Is The Western Gaming Industry Getting Destroyed By Political Correctness?

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Recently while going through my Facebook timeline, I came across a picture highlighting the differences between games made in the West versus games made in the East (Japan). It showed how Western gaming developers had totally gone offtrack with their games, resulting in a storm of criticism and a large number of unhappy players. Here is the pic in question:

Picture Courtesy of G Gaming

 

Now, I do not necessarily agree with this but let’s face it: This is not Western gaming’s golden age. Sure, we’re getting plenty of great games from Western developers, but it’s pretty clear that games are receiving a lot of backlash due to a few problems that seem to be taking root in the Western gaming industry. Let’s explore them:

First of all, let’s talk about why Western games are facing so much criticism these days. A lot of fans don’t seem to be happy with the path that developers have taken, with the result being games, even ones that got relatively good scores from critics, facing heavy backlash from players. From my viewpoint, and the viewpoint of many other gamers, it seems like Asian (Eastern) developers aren’t restrained by the liberal politics which have wormed their way into the western tech industry. Political correctness has become way too important for Western developers, leading to little artistic integrity among them. Shoehorning ethnic minorities, people of different color and sexual orientation is often done at the sacrifice of a games story and it’s realism. Games are games, an outlet for people to forget their real life problems and enjoy their day. They are NOT PSA’s meant to push political agendas. And that is where Western developers seem to have gone offtrack.




Let’s look at some examples. Battlefield 1 faced a storm of criticism when it released for the number of people of color it showed fighting on the European front. It seemed every match, or rather, almost every squad in a match had a black soldier in it, leading to a large number of black soldiers on the battlefield during a match. Now, diversity is a great thing that should be encouraged. But Battlefield 1 is a game that had a goal of portraying World War 1 in a very realistic way, and having such a large ratio of black soldiers on the European front is not believable. Yes, there were black soldiers that fought for the Allies, and even some for the Germans (colonial troops). But the ratio of black soldiers in each match is a huge inflation, especially on the German side since very very few black German soldiers fought on the European front.

The point is, developers should not change history in order to fit their own progressive beliefs. It’s not about racism, it’s about depicting history the way it was. Around the time BF1 launched, The Know posted a video on YouTube about how a former dev accused Battlefield sexism. The video went on to show it’s support by stating how DICE should have added female soldiers to the game, arguing that if the game could ignore real life problems like guns jamming and parachutes malfunctioning, then they could also add women to the game. Alongside making the thinnest argument in history, the video highlighted a major issue: Being politically correct is now more important to some people than respecting history, and this issue has spread to the world of gaming too. It may seem too far fetched now, but in the future this could pose a major problem since it is clear Western devs are now being influenced by these matters.




Everything offends someone. It’s an unavoidable truth. But should we let it affect how we approach our art, our creativity and the outlets by which we experience the unlikely, the outrageous and the utterly fictional? We’ve already let political correctness like this destroy gaming projects. If you’re looking for an example, look no further than Six Days in Fallujah. Developed by Konami back in 2008 (which shows that even some Eastern developers are affected to some extent), this game was essentially finished and ready to be released. But it never actually came out. Peace advocates and war veterans protested against the game, arguing that the game shouldn’t be played because the Iraq War was still ongoing. Nevermind the fact that there have been hundreds of games set in all major wars, from World War 2 to the Vietnam War. Konami essentially deprived it’s audience of a game because a few loud people wanted them to. And that’s the problem. Games have begun to cater to the most minuscule of issues raised only by a few very loud people, and this practice is alienating the players.




By abstract notions of being offended and hurt, we’re tying developers hands. We’re not letting them give us unique experiences through games. We’re not getting challenged, we’re not allowing them to make us uncomfortable, we’re not letting them make us think. We’re basically stripping them of their creativity.

And the other face of this problem is: Western game developers are actually letting a few people decide what their games should be like. It’s the majority of the player-base that matters, and I for a fact know that most players enjoy challenges, they enjoy being put out of their comfort zone, they like it when a game portrays actual events. This is what sets Eastern developers apart from Western devs.




In the end, this poses a question for both the developers and the players: When are we going to realize that this mentality is destructive?



  • TheSpaceUnicorn

    Hilarious, I call out the article for being garbage and it gets removed. Way to call out PC culture and then turn around and do exactly what they do.

  • Rashmyr Blanc

    If you wrote this believing that this was somehow a riveting read I’m here to tell you that it isn’t. This is a garbage article rambling on about nothing.

  • TheSpaceUnicorn

    Why even have a comment section if you’re just going to remove any comment trying to discuss the article?

  • Dave21

    Strange that Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t on the list. It’s easy to slant a comparison if you edit the list to favor your opinion.

  • GemuC

    battlefield 1 was about as realistic a protrayal of world war 1 as its a accurate simulation of the great british bakeoff.

    carthatic pretend violence and accurate representation of war are inherently contradictory. so who cares wether the number of black people is accurate. or if women are in it as long as its fun.

    if you want to play a game that accurately represents the feeling (if not the procedure) of WW1, play valiant hearts.

    also fuck you for shitting on pyre preemptively. supergiant games made two of the best and most spellbinding games of the 21st century and there is no indication pyre wont be just as good.

    • TheSpaceUnicorn

      I can’t help but laugh at the people who complain about black people being overrepresented in BF1 on the grounds of realism. I mean, we’re talking about a WW1 game that features almost no trench warfare, soldiers ruining around in heavy armor with gatling guns and withstanding hundreds of bullets, most soldiers running around with automatic weapons, automatic fire for weapons that weren’t automatic, and red dot sights, but the color skin they see on their hands holding their gun is what breaks the realism factor?

      As much as these people want to say race isn’t the issue, it’s the only thing that triggers these special little snowflakes to the point where they feel the need to rant about how their safe space is being invaded. I guarantee you if there weren’t any black soldiers in BF1 these people wouldn’t be saying there should be black soldiers to represent the black people who actually did fight in WW1.

      • hurin

        The difference is between being unrealistic for the sake of gameplay, and being unrealistic for no good reason other than virtue signaling. The former is necessary the latter is just annoying.

        • TheSpaceUnicorn

          Representing black people in a war black people fought in is just virtue signaling?

        • Adrian Roemer

          How is having black people in a WWI game “virtue signaling”?

          Actually, how is it even “unrealistic”??? Do you know that black people DID participate in WWI right? some of them (such as Freddie Stowers or John R. Fox) even posthumously received Medals of Honor for their services.

    • sirhwort

      pyre has the same generic artstyle and re-used assets from its predecessor

  • TheSpaceUnicorn

    “Games are games, an outlet for people to forget their real life problems and enjoy their day. They are NOT PSA’s meant to push political agendas. And that is where Western developers seem to have gone offtrack.”

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with artists using an artistic medium to provide commentary and their stance on the social political climate at the time. That has always been the case since the beginning of civilization and will always be the case.

    That’s really hypocritical to suggest PC culture is ruining games and then turn around and dictate what artists can and cannot do with their medium based on what the medium is to you specifically, in fact, that makes you part of the PC culture that you claim is destroying the industry.

    The simple answer is: No one is making you play a game you don’t want to play, and if you don’t like what a developer is doing just don’t play their games. The only destructive mentality here, is yours.

    • hurin

      ‘There’s absolutely nothing wrong with artists using an artistic medium to provide commentary and their stance on the social political climate at the time.’

      There wouldn’t be if they had any talent. But when authors who are politically correct try and write stories the result is more akin to used toilet paper than Shakespeare.

      • TheSpaceUnicorn

        It’s pretty funny you mention Shakespeare considering his work is full of social and political commentary.

        • hurin

          Did you read my comment? Shakespeare had talent, so it was OK for him to do it.

          • TheSpaceUnicorn

            Of course I read your comment, and that’s definitely not what you said. Perhaps you need to reread your own comment.

          • Adrian Roemer

            This hurin guy is not going to change his mind, don’t bother.

            He makes up facts just to push his ideologies and when proved wrong, he backpeddals and changes his argument for something entirely different that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

            He also uses buzzwords as “virtue signaling” thinking that alone makes a good and substancial argument.

  • Adrian Roemer

    Are you seriously implying a game is inherently bad because it has two men kissing on it? what? Do you realise in real life, not everybody is a straight white man or a straight white woman that only have supporting roles, right?

    It’s funny how you use that “Shoehorning” buzzword to complain about games simply because they have minorities in them, no matter how small or optional or superficial those instances are. And how do you know that they have “little artistic integrity” because of that? have you thought that maybe, just maybe, the developers want to have minorities in them because that’s what they feel is fitting for their games?

    >”Games are games, an outlet for people to forget their real life problems and enjoy their day”

    Having minorities around isn’t a freaking problem.

    You’re basically bitching because games even dare to feature minorities in them, and that makes you feel uncomfortable, so you decide to blame the game developers for it.

    >”But should we let it affect how we approach our art, our creativity and the outlets by which we experience the unlikely, the outrageous and the utterly fictional? We’ve already let political correctness like this destroy gaming projects”

    You’re the one who wants game developers to stop doing the things they want to do and to stop their artistic vision simply because it puts you out of your comfort zone.

    You’re a classic case of someone who’s “ok with minorities” so long as they never, ever show up or even mention they are a minority.

    >”In the end, this poses a question for both the developers and the players: When are we going to realize that this mentality is destructive?”

    It isn’t frigging “destructive”. Stop labelling those things as such simply because it makes you feel uncomfortable to watch two men kiss.

    What an immature and vacuous article.

    • hurin

      They are a problem if they do not belong in the story.

      • Adrian Roemer

        >”They are a problem if they do not belong in the story.”

        What does that even mean? How can you decide what types of people “belong” and “don’t belong” in a story??

        What a shallow argument. How arbitrary to say that minorities don’t belong in the story of video games, you know, fictional settings that can be about whatever the author wants them to be.

        • hurin

          Take Witcher III there were people complaining all humans were white, but the story is based on Slavic mythology, and non-whites simply do not belong there.

          • Adrian Roemer

            It’s also a game where you fight fictitious monsters. Applying real life logic as to how things “should be” is a weak argument.

            And even if you could still find a good argument for the Witcher 3, its situation still is different from the rest of the games that the author of this article portrays as examples of “destructive mentality”

            Like how the author of this article is explicitly stating that “two men kissing” are “problems” that affect “artistic integrity” as well as how “we approach art and creativity”, things which simply aren’t true.

          • lieschen müller

            its a game about slavic mythology, its not about real life but a culture´s folklore if you cant understand that it talks lots about your ignorance of other cultures

  • hurin

    Battlefield 1 could be fixed on the client side. Just give players the option to have female and black soldiers in the game.

    On a more fundamental level I think the problem is politically correctness ruins storytelling. The stories become preachy rather than intriguing, the heroes become Mary Sue, and the villains become caricatures. Everyone have read or heard of Asimov, Herbert and Heinlein, but who can name a science fiction author from the past 20 years?

    • Adrian Roemer

      Andy Weir, Suzanne Collins, Charles Stross, Vernor Vinge, John M. Scalzi, Pierce Brown, just to name a few.

      There are lots of good authors writing good science fiction books, and “political correctness” hasn’t stopped them from doing their work, and it certainly hasn’t “ruined their storytelling” or prevented them from writing the stuff they want to write.

      You’d know them if you spent more time actually reading sci-fi books instead of just making stuff up in order to push an ideology.

      • hurin

        The only one I have heard about is Scalzi. He is one of the people who laid the groundwork for GamerGate. And speaking as someone who earns a living standing between a hardhat and steel toe shoes, can you please direct me to where this white male privilege I supposedly have is located? I cannot seem to be able to find it anywhere.

        http://kotaku.com/5910857/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is

        • Adrian Roemer

          When did I ever mention “white male privilege” or even said that you had it?? It has nothing to do with my comment.

          I’m pointing out how your premise is flawed;

          You claim that “political correctness ruins storytelling”, and then asked “who can name a science fiction author from the past 20 years?” as if that showed that no sci-fi authors have been able to succeed as writers because of this.

          To which I proved you wrong by citing all of those examples of authors that have wrote successful and popular books in the last 20 years, despite your made up problems that this “political correctness” supposedly presents.

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  • sirhwort

    Western indies have the same artstyle and same generic plot and gameplay

    Western AAA are full of microtransactions, expensive DLC, horrible online and they only try to market based on politics and sexual/gender orientation

  • jlenoconel

    I don’t think the political correctness in Battlefield 1 was that bad, or at least it was barely noticeable to me. The greater problem in gaming is devs trying to please everyone, and trying not to offend anyone. Mainstream gaming is headed towards a bad path in general, where budgets are so overblown now that no risks whatsoever can be taken, and all we’ll ever have is the same generic b.s. from now on. The only glimmer of hope is indies. Can’t think of any mainstream game I’ve really been excited about recently, except maybe Resident Evil 7. Gaming has just changed too drastically since I started as a child in the late 80s/early 90s.