Opinion: Politics in Video Games

Politics in video games: an aberration, or inevitability?

First and foremost, the following text (and rant) is strictly my opinion and doesn’t represent the stance of Silver Soul Gaming.

I think that most people nowadays agree that now video games have become a form of art. Not only that, but they also became a widespread and influential media resource. And as it happens, both of those areas are rife with the political content of various forms and shapes. Sadly, that trend also hit video games and video game journalism. 

Why would I say “sadly”, you may ask? Let me explain. Thing is when politics come into play (in any media, not just in video games), then rationality and objectivity come out of the window. It stops being about the fun and the quality of the content, and it starts being about the message it presents. Combine it with the gaming journalists with a political agenda, and things will get really ugly really fast. In fact, that combination led to the situation when gaming resources refuse to have anything to do with a game just because it doesn’t pander to their political views. That frustrates me to no end.

Of course, there is such a thing called “freedom of expression” which means that the creator can choose whatever theme he wants. Not to mention that there is such a thing as political art. Honestly, I totally agree with that, and political games, while not my cup of tea, have a right to exist. In fact, I respect political artists for their expression of their beliefs, even if I personally disagree with them. 

What I don’t respect. however, is pandering. Political art is well and good when it is stated that it was created to convey a message. But if the game was not advertised as such, and it was never stated that it has such a purpose, and it is clear that this message was pushed in without a care for the content’s quality – this is where I draw a line.

And not just me, apparently, as many such games, as well as companies creating and selling them, have faced a pushback from the community. I hope that this trend will die out sooner rather than later, along with its many propagators. I want high-quality content in my games, not a half-baked pandering for this or that agenda.

Once again, I’m not against politics in the art and video games, just make it mesh with the game and setting, make an effort in creating a good game. And, better yet, advertise it as a part of your message. 

And get off my gaming journalism lawn with your political bias, ya darn kids!

Your resident Russian and a concerned gamer Darth NYUTON, signing out.

Advertisements

Dead Sea Almanac – March 19, 2019

Today’s wonderous item is a fantastic appliance: it makes eggs do anything and everything you could ever dream! It’s a souffle-maker, a hard-boiler, a frier of two at once if you are agile! It even flings unfinished eggs at passers by with but a flick of the wrist and the press of a button*!

* The Dead Sea Trading Company is not responsible for harm that may result from the flinging of unfinished eggs, including but not limited to embedded shells, malignant and persistent odors, and a variety of slipping and sliding effects. The Dead Sea Trading Company apologizes for the actions of adventurers, but cannot be held responsible for the improper usage of their legally retailed implements.

Stats

The Egg-Flinger is just what it says, and so much more. It cooks eggs to perfection in any manner desired, and can serve any number of humanoids with breakfast at the rate of two eggs per customer. Additionally, the user may make a ranged attack with the Egg-Flinger, declaring one of the following effects if they should hit:

  • The target is momentarily blind-folded by an omelette, giving them disadvantage on their next attack roll.
  • The target is splattered with rotten egg, giving them disadvantage on Charisma checks for one day.
  • The target is covered in slippery raw egg mixture, giving them disadvantage on their next dexterity check.

A Story From the Frontier

Today we were greeted in the marketplace by a most peculiar merchant, who sold to us a scale from a mermaid’s tail; he could not say where he had acquired it but travelers from the road said they had seemed him leave from Cardiff. He also claimed to have tickets for a most unusual show, and we, being gentlepersons male and female of a most inspiring curiosity, were displeased in no uncertain terms to find it merely a peep show at a most unclothed young lady who claims she seeks a friend in Lotsmuth wood, and that her travels with the merchant are but temporary.

We returned with officers of the police force but found the merchant had already closed up shop, and the young woman was nowhere to be found. Facing indecency charges but with no proof in the matter, he was allowed on his way. The editors are most aggrieved at the fate of the young woman and post a reward of fifteen crowns for information leading to her safe retrieval.

In Other News

  • The crown hosts another lawn-bowling tournamaent, to be worth 100 crown to the victor.

Gaming the Google Way

Two big problems in gaming are cost and download speeds. Games are expensive and, if gaming on a budget, it’s hard to stay up to date with all of the games your friends may be getting. And if you do have the money for the said game(s), downloading the game and installing it could take hours. That alone delays play time with your friends or that sweet enjoyment of sitting down to a new experience.

Google Plans

Google plans to change all of that. Or, at least, be one of the many voices who are eager to change all of that. On Tuesday, March 19th, at the 2019 Game Developers Conference, the tech empire is set to unveil its streaming game service. That, eventually, could lead to their own marketable gaming system. Their goal is to create “the Netflix for video games”, however, with so many facets of the gaming empire, it’s hard to imagine this coming easily. But maybe it will all be okay. Maybe Google will be that rich, kind uncle (With a wardrobe leading to Narnia? Stay with me here) that will help all of the kids on the marketing playground play well and convince the neighborhood bully, Sony, to share his toys. Only time will tell.

Future Possibilities


As a gamer with limited money and resources, I’ve been more than interested in the future of game streaming. But streaming also relies heavily on several factors. One is the power of your at-home computer system but the most important being internet speeds. However, if Google follows through and presents a console, of sorts, that could bridge that gap for people with bricks for machines and grandma’s internet provider, I think millions of eyes would turn their way.

So will “The Cloud” bring us a new era of gaming? I’ll definitely be tuning in to find out.

Written by Stephanie Skiles

Dead Sea Almanac – March 18, 2019

Featured Item

Today’s item is a most wonderous contraption: the authentic Dead Sea Tupperware that gave us our name. Still good after hundreds of years, this magical item is crafted with a special magic that will contain literally anything, from a fireball to a ravenous chupacabra; merely take the top off and place an item of great danger inside, and the tupperware will contain the resulting calamity*.

* Providing it causes less than one hundred hit points of damage, as all disasters of calamitous proportions are wont to do, except those which there is naturally no surviving.

Stats

The tupperware is a wonderous item that weighs one pound and has 20d10 (100) hit points, a number known only to the dungeon master. It has an internal size of three feet by three feet and will contain any damage which does not exceed its hit points. All damage so contained is directed upwards in a fifteen-foot cone when the tupperware is opened, or in a sphere of ten-foot radius when the tupperware is breached. The tupperware is good for one thousand years from date of manufacture, but has a 1% chance to stop working any time it is opened.

A Story From the Frontier

An adventurer stopped by the other day, who claimed to have seen an actual beholder. He claimed nothing less than to have been witness to the beast as it devoured a small deer in a forest by the seaside town of Watersham, though what could bring a beholder to such strange behavior is beyond the persons at this post entirely. What is certain is that if the sighting is indeed true, the persons of the town would be certainly advised to abdicate; however, the authors find no reason to substantiate the claim. Just another crazy stumbling through town.

In Other News

  • The queen of our neighboring realm has been seen with a man much younger, leading some to speculate an affair or romance is in play; with her husband dead these many years it seems only fitting she should now find love again.
  • The Duke of Huntington has said his dogs were mauled by bears; he posts a reward of 10 crown pieces and the flesh of the animal for anyone who can do him justice for this offense, it being beneath the station of a duke to do so.
  • A strange woman is rumored to have been seen in the streams near the headwater of the Pyandes. The villagers of Lotsmuth taking great affright that her appearance is a sign that The Black Rider may soon return; their local legend on the subject is surely worth a spot in our next issue!

Article 13 of EU Copyright Laws: what is it and how will it affect creators?

As most of our readers probably know, governing bodies of EU recently finalized the wording of Articles 11 and 13 of copyright laws. Those are articles are extremely controversial and unpopular among creators and web platforms they are based on. Why is that? Let’s take a look.

What those articles imply?

First of all, what those articles regulate, and why people that do not live in Europe should worry about them? Basically, Article 11 and Article 13 tighten the noose around creators’ neck, as they make copyright infringement more imposing and costly.

Article 11 will introduce a tax on hyperlink posting. This tax will be put on all resources that could post hyperlinks preemptively. Article 13, in turn, will require an AI to filter any copyrighted materials to stop them being posted on the Internet. As both of those articles will demand preemptive actions from websites, you can see how that would hinder any web source, whether it shares copyright materials or not. Not to mention possible infringement on a free speech.

Why should non-EU residents care?

This is a fair question. After all, those laws don’t concern you if you live in USA or Russia. At least, not directly. However, most of the platforms will need to follow those rules. Unless they want to lose the access to their EU audience.

As such, YouTube, Twitter, Twitch and etc., will change their content policy. To the worse. Furthermore, let’s be honest, most of their content policies were not very good before. After all, free speech infringement is not a new accusation against them. But do we need it to worsen even more?

Of course, it is not certain that those articles will come to pass. They were declined by governing bodies before, and there is still a big push against them. Still, it is better to prepare for the worst, I believe.

So, what could we do to make sure it will not pass? If you are a EU resident, then you should organize and make enough fuss to catch more attention about those laws that could destroy content creation as we know it. Talk to authorities, make groups, prepare petitions – whatever you can think about. However, if you are not based in EU, you can only raise awareness and hope for the best.

That’s what I’m doing.

Final Fantasy XV DLC will launch in March, with The Dawn of the Future novel following it in April

The newest Final Fantasy XV DLC Episode Ardyn will come out on March, 26.

In addition to that, Square Enix has released a short animated prologue to the DLC set before the beginning of FF XV. It is called Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn Prologue. This animation will provide some explanation about why Ardyn was so hell-bent on revenge in the game.

What’s even better, Square Enix has announced that The Dawn of the Future novel will come out on April, 25 in Japan. Many Final Fantasy fans were heartbroken when the company decided to cancel The Dawn of the Future DLC. In fact, they even petitioned for the company to not do that. As such, Square Enix decided to do that in their own way – hence, this novel.

Of course, fans will need to wait for the translation, but it sure beats the full cancellation of it. So, hold on your seats and wait for more Final Fantasy goodness.

Tune in for more of gaming news here on SSG!

You can watch Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn Prologue here:


Logitech C920 just for £24.99 today

One of the best webcams around has a half-off price today on Amazon.

Logitech C920 has a resolution of 1920×1080, dual stereo microphones and autofocus. That, along with automatic low-light adjustment, makes it a great camera for both the professionals and beginners.

All of that for today will cost £24.99, so take heed and hurry!

You can look it up at Amazon.