who at one stage chokes out Grace Walker one-handed after being branded a Nazi: a deranged performance of the outrage expressed by many white people at being reminded of how they may have benefited from racism.

All told, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus stands not as a breezy account of heroism in the face of tyranny, but a story about the fluidity of political representations and the difficulty of escaping complicity. Power, according to the philosopher Michel Foucault, isn’t concentrated in people or organisations but dispersed throughout the knowable world and its systems – a regime of thought that doesn’t merely oppress but actively generates its own resistance, creating and shaping opposition in order to preserve its fundamental logic. To take up arms against a regime is therefore to risk perpetuating that logic, as MachineGames’ portrayal of BJ as a latent fascist acknowledges.

If Bethesda’s jabs at Nazi apologists online ring hollow, the game itself is successful in tracking the continuum of concepts and tactics that joins fascism to those who fight it. As a basis and provocation for political activism, it is cause for both optimism and despair.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    I am quite enjoying the various pieces that put some context to the madness that Wolfenstein 2 was for me, including this one.

    • Traipse says:

      Absolutely! More like this, please. It’s important that we subject video games to the same sort of critical scrutiny that we do other art forms.

      • evlsmite says:

        Um, it’s a GAME. Yes, I can understand your premise of judging it as ‘art’ however that would be absurd to do so. Who cares if the developers had some ‘underlying’ theme they were trying to get across. Seriously, why put that kind of intellectual and philosophical thought into something that was designed to ‘entertain’, meaning let you escape reality. The person who penned the write up understands that at the heart of it all, the ‘hero’ of the game is a Jew right? I mean, it didn’t seem that he did based on the article. Perhaps I am missing something? I know that topics of discussion such as this article are more or less meant for the ‘weak minded’ out there… you know who you are… who cannot seem to enjoy anything without letting their feeble little minds get ensnared in some philosophical rabbit hole. Just like the mindless drones driven by materialism and consumerism, who were just out and about like lemmings for the ‘holiday season’ of spend, spend, spend! Same mindset people! So, are you all dense enough (or to the opposite side, too ‘intelligent’) to go into a ‘game’ and instead of kicking back and ‘escaping’ your wage slavery (or living in mom’s basement) lives, waste your energy on picking it apart as ‘social critique’? I mean, why don’t we sit down and dissect Monopoly or Life for that matter? Why they are games made to indoctrinate our youth into capitalist robber barons and consumer driven, baby spawning ‘cogs’ in the machine! Or how about Operation? Are we trying to teach our kids to become black market organ dealers? Now if you read any of those last comparisons and thought ‘what an idiot’ I suggest you go and take a look in the mirror because you have just described YOURSELF for taking an interest in the above mentioned article and actually devolving into a safe room needing turd. People such as the article’s author and those who ‘agreed’ with it should really take a long walk off of a short pier.

        • R. Totale says:

          Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

        • grrrz says:

          “Who cares if the developers had some ‘underlying’ theme they were trying to get across. ”
          some of us do. let us enjoy it. We can both enjoy the catharsis of “shooting things”, the absurd comedy, and the underlying themes and analyze it to death if we want. Also, the marketing team and the creative team had probably very different ambitions as to what this game represents for them, let’s forget about the bullshit marketing side of the equation and look at what the developer cooked for us. You’re speaking about wasting energy but you’re coming here and wrote a super long acid post about how all of this is pointless. why can’t you just let people enjoy their things?

        • automatic says:

          Label it “entertainment”, that only the weak minded are affected and you can say anything want uncriticized. Good call. link to

        • stringerdell says:

          Wow man you just blew the whole thing wide open. Why take a critical look at anything? It’s all just a bunch of pictures and sounds anyway.

        • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

          “I mean, why don’t we sit down and dissect Monopoly or Life for that matter? Why they are games made to indoctrinate our youth into capitalist robber barons and consumer driven, baby spawning ‘cogs’ in the machine!”

          Uuuum while of course they weren’t made to indoctrinate children, any product of a culture aimed at a mass auidence is going to express the dominant ideology of that culture, and it then becomes part of normalizing that ideology.

          Or do you honestly think Monopoly was just as likely to have been created and popularized in the Soviet bloc?

          Things are made by people. People have ideas about things. The fact that you have to come up with insane caricatures of such an obvious statement just to discredit it suggests you find it a bit threatening.

        • KillahMate says:

          Yeah, uh, Monopoly was actually created as a critique of capitalism by a left-wing feminist:

          link to

          So… yeah.

          • JarinArenos says:

            Shhh, they’re allergic to facts. You might give them hives!

        • Beefenstein says:

          “Seriously, why put that kind of intellectual and philosophical thought into something that was designed to ‘entertain’, meaning let you escape reality.”

          I submit that I can be entertained by something which is reflective of reality rather than dismissive of it.

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          “Seriously, why put that kind of intellectual and philosophical thought into something that was designed to ‘entertain’, meaning let you escape reality.”

          Hi, have you heard of movies, music, and novels?

  2. Futuramic says:

    “its once-forbidding steel and scarlet overtaken by fairy lights, psychedelic crayon murals, Persian rugs, dartboards and Soviet flags.” So swapping one repressive backwards ideal for another?

    • Traipse says:

      Please explain how fairy lights and crayon murals constitute a repressive ideal. The mere fact that a Soviet flag is present doesn’t necessarily imply an endorsement of the Soviet ideology, and may represent the viewpoint of a particular character on the sub. I think the intention is that the sub represents a vibrant gallimaufry of viewpoints, compared to the monolithic edifice of fascism presented in the rest of the game.

      • Futuramic says:

        I meant just what the soviet flag represented was repressive, it just looked better to quote the entire section, and it’s the positive connotations the author puts to it being there. It’s just amusing to me that the everyone on the sub, or the singular character, would support or put up with such an ideology, particularly Russian communism, after leaving Nazi control. The fact that in another portion of the game a character who is a Marxist is basically portrayed as being correct in his views shows the creator’s support for it, for better or worse.

        • Seafoam says:

          No the whole sub isnt flying soviet flags or anything, you still miss the point. The flag being up there doesnt mean they all are up for Stalin and what not. It’s that one of the subs crew happens to be a communist and the others are fine with that.
          Stalin’s atrocities don’t necessarily equate the hammer and sickle with the swastika.

          • Papageno says:

            Weelll, it is pretty tainted by the association with Leninism/Bolshevism/Stalinism, in my view (though I agree with the larger point that it’s just one of the many allegiances among the resistance to the alt-history victorious Nazi Germany). I mean, I’m a lefty and everything, but I don’t think one wins anyone over to more social-democratic type policies by waving around the hammer and sickle nowadays.

          • Futuramic says:

            A soviet is a Russian word, and invention, that came about in support of Communism, and considering the setting of the time likely shows their support to Lenin and Stalin, it directly relates to both of them and neither of them were particularly likable people, mass executions and the like.

      • Ham Solo says:

        “The mere fact that a Soviet flag is present doesn’t necessarily imply an endorsement of the Soviet ideology”

        Actually yes, it does.

        • Traipse says:

          I think you may be missing the distinction between “a character in this work endorses the Soviet ideology” and “the authors are using the work to endorse the Soviet ideology”. These are two very different things.

  3. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Bethesda could show some backbone vs the censorship nazis. Deeds speak louder than buzzwords, sadly no.

  4. Eightball says:

    Daily reminder that if you did not buy Wolfenstein 2 at full price you are an accomplice to Adolf Trumpler brutally massacring thousands of people of color every day.

    • demicanadian says:

      Well… As I understood it, overall consensus was New Colossus has worse gameplay, but story just as good as in the first one. If so, then sorry, but gameplay was the only good part of New Order, and story was shite.

      • Deadly Habit says:

        Having grown up with the original Wolfensteins and having semi enjoyed New Order who the hell is looking for a deep involved storyline in a Wolfenstein game? All this back and forth about the underlying politics and articles like this actually put me off buying Wolf 2 at launch. I just want tight gameplay without a bunch of unskippable cutscenes, good non linear level designs, guns that pack punch, and to kill Nazis like the original namesake, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and the 07 reboot that New Order, Old Blood and 2 are yet again rebooting.

  5. Premium User Badge

    wonderingmonster says:

    The links are broken for me on mobile.

  6. dka897 says:

    “That legacy extends to Sigrun, General Engels’ estranged daughter, who at one stage chokes out Grace Walker one-handed after being branded a Nazi: a deranged performance of the outrage expressed by many white people at being reminded of how they may have benefited from racism.”

    Really not how I interpreted that part but ok.

    • sosolidshoe says:

      Yeah I had to read that a couple of times as well – I think the author might have disappeared a little too far up their own analytical construct when thinking about that scene. Frankly Grace’s treatment of Sigrun up to that point was atrocious, as was the rest of the crew’s passive acceptance of it; bullying is bullying, victims of prejudice can hold prejudices of their own, and holding an individual responsible for the actions of a group they are part of by accident of birth or circumstance – especially when your entire experience of that individual has been of them rejecting that group in favour of helping yours, repeatedly – is just as wrong when that individual happens to be white.

      The warped interpretation of the concept of privilege that underlies the author’s interpretation of the scene is one that’s actively harmful to the goals the overall rhetoric suggests they aim to achieve(as do I, for the record) – so many on the left seem more interested in “putting people in their place” than they are in helping them; it might be factually correct to say that a white, male person with a serious mental health disorder is better off in our current society than a black, female person with same, but is the sense of smug contentment identity-leftists get from reminding everyone of that worth the erosion of solidarity it induces? That’s not a hypothetical example, by the way, I was at a discussion at a local charity devoted to helping those being screwed over by the UK’s grotesque “welfare” system, and the resident identity-leftist felt that the most pertinent comment when discussing the case of a young autistic man who was on the verge of starving due to benefit sanctions boiled down to “it could be worse, he’s still a white male isn’t he? We should focus resources on the *truly* deserving”.

      Maybe if we spend less time crafting a hierarchy of victimhood & ensuring everyone is reminded in their place in it constantly, and more on achieving meaningful change in people’s lives, Trump and his ilk wouldn’t be in the ascendant in the first place.

      • Eightball says:

        Wah wah wah some overprivileged white lady got bullied by a woman of color with legitimate grievances. White moderates like yourself are as bad as the white supremacists.

        “”First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.””

        • ademiix says:

          So it’s ok to bully a white person who did nothing wrong apart from being born into a terrible situation. Who at the first opportunity tried to do the right thing and rebel. Putting an MLK at the end of your comment doesn’t make what you’re saying any less awful. You support bullying and racism.

        • Frog says:

          Eightball- Wow, read your comment again. Read what you are actually espousing. “over-privileged white lady” “woman of color with legitimate grievances” You sound like a nasty little person. Smell yourself man. You are not “woke”, you are more of the same old shit.

      • gi_ty says:

        I couldn’t agree more with your interpretation of that scene. I felt the same. Most of this article was really good but he lost me there as well. I tend to think that overzealous leftist are just as bad at creating division while they rally under a banner that supports inclusion. Of course people who are blatantly bigots deserve to be called out on it, but the confused or under informed types deserve some sympathy. All differences in opinion are more easily dealt with when either side can keep emotional response to a minimum.

        • JarinArenos says:

          “Confused and under-informed” usually equates to “didn’t care enough about the things that affect other peoples lives to learn about them”. It’s really not that difficult to educate yourself a bit, and if you can’t manage that for some reason, at least acknowledge your ignorance by not pontificating on the issues you are ignorant of.

          Willful and lazy ignorance is much of what is allowing the resurgence of right-wing nationalism across the US and Europe. It’s time to stop excusing it.

          • gi_ty says:

            I’m certainly not defending willful ignorance, but a black and white attitude such as you have just portrayed is the essence of why there is so much conflict over this. A hard right or wrong answer to everything will always leave someone out in the cold. Maybe we could consider cultural isolation, or perhaps the fact that many people expend so much energy simply trying to live they don’t take the time to think about someone else’s plight. Is perceived self interest something that is contemptible? That is what I mean by confused or under informed. Its not always a conscious choice. To take a hard line against someone who may listen to a reasoned argument and respond in kind is a disservice to ethical debate.

      • Papageno says:

        I agree with you wholeheartedly. Just because she was the daughter of the horrible Frau General Engel (who subjected her to constant emotional abuse because of her weight) and a German did not make her a Nazi, especially after she helped save (almost) everyone’s ass on the Ausmerzer at a critical moment.

        Now I also agree that a lot of white people (a lot of whom voted for a certain someone and are now emboldened to be more overt about their feelings) seem to think that getting called out on racist BS is somehow worse than the racist BS itself.

  7. Penteract says:

    Foucault is a hack. This is just postmodernist drivel. When Nietzsche declared Gods death, he knew people who have to create their own archetypes to mold their psyche after. I wonder what he would say if he saw you post modern types trying to coopt comic and movie super heroes and video game protagonists. Bunch of intellectually lazy reprobates. Your ideology is poisoning media.

    • DThor says:

      Somebody been schoolin’!

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Come again?

    • grrrz says:

      I’m not sure you make much sense beyond “French theory is wanker’s bullshit I tell you!”
      But what I know is people usually have a really bad interpretation of Nietzsche, which philosophy is completely derived from Spinoza (who by the way is pantheist and whose main concept is “God”), and who basically, like him, defends an ethic over a moral system, for both represented by the trinity of “the slave, the priest, the tyrant”; those who judge, those whose primary tool is “sadness” (the spinozist concept). Deleuze explains this very well. I don’t know where you were getting at but Nietzche’s philosophy, contrary to popular beliefs, is definitely against fascism (all this bullshit about the “über-mensch” concept inspiring nazism is just some people red him very wrong). And I can definitely draw a line from Spinoza to Nietzsche to Deleuze to Foucault, and back.
      a translation here for those interested:
      link to

      • Penteract says:

        Im a student of evopsychology and the psychoanalysts. Foucault and the rest of the the post modernists fail to address the findings and ideas of the evolutionary fields of study. I value thinkers like Nietzsche and Spinoza for critiquing Christianity, but little else. I get my understanding of them from reading their books.

        • grrrz says:

          ok, fair enough. I got my knowledge of those philosophers from reading them too first and foremost, as well as from Deleuze’s particular lecture of them, which I completely adhere to. From where you’re coming from I see why we might have a difference of opinion. All those people’s text are essential to me, and still I accept that people don’t value them. Just remember they create philosophical concepts, not scientific ones, they’re not bound to cater to a scientific field or provide material to it (also that they’re dead, while your disciplinary field, which I don’t know much of probably evolved since)

          • Penteract says:

            Of course, philosophers ask hard questions, scientists try to answer those questions. And yes, of course, most of these thinkers and philosophers died before Evolutionary theory exploded into the numerous different fields we have today. Which is why it puzzles me that people still read the Postmodernists as if they are “gospel.” A lot of what Foucault and Derrida wrote, flies in the face of what we now understand about the human mind and the history of its developement. I find the idea that everything is a power struggle to be absolutely repugnant.

            Also, i appreciate your thoughtful responses.

          • cpt_freakout says:

            The whole “postmodernism is a religion!” thing is an invention from people who’ve had strong emotional reactions to material that in my experience they haven’t found the time or disposition to understand. You said it yourself – these guys also belong to a historical period, and their thoughts are often useful to interpret certain aspects of our world. There’s a reason people still read Aristotle, Nietzsche and Spinoza, even if our world is now completely different. The article quotes Foucault once (ONCE!) and you immediately throw everything else away. Who’s to say your precious evolutionary psychology will not be completely outdated within the next ten years? Will we just say all of it is a bunch of crap because we now understand things in a different way? Einstein wasn’t important because he called Newtonian physicists hacks and idiots, you know. No right or wrong here, just (historically conditioned) positions.

          • grrrz says:

            This is getting hard to reply to people here cause I can’t read back the comment I’m replying to, but, in a nutshell, “French Theory” or “postmodernism” is a label that loosely covers very different authors/philosophers. It’s totally ok to not get interested in any of those, and there’s no point in reading something you find no meaning in or that bores you, but in any case you have to be a little more specific.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          When you say “I’m a student of”, do you mean “I study them at a University (or other centre of higher education” or do you mean “I read a bit about them on the internet”?

      • AngelAtTheTomb says:

        I mean, is there really much else to understand beyond “French theory is wanker’s bullshit”? Academician’s nonsense streetcred preamble etc. etc. I have two B.A.’s, one in philosophy, an MA and a PhD, no I’m not an unschooled peasant etc. etc., and yes, “French theory is wanker’s bullshit,” is something I’ll still happily say at dinner parties.

        • Alexander Chatziioannou says:


        • grrrz says:

          yeah yeah you went to school, good for you. But as I said “French Theory” is a pretty meaningless label given by american universities to french philosophers of the same period. so saying this about a bunch of authors you very probably didn’t red is pretty presomptuous. second, maybe accept that certain books don’t speak to you, but can speak to other people. So as for me, who has no BA in philosophy or anything, reading Spinoza was a big revelation, and hearing the Deleuze 20 hours course on him and reading his book about him was a second revelation. Also Deleuze wrote the most fucking interesting piece I red ever about music composition and art in general, and as a musician and an artist I’m very glad for this. So I don’t really care what you say at dinner parties, or even what someone like Chomsky (who I respect) says. (PS: Alain Badiou IS awful).

    • Kittim says:

      I believe the term is “Baizuo”

    • mmandthetat says:

      This is just a really pretentious way of saying “Come on guys, it’s just a freaking videogame!”

  8. DThor says:

    I found it actually fairly tame in terms of taking any sort of “stand”, despite how it sounds if you objectively describe simple minded KKK proudly walking the streets but not doing so well at learning German. The characters are about as black and white as you can get – the right are selfish, cruel weaklings that rely on endowed power otherwise they cringe in fear. The left are possibly troubled, but otherwise mightily heroic, selfless and always ready to make the ultimate sacrifice. There are some interesting and fun character studies here and there, but they are all good guys and bad guys.
    I’m not sure it’s the game’s job to take a stand, it’s basically a Nazi shooter, the only people you’re allowed to have fun mowing down, because they’re cartoons. As much as Trump seems like a cartoon, he’s sadly all too real.

    • Nevard says:

      This game has been bizarrely transformed from tame nothingness to current commentary by context. Nazis should be people you’re allowed to have fun mowing down and yet somehow in the current day, they aren’t.

      • Distec says:

        This is not the objection, and it never has been.

        Nobody – outside of some dark, obscure corners online that never counted for anything – had a problem with killing Nazis in their games or film.

        They did have a problem with Bethesda PR implying that that Certain Presidential Candidate Supporters were essentially white supremacists, and they were further pissed off by Pete Hines doubling down own it with his “The only people who are angry are Nazis, fuck ’em” spiel.

        I repeat: No problem with killing Nazis. Definitely a problem with being called a Nazi.

        The kind of person who thinks there is seriously any controversy over murdering members of the Third Reich these days has been following too much Left Twitter or reading too many RPS comments.

        • Nevard says:

          We’ll yeah, Nazis have never enjoyed being called Nazis. That wasn’t their name for themselves, it’s was one that was made for them, and continues to be correctly applied to people who do not want it applied to the, to this day.

          • Cederic says:

            It also keeps getting applied incorrectly to a lot of people, frequently by racists, fascists or idiots. Often a combination of all three.

            In much the same way that Brexit was partly a response to everybody with immigration concerns being labelled racist and excluded from public debate, we’re all nazis now. The term has lost its horror because of its false overuse.

    • Hans says:

      Yeah I kind of feel like Bethesda’s marketing team just decided it would be good to stir up some limpwristed political controversy just to help promote the game. It seems pretty telling when Bethesda is saying “yes it’s a contemporary political commentary!” and Machine Games is saying “uh…no comment”.

      this incarnation of the game was already about an alternate world where nazis won years before Trump was even running, but why worry about the details when there’s outrage to be created I guess

      • trashbat says:

        Or it’s simply the difference between publisher and developer roles – I imagine most games devs would probably like to avoid the direct wrath of angry internet fascists, whereas that’s perhaps less of a problem for Bethesda.

    • Futuramic says:

      I’m hoping you just mean in this game the right-wing people are normally bad. Historically the left has done just as much bad, if not more so, than the right.

      • Hans says:

        Speaking of manufactured outrage…he didn’t even say that.

        • Futuramic says:

          I mean… yes he did “the right are selfish, cruel weaklings that rely on endowed power otherwise they cringe in fear. The left are possibly troubled, but otherwise mightily heroic, selfless and always ready to make the ultimate sacrifice” Obviously referring to the right wing as the Nazis, the bad guys, and the left wing, BJ and the crew, the good guys. Although Nazis as right-wing and BJ as left-wing doesn’t sit right with me it’s what he said. I’m not outraged just intrigued about what exactly he meant.

          • KillahMate says:

            “The characters are about as black and white as you can get – the right are selfish, cruel weaklings that rely on endowed power otherwise they cringe in fear.”

            By ‘the characters’ he meant the characters in the game. The game is making an effort to paint the Nazis and their collaborators as straightforwardly bad, whereas the left-wingers opposing them are straightforwardly good, and that’s not really unexpected considering this is a Nazi shooter and they are the bad guys.

            Although the character you play is positioned as unwittingly politically closer to the fascists he fights than the resistance he fights with, and that’s explored, which is an interesting quirk.

          • Futuramic says:

            That was my question to him yes, the bit about the left and right seemed a little preachy so I wanted to know if he meant just in the game or in the real world too.

          • Carcer says:

            “The game is making an effort to paint the Nazis and their collaborators as straightforwardly bad, whereas the left-wingers opposing them are straightforwardly good”

            It’s not even that simple. TNO and TNC both include lots of little bits of side content – the conversations you can overhear between unalert soldiers, letters and postcards found in the world – that remind you that the Nazi soldiers you’re mowing down by the hundreds are people with families, and children, who they love and miss while they are deployed. In fairness I think I did notice it more in TNO than TNC, but it’s definitely still there.

  9. Hans says:

    So what does the second half of the game’s plot suddenly becoming an awful, grating comedy that felt like it was written by completely different people than the first half signify?

  10. grrrz says:

    mandatory reference to “introduction to the non-fascist life” (Foucault, preface to Deleuze’s anti-oedipus):
    link to
    (particularly 3rd page, from “pick-up here”)

  11. konondrum says:

    No, no, no. I am sick to death of these articles trying to elevate silly, nonsensical video game plots to the level of political or social commentary.

    This is exactly the wrong direction for the video game industry to be taking. You want me to take your Nazi murder simulation more seriously? You think you can talk intelligently about race and class in a game about systematically murdering half a city (Mafia 3)?

    I don’t want to have Hollywood melodrama for 3 minute interludes between wanton destruction. I don’t want Kevin Spacey’s head injected into Call of Duty (or any more Call of Duty games for that matter.)

    This is a problem the video game industry has been facing for a while. As fidelity increases, the desire to justify the mayhem becomes more acute.

    But this is absolutely not the way to deal with the problem. You don’t make murder simulations more palatable by dressing them up as morality plays. Video games are entertainment, escape. Trying to make them art, when the only way you have to interact with the world is shooting things, is destined for failure.

    If you want to make a game about politics, class, race or any number of larger philosophical debates, you have to give me more than a gun to interact with the world.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      Video games are not art, flawed philosophy is not real philosophy because it is impure, ergo all attempts are bad, full stop. This is your basic premise, yes?

      Hey, you’re in luck, nobody is making you read articles like this. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

      • Eightball says:

        (Videogames are not art)

        • April March says:

          It’s certainly not one of the classic arts: drama, literature, sculpture, paintings, Banksy and a person projecting his endoscopy live on a museum’s outer wall.

      • konondrum says:

        You totally missed the point of what I said. If the only tool I have to interact with the world is murder, then any attempts to elevate the story are doomed to failure.

        If you want to explore questions of morality or philosophy you need to put more than a gun in my hand. Wolfenstein is a game about killing Nazis. Halting the action to show me a tender, vulnerable moment before throwing me back in the meat grinder does not elevate it to art. Nor does it necessarily improve the gameplay experience.

        If you want to make a game ABOUT something, you need to give me more agency, more choices. Watching a cut scene between bouts of murder is no way to have a philosophical discussion.

        • Reefpirate says:

          Rather than considering games as art, I tend to think of them as collections (in some cases) of thousands of pieces of art. Usually there’s a theme connecting it, and yes there might be a murder simulation running straight through it all, but I have no idea how you can say thousands of pieces of artistic expression nets out to zero cultural value.

          • konondrum says:

            I never said they have no cultural value. I am a gamer, I love games. Games are (often) filled with fabulous art.

            My problem is trying to take a game, in which the only thing you can do is murder Nazis, and turning it into some sort of thesis about…. well pretty much anything really.

            You can make games about larger issues, just don’t try to shoehorn it into ludicrous corridor shooters.

    • gnalvl says:

      The central problem is that most game journalists by nature have far more experience with english and literature than in game development. Thus as the pressure rises for more depth in games criticism, they fall back on aping literary criticism and hyper-focusing on narrative, rather than taking a more focused look on how gameplay is actually constructed.

      Ultimately, whether or not you want to consider games as “art”, the fact remains that the interactive component is what truly separates it from other mediums. Thus, focusing so much on narrative rather than interaction in a game is a bit like focusing on the sound of a painting rather than its visuals.

      That’s not to say that narrative in games should never be discussed at all, but the main reason the “games as art” movement in journalism has focused on it so much is because journalists have a lot more formal training discussing narrative than discussing the inner workings of game mechanics. When it gets down to the nitty gritty, developers can use values and code to express why a mechanic works well or works badly, but journalists and consumers can generally only resort to vague descriptions and cliches about how the gameplay “feels”.

      I mean the fact that non-word “gameplay” is used at all shows the discrepancy. No one would ever review a film by saying it has good quality of “movewatch”, nor would anyone ever structure a music review by giving equal attention to the sleeve art as to the song writing.

      The quality of discussion in interaction does go up a bit in competitive gaming circles, simply because there, the non-developers actually know the values involved and are familiar with the inner workings of the mechanics, even if they don’t know how they are coded. Without this level of familiarity, it’s hard to discuss interaction in great detail, and thus attention drifts to narrative.

      • grrrz says:

        “game as art” is not a fad, people creating fictional worlds will tend to have something to express, whether you call it an artistic vision or something else.

        “Ultimately, whether or not you want to consider games as “art”, the fact remains that the interactive component is what truly separates it from other mediums.”

        don’t agree at all with this. You totally interact with a piece in a gallery (a sculture, an installation or whatever). You interact with a theater/music performance, for example by choosing from where you want to live the experience. you interact with a book (you choose to read one passage in particular, to stop, read again). The notion of a piece as something to be passively ingurgitated to me is aready a problem.

        • April March says:

          I agree with you, but I also agree with the person you disagree with. You are right: all art is interactive by definition. That does not mean that the strongest suit of videogames can’t be that they are interactive. For instance, I would say that the thing that defines literature is ‘words’; the thing that defines dance is ‘motion’; and the thing that defines pantings is ‘visual’. It would be mad to think, from that, that no other art can have words or motion or visuals. By that same token, all art is interactive, but videogames are more so, and it is in that part of them that their greatest potential lies, in the same way that talking about words is the most important thing if you’re discussing literature, somewhat important if you’re discussing a play, and probably completely unimportant if you’re discussing architecture.

          • bobthebuilder says:

            I think the danger is seeing less interactivity in parts of a game where there is less or no systemic action. Basically seeing games as just their programmed rules and the expression of those rules when executed. Players necessarily have an imperfect view of the rules and how the execute. Moreover they bring their own experience and baggage into games. Systemically quieter sections of games don’t stop the player thinking about and updating their model of the game. Narrative can influence understanding and set goals. Even those that literally don’t exist as programmed or designed rules. So I think privileging the interactive systems actually does games a disservice. A player is needed to close the loop and the model of the game they carry in their head is really what they interact with rather than the explicit systems. This necessitates that systemically quiet sections can interact with this model. For example seeing more intelligent cooperative AI behaviour than actually exists thanks to their audio barks.

          • grrrz says:

            I see what you mean, still, for most videogames experiences, you’re constrained in a chair, only interacting with a controller / keyboard and mouse and a screen. So in a way the interactive part of the experience is about freeing you from this physical constraint. Of course in the discussion “videogames as art”, the game part of videogames needs to be adressed. If it’s a game then it can’t really be only a piece of art. Some games are meant to be broadening the definition and not be actual games, but it’s usually a balance between the “game” part and the “experience” part. (like Chess is definitely a game, still it uses representations and symbols that don’t strictly serve the rules, there’s a little narrative being played here, you have pawns, knights, a queen and a king)

        • Cederic says:

          I find it inexplicable that you would equate the interactivity of computer games with the significantly more passive engagement with other art forms.

          I don’t interact with a photograph, I look at it.
          I don’t interact with a concert, I listen to it.
          I don’t interact with a musical interpretation of Macbeth set in the Central African Republic and performed by a mix of indigenous Africans and Chinese teenagers, I just skip that worthless piece of shit.

          I do interact with computer games. It’s a very different experience. Within a computer game I can admire photographs, art, sculpture and engineering magnificence. I can also choose not to. Much the same as real life really, and just as non-interactive.

      • konondrum says:

        Thanks for that thoughtful and insightful response. It would make for a far more interesting conversation than anything in Wolfenstein.

      • BooleanBob says:

        “nor would anyone ever structure a music review by giving equal attention to the sleeve art as to the song writing”

        Not a frequent visitor to Pitchfork, I take?

        Also put me in mind of this gem from Eurogamer, a site whose reviews I generally like pretty well.

        “Boxes make the intangible tangible. Digital distribution offers convenience, but it does so at the expense of experience. And Nintendo has always understood the value of experience…

        …But perhaps the greatest value of this pack is the packaging itself. Owning a physical copy of Super Mario All-Stars on Wii allows these games to sit proudly on your shelf, a statement to everyone who enters your home and sees it.”

        • DopeyJoe says:

          //But perhaps the greatest value of this pack is the packaging itself. Owning a physical copy of Super Mario All-Stars on Wii allows these games to sit proudly on your shelf, a statement to everyone who enters your home and sees it.”//

          Pretentious much? 98.9% of people who enter your home and see a boxed copy of Super Mario All-Stars will think, “oh, he plays video games. Where’s the bathroom?”

    • automatic says:

      If narrative was unimportant as you say then Half-Life and all the game generations that came after it’s sucess wouldn’t come to be. People wants game to have a story so it’s natural that the story is criticized aswell. Wolfenstein doesn’t offer any other way to interact with the world besides shooting bullets but that’s because it’s a renewed franchise from a time where sucessful action games were all about killing, and that time is long past. Since Deus Ex a lot of games don’t even force you to kill the enemies to advance anymore. Deus Ex is from almost 20 years ago. Your commentary is severely outdated.

      • konondrum says:

        I don’t have a problem with PLOT in videogames. I love stories. I love games. The problem is heavy handed, social commentary in a game that gives me limited agency.

        Especially if the only agency I have (murder) is directly in conflict with the story it is trying to tell.

    • Jekadu says:

      Cutscenes and talking heads sandwiched between scenes of carnage is unfortunately what we have to work with at the moment. Would I like to see something different? Of course. But for now, this is what’s on the table and disparaging it because it’s “entertainment” is a disservice to both creators and audience. Speaking as a gamedev student myself, I can assure you that a lot of effort is put into trying to harmonize what we call “gameplay” and story—in fact, from a gamedev perspective there is usually no discernible difference between the two.

      • konondrum says:

        Cutscenes and talking heads sandwiched between scenes of carnage is unfortunately what we have to work with at the moment.

        I appreciate your response, but this is the exact dynamic that I find so objectionable. And it’s not the only way to make a game. It just seem to be the rut that AAA development is stuck in at the moment

        And really it’s mostly just Western developers. Japanese games are usually gameplay focused, so even if the plot is absurd or obnoxious you just jump back into the game and have fun,

        Again, I love stories. I want games to have interesting characters, to explore diverse locations. But the new Lara Croft, Nathan Drake way of storytelling is just awful. I don’t want to a sociopath one second and a caring, vulnerable person the next.

        • Jekadu says:

          I agree. But putting analysis and critique on hold benefits no one. In this case, at least, the text is about a game which does try to reconcile the gameplay loop with the narrative themes to some extent.

          • konondrum says:

            Was meant to be a reply gi_ty below.

            Except that this is not a discussion that occurs anywhere except on game review sites. Have you ever encountered someone who was deeply affected emotionally by a Wolfenstein game?

            Likewise, what if someone decided to make a game where the Nazis’ victory was celebrated as vindication? Now that seems unlikely given the current marketplace, but could such a game be seen as worthy of discussion?

            Making a game in which the only thing the player can do is kill Nazis, and then trying to turn it into social commentary is really crass. But apparently it’s okay, because Nazis are evil, and Trump or something.

        • Traipse says:

          And really it’s mostly just Western developers. Japanese games are usually gameplay focused, so even if the plot is absurd or obnoxious you just jump back into the game and have fun.

          I refute this with two words: Hideo Kojima. “Cutscenes and talking heads sandwiched between scenes of carnage”, as you put it, is sadly a cross-cultural phenomenon.

          • konondrum says:

            I’m certainly not going to jump to Hideo Kojima’s defense.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      “Video games are entertainment, escape.”

      So are movies, music, and novels.

  12. Jaakar says:

    I used to really like RPS. I know they’ve always been politically left, but it’s been getting worse and worse and I feel that the quality of articles has really gone downhill. I just want PC gaming news. Could anyone please recommend a good PC gaming news site that is apolitical? I keep seeing right wing commenters or commenters who don’t want to read about politics being told to go elsewhere. Where is a good place to go?
    I don’t want to go to PCGamer because they are very obviously paid for some articles/awards. I would like a site basically like RPS, just without the extremely left wing bias. I’ll still come back for the Flare Path/Tim Stone of course.

    And if people want to flame or argue with me, that’s fine – but I genuinely really want to find an apolitical PC gaming news site, so please bring suggestions.

    • Nevard says:

      In the current climate, and since Gamergate happened, there kind of aren’t apolitical gaming sites any more.
      There’s only sites that drew a line in the sand against the rising tide of patriarchal nationalism and ones that didn’t, the ringing accomplishment of the Gamergate movement was to force sites to adopt a position.

    • automatic says:

      link to
      Go to the releases section. Zero politics.

      • Jaakar says:

        You mean the new release section that simply shows every news game that has come out on Steam? If so, that’s clearly not what I’m looking for. It’s extremely disingenuous to suggest that gaming news inherently has to be political when 10 years ago the only politics I ever heard about was gaming censorship. It can be done, it just seems that most journalism is extremely out of touch with everyday people.

        • automatic says:

          10 years ago there weren’t games with the same numbers of Hollywood blockbusters. Even WOW was considered just a gimmick before it amassed 11 million active players. If that can’t be a medium for political tought I don’t know what else can be. Sure you can just ignore the political content that exists on games, but I prefer people to discuss it.

          • Jaakar says:

            Again, I have no issue with discussing the message of games – my issue is in siding with the message. And I’m fine with RPS doing that – I just would prefer not to read it. I genuinely just wanted to know if the people telling non-left commenters to go elsewhere had anywhere in mind.

            And I don’t think it’s valid to say that simply because games have a larger audience now, they and the reporting on them inherently needs to be political. I think making everything political is what is contributing to the current mess of political polarization. It’s also a very weak argument to make when the article we’re commenting on is about a game which sold very poorly on all platforms. This surely can’t be the blockbuster game that for some reason (still not seeing the logical connection here…) forces us to be political.

            Also I have responses to other replies, but they’re awaiting moderation, in case people wonder why this was my only one.

          • automatic says:

            I read right-wing magazines since I was a teenager. I didn’t KNEW they were right-winged until I developed some political conscience. I don’t agree with most of what they write now but unless it’s something I know it’s complete bullshit propaganda I still read it ocasionally because I like to know what different people think. Same thing goes to movies and games (and movies and games magazines).

            Regardless of how much it sold, The New Colossus had a millionary investment like it’s expected to any AAA game. People who invested on it, regardless of what their intention was, do have a political positioting. Everyone has. Since the theme of the game is inherently political it’s expected for the writers position to be reflected on the story.

            20 years ago, when the first Wolfenstein was released, there weren’t any doubts about how to engage nazi tought. Today, in a world where an USA president consider people that fight KKK apologists as extremists as KKK themselves, that line is, tragically, a bit blurred. If we aren’t allowed to position ourselves against that we are lost.

          • Jaakar says:

            Your comment is a great example of why I’d like to see an apolitical gaming news site. The rally Trump was referring to was meant to unite different right wing factions (including nationalists, white nationalists and white supremacists). There were definitely bad people in the rally, but many of the nationalists had inoffensive messages (perhaps not if you take offense to everything) and ultimately the violence was started by the protesters (that is, the people opposed to the rally). It’s silly to pretend that the protesters were completely innocent when there is clear video footage of them starting violence. Obviously there were also protesters that were good as well and who were there peacefully. The problem is that the media narrative tried to pin all of the violence on the far right and focused on a guy that drove his car into a crowd (and also oddly included police officers who died in a helicopter crash as part of their “3 dead in alt right rally” headlines). It doesn’t matter which side you agree with (or if you agree with neither) – objectively people from both sides were in the wrong. The nationalists there were not Nazis and arguably even some of the white nationalists weren’t Nazis. The problem of criticizing Nazis nowadays stems not from many people supporting literal Nazis, but from everyone thinking everyone who thinks differently to them is a literal Nazi (for example, I break from my otherwise libertarian views and think immigration should be more strict, apparently making me a Nazi to some).

            By the same token, I know right wing people tend to label everyone who opposes the free market or want social justice as a Communist, and I think that’s equally as ridiculous (since objectively most of them aren’t Communists). The difference is that I do not see mainstream right wing opinion calling for Communists (including all the people they think are Communists, but aren’t) to be punched or worse.

            If everyone could just chill out for a bit, maybe we could stop this extreme polarization. But no, we need to keep pushing one extreme or the other in every single facet of everyone’s lives.

          • automatic says:

            No, it was not just mindless generalization like right-wing labelling whoever claims for social justice a communist. That rally was a bunch of people with torches in their hands marching in the night. Unless you’re completly ignorant about your own country history you have to aknowledge this has a huge simbolic relevance. Besides, whoever holds KKK under their wings is bound to be associated with them. In a society where people pretend to live without racism there’s absolutely no political justification for an organization like that to still exist, to be allowed to manifest themselves publicaly and much less to be protected.

          • Jaakar says:

            To point out the ridiculousness of lumping everyone together and calling them a Nazi, consider this: the British, American and most other Allied soldiers who fought the Nazis were mostly racist as well. Very few of them would have liked to see what their countries have become. I’m not saying that’s a good view to have; but it is just absurd to claim that anyone who is racist or even simply wants to limit immigration is a Nazi or the KKK.
            Like I said, the rally was meant to unite various right wing factions. They wanted to rally for Trump and against mass immigration. Nationalists showed up to support that view, not to say they agree with the KKK on everything (otherwise why even bother with a distinction? Why be separate factions that come together on an issue? Shouldn’t they all just be the KKK?).

            It’s also not my country – I moved here. Even so, I understand fully how dearly free speech is held here. Any group can exist and no one is saying that racism doesn’t exist. And talking about the symbolism of a torchlit march seems as dumb to me as the people who claimed the ‘ok’ symbol means ‘white power’. Sure, maybe some people use or have used it that way. But pitchforks and torches are such a cliche that a torchlit march shouldn’t be painted as “everyone who attended agreed with the old KKK actions and wanted to lynch black people”. If they truly thought that, we’d be seeing increased violence against minorities. And if you want to say we are seeing that, please look it up and see if you can find anything other than retracted articles (the only thing I’ve seen increase is the number of falsely reported hate crimes).

          • automatic says:

            As strong as the torches held by right wing extremists symbol is, it was not just the symbol. The KKK was there. I don’t know if you missed it or you are just playing dumb to aid your point.

            There was no violence against minorities because the racists don’t had the power to do it with impunity. Much also thanks to the existance of antifas with no holds barred to punch racists faces. Racists do want the power though, and that’s one of their demands for Trump.

            Get your facts right.

          • automatic says:

            About free speech. How powerful it is if it allows groups that are against freedom by definition? Or you mean it is free speech just for the white?

        • Premium User Badge

          Grizzly says:

          10 years ago, Bioshock was extremely political, it’s a deconstruction of objectivism. The STALKER games can not be considered outside of their context of the Soviet Union and books like Roadside Picnic. Even if you go back 20 years, Fallout 1 and 2 commented on cold war politics in general and US politics in particular more or less constantly. Alpha Centauri’s factions were highly political as was it’s backstory, and it’s foundational Civilization games, atleast initially, had you fighting for mastery over a increasingly polluted world or just say “fuck it” and go to space instead. Off course, the Civilzation games no longer feature pollution now, it was removed by it’s lead designer as he did not want to be political.

          Or well I can just post that video again.

          • Jaakar says:

            I’m not claiming that *games* weren’t political, just that most games journalism wasn’t extremely left wing. Bioshock was a great game that I thoroughly enjoyed. I disagreed with how it portrayed libertarianism in general, but I could still enjoy it. Some articles spoke purely of the gameplay and story without feeling the need to bring politics in. Others discussed the message of the game without needing to complain about or attack the right wing or white people in general. I didn’t feel unwelcome because it was more of a discussion than a hit piece. Articles like this one, which complain about and attack the right wing and apparently white people in general, are the newer kind that I’m growing increasingly sick of. I’m a white guy and I play video games. You’ll find that majority of gamers (please don’t try to bring mobile gaming stats into this) are, in fact, this demographic that is apparently despised. I’m just tired of reading about how awful I am for who I was born as. I’m very much a ‘live and let live’ kind of guy, but I’m feeling forced to pick a side; and when one side just constantly tells me how terrible my existence is, it’s kinda hard to go along with them.

            Also your video, quite frankly, is dumb. One of the first things he talks about is how the same people who don’t want games to be political also want them to be considered art. I don’t care if games are considered art. I don’t want to be praised for playing a game like he suggests. I just want to enjoy my hobby. I enjoy woodworking as well and yet no one I talk to has this urge to somehow inject far left or far right politics into everything they create or every woodworking topic they discuss.

            Again, it’s fine by me if you want some games to be some high art form with few plebeian white men playing them; I never asked RPS to change, I just wanted to know if there were other sites that didn’t find games and extreme left-wing politics to be intrinsically linked.

    • Jekadu says:

      This site has had a left-wing bias since its founding.

      Funny how people always crawl out of the woodworks claiming it “used to be different” whenever these articles go up.

      • Premium User Badge

        subdog says:

        Right. There are a lot of ways RPS has changed over the years. This is not one of them.

      • Jaakar says:

        I very clearly stated that I know RPS has always had a left wing bias. My issue is that nowadays the articles are far less about the games and gameplay and more about the boring post-modern interpretation of them (with a heavily left wing bias). RPS wasn’t always like reading English class text analysis and it’s only recently that it went from left wing to #Resist #Impeach and seemingly jumping on the train of dehumanizing anyone who isn’t left wing. I’m not left or necessarily right, so I’m fine with some injection of socialist (I mean this literally, not like how right wingers call everyone a commie) rhetoric that I’ve seen here before. Hell, I stayed here through all the gamergate nonsense, so I’m clearly not some Nazi devil. All I want is to not feel like I’m reading the gaming section of Huffington Post.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          The overwhelmingly vast majority of the articles on RPS are just about the games. They post the occasional article with a political slant. If that is too much for you then you really are as thin skinned as the right appear to be.

        • Jaakar says:

          I don’t get where this “thin skinned” meme comes from. I’m not saying I’m personally very offended and demand recompense – I’m saying that it’s tiring for me having to read far left drivel everywhere I go, so I’d prefer not to. I doubt you read Fox News (unfortunately one of the few right wing news organizations…and it’s so neo-con), but imagine that everything you read, everything you watch, everywhere you turn is just constantly people spouting nonsense talking points from Fox News. You try to read about gaming and you constantly see articles discussing how the latest game really shows how dumb the ‘libtards’ are, mocks SJWs and to top it all off, they lump all of them in as Communists and say they all need to shut up and make way for white men, and eventually die out. There’s no good point being made, there’s no attempt at conversation or discussion, no pretense that it will make people see their point of view – they’re just spouting what essentially amounts to hatred of you.

          I’m not going to cry myself to sleep, I’m not extremely offended. I’m really just tired. I just want to play my vidya and read about what’s coming out next. And I’d like to do that without hearing about how awful the Rimworld or Kingdom Come or Hat in Time developers are because they forgo far-left ideology, while also reading about how all Trump supporters are bigots and other comments on US politics from a bloody British PC gaming blog. Again, that’s why I just genuinely wanted recommendations for somewhere else to go. I’m not saying RPS needs to change for me (though I do wish they’d go back to being somewhat left in the very occasional article, not far left in seemingly many articles). It might be hard to believe, but I really have been here a very long time, reliably. I know I was here long before the disastrous Fallout New Vegas review, though I’m not sure I remember too much before that. So don’t try to pretend I’m just some random guy who came here to mock left wing people or something stupid. I’m sad to finally leave. I’ve tried staying for as long as I really care too, but it’s just becoming clearer and clearer that I’m not at all welcome.

          Anyway, enjoy your hugbox I guess. I just don’t know why you need a leftist hugbox in a gaming site. There’s unfathomably many left wing and far-left wing news sites and forums that you can circle jerk in to your heart’s content. But I’ll leave everyone be and move on.

        • satan says:

          ‘My issue is that nowadays the articles are far less about the games and gameplay and more about the boring post-modern interpretation of them (with a heavily left wing bias). ‘

          You keep citing an issue with literary analysis as if it is inherently political, then sprinkle in bias accusations to make it sound as if you exist somewhere outside the spectrum… while at the same time every post you’ve made complains about the ‘far-left’…

          I can say with certainty you’ve never interacted with anybody from the far-left, because most of them are starving under communist rule.

    • milligna says:

      Start a site that agrees with your right-wing opinions, I guess. Power of the free market!

    • gi_ty says:

      A piece that is interpretive (such as analyzing a narrative) cannot exist in a vacuum. 99% of the articles on the site don’t necessarily represent political views. Of course if you want to see a political opinion its quite easy to extrapolate from an authors opinion of things. I could say I feel that your desire for an apolitical website likely stems from someone who is a least very uncomfortable with “leftist” ideas, and a desire to read things that only reinforce your existing attitudes and conceptions. Which is itself political.
      My advice would be to continue to view articles that you enjoy but learn the value of reading dissenting opinion or at least the specter of it. It helps you to understand your own views better if you can understand what makes someone else feel differently.

      • Jaakar says:

        Interpretation is one thing, but this article has a clear bias. Line’s like “you might overhear a chat between stormtroopers which echoes the well-known online gag about over-sensitive right-wing punditry: “so much for the tolerant Left”.” show this quite clearly. The only contexts I’ve seen the phrase “so much for the tolerant left” are in response to death/violence threats/messages (“I hope gun owners shoot themselves”, “punch a Nazi” used in reference to anyone who is not literally an anarcho communist, etc) and left wing people mocking non-left wing people as “delicate snowflakes” for finding irony in the allegedly tolerant left literally advocating violence against someone because that person thinks that maybe people shouldn’t have to pay so much for other people or shouldn’t be forced to hire less qualified minorities just because they’re minorities.

        This article could have easily analyzed the game without injecting the author’s own view on the validity of the game’s message.

        As for reading opposing viewpoints – that’s mostly what I read. It’s extremely difficult to escape far-left media these days since all my hobby related news invariably has a left wing slant. I read CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Fox and mostly independent journalists with primary sources. I dislike that most media has a bias one way or the other and never tries to convince – only to pander to their base (left or right). This article does nothing to convince me that the left is correct or morally good, nor that the right are awful – it just states it like it’s something I should be nodding along to without needing evidence.

        • gi_ty says:

          It states that these are things that have happened and also that the developers included it in the game which is being discussed. You don’t have to just nod along as you say. That’s a personal decision. That shouldn’t detract from other more worthwhile things that are discussed as well, even if they are uncomfortable. The way the author describes the dismemberment and change of the protagonist as a rhetorical device is intriguing. Also there are legitimate corollaries to be drawn between the way that Trump has acted publicly and the ideologies of nationalistic fascism. That certainly doesn’t make him the Hitler of a future racist empire but the criticisms are fair. Also that a history of racism in America has created a sometimes militant backlash of reciprocal hate. Keeping these things in public discourse in all media makes people caught in the middle more able to understand the extremes of both sides and hopefully moderate it into something more livable for everyone. Without it the people that are feeling oppressed can become even more so, and that works for both sides.

          • Jaakar says:

            Thank you for the response (sincerely). If the articles were written more like you write, I likely would not have an issue.

            I don’t think Trump is unjustified in calling out the media, especially CNN, as their coverage is almost exclusively based on “anonymous sources” and very frequently turns out to be incorrect. That’s not to say the media should be silenced or even unbiased, but they should be held accountable for blatantly made-up articles that are later quietly retracted. Unfortunately most mainstream media seems to be left wing, so the only people to call them out are largely people without a voice. There’s certainly room for debate over whether it’s Trump’s place to call them out (or even if it’s right to call them out), but just putting it in a game article as a known fact that Trump is like Nazis in this regard, is absurd.

            While I can agree that it is good to be constantly discussing world issues and politics, I really would like some areas of my life to be free of it. And if they can’t be free of it, I would at least like it to be a discussion. There’s news sites like Heavy which are somewhat left leaning, but do good reporting and tend not to just shove an opinion down your throat. I would like that for gaming too, if every game news site *must* be political. Continue to be left wing, just actually have a discussion instead of simply throwing out lines about parallels between Trump and videogame Nazis or speaking of white people (or “whiteness” as identity politicians seem so fond of saying) in an exclusively negative light with nothing discussed, just the constantly reinforced notion that they shouldn’t be good guys, lead protagonists, strong, skilled or even represented at all.

        • April March says:

          This article could have easily analyzed the game without injecting the author’s own view on the validity of the game’s message.

          To what end, though? This is not a review, this is a critique, and it’s very clear that the author chose to include these points in the critique and did the necessary legwork to support them. It’s OK for you to not like it, but you seem to imply that they are bad and shouldn’t exist, or at least shouldn’t exist to the extent that they do (which is what, one or two articles per week?) I love this kind of analysis; I’d happily follow a site that was all made of that. I love that even when RPS is just saying whether a game is fun when you push the buttons and go bloop they still take the time to analyze them from this point. And I think it’s good that people think about this. Wolfenstein was very clearly made with this sort of analysis in mind, as well.

          • Jaakar says:

            I see no legwork at all in the claim that right wing people are overly sensitive, that “Trump and his followers have tacitly and not-so-tacitly endorsed [bigotry]”, nor that some white people are unjustly outraged (“deranged”) when they are called Nazis or “reminded of how they have white privilege”. These are all assertions that require an audience who is extremely far left. There’s nothing to support these claims, it’s purely leftist circle-jerkery that excludes people like me who would rather not read this unnecessary insertion. Hell, the analysis here is very easily summed up as “this game is very left wing and unsubtly takes jabs at Trump and other people who are right wing”. It barely says anything outside of “the game uses some phrases to indicate the political leaning of the creators” and the few other things it says are blatantly wrong (like somehow thinking it was bad for Sigrun to dislike being constantly put down and called a Nazi because of who she was born as, despite her sacrifice and the benefits she brought to the people opposed to the Nazis. It’s ludicrous and this kind of thinking will only serve to push people further right when they see that all their activism and effort is wasted because they’re white).

          • ansionnach says:

            A lot of interesting points, Jaakar. I think that this kind of piece could be worthwhile if it wasn’t simply facile cheerleading, however. Everyone’s biased as you know. Rather than leave out political comment entirely, though, something that attempts to be insightful and tread outside the comfort zones of clear left-right polarised self-congratulatory drivel would be a better move in my view. I think that a genuine attempt to walk a line between perceived right and left is what’s needed to stimulate debate. Otherwise, it’s just a ralling call to one or other form of orthodoxy and an insult to intelligence. The authors don’t have to be “impartial”, but some attempt at exploration – challenging themselves without it being a contrived internal struggle constructed to conveniently conclude “I’m right” could make for a more interesting read.

            Perhaps an easy point that could have been made is that there isn’t really anything surprising about someone even completely from the right having serious problems with Nazism. Something as extreme as this typically unites people of many creeds so they can fight for their freedom of thought and their very lives. They can then bicker about everything else later.

            One of the disappointing things about polarisation is that so many are happy to take sides and point out the lies and propaganda of one side while being blind to those of their own. Perhaps the key thing that should be considered in a formal definition of “fake news”, is that regardless of how accurately it represents actual events, it’s something the accuser disagrees with…

            Why take sides when you can be unaligned? That doesn’t mean always being in between, just that you don’t tacitly support any group and your only spokesperson is yourself.

    • Jakkar says:

      … I have a right-wing doppelganger?

      On RPS?

      I feel incredibly dirty. What the fuck is going on? ;-;

    • Trogdr says:

      Howdy Jaakar, you seem like a quite cool person from what ive read so far. You wouldnt happen to have a discord or something else to that effect where i would be able to speak to you would you? :D

  13. Blackcompany says:

    Wait…Trump’s OPPONENTS are circulating an article about a moron in the White House? I find that a…curious…choice.

    I mean, their last candidate spent all of her time hob nobbing with the wealthy instead of campaigning. Their last president demanded trillions for shovel ready jobs and then later turned around and said there are no such things as shovel ready jobs…

    Dont get me wrong. As a libertarian, I am no big fan of Trump, either. I think BOTH parties are the problem, not the solution. But Trump has already remanded an illegal mandate by congress that forces the American people to buy something whether they need it or not, lowered taxes and given us back more money across the board and improved the economy in his first year.

    If I were a prominent member of the Left, I’d be careful about that problem with Projection that runs as rampant on that side of the fence as blind faith in absolutely free markets does on the other.

    • Buuurr says:

      Shhhh… facts! They don’t like facts. Especially how those facts are tanking the world economy and benefitting the U.S. Shhhh…

    • Kolbex says:

      Trust a libertarian to not understand the distinction between Obama/Clinton and “the left”.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      There’s a lot of issues I have with this post, in no small part with the characterization of “Trump’s opponents”. I mean, machinegames is located in Sweden. Not sure who their candidate for the US presidency was :P – And if you would go along the french lines of left and right, Clinton is far more of a “Third way economics” kind of person rather then a capital L leftie.

      I’d like to point out that the US is not a command economy, presidents don’t simply improve the economy by sitting in office. There’s always a lag between laws or executive actions and their economic effects. The new tax bill has only just been passed so you’d have to wait to see the effect. Come back about 4 to 8 years (depending) and then, mabye. As for the tax bill, if you would indulge me with two questions:
      1) The tax bill significantly lowers the US state’s income without doing a whole lot to curb its spending. Isn’t the US’s debt a sore point amongst libertarians?
      2) Have you considered the long term impacts of the tax bill, say, 10 years down the line on your personal income? A lot of the provisions for people from lower to middle incomes end after that period.

      • DocRickShillstein says:


        Yet, the author of this article is British.

        Lastly, you can go and see the numbers, the market had a massive jump as soon as Trump was elected.

        • Horg says:

          ”the market had a massive jump”

          An economic proclamation that should come with a health warning. Temporary fluctuations in share prices are not a good indicator of overall economic trends, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          And yet real wage growth (a much more important indicator of prosperity) has been virtually nonexistent over the span of this year.

    • Beefenstein says:

      “As a libertarian…”

      Such a novel way of saying “I don’t know much about politics, but I know what I like!”

      • stringerdell says:

        Libertarians should ideally start all posts that way, so everyone else knows which blocks of text to skip.

        • Jaakar says:

          After all, the most important thing in life is not seeing opposing viewpoints and then wondering why no one joins your side and keeps going to the side that welcomes discussion.

          • Horg says:

            When your political philosophy amounts to removing all the rules and hoping that everything just sort of….works itself out….you have to understand that people don’t want to entertain any more of that bullshit. Libertarianism could be summed up as anarchy for the comfortably well off. Advertising yourself as a libertarian proclaims to the world that you are a relentless optimist with no concept of cause and effect.

          • Jaakar says:

            Sounds like you think libertarianism is anarcho-capitalism. It’s about small government, not no government.

          • Horg says:

            ”It’s about small government”

            That doesn’t make it any less stupid. The ‘small government’ philosophy is a shield from criticism. It’s a term that’s impossible to define, and therefore cannot be debated effectively. No two libertarians seem to have a consensus on exactly how small is just right. For the most part, the only underlying theme seems to be an excuse to pay no taxes, while still expecting all the benefits of modern socialised democratic society to fund and organise themselves out of necessity. The best defense libertarianism has is that a libertarian society is logistically impossible, so the world will never have an example of it failing in practice.

          • spence2345 says:

            I’m sorry you think wanting the government to stay as far out of my actions, that only have an effect on myself, and wanting to be as free as possible is stupid. In all seriousness most Libertarians believe that our government has stepped way too far, we want agencies like the NSA to stop spying on us, we want the war on drugs ended, and we want to scale back how much money our government wastefully spends every year.

      • Synesthesia says:

        I needed that chuckle, thanks.

  14. vromao says:

    “That legacy extends to Sigrun, General Engels’ estranged daughter, who at one stage chokes out Grace Walker one-handed after being branded a Nazi: a deranged performance of the outrage expressed by many white people at being reminded of how they may have benefited from racism.”

    Sigrun’s actually making a point that she belongs in the resistance just as much as anyone else despite being aryan. Whether you agree with that argument or not is fine, but i don’t really see any parallels with white privillege, especially since she’s basically thrown all that away by joining the rebels to work under a black leader.

    If anything, the game actively avoids taking sides in any of the internal disputes in the resistance movement. Liberal vs communist? Argument gets interrupted by gunfire. Segregationism vs integration also gets a rain check until the Nazis are destroyed. The only place where the game does take a stance is in Pacifism vs violence, and well, that’s not even an interesting dilemma in a first person shooter.

    It’s probably making an argument that none of these discussions matter while there’s Nazis to kill, but since it’s still interested in mass market appeal, the game won’t really take sides in controversial matters aside from ‘killing nazis is okay’. And that’s fine, but you can’t really commend it for being political if it doesn’t have the guts the explore any of these questions in a meaningful way, even though I really liked Wolfenstein 2.

    • konondrum says:

      This is the problem in a nutshell. It doesn’t really have anything important to say, but it tries so hard and wastes so much time and resources in the attempt anyways. All just so I can run around and shoot Nazis, when I don’t need justification for that to begin with.

      • gi_ty says:

        Its not a waste of time to open up the discussion or get people thinking about such things. I felt it was handled rather deftly, although I can see why others would feel differently. We should at least be able to agree that not exploring something to its fullest extent is not a waste of time. I’m am positive there are people out there who would never have considered some of these issues if they weren’t slipped into a mass market game about killin nazis. So that alone makes it worth it.

  15. KidWithKnife says:

    Overall I enjoyed this article and others like them, but I think we could do without referring to all things shitty and regressive as “white”. Even if you don’t think you’re being a dick by doing that, at least consider how that gives regressive media like Fox News ammunition for nonsense like their “#okaytobewhite” hashtag.

    • Jekadu says:

      Pretending that whiteness as a concept to be discussed needs to be hidden plays into the hands of white supremacists. The white dudebro is *the* archetypical video game protagonist—let’s not shy away from that fact.

      • KidWithKnife says:

        I’m up for discussion of whiteness as a concept. This isn’t a discussion of whiteness as a concept. This is a discussion of a game, and it’s using a vague but clearly negative idea of “whiteness” without any sort of discussion or clarification of what that means. And “white dudebro” isn’t a thing; dudebro culture cuts across racial lines, it is far from exclusively white.

    • Eightball says:

      It’s not OK to be white, and just about all problems we face in the world are intertwined with white supremacy if they are not directly caused by it. You are aiding and abetting white supremacists when you deny this.

      • gi_ty says:

        Welp I best go put on my blackface cuz it aint ok to be white no mo!

        FFS your just as bad as the right wingers.

        • Jekadu says:

          That person is a troll I’ve had blocked for ages. Ignore them.

      • Cederic says:

        You’re a racist. Go away.

  16. milligna says:

    Christ, her name was Heather Heyer. Get it right if you’re going to invoke it to talk about video games.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Graham Smith says:

    Apparently necessary reminder:

    Please keep your discussions civil and resist the urge to call each other names. Do not engage with obvious trolls, they will be removed in due course. Games have always political and RPS has always been political in turn.

    If your comment has been removed so far, it doesn’t mean you broke any rules. It may have just been that your comment was in a thread with people who had, in which case we had to delete the whole lot rather than leave orphaned comments that no longer made sense.

    • konondrum says:

      While I appreciate the sentiment Graham, context is always important. People should be considerate, but this is the internet, and this is an explicitly political post.

      I am a leftist, so I generally don’t have too much of a problem with the editorializing here. But this article (and most of the coverage Wolfenstein has received generally) is pointlessly provocative.

      Yes, games can be political. That doesn’t mean that this kind of article isn’t flamebait.

      • automatic says:

        I think the article gave a great insight about the game besides the usual gameplay criticism. Personally I don’t even care much anymore about gameplay articles from this game genre because, with few exceptions, they all feel the same. On the other hand I considered playing The New Colossus just to check on detail how the writers treat different social movements on the narrative as mentioned on the article.

        • konondrum says:

          Well that’s the great thing about opinions, everybody has them. In my opinion this article brought absolutely nothing to the table besides an agenda. And the reaction is received was entirely predictable.

          • automatic says:

            Yeah, the dreaded “agenda”. Btw, opinions do not state facts, just your feelings about them.

    • Jekadu says:

      This site has existed for over ten years. Being political (or rather, not being centrist) is what RPS does. It’s their thing.

      • Hartford688 says:

        If you see his later post which makes his own strong political opinions clear, I suspect his objection is less to a political view being taken, but he objects to a view he opposes being taken.

        • oldschool2112 says:

          No I oppose gaming sites posting radically political opinionated views. These are games. If you bring in a writers political opinion on a game, its like putting scriptureal reference in every article. Or if this site is honest, maybe post “we are a leftist leaning gaming blog” on their header. Yep, wont happen because will have an issue with ad sales. Hypocrisy.

          • automatic says:

            I think it’s ridiculous all these comments complaining about an article with a political view, specially because what drives most if not all of the conflicts in the mentioned game are political issues. Idk if this is an american exclusive issue but some people seem to believe nazism is some kind of fiction with no parallel in the real world. This kind of tought is dangerous. People must be allowed to discuss these kind of things, even if timidily on a gaming news article. If this is kind of negative reaction becomes the norm with something as obviously bad as nazism then you’re in deep trouble.

    • grrrz says:

      well, honestly, apart from a few comments, the discussion has been pretty civil. I’m not sure there are that many places on the internet where that’s even possible. That’s one of the reason I like this site, people are usually pretty level-headed, even if they don’t agree. also the puns.

    • Cederic says:

      Oddly I’m not sure I’d class this article as political. It’s primarily discussing the politics of a game (and its marketing) and the comments by readers on the politics of the article itself are primarily making a lot of assumptions (or plain making things up).

      The article itself is mostly neutral, taking an objective stance on exploring the game’s political messages. That’s a good thing, whether or not I agree with the author’s interpretation and conclusions.

  18. Blah64 says:

    I absolutely love these kinds of articles.

    It is interesting to read about how other people can view things completely differently than me whilst experiencing the same thing. Seeing someone dive deeper into these sorts of things makes me re-examine aspects and adds more possible layers to the game. Completing a game where I just kill nearly everyone is fun, but this discussion about the significance & possible meaning of things really extends my experience of a game beyond simply playing it.

  19. Omega T-Rex says:

    BJ is imo The Doomguy/Slayer. the secret behind Nazi tech is Demonic energy (pre argent energy, since Argent d’neur and Hell hasn’t merged yet)

    i think after defeating Hitler, he discovers the root cause of the nazi dominance, the demons who prepares to launches a full scale attack on earth, BJ goes to hell, defeats hitlers demonic form and seals himself in hell (Doom64) so that no demon may invade earth ever again, there he finds allies in the form of Night Sentinels and a new land called Argent D’Neur. and Doom 2016 picks up from there

  20. Sulph says:

    Right, first of all: I think people would appreciate a spoiler warning for a relatively new game.

    Secondly, I have to say Edwin’s articles are starting to annoy me almost as much as John Walker’s. There’s nothing terribly wrong with the ideas he presents so much as the way he presents them: there’s a grating didacticism combined with logic so stretched the articles would be inane if they didn’t come across as insufferable. Particularly this bit just cheesed me off:

    ‘Experienced in first-person, BJ’s decapitation comes across as pure B-movie sensation and a crude resetting of the gauges, but there’s a lot more to the sequence than gore and upgrades. For one thing, it’s a franchise in-joke: BJ began his career as a bodiless head back in Wolfenstein 3D, squinting at the player from his snug receptacle below your crosshairs. It’s also a remarkably grisly ludo-narrative gag, drawing the line between who characters are on paper and how they function in the player’s hands right across BJ’s muscular neck. Most importantly of all, it speaks to BJ’s function within the Wolfenstein universe as a transferable signifier, his square-jawed persona a form of cultural capital that is too valuable to abandon, even as the man himself withers and disintegrates under the punishment.’

    A reasonable person can only groan upon reading that. Referring to the decapitation as a jokey reference to BJ’s appearance in the original Wolfenstein as a disembodied mug is a bit of a stretch, but okay, I guess you can look at it that way. The second bit where he interprets that sequence as about ‘separation of players from their avatars’ is missing the forest for the goddamn trees, all while peppering his views with bloated descriptions like that of BJ’s ‘muscular neck’. Look, the point of that sequence is so obvious that looking beyond it is grasping for straws: BJ’s head is transplanted onto a new, stronger body. It’s almost as if Machine Games is trying to make a statement about revitalising an old, beat-up, once-upon-a time-iconic hero in a similarly once-ailing franchise. Funny how one could miss that while searching for other forms of meaning.

    And lastly, I don’t really care about RPS’s political leanings. Past all the people crying foul about left/right/middle positions, there’s room for every kind of opinion when presented well, but not for the ones that appear unreasonable and/or insane, and this teeters on the brink of that.

    In summary: please take an honest self-assessment of your writing, and try to be less like an annoying assistant professor sneering in front of a blackboard.

    • trashbat says:

      I was inclined to agree with your opening gambit, but the example you chose actually convinced me otherwise. The writing is more than a bit Pseud’s Corner but there’s nothing mutually exclusive between their interpretation and yours. Whilst yours is a good assessment, they make some interesting points too – personally I doubt that the claimed themes were the product of any explicit design on the part of the developer, but it’s at least something to think about.

      • Sulph says:

        That’s fair. I suppose at least half of that is a reflexive bristling at my being preached/pretentious’d at.

        I think Edwin’s interpretation is a bit of a reach, honestly, like a lot of what he generally says, but I’m open to different avenues of thought if they’re sustained more with meaty reasoning/evidence and less descriptive flailing, which is the main takeaway.

        I’d like for this to be constructive, so I hope he’s reading this, and reading it with an open mind as well.

      • Bobic says:

        ya man. I found the whole article cringy but that part made the most sense tbh

        also… the weird thing about artists (writers) is that, most of the time, they don’t even know how they do what they do.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I guess it takes one to know one.

    • Jerkzilla says:

      I haven’t played the game, but I really have to say I agree in how absurd this article reads, so much so I’d have said it was satire if it were on a different site. It’s just that I have trouble believing any AAA developer would be this preachy about anything.
      Politics is fine in moderation, lay it on too thick and you just get your ideology’s version of Ayn Rand or Heinlein’s Starship Troopers…

  21. zulnam says:

    I actually thought the story was pretty weak.

    Any serious message you can have about extremism, like when child BJ is talking to that black girl, goes right out the window when the main character dies half way through and gets resurrected on the spot using a secret lab in the heart of nazi territory.

    BJ himself has the personality of cardboard when around other characters. The few memorable crew members get little screentime.

    Pretty sure if people weren’t fighting so much over left-right rethoric right now this game would have gotten much less attention (and sales).

    • Bobic says:

      honestly. nu-wolfenstein story is pure pretentious maudlin middlebrow… it’s a shame the art design and gameplay is so taut, tight, rippin and fuckin fun. Same shit with Borderlands 2

  22. patrickpeppers says:

    “That legacy extends to Sigrun, General Engels’ estranged daughter, who at one stage chokes out Grace Walker one-handed after being branded a Nazi: a deranged performance of the outrage expressed by many white people at being reminded of how they may have benefited from racism.”

    Fantastic misread of that scene.

    • Carcer says:

      Yeah. If it’s anything deeper than showing that Sigrun has developed some assertiveness, it’s a warning about mistreating genuine allies.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    Lovely piece, lovely and hominems in the comments among utter madness and privileged resentment.

    I take the opportunity here to say sorry to all the stuff of RPS. I’ve had many bad days in my life and sometimes I paid it with you, not really noticing how much a personal attack it was or not really wanting to care about. Even when that was subtle, that was wrong and I hope I can keep my anger out when I think that the world is against me, as no one should give a f about me. Let’s have a happy 2018 and keep this articles coming.

  24. xfstef says:

    TL,DR: The game is a neo-marxist shitshow.

  25. Monggerel says:

    When the flush of a newborn sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold,
    Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mold;
    And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
    Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves: “It’s pretty, but is it Art?”

    No it isn’t, stfu Kipling, go back to your Burden you dipshit lol

  26. DopeyJoe says:

    And here I thought it was just a fun shooter. Guess I look elsewhere for data to form my political views.

  27. PancakeWizard says:

    And lo, on the 28th of December of the year 2017, RPS finally disappeared up its own arsehole.

  28. KhanSolo says:

    Yeah politicize video gaming journalism because that is a great idea. How about you just tell us who to vote for already? Since your job is to judge and rate video games I bet you would do a great job.

    • Buuurr says:

      I’m with you. If I wanted political opinion pieces I would read them from qualified experts in the field. Not some guy writing for a blog on video games. Games are for fun. You make them not fun and they quickly go away. Personally, I like to disappear from the real world with video games. If I cannot do that because game devs are injecting the world into there… I’m out. Simple. I don’t need to be constantly bombarded with the shit of the world 24/7. Many people are in the same boat. Look at cord cutting. Why? Because people are sick of the ‘actual’ man. The guy actually taking their cash. People are dropping back to other phones without the term smart in them. People are getting back to their land. Entertainment is just that. And, as I said, it has been demonstrated by the many that they want it to be just that. The NFL, pizza shops, phone carriers… anywhere that someone has spouted political crap into someone’s entertainment they have lost vast amounts of cash. Look at Hollywood. What a great year they had politically, huh? Oh, what?! Yeah, whoops. Guess what, Leo. George. Damon. No one cares. Act. Make a good movie and then fuck off. Thanks.

      Disagree? Look up some stocks.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Charming. Unfortunately, none of us live in a vacuum, as much as I wish you did.

      • Hartford688 says:

        And I’m not with you.

        Games sometimes touch on political issues. And so occasionally it can be interesting to discuss those aspects.

        I suggest not to leave political opinion pieces to “qualified experts in the field” (whatever they are). Politics impact life all over the place on a daily basis. It is every citizen’s right to consider and discuss politics in order to determine their own (more informed) opinion. That means sometimes listening to people who you may not agree with. At the very least then you understand their POV and can criticise their position in an informed way.

        This article is not 100% to my taste, but at least was something to think about. They didn’t espouse violence or disenfranchisement of anyone. I don’t agree with all that was said, but provided me with another viewpoint. So I am fine with it.

        Perhaps you might simply skip the occasional “political” articles if you are not interested? Most of stuff on RPS has no such aspect.

        • Buuurr says:

          “Hartford688 says:
          And I’m not with you.”

          All Good.

          “Games sometimes touch on political issues. And so occasionally it can be interesting to discuss those aspects.”

          Exactly my point. Occasionally. Great choice of words. Thank you. Let’s see if you can read between the lines.

          “I suggest not to leave political opinion pieces to “qualified experts in the field” (whatever they are). Politics impact life all over the place on a daily basis. It is every citizen’s right to consider and discuss politics in order to determine their own (more informed) opinion. That means sometimes listening to people who you may not agree with. At the very least then you understand their POV and can criticise their position in an informed way.”

          Of course. I choose to not get that from a game blog writer. Cause… game blog. Nothing to weighty going on there.

          “This article is not 100% to my taste, but at least was something to think about. They didn’t espouse violence or disenfranchisement of anyone. I don’t agree with all that was said, but provided me with another viewpoint. So I am fine with it.”
          Again, all good. I was merely pointing out that the hens should stick to laying eggs.
          “Perhaps you might simply skip the occasional “political” articles if you are not interested? Most of stuff on RPS has no such aspect.”

          Yes, I agree. My posting was actually in having completely skipped the article. Again, I don’t listen to game bloggers for political opinions. I pass on by. The comments however, those are interesting. I was merely pointing out that this is a game blog and politics (like everywhere else) will quickly remove your fan base.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Also, isn’t it kind of ironic to have a picture of Schwartzenegger as your avatar?

        • Buuurr says:

          Actually, it is. Just not in the way you think it is. I love Arny. I love Arny for his movies. Arny outside the movies I couldn’t give a shit about. He is literally a living example of what happens when actors are given free reign in the political field. When entertainment comes to politics. What’s ironic is that most Californians love Arny and would vote him in again. Those same people use Trump’s ‘entertainment’ experience as a dig against him when, unlike Arny, Trump is lifting the American economy while Arny utterly tanked California’s. So, yeah… irony.

    • Sin Vega says:

      politicize video gaming journalism

      Genuine question:

      where the spraying piss have you been?

  29. WJonathan says:

    Next up: How GTA Vice City was really a blistering critique of the ’86 Reagan tax cuts!

    • Buuurr says:

      haha. Right. Though now, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility, seeing how RPS is a big hitter in the political arena now.

  30. ripfury says:

    Are there no journalists with backbones and knowledge in this country. Even in the online gaming community where we always had some respite from the sheeples has no been taken over by marxist morons. Every journalist has to always label Trump as a racist and side with post modern critical theorists. Marxism was designed to destroy societies. And you are contributing to it by playing along. Grow a spine. This marxist crap is ruining everything. And you are either infected with the memeplex yourselves or too weak to actually speak the truth. Either way you should be ashamed of yourselves to adding to the problem rather than raging against it.

  31. PachPachis says:

    Oh dear. I really like this game and I don’t think it’s marxist propaganda or the like as its detractors accuse it of being. However, this article is really a long stretch of looking to hard into a ridiculous pulp “shoot the Nazis” story with a few things to say about racism in America. Case in point is the author’s puzzling interpretation of the scene where Sigrun chokes Grace Walker. That was obviously Sigrun being fed up with being mislabled a nazi after she gave up her former life to risk everything for the resistance. The author must be viewing that scene with a lens so tinted they might as well be blind to arrive at the conclusion they did.