Have you ever played a game that you really liked only to feel bad about it later when you find out what people think about it. I’m not talking about liking a “bad” game, in the sense of a game with flawed design or lack of polish. Rather where the messages and views expressed by the game or its creators go against what you believe in.
When playing a game that has something objectionable in its content, or controversial about its creators. Reading arguments against and all the “hot takes” about the game, can really sour me on the experience. For some reason or another the game resonated with me, but at the same time I find myself unable to defend its criticized aspects.
I begin to feel ashamed for liking the game. Especially when I agree with the criticisms against it at large. Sometimes I just feel exhausted about the whole thing. Like I would rather not think about it at all. There are also times where the supposed objectionable content stems from a connection I simply didn’t experience. Along the lines of “Obviously this is a metaphor for X because the developer believes in Y. And if you like this game that means you believe in Y as well”.
Surely I’m not alone in feeling like this sometimes. What do you do when something you like contains offensive content? Do you think that a game can depict a negative point of view without necessarily advocating for it outside its own world? And of course the age old question, can you separate the art from the artist?