Okay I’ve read a couple responses here so I wanted to dive a little more into why it all still reads on a statement of Control to me.
First off, yes, they completely whiffed it by using the imagery of white supremacy and their early marketing pitches weren’t great. However, i realize it’s a little reductive, but white supremacy is itself about control. it’s about a violent and inhumane belief that the “white man” will lose control they are entitled to if other races are given an equal chance. it’s fear that they will lose control that they forced on others for a long time.
arlo: your comment on what John says is just as much about control to me. He is giving up on the idea that he can control anything. and i think that also goes to the “collective anxiety” that keydemographics mentions. The Seeds are all trying to take control in their own way because the world outside of Hope County is completely and utterly falling apart, as seen in the ending.
But here, in Hope County, the seeds are using their tactics to control and the resistance wants to take control back. though I really wish the game had made its own comment on the idea that these people are fighting back and forth for control, and if the resistance wins (and the game ended differently) they would have to turn control of Hope County back to the state and federal governments, so what do they achieve by stopping the Seed family?
I am giving the impression that i believe the game is well written, it’s not. Again, as keydemographics says, they don’t actually go far enough to make these statements externally, it’s all in just what they are doing and again in that mechanic that you are not allowed to be in control of the story elements either. Jacob is using psychiatry, a practice we tell soldiers to use to deal with their PTSD, and turning people into more mindless soldiers. Faith is basically living out the “Fluoride is a mind control drug” conspiracy theory. John is using extreme self-help guru bullshit to get people to hurt themselves and then submit.
there’s a version of all these things that works much better, either from better writing, some tweaking to the resistance point system.