Sincere & Positive Leftism In Games

I haven’t played Where the Water Tastes Like Wine but there’s apparently some positive southern communist writing in it.

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Arcanum: Steamworks of Magick Obscura is a CRPG with a lot of choices and angles of approach, so it’s sort of as leftist as you make it, but it does let you do some cool stuff. There’s an orcish civil rights radical you can help, and the game in general is one of the best (if not one of the only) games that wields steampunk as a means of examining the industrial revolution and its effects on labor and society. Cool game imo

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Arcanum, now there’s a series that could do with a streamlined reboot. It’s got such a cool premise, but I find it unbearable to actually play.

I’d argue that, even with M+KB, Planescape:Torment’s interface and design get in the way of the good bits about it. (But I appear to be allergic to the Baldur’s Gate school of cRPG design, even though allegedly, it should be “my era” of cRPGs, and have always found them to be near-unplayable for all those reasons you mention.)

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Whaaat? I didn’t hear about this! Damn, now I regret backing Wasteland 2 and 3.

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Since I’d rather not link directly to the interview he agreed to with breitbart-esque reactionary blog heat street, i’ll quote the excerpt i found in an inxile forum post that’s marginally less bad, if still grossly anti-sex-worker so CW if you look it up. And CW for this shitawful passage alone, too:

can’t you smell how fuckin REAL the 40 y.o. white man boy post apoc cowboy video game is with instant universal prostitute venereal disease??? aint tryna preach™, just bein REAL

Incidentally, I discovered this while looking up if WL2 is as creepy about sex shit as i suspected after seeing it implies 16 year olds are “adult” in its character creator (something which Fallout 1 and 2 do, too)

I’m sorry, most of my posting here’s been a super downer about what games to avoid lmao

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Ugh, thanks for informing me. If you makes you feel better, I feel like most of my posts are either asking about a bad thing that happened or also talking about one. I guess we’ll just be sad together.

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I like infinity engine RPGs ¯_(ツ)_/¯ they’re fairly obtuse to go back to now, but them being “zoomed out bullshit” is partially what allowed for such detailed storytelling. keep in mind these games contemporaries were like, still figuring out telling basic stories as well.

the original Assassin’s Creed is a more recent game that’s pretty interesting in this department, by the way. Without spoiling it, the game’s ending is the closest thing to a call to arms/depiction of The Struggle that I’ve seen in a AAA game maybe ever.

I so wish we would have gotten Amsterdam 1666

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I think interface design has moved on a ton since infinity engine was a thing; and, certainly, at the time, it was as much the combination of realtime combat and extremely fiddly interfaces for actually doing anything as the “zoomed out bullshit”. (Plus, the cultural assumption that cRPGs have to have combat, be based on D&D, and have random encounters, really doesn’t work with, specifically, what PS:T is trying to do with story, either, and that’s very much a problem which hasn’t gone away entirely but was much worse in the Infinity Engine era.)

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to each their own I guess. I played most of these games for the first time in the early to mid 2000s and didn’t have much problem grasping the game structure (accessibility issues aside; that’s definitely a problem with these older games. I’m colorblind and often have some UI problems myself so I feel you there) but considering for a while these games were the pinnacle of translating the tabletop experience into a computer game, I was pretty impressed at the time.

I think Arcanum (and Planescape as well!) is still absolutely worth playing if you’re interested in an overtly political old RPG, even if you mod out the combat/god-mode yourself or something.

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Assassin’s Creed takes wild political swings to fit the lore but it typically goes on side with the more leftist sides of history. Black Flag’s late game is about imperialism and the encroaching threat to the lifestyle of the privateers socialist paradise even when they are trying to settle. Unity is incredibly graphic about the French revolution and doesn’t “both sides” it (Dour “Doomed Lovers from different families” main plot aside. The historical descriptions written by the Historical Archiver, Shaun are super leftist and also delightful to read since they really play up the French/English rivalry in a fun way). Syndicate almost has it with how you are taking down till it makes Churchill allied with the Assassin’s in the flash forward bits (Which can fuck right off). And of course Origins is really good with the encroaching imperialism of the Greek and Roman empires. I mean, compared to the Hawk wet dreams of the Clancy games. AC is a rather interesting path.

Also while current playing Crackdown 3 on game pass. For a game with “No real plot”. It gets very into pro-environmentalism, one of the early game objectives is freeing Refugees and opening a wall and the rebel leader, Echo talks about how hyper-capitalism ruins the world and lectures the very white Agency director about the plight of refugees and climate change quite frequently so that was a huge surprise (I half expect Echo to burst into singing L’ Internationale at some point). Is cop on cop violence OK if your super cop is played by Terry Crews and you are fighting for the sake of restoring rights to the downtrodden by literally blowing up corporations?

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Also Crackdown 3 has this which I thought is hilarious.

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So, this game looks REALLY interesting. You play a journalist trying to uncover a fascist conspiracy in the making in a 1980s UK-like country. The aesthetic is really appealing to me, and I love the idea of a slow-burn stealth game where you have to build evidence against the oppressors and then expose them with it.

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I recently watched the 10 minute gameplay trailer, it looks really interesting, I can’t tell if its a run based game, designed to play over and over or not. But my biggest take away was the PR bad guy was a scouser, i’m from Liverpool and was kind of gutted to see and hear that accent as the bad guy with the city being a left-wing stronghold, but I suppose Esther ‘murderer’ McVey calls/ed Liverpool home

EDIT: “You are the reporter. You decide the narrative” - I just seen this on the amazon page and jeez I do not like the sound of that

finally the video game version of the newsroom we deserve

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I have never seen (or even heard of) The Newsroom, how bad is it and what’s it’s deal?

I’ll stay far the fuck away from that then. Thats a whole thing I dont want to have to deal with

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I am interested don’t get me wrong. A bomb going off in the north west, Justice for the 27. Patriot Act esq policy being introduced. Journalist uncovering the truth. It’s all interesting but my biggest fear is they try a big twist, that you uncover it’s the left/anti-facist who orchestrated the attack pinning it on the authoritarian right.

Im gunna hold off until I see some reviews I think, no doubt it’s covered by the Waypoint folks

Do you think you could elaborate on why you think immersive sims might have “a baked-in centrism?” Is it because an emphasis on player choice in narrative can frequently result in designers validating all choices, even if they’re unethical?