Sit down, because we’re gonna get political up in here.
Recently, yet another video game has received mainstream attention for being hateful hot garbage on a rusty platter. If you’re thinking about Angry Goy 2, then yeah, you’ve nailed it. A game that lets you play at Christopher “Crying Nazi” Cantwell or Richard “Pepe-punched-in-the-face” Spencer where the sole objective is to mow down as many minorities, LGBTQ+ people and journalists as you can.
Basically, what’s going on here is somebody has taken tragedy and hate and turned it into a profit margin. While Angry Goy 2 is technically free, the developer accepts tips through Bitcoin and receives money for advocating violence. It’s despicable, devious and wrong; and we’ve seen this before. Active Shooter, released earlier this year, was another instance of this.
Games like these are made for shock value to capitalize on negative controversy and exploit tragedy for personal gain. Active Shooter (now known as Standoff), no matter how much they want to deny it, was made to exploit the spike of school shootings in the United States. The trailer released in the same month as a shooting at Santa Fé High School and just three months after Stoneman Douglass. You might be thinking, “How could a game be cobbled together that quickly?” Two words: asset flip.
Let us we be clear, we have no issue with violent games that are full of blood, guts and teenage angst. However, when it’s intentionally made to show hate and target specific groups of people is when the line is thoroughly crossed.
Games like Angry Goy 2 are to video games what scrawling racial slurs on a wall is to painting. They can hardly be considered art. If someone is going to court controversy, they need to have something of substance to say. The Housewife was controversial because it tackled the hard topic of domestic abuse and violence. Angry Goy 2 is controversial because it has a shamelessly hateful agenda.
“As a publication, advocating for censorship would be like shooting ourselves in the foot. We believe in the free expression of ideas and views. However, we will speak up and put our foots down when somebody uses hateful rhetoric for personal gain; using our free speech to combat theirs.”
Knowing that games often serve as a means to get away from the world around us for a period of time, it begs the question as to why developers choose to create games centered around a real-life tragedy. The underlying factor is always money, a way to capitalize on tragic events and profit from the loss of so many. With the recent release of Angry Goy 2, it is evident that this soulless trend is still going strong.
Political games don’t have to exploit tragedy to be good or rationalize their existence. Games like Make America Great Again: The Trump Presidency are full of conservative memes and outrageous imagery — such as Trump fighting ISIS with a sword from a helicopter, however, it’s more tasteless than hateful. Games can be political, and political games can even be edgy, however advocating violence for people based on their identity crosses a line.
As consumers, we need to be conscious of the people we patronize. It is not edgy, funny, or popular to even entertain the notion of paying for or downloading these games because when you do, you are telling the many people out there who support perpetrators of prejudiced violence that what they are doing works – And it doesn’t.
However, on a brighter note, we would like to bring attention to Queer Games Bundle 2, a curated bundle of indie Steam games from MidBoss that explore minority identities, including those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and people of color. Available at a 50% discount until November 30 (after which it will be 15% off permanently), players can see how games such as 2064: Read Only Memories and LongStory are able to positively capture the experiences and lives of minority populations in genres ranging from horror to history on the high seas. You can buy the bundle and help fund the work of indie developers to tell the stories of marginalized communities here.
UPDATE 11/18/2018: As a publication, advocating for censorship would be like shooting ourselves in the foot. We believe in the free expression of ideas and views. However, we will speak up and put our foots down when somebody uses hateful rhetoric for personal gain; using our free speech to combat theirs.