May 17, 2010
Computer Gamers: Conservatives in WaitingBy Chris Joel
Maybe Barack Obama knew what he was doing when he criticized Xboxes and Playstations:
To accept the premises of liberal arguments is to willingly throw oneself into the quicksand that is the Left's twisted logic. But it can be a fun way to illustrate their absurdity.
Our president recently chose to attack devices that are primarily used for entertainment purposes because he believes that my generation, those who graduated high school at the start of the 21st century, use these systems as a primary source of information. While it is fair to say that more people are playing a multiplayer match of "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" right now than are watching CNN, gamers are hardly relying on the Xbox Live Dashboard for feeds off the AP wire.
At a time when our elders tirelessly work to leave us a country that is far worse than the one they enjoyed, turning on a video game is the closest thing we have to the society and culture that once was. It is practically nostalgic. Obama speaks of these entertainment options as a barrier to properly utilizing and pursuing information to seek out the truth, or at least, the truth as he sees it. It is definitely frightening to those who love liberty when we hear the chief defender of our Constitution speak this way. However, Obama is wrong about how gamers (those of us who play video games frequently) use our gaming systems.
They are a tool of empowerment and emancipation. Perhaps we are not using this tool the way Obama would prefer, but it is more than just selfish escapism. Video games act as our safe havens and a way for us to experience true liberty in this society.
Most successful video games are designed around themes that are practically heresy to the Left. Stories involving patriotism, the pursuit of liberty, individualism, heroism, capitalism, strategic/analytical thought, and collaboration are staples of a rewarding in-game experience. Games that do not include at least one of these themes would be nearly unplayable.
If the liberals running video game companies made games based solely on their ideological beliefs, GameStop would be nothing more than a vast bargain bin of failed games. Consumers do not want to play games where their character is an elder statesman preparing a 2,000-page piece of legislation. Nor do we, as gamers, want to play as a low-level bureaucrat tasked with delivering an EPA analysis on a proposed wind farm before time expires.
Though many video game designers pull the lever next to any name with a (D) each November, their ideologies are forced to take a back seat. If that weren't the case, we would see more of these terrible games. Liberalism is acceptable to these companies only when it does not directly affect their slice of liberty -- in this case, the business they created and maintain. Without fail, when you need to pay the bills, conservatism wins the day.
It is a schizophrenic life, especially when you consider how most video games are written. The main character (or hero) typically starts the game with very little. Through the gamer's actions, the hero's status in the fictional world grows at a rate proportional to the time and effort invested. Games also allow us to experience a world typically under siege by a tyrant. It is up to our character to defeat it and never cooperate with it.
Many times the hero is part of a military of varying allegiance. Most people who pick up a controller will become absorbed in the game's environment. They learn everything they can about their surroundings, the objectives, and what it will take to succeed. Moral relativism has no place here. The game has a clearly defined enemy with little room for political correctness or U.N. sanctions. The enemy is shooting at you. It's time to fight back, minus the Miranda Rights.
Stepping away from militaristic games, two other popular genres include simulation and strategy games. A majority of these games rely on the collection and utilization of resources to win. At a young age, a gamer learns that if he spends more than he earns, there isn't bailout button -- the game is over. The gamer must also vigorously defend the borders of his land lest it fall into enemy hands. Encroachment of this land is an act of war.
These are key features of this genre, but there is one critical piece that is rarely translated to real life. That piece is the encouragement of wealth-creation and acknowledging the crippling burden of a permanent under-class. The upper class is always the best population to obtain, and a gamer does everything possible to elevate the poor to that higher status. Taxing the rich out of existence, or depending on the poor to power your economy, leads to failure.
Liberals tend to especially enjoy simulation games because they deliver the omnipotent power liberals crave. We conservatives like these games because they let us create a world free of liberalism. But the left rarely learns from this game genre or others, if one were to examine their ideology. While the game objectives in the previous two paragraphs would never be considered part of the Democrat operating philosophy, not all gamers are staunch conservatives. At least, they do not yet realize that they are.
The conflict is between the world our characters live in and the world in which we live. Now that liberals seemingly control all the levers of power, ideals that have been with humanity since the beginning of time are written off as simplistic and barbaric. Rather than encouraging heroism, we are taught that one man's hero is another man's villain. Patriotism, especially when related to the military, is extinguished beneath a litany of so-called injustices at the hands of our brave soldiers and evil Republican officials. The left has so thoroughly corrupted a majority of the population that gamers are left to wonder what they really believe. It becomes easier to comply with the pressures of the real world than aspire toward a world that operates off of the best themes of their favorite games.
Maybe Obama didn't misspeak. The man is incredibly calculating in his ideological attacks. He must perceive a political threat from within the community which uses these devices. Sadly, this is the emancipation he fears. He and his allies have done their best to separate my generation from the themes video games project on us by avoiding real-world correlations. Now honor, patriotism, and heroism are filtered through moral relativism and political correctness to the point that they are true only in fantasy.
Straight out of the Left's playbook, the president always seeks the path of division. Rather than open a dialog with the gamers, he dismisses and demonizes us as a distracted group of people seeking a mindless diversion. This tactic is well-known to my idols, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, and without their voices, it may have never been identified.
This is the true youth vote. Gamers make up a vast pool of future conservative voters waiting for someone to show them that these popular themes can exist in the real world. It is already at the core of their beliefs.
Now where is my controller? I have a world to save.
Chris Joel blogs at latepatriot.com.