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Highwire now making Six Days in Fallujah (Gaming)

by cheapLEY @, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 10:20 (93 days ago)

From IGN

I remember hearing about this game ages ago. What a weird turn.

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Highwire now making Six Days in Fallujah

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 13:05 (93 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I might be too much of wimp to play that. I like the approach, though.

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Realistic

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 13:08 (93 days ago) @ cheapLEY

They say it's supposed to be realistic.

Looking forward to cleaning armored vehicles for 10 hours at a time, and dying to one bullet.

https://www.theonion.com/ultra-realistic-modern-warfare-game-features-awaiting-o-1819594864

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Realistic

by cheapLEY @, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 13:24 (93 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I’m a little concerned about it, to be honest. I seem to recall the original iteration of the game wanting to address the atrocities during that battle in some way or another, but the trailer for this new version reads like the typical imperialist war propaganda found in a lot of media, especially video games. That snippet of the interview with the veteran saying something along the lines of “You don’t understand because you weren’t there” reeks of trying to justify the awful things that took place.

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yeahhhhh, about that

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 14:14 (93 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I’m a little concerned about it, to be honest. I seem to recall the original iteration of the game wanting to address the atrocities during that battle in some way or another, but the trailer for this new version reads like the typical imperialist war propaganda found in a lot of media, especially video games. That snippet of the interview with the veteran saying something along the lines of “You don’t understand because you weren’t there” reeks of trying to justify the awful things that took place.

This is a solid thread on that very topic.

Pretty good read. :(

by Claude Errera @, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 15:41 (92 days ago) @ kidtsunami

- No text -

On a more positive note...

by EffortlessFury @, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 16:24 (92 days ago) @ kidtsunami

It seems that marketing may be at fault here. We'll know more next month.

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I hope they're right

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Friday, February 12, 2021, 03:44 (92 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

It seems that marketing may be at fault here. We'll know more next month.

To be fair, a lot of the hot takes right now can be summed up with:
"wow, this could go terribly wrong, I'm worried"

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I hope they're right

by cheapLEY @, Friday, February 12, 2021, 05:52 (92 days ago) @ kidtsunami
edited by cheapLEY, Friday, February 12, 2021, 06:44

It seems that marketing may be at fault here. We'll know more next month.


To be fair, a lot of the hot takes right now can be summed up with:
"wow, this could go terribly wrong, I'm worried"

I mean, it is based on what is actually being shown and said about the game (the trailer and the press release about the game). I know developers often have no control over those things, and it would be no surprise to me that the game would be marketed like it’s a new Call of Duty even if it’s nothing like that. I am reserving judgment until we actually see more, but what we’ve seen so far is thoroughly uninteresting and deeply disappointing. I have zero interest in engaging with anything trying to justify the Iraq war, or explain away war crimes as “you just weren’t there,” and that looks like what this game is doing based on what we’ve actually seen so far.


EDIT: If it turns out this is just poor marketing, that also deserves plenty of criticism. If this is seen as the “safe” way to market a game about the Iraq War, that deserves to be lambasted.

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exactly

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Friday, February 12, 2021, 06:08 (92 days ago) @ cheapLEY

- No text -

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I hope they're right

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:31 (92 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I mean, it is based on what is actually being shown and said about the game (the trailer and the press release about the game). I know developers often have no control over those things, and it would be no surprise to me that the game would be marketed like it’s a new Call of Duty even if it’s nothing like that. I am reserving judgment until we actually see more, but what we’ve seen so far is thoroughly uninteresting and deeply disappointing. I have zero interest in engaging with anything trying to justify the Iraq war, or explain away war crimes as “you just weren’t there,” and that looks like what this game is doing based on what we’ve actually seen so far.

Unless they come out and say "Actually, you play the entire game as a little kid who has to escape the city during the conflict", then my guess is the game will turn out exactly how you think.

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I hope they're right

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:55 (92 days ago) @ cheapLEY

EDIT: If it turns out this is just poor marketing, that also deserves plenty of criticism. If this is seen as the “safe” way to market a game about the Iraq War, that deserves to be lambasted.

Well, Highwire made the trailer. So it's ostensibly presented the way they want.

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Realistic

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, February 12, 2021, 14:20 (92 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I’m a little concerned about it, to be honest. I seem to recall the original iteration of the game wanting to address the atrocities during that battle in some way or another, but the trailer for this new version reads like the typical imperialist war propaganda found in a lot of media, especially video games. That snippet of the interview with the veteran saying something along the lines of “You don’t understand because you weren’t there” reeks of trying to justify the awful things that took place.

I think it was Pauline Kael who said it was impossible to make an anti war movie. If that’s true, boy is it ever impossible to make an anti war game. Even if we accept that statement as true (and it probably is), that doesn’t mean it’s inherently propaganda or justification for atrocities. There are loads of excellent war films that serve a great cultural value. You never know until you see the final product.

The irony of “You can’t understand it if you weren’t there” is that if that’s true, then telling the story will lead to no further understanding now will it? But if you CAN, then the question should be why this person’s story?

As a culture, we have a strange relationship to veterans, especially depending on the time. We honored those in WW2. We chastised those in Vietnam. How do we feel about them now? How much media portrays them as fucked up? How much as heroes? How much as criminals?

Do you think perhaps their desire to tell their own story is a means to give themselves an identity distinct from what the media would say? What identity is that, and why that identity? What does it mean when someone really needs to tell you who they are? What does it mean that we can’t just tell by looking?

What does it mean when anyone wants to make a war movie or war game? What do they want you to think? Why?

Regardless of how it turns out, as a cultural artifact I think this will be quite interesting.

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Realistic

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, February 15, 2021, 13:33 (89 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I’m a little concerned about it, to be honest. I seem to recall the original iteration of the game wanting to address the atrocities during that battle in some way or another, but the trailer for this new version reads like the typical imperialist war propaganda found in a lot of media, especially video games. That snippet of the interview with the veteran saying something along the lines of “You don’t understand because you weren’t there” reeks of trying to justify the awful things that took place.


I think it was Pauline Kael who said it was impossible to make an anti war movie. If that’s true, boy is it ever impossible to make an anti war game. Even if we accept that statement as true (and it probably is), that doesn’t mean it’s inherently propaganda or justification for atrocities. There are loads of excellent war films that serve a great cultural value. You never know until you see the final product.

The irony of “You can’t understand it if you weren’t there” is that if that’s true, then telling the story will lead to no further understanding now will it? But if you CAN, then the question should be why this person’s story?

As a culture, we have a strange relationship to veterans, especially depending on the time. We honored those in WW2. We chastised those in Vietnam. How do we feel about them now? How much media portrays them as fucked up? How much as heroes? How much as criminals?

Do you think perhaps their desire to tell their own story is a means to give themselves an identity distinct from what the media would say? What identity is that, and why that identity? What does it mean when someone really needs to tell you who they are? What does it mean that we can’t just tell by looking?

What does it mean when anyone wants to make a war movie or war game? What do they want you to think? Why?

Regardless of how it turns out, as a cultural artifact I think this will be quite interesting.

It's going to be controversial no matter what. What isn't these days? You can't exclude war from subject matter because it's an integral part of the human experience. Our experience, where many if not most of us are untouched by it, is unique in human history.

Did you ever play Valiant Hearts? I'm guessing that you might not have liked it as a game, but I thought it was very good.

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Realistic

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, February 15, 2021, 14:03 (89 days ago) @ Kermit

It's going to be controversial no matter what. What isn't these days? You can't exclude war from subject matter because it's an integral part of the human experience. Our experience, where many if not most of us are untouched by it, is unique in human history.

I most definitely don't want to exclude war as subject matter… I think we should be making games about many more things than we actually do currently. If anything, even most 'controversial' games often tend to be safe in their theming.

Did you ever play Valiant Hearts? I'm guessing that you might not have liked it as a game, but I thought it was very good.

Nah. Saw the art style and was like, yeah no thanks.

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Realistic

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, February 15, 2021, 14:14 (89 days ago) @ Cody Miller

It's going to be controversial no matter what. What isn't these days? You can't exclude war from subject matter because it's an integral part of the human experience. Our experience, where many if not most of us are untouched by it, is unique in human history.


I most definitely don't want to exclude war as subject matter… I think we should be making games about many more things than we actually do currently. If anything, even most 'controversial' games often tend to be safe in their theming.

Did you ever play Valiant Hearts? I'm guessing that you might not have liked it as a game, but I thought it was very good.


Nah. Saw the art style and was like, yeah no thanks.

I get that. It actually did a pretty good job of showing the impact of war.

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Great comment

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, February 15, 2021, 16:36 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by CruelLEGACEY, Monday, February 15, 2021, 16:44

I’m a little concerned about it, to be honest. I seem to recall the original iteration of the game wanting to address the atrocities during that battle in some way or another, but the trailer for this new version reads like the typical imperialist war propaganda found in a lot of media, especially video games. That snippet of the interview with the veteran saying something along the lines of “You don’t understand because you weren’t there” reeks of trying to justify the awful things that took place.


I think it was Pauline Kael who said it was impossible to make an anti war movie. If that’s true, boy is it ever impossible to make an anti war game. Even if we accept that statement as true (and it probably is), that doesn’t mean it’s inherently propaganda or justification for atrocities. There are loads of excellent war films that serve a great cultural value. You never know until you see the final product.

The irony of “You can’t understand it if you weren’t there” is that if that’s true, then telling the story will lead to no further understanding now will it? But if you CAN, then the question should be why this person’s story?

As a culture, we have a strange relationship to veterans, especially depending on the time. We honored those in WW2. We chastised those in Vietnam. How do we feel about them now? How much media portrays them as fucked up? How much as heroes? How much as criminals?

Do you think perhaps their desire to tell their own story is a means to give themselves an identity distinct from what the media would say? What identity is that, and why that identity? What does it mean when someone really needs to tell you who they are? What does it mean that we can’t just tell by looking?

What does it mean when anyone wants to make a war movie or war game? What do they want you to think? Why?

Regardless of how it turns out, as a cultural artifact I think this will be quite interesting.

I’ve never fought in a war. I’ve never been anywhere close to combat. I’ve never fired a weapon, or even been in a serious fist fight. So far, my life has been pretty darn sheltered from violence (for which I am infinitely grateful). I have studied a fair bit of history though, including some deep-ish dives into ancient and modern combat. And the more I learn, the more convinced I am that I cannot possibly fathom what it is like to actually experience fighting in battle. Forget not knowing how I’d feel, I don’t even know who I would be, because every point of reference I have with which to judge myself is so far away from anything like combat.

So when topics like this come up, it makes me think about how long we’ve been telling war stories as a species (roughly forever), and yet how much the audience watching/reading/listening to these stories has changed or split in recent years. Anyone making a war movie or video game today is doing so for an audience, most of whom will not have first-hand experience similar to the subject matter being depicted. But some will have similar first-hand experiences, and the gap between those 2 segments of the audience is so massive that the idea of crafting a story for both groups might seem impossible from a certain angle. And yet, when I move away from fiction and go to first-hand accounts and memoirs written by WWI veterans, many of their stories ring out to me as instantly relatable. I have never felt anything like living in a trench in Verdun for 2 months while being shelled constantly, but there are accounts of human suffering, heroism, tragedy, and nobility that ring out of these places in a way that hits me right in the gut, and gives me a glimmer of insight into what those people went through. In a way, it’s no surprise that these “human” elements tend to be the focus of many war stories, because it’s one of the few elements that everyone can relate to in some way. And that’s where things get tricky, because the line between “telling a moving, captivating story” and “glorifying war” is blurrier and more subjective than we’d probably like it to be. We might look back at a war from 50 or 100 or 1000 years ago and decide, with our detached view and modern sensibilities, that the war in question was utterly unjustifiable. But to tell a story about war and not include elements of heroism, honour, and self sacrifice (along with all the horror and chaos) strikes me as inaccurate and propagandistic just as much as a typical pro-war recruitment piece. From my “outsiders” perspective, it looks to me like war is often a push and pull between different forces at different scales. You might have troops involved in a small skirmish who do something heroic and admirable, but then you zoom out and see they are part of a larger force that is tasked with a horrific goal, and then you zoom out even further and see that the horrific goal you were just looking at was being done to prevent something even worse that the opposing side was trying to achieve. So telling a story that tells the WHOLE story is a monumental task, if not impossible. It also raises certain questions; does telling the story of that small heroic squad “glorify” the larger war they were a part of? Or does it highlight the fact that human beings can and do find ways to hold on to our better selves even when we’re surrounded by evil?

Video games are, IMO, even trickier than traditional storytelling mediums with regards to this issue. It’s really tough to get away from the fact that on a certain level, video games are expected to be entertaining and fun in a way that books or even movies aren’t. Even the most grim and emotionally bleak games I’ve ever played (ie The Last of Us) are thrilling and fun on a certain level. One of the reasons I think TLoU is an absolute masterpiece is that it seems fully aware of this dissonance, and even uses it to reinforce the story. When certain details of Joel’s Past are revealed early on, it was easy for me to look judgementally down on him. But as the game progressed, I began to catch myself enjoying the act of taking out each and every Hunter in my way, to the point where I was going out of my way to find every single one of them, even when sneaking past them was an option. The game did such a good job of making me hate those bastards that I was ready and willing to dehumanize them. A casual glance at the game might accuse it of glorifying the violence, but I’m inclined to think such a judgement is missing the point. The game was revealing things about me, as a human being.

Now the big-fat-elephant response to what I just said is that playing a video game where you control a character who kills people is absolutely nothing like actually killing people. Well DUH (lol). I don’t think that’s really the point, though. I think the fact that a game like TLoU was able to make me aware of how easily my emotions and my “morals” can be brought to clash and even contradict each other is valuable enough. That insight alone is an important one to have and to hold on to, particularly for people like me looking back on past wars or even examining current ones, from a safe distance on the outside. And to your point about this particular game being an interesting cultural artifact, I fully agree. I think that aspect alone is an endlessly fascinating subject. I think we can learn a lot about our own current culture by examining the ways we examine the past. The simple fact that we largely view war as something to be avoided at all costs sets us apart from many peoples throughout history. We might look at tales from Ancient Greece or medieval Europe or even the early 20th century and judge them as pro-war propaganda, but for many people in those times and places, war was seen as an inevitability. The idea of avoiding war was often laughable. So it’s no surprise that unquestioning solidarity and the will to vanquish all enemies might be seen as desirable moral qualities in such times and places. Our modern reactions to such ideas are a good reminder of how different our world is.

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Great comment

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:24 (88 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Now the big-fat-elephant response to what I just said is that playing a video game where you control a character who kills people is absolutely nothing like actually killing people.

There is an exception to this: a drone pilot.

You can recreate the experience of killing someone with a drone 100% in a video game. The person, just like you, is looking at a video screen and manipulating it with controls. They, just like you, do not directly see those they kill.

I am actually kind of surprised nobody has effectively utilized this completely 1:1 comparison to comment on this experience.

Great comment

by Claude Errera @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:30 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Now the big-fat-elephant response to what I just said is that playing a video game where you control a character who kills people is absolutely nothing like actually killing people.


There is an exception to this: a drone pilot.

You can recreate the experience of killing someone with a drone 100% in a video game. The person, just like you, is looking at a video screen and manipulating it with controls. They, just like you, do not directly see those they kill.

I am actually kind of surprised nobody has effectively utilized this completely 1:1 comparison to comment on this experience.

I simply cannot process how you can see this as "recreat[ing] the experience 100%".

In one, you are playing a video game. In the other, you are killing people. While the actions are the same, the experience is absolutely not (unless you're a psychopath).

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Great comment

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:33 (88 days ago) @ Claude Errera

Now the big-fat-elephant response to what I just said is that playing a video game where you control a character who kills people is absolutely nothing like actually killing people.


There is an exception to this: a drone pilot.

You can recreate the experience of killing someone with a drone 100% in a video game. The person, just like you, is looking at a video screen and manipulating it with controls. They, just like you, do not directly see those they kill.

I am actually kind of surprised nobody has effectively utilized this completely 1:1 comparison to comment on this experience.


I simply cannot process how you can see this as "recreat[ing] the experience 100%".

In one, you are playing a video game. In the other, you are killing people. While the actions are the same, the experience is absolutely not (unless you're a psychopath).

Let's say I sit you down in front of a screen. I tell you to 'play' and shoot the people. How would you know if you're controlling a drone, actually killing people, or just playing a video game?

If you weren't told beforehand, the experience could be indistinguishable.

Great comment

by Claude Errera @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:33 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Now the big-fat-elephant response to what I just said is that playing a video game where you control a character who kills people is absolutely nothing like actually killing people.


There is an exception to this: a drone pilot.

You can recreate the experience of killing someone with a drone 100% in a video game. The person, just like you, is looking at a video screen and manipulating it with controls. They, just like you, do not directly see those they kill.

I am actually kind of surprised nobody has effectively utilized this completely 1:1 comparison to comment on this experience.


I simply cannot process how you can see this as "recreat[ing] the experience 100%".

In one, you are playing a video game. In the other, you are killing people. While the actions are the same, the experience is absolutely not (unless you're a psychopath).


Let's say I sit you down in front of a screen. I tell you to 'play' and shoot the people. How would you know if you're controlling a drone, actually killing people, or just playing a video game?

If you weren't told beforehand, the experience could be indistinguishable.

Hey, I read Ender's Game, too. Do you remember how the kids ended up?

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Great comment

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:36 (88 days ago) @ Claude Errera

Hey, I read Ender's Game, too. Do you remember how the kids ended up?

Too? I have never read nor seen Ender's Game.

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Great comment

by squidnh3, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:59 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Too? I have never read nor seen Ender's Game.

Well there's your problem.

(Speaker for the Dead too).

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Great comment

by breitzen @, Kansas, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 06:28 (87 days ago) @ squidnh3

Too? I have never read nor seen Ender's Game.


Well there's your problem.

(Speaker for the Dead too).

I highly recommend them both. Speaker for the Dead is one of my favorite books of all time.

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Great comment

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 06:47 (87 days ago) @ breitzen

Ditto. I love the whole Speaker trilogy. Still mind-boggling that the guy that wrote that book can be such a bigot.

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Great comment

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 08:05 (87 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Ditto. I love the whole Speaker trilogy. Still mind-boggling that the guy that wrote that book can be such a bigot.

Uh dude, the speaker was killed off in Des2ny. He never made it to a trilogy.

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Great comment

by breitzen @, Kansas, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 09:11 (87 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Ditto. I love the whole Speaker trilogy. Still mind-boggling that the guy that wrote that book can be such a bigot.


Uh dude, the speaker was killed off in Des2ny. He never made it to a trilogy.

He just slipped into one of Forward Unto Dawn's cryotubes... We just need to wake him.

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Great comment

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 10:25 (87 days ago) @ breitzen

Ditto. I love the whole Speaker trilogy. Still mind-boggling that the guy that wrote that book can be such a bigot.


Uh dude, the speaker was killed off in Des2ny. He never made it to a trilogy.


He just slipped into one of Forward Unto Dawn's cryotubes... We just need to wake him.

But will his outfit magically change?

Oh sorry, it wasn't magic. It was

[image]

Highwire now making Six Days in Fallujah

by FyreWulff, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 23:08 (92 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Looks like it's being converted into a pro-war take on the situation instead of a realistic bent.. they should change the name.

Yeah, absolutely not.

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, February 15, 2021, 15:55 (88 days ago) @ cheapLEY

What are you thinking Hirewire?

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A game of trees

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, February 15, 2021, 16:49 (88 days ago) @ EffortlessFury
edited by Cody Miller, Monday, February 15, 2021, 17:23

"In an interview with Polygon on Thursday, after the game was announced for a second time, he was insistent that developer Highwire Games will not grapple with the political machinations that led to the titular conflict. Instead, their first-person shooter will try to engender empathy for American troops in the field, for their work destroying the insurgents that dug in throughout Fallujah, and for the civilians trapped in between…It’s about the experiences of that individual that is now there because of political decisions…we’re not trying to make a political commentary about whether or not the war itself was a good or a bad idea…For Tamte, the goal of Six Days in Fallujah is to celebrate the heroism of those Coalition forces who fought there. The goal is to empathize with them, and also with the civilians trapped in the city. Anything else is a distraction."

A while ago I remember a story going around about a man whose granddaughter got sick with cancer. She was pretty young, and he gave up everything he had to make sure she got better. He quit his job to care for her, and spent all of his retirement savings on treatments. She beat it, and she was able to make a recovery.

The media ran stories about him. The stories focused on the selflessness of his decision, and his dedication and love. Look how far he was willing to go. The guy was a hero. The intention behind these stories was good, and I believe everyone who ran the stories truly wanted to spread and celebrate his heroism.

But step back. What was really happening here? Was this a story of heroism? Or one of tragedy? It never occurred to ask why this man even needed to make those choices in the first place. He spent his entire life savings on his granddaughter's treatment. But what if he lived in Japan? He wouldn't have had to. Australia? German? Norway? France? South Africa?

So stepping back, we see the forrest. We see well intentioned people ostensibly reporting a story of love and heroism, but are in actuality normalizing the cruel for profit healthcare system in this country. They are making you feel good about the prospect of this guy losing everything. And you will think: if that were my kid I'd do that too. This type of sacrifice, which should be wholly unnecessary, is held up as the pinnacle of good and altruism.

Was the guy a hero? I think so. But what does that mean in the larger scheme of things?

I think we should be able to makes games about whatever subjects we want. I actually hope this game isn't canceled again. However, it disappoints me to hear Peter Tamte say they have no interest in the larger picture here. In actuality, everything is political, including trying to say you're not being political. I am sure they will succeed at their goal. I am sure we will be able to play and experience the stories of the men and women they are choosing to highlight in the game. The stories may be inspirational and affecting.

But it will be a game of trees.

A game of trees

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, February 15, 2021, 16:59 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Well said, though my issue is that constantly glorifying this image of heroism leads to more
loss, and to turn an actual horrific atrocity into yet another such glorification is a pitiful sanitization of history that all involved should be ashamed of.

It's propaganda and I don't believe it deserves the same protection as other art.

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A game of trees

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, February 15, 2021, 17:11 (88 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

Well said, though my issue is that constantly glorifying this image of heroism leads to more
loss, and to turn an actual horrific atrocity into yet another such glorification is a pitiful sanitization of history that all involved should be ashamed of.

It's propaganda and I don't believe it deserves the same protection as other art.

But this is why I said that everyone is well meaning… would you really want a world where everyone said "There's no way I'm blowing my life savings to save my granddaughter's life", or "There's no way I'm putting my life on the line for someone else"? Ideally everyone would do it.

You want to value and aspire towards heroism and putting others first as a culture. These stories have value, but you absolutely need to see them in a larger cultural context. It is not necessarily propaganda. That requires a willful distortion. According to what Tamte is saying, this is merely too narrowly focused.

A game of trees

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, February 15, 2021, 17:23 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Well said, though my issue is that constantly glorifying this image of heroism leads to more
loss, and to turn an actual horrific atrocity into yet another such glorification is a pitiful sanitization of history that all involved should be ashamed of.

It's propaganda and I don't believe it deserves the same protection as other art.


But this is why I said that everyone is well meaning… would you really want a world where everyone said "There's no way I'm blowing my life savings to save my granddaughter's life", or "There's no way I'm putting my life on the line for someone else"? Ideally everyone would do it.

You want to value and aspire towards heroism and putting others first as a culture. These stories have value, but you absolutely need to see them in a larger cultural context. It is not necessarily propaganda. That requires a willful distortion. According to what Tamte is saying, this is merely too narrowly focused.

It's willfully narrowly focused. Heroism without the context is propaganda.

Avatar

A game of trees

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, February 15, 2021, 18:15 (88 days ago) @ EffortlessFury
edited by Cody Miller, Monday, February 15, 2021, 18:19

It's willfully narrowly focused. Heroism without the context is propaganda.

We will not recreate the death of a specific servicemember during gameplay without their family’s permission. Instead, Marines and Soldiers describe the sacrifices of their teammates during video interviews.

https://forums.sixdays.com/main/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16

I have a theory.

Whenever a character talks to you in a story, there's deception. I don't necessarily mean you're being lied to, but rather something else. In a visual work, you can see right in front of you what is happening. If a character then talks to you, I think what they are really saying is "Don't trust your eyes, let me tell you how it really is". Why would we need to be explained what is happening when we can see clear as day what's happening by looking at the screen?

The character wants you not to see what you're seeing YOUR way, but THEIRS. This is why Scorsese uses VO. So the mobsters and criminals can bring you in. Without the VO, you'd look at what they are doing and be repulsed. But when you see it their way… Imagine watching Dexter without the VO. He'd just be an asshole serial killer. Why do you think he has to talk to you? Because you aren't seeing the whole picture… I have a dark passenger… It doesn't need to be nefarious. There's voiceover in Clueless and Wonder Years after all.

They want you to come into their reality.

This is also why bad filmmakers use voice over, and it has a bad rap. Because they are literally not confident enough in their visual presentation, and think you won't get it. Again… don't trust your eyes… let me tell you how it is.

So my big question is, in a game where their stated goal is to tell these people's stories, in a medium where you're supposed to actively recreate it so you can feel it, why would we need to see video interviews? Why would they need to tell us about the sacrifices, instead of letting us play and experience them? Why not let the game do the talking?

Why do the developers or the soldiers think we should not believe our eyes and ears?

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A game of trees

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, February 15, 2021, 21:46 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Why do the developers or the soldiers think we should not believe our eyes and ears?

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A game of trees

by cheapLEY @, Monday, February 15, 2021, 19:07 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller

"In an interview with Polygon on Thursday, after the game was announced for a second time, he was insistent that developer Highwire Games will not grapple with the political machinations that led to the titular conflict. Instead, their first-person shooter will try to engender empathy for American troops in the field, for their work destroying the insurgents that dug in throughout Fallujah, and for the civilians trapped in between…It’s about the experiences of that individual that is now there because of political decisions…we’re not trying to make a political commentary about whether or not the war itself was a good or a bad idea…For Tamte, the goal of Six Days in Fallujah is to celebrate the heroism of those Coalition forces who fought there. The goal is to empathize with them, and also with the civilians trapped in the city. Anything else is a distraction."

That sounds like complete dogshit.

I know people who died in that war, I served with people who were there, some who got hurt, almost of them lost at least one friend. I don’t need some game to convince me they were heroes. They’re not fucking heroes, and the sooner we stop saying it, the better. They were pawns whose lives were spent needlessly, and any good that potentially came of it was won at too high a cost.

As someone who served (though never saw combat), this sickens me. Because I know the attitudes of the military in general and the people within. We were told every fucking day that we were heroes (nevermind that we worked on airplanes and had to pick up a gun once a year to make sure we could hit better than 50% at like ten yards). We were told every day that we were better than all the lowlifes who had the audacity to not join the military (nevermind that we were also told every day that we were noble because we were there so that others wouldn’t have to be—which is it?). Every single day was more and more indoctrination that we were doing good at every turn. The sad thing is that it works. It’s very effective. They beat you down so fucking hard with nonstop twelve or fourteen or even sixteen hour shifts, with endless bullshit at every turn. The only people you can turn to are the people next to, because your old friends are half a country (or world) away. So you turn to the people around you, who conveniently convince you that were toasty doing the right thing, and it’s all totally worth it in the name of killing terrorists or protecting freedom, or some other vague bullshit. If I had joined at 18 instead of 21, it probably would have worked and I might so be there. It’s frightening and infuriating that so many in the military join right out of high school. They have no clue what the real world is like, they get sucked up immediately into the military mindset, believing they are better than everyone else because of the abuse they suffer every day, and most of them aren’t mature enough to realize how fucked up it is.

This is just another piece of propaganda to show how good and just our military is, when it’s anything but.

I’m not interested in playing some nebulous “the decisions we have to make are hard!” bullshit. They’re not hard. Don’t use fucking white phosphorous. That’s not fucking hard. This is apologist bullshit. Fuck this game. What’s next Highwire? You going to make a cop game about why George Floyd needed to die?

A game of trees

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, February 15, 2021, 22:18 (88 days ago) @ cheapLEY

What’s next Highwire? You going to make a cop game about why George Floyd needed to die?

You say this facetiously but that would align with the politics of at least some of their staff. ????

A game of trees

by Claude Errera @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 11:47 (88 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

What’s next Highwire? You going to make a cop game about why George Floyd needed to die?


You say this facetiously but that would align with the politics of at least some of their staff. ????

I think that's unfair. There's a difference between "Not all cops are bad" or even "sometimes when a cop kills a civilian, there weren't a lot of options" and "George Floyd needed to die". I don't think anyone at Highwire would subscribe to that particular belief.

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A game of trees

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:45 (88 days ago) @ Claude Errera

I’d like to believe that, but they seem totally okay with erasing war crimes because they’re “distractions,” so who knows.

A game of trees

by Claude Errera @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:53 (88 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I’d like to believe that, but they seem totally okay with erasing war crimes because they’re “distractions,” so who knows.

Yeah... I don't think I'd take that interview as the last word on how each of the Highwire employees think. It was Peter Tamte, who doesn't even work for Highwire, and even HIS words are pretty fucking far from "George Floyd needed to die".

I would actually challenge you to find ANYONE who thinks he NEEDED to die. The reason I stepped in is because the wording had gotten a little too hyperbolic for my taste; it's one thing to play fast and loose with generalizations about what a particular tweak means about a game developer's views on PvP, and another thing to accuse people of WANTING INNOCENT PEOPLE DEAD. I'd really like it if we could try to keep in mind that we're talking about real people, not just ideas.

A game of trees

by EffortlessFury @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 13:19 (88 days ago) @ Claude Errera

I’d like to believe that, but they seem totally okay with erasing war crimes because they’re “distractions,” so who knows.


Yeah... I don't think I'd take that interview as the last word on how each of the Highwire employees think. It was Peter Tamte, who doesn't even work for Highwire, and even HIS words are pretty fucking far from "George Floyd needed to die".

I would actually challenge you to find ANYONE who thinks he NEEDED to die. The reason I stepped in is because the wording had gotten a little too hyperbolic for my taste; it's one thing to play fast and loose with generalizations about what a particular tweak means about a game developer's views on PvP, and another thing to accuse people of WANTING INNOCENT PEOPLE DEAD. I'd really like it if we could try to keep in mind that we're talking about real people, not just ideas.

Here's the thing, though. George Floyd is dead because someone, a human being, killed him. Therefore, at least one person thought he needed to die, or at least didn't think it mattered whether he did or didn't. I've seen questionable commentary regarding last summer from at least one Highwire employee. Yes, the language is a bit hyperbolic, but it's too damn close for comfort at the moment.

A game of trees

by Claude Errera @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 13:39 (88 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

I’d like to believe that, but they seem totally okay with erasing war crimes because they’re “distractions,” so who knows.


Yeah... I don't think I'd take that interview as the last word on how each of the Highwire employees think. It was Peter Tamte, who doesn't even work for Highwire, and even HIS words are pretty fucking far from "George Floyd needed to die".

I would actually challenge you to find ANYONE who thinks he NEEDED to die. The reason I stepped in is because the wording had gotten a little too hyperbolic for my taste; it's one thing to play fast and loose with generalizations about what a particular tweak means about a game developer's views on PvP, and another thing to accuse people of WANTING INNOCENT PEOPLE DEAD. I'd really like it if we could try to keep in mind that we're talking about real people, not just ideas.


Here's the thing, though. George Floyd is dead because someone, a human being, killed him. Therefore, at least one person thought he needed to die, or at least didn't think it mattered whether he did or didn't. I've seen questionable commentary regarding last summer from at least one Highwire employee. Yes, the language is a bit hyperbolic, but it's too damn close for comfort at the moment.

Again: there's a HUGE FUCKING GAP between "George Floyd needed to die" and "I don't give a shit if George Floyd died." And a HUGER fucking gap between either of those and "my political opinion is right of 'defund the police'."

You can be uncomfortable with what you see them commenting on, but 1) that doesn't apply HERE, where there is actually a ban on political discussion, enforced or not, and 2) you're objectively wrong in saying that opinions you disagree with are morally equivalent to calling for the death of a specific person.

I'm not really debating this with you, David. I'm telling you it's time to step back a little bit. Please - take this advice.

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A game of trees

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 08:56 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Kermit, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 09:23

"In an interview with Polygon on Thursday, after the game was announced for a second time, he was insistent that developer Highwire Games will not grapple with the political machinations that led to the titular conflict. Instead, their first-person shooter will try to engender empathy for American troops in the field, for their work destroying the insurgents that dug in throughout Fallujah, and for the civilians trapped in between…It’s about the experiences of that individual that is now there because of political decisions…we’re not trying to make a political commentary about whether or not the war itself was a good or a bad idea…For Tamte, the goal of Six Days in Fallujah is to celebrate the heroism of those Coalition forces who fought there. The goal is to empathize with them, and also with the civilians trapped in the city. Anything else is a distraction."


A while ago I remember a story going around about a man whose granddaughter got sick with cancer. She was pretty young, and he gave up everything he had to make sure she got better. He quit his job to care for her, and spent all of his retirement savings on treatments. She beat it, and she was able to make a recovery.

The media ran stories about him. The stories focused on the selflessness of his decision, and his dedication and love. Look how far he was willing to go. The guy was a hero. The intention behind these stories was good, and I believe everyone who ran the stories truly wanted to spread and celebrate his heroism.

But step back. What was really happening here? Was this a story of heroism? Or one of tragedy? It never occurred to ask why this man even needed to make those choices in the first place. He spent his entire life savings on his granddaughter's treatment. But what if he lived in Japan? He wouldn't have had to. Australia? German? Norway? France? South Africa?

So stepping back, we see the forrest. We see well intentioned people ostensibly reporting a story of love and heroism, but are in actuality normalizing the cruel for profit healthcare system in this country. They are making you feel good about the prospect of this guy losing everything. And you will think: if that were my kid I'd do that too. This type of sacrifice, which should be wholly unnecessary, is held up as the pinnacle of good and altruism.

Was the guy a hero? I think so. But what does that mean in the larger scheme of things?

I think we should be able to makes games about whatever subjects we want. I actually hope this game isn't canceled again. However, it disappoints me to hear Peter Tamte say they have no interest in the larger picture here. In actuality, everything is political, including trying to say you're not being political. I am sure they will succeed at their goal. I am sure we will be able to play and experience the stories of the men and women they are choosing to highlight in the game. The stories may be inspirational and affecting.

But it will be a game of trees.

I completely disagree with your statement that everything is political. I'm sure I'm about to repeat something I've written before, but art doesn't exist to confirm someone's political priors--that's not art in my book. The best art helps people to see that their political priors are too simplistic regardless of what side they are on politically. Otherwise, it is just propaganda. I think people who say everything is political are saying that politics is the biggest frame they can imagine to encompass reality, but there are bigger frames. Good art helps us explore and perhaps better understand what is outside that frame, and articulates things outside the frame that perhaps can't be expressed any other way. I can hear someone saying, "No, my political frame is sophisticated and accounts for the complexities of reality." Does it? Your grandfather story is an interesting example. Maybe the grandfather doesn't feel the need to spend his savings in another country, but maybe the granddaughter dies because they are not in the U.S., which has the highest survival rate for cancer. Let's say someone makes a movie about a character like the grandfather, but in this story he spends his savings to bring his daughter to the U.S. for treatment. This complicates the political frame some might want to put around the story involving health care in the U.S., but it makes any resulting picture of the "forest" more honest.

I don't buy the game of trees criticism. Can't art that explores the humanity of individuals caught up in war help us to see war as less of an abstraction (which I see as a good thing)? Might that affect people's perception of the cost of war regardless of their politics and be more effective at doing that than something that obviously adheres to a party-line political narrative? Would the video game equivalent of Vice be helpful? For that matter, did Vice convince anyone not already predisposed to view Dick Cheney as a bastard?

Flannery O'Connor, the master short story writer, wrote:

"The type of mind that can understand good fiction is not necessarily the educated mind, but it is at all times the kind of mind that is willing to have its sense of mystery deepened by contact with reality, and its sense of reality deepened by contact with mystery."

What is most mysterious and most interesting? Us. That's why a game that focuses on individuals can be great, and can actually change how people see the world, which might change how they feel about political issues. If you begin with the goal of educating people so that they adopt your political views, you're a propagandist, not an artist.

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A game of trees

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 09:55 (88 days ago) @ Kermit
edited by Cody Miller, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 10:17

Maybe the grandfather doesn't feel the need to spend his savings in another country, but maybe the granddaughter dies because they are not in the U.S., which has the highest survival rate for cancer.

That's not even true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_quality_of_healthcare

Major cancers we are 5th, behind 4 countries that have universal healthcare. 15 is but a mere 2 percentage points below us. We are 19th for cervical cancer. If he wanted the best outcome, he'd fly her to South Korea.

I don't buy the game of trees criticism. Can't art that explores the humanity of individuals caught up in war help us to see war as less of an abstraction (which I see as a good thing)? Might that affect people's perception of the cost of war regardless of their politics and be more effective at doing that than something that obviously adheres to a party-line political narrative?

Yes, but as I explained this has the power to spectacularly mislead and hide the real truth of the situation. So the best thing as an artist, the best thing as a storyteller, is to take an individual experience and then put that within the larger context. What does this individual story represent to the larger whole?

What is most mysterious and most interesting? Us. That's why a game that focuses on individuals can be great, and can actually change how people see the world, which might change how they feel about political issues. If you begin with the goal of educating people so that they adopt your political views, you're a propagandist, not an artist.

The selectiveness of the presentation is just as 'biased' either way. Tamte flat out says they are not interested in portraying or exploring many of the things that happened there. That is itself a bias. You take a picture, and it's not reality because it doesn't show what is beyond the frame. This is why everything is inherently political. Every piece of art that has anything socially to say is political because of what you choose to omit.

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A game of trees

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 11:30 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Kermit, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 11:35

Maybe the grandfather doesn't feel the need to spend his savings in another country, but maybe the granddaughter dies because they are not in the U.S., which has the highest survival rate for cancer.


That's not even true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_quality_of_healthcare

Major cancers we are 5th, behind 4 countries that have universal healthcare. 15 is but a mere 2 percentage points below us. We are 19th for cervical cancer. If he wanted the best outcome, he'd fly her to South Korea.

Ah, damn statistics. I've read my stat recently, but perhaps it was comparing the US to the Europe, and there are of course explanations behind the stats, like differences in the population make up. In other words, isolating the for-profit model or any other single factor is difficult. It's not like my example is fantastical, people come here for medical treatments all the time, but you have a larger narrative that you believe captures enough of reality to be true, and you'd want your art to reflect that, which is fine but I see that as limited in its ability to change people. People can see an agenda a mile away.

I don't buy the game of trees criticism. Can't art that explores the humanity of individuals caught up in war help us to see war as less of an abstraction (which I see as a good thing)? Might that affect people's perception of the cost of war regardless of their politics and be more effective at doing that than something that obviously adheres to a party-line political narrative?


Yes, but as I explained this has the power to spectacularly mislead and hide the real truth of the situation. So the best thing as an artist, the best thing as a storyteller, is to take an individual experience and then put that within the larger context. What does this individual story represent to the larger whole?

You don't see any pitfall to that? YOU can discern the real truth of the larger context and are infallible in your capacity to do so. Perhaps a more humble approach is to focus on what is indisputably true--the human experience in a given situation, and trusting the audience to come to their own conclusions about the larger context having been informed by the experience you have to provided to them.

What is most mysterious and most interesting? Us. That's why a game that focuses on individuals can be great, and can actually change how people see the world, which might change how they feel about political issues. If you begin with the goal of educating people so that they adopt your political views, you're a propagandist, not an artist.


The selectiveness of the presentation is just as 'biased' either way. Tamte flat out says they are not interested in portraying or exploring many of the things that happened there. That is itself a bias. You take a picture, and it's not reality because it doesn't show what is beyond the frame. This is why everything is inherently political. Every piece of art that has anything socially to say is political because of what you choose to omit.

Yes, books have covers, paintings have frames, movies and games have a duration. Limits are unavoidable on this plane of existence but they are not a synonym for bias. It seems like don't trust an audience to extrapolate or to reach their own conclusions about the politics and the larger world informed by the art they've experienced. When you say everything is political maybe you're just claiming that as your own yardstick for how you judge creative works, that is, whether they serve a political narrative you agree with or fail to do so. I think that's a poor way to evaluate art. Ultimately, we are left with having to say there is no such thing as objective truth because bias can't be eliminated. I believe if an artist is constantly asking themselves "is this true?" they can, depending on their talent, minimize their biases to the point where an audience believes in the truth they are experiencing through art, and that, paradoxically, is how you change people's hearts, not by beginning with your biases and building "art" in support of them.

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A game of trees

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:09 (88 days ago) @ Kermit
edited by Cody Miller, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:15

You don't see any pitfall to that? YOU can discern the real truth of the larger context and are infallible in your capacity to do so. Perhaps a more humble approach is to focus on what is indisputably true--the human experience in a given situation, and trusting the audience to come to their own conclusions about the larger context having been informed by the experience you have to provided to them.

If you do not give them all the information, then any conclusion the audience comes to is necessarily incomplete. That is the point. All art has a viewpoint. All art is manipulative. The difference is merely where you steer them.

Tamte seems completely tone deaf here when he dismisses much of why this battle was noteworthy in the first place as 'sensationalism' or 'a distraction'. That dismissal and non inclusion is itself a value judgement.

Ask why these particular people from this particular operation were chosen to 'engender empathy for American troops in the field'.

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A game of trees

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 13:47 (88 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Kermit, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 14:07

You don't see any pitfall to that? YOU can discern the real truth of the larger context and are infallible in your capacity to do so. Perhaps a more humble approach is to focus on what is indisputably true--the human experience in a given situation, and trusting the audience to come to their own conclusions about the larger context having been informed by the experience you have to provided to them.


If you do not give them all the information, then any conclusion the audience comes to is necessarily incomplete. That is the point. All art has a viewpoint. All art is manipulative. The difference is merely where you steer them.

You say they should give all the information, while also saying it's impossible for them not to be selective in the information they give. I think what you want is for them to present information that confirms your opinions about this period of history (which you view as complete and accurate). Maybe their goal is not to present complete conclusions. In my opinion, that's the goal of essays, not art.


Tamte seems completely tone deaf here when he dismisses much of why this battle was noteworthy in the first place as 'sensationalism' or 'a distraction'. That dismissal and non inclusion is itself a value judgement.

Ask why these particular people from this particular operation were chosen to 'engender empathy for American troops in the field'.

Neither of us knows what stories will be told, but we know it's not only the troops they're aiming to present, right? Do you think they can find investors for a game about the insurgents? Maybe I'm just more willing to give them the benefit of a doubt at this point. Sounds like they are trying to do something new.

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A game of trees

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 14:07 (88 days ago) @ Kermit

Sounds like they are trying to do something new.

They are. It's exciting in a way. But you still have to be willing to weather the criticism. We will see later this year how they pull it off.

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A game of trees

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Friday, February 19, 2021, 13:38 (85 days ago) @ Kermit

In other words, isolating the for-profit model or any other single factor is difficult. It's not like my example is fantastical, people come here for medical treatments all the time.

I’m so tired of this claim. People don’t come to the US from western countries with universal healthcare all the time and it’s rarely because they think the average level of care is better. It’s because they are uncommonly wealthy and they know that will allow them to get preferential treatment in America. It’s not an indication of better care; it’s an indication of care inequality at best and a willingness to exchange fairness for greed.

Yes, in any other industry that is just called “capitalism” and if you think capitalism is a good model for healthcare then so be it, but be it honestly. I’m tired of seeing people that claim that because they personally own a ZR1 that Americans drive the fastest cars in the world.

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A game of trees

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, February 22, 2021, 14:51 (82 days ago) @ Vortech

In other words, isolating the for-profit model or any other single factor is difficult. It's not like my example is fantastical, people come here for medical treatments all the time.


I’m so tired of this claim. People don’t come to the US from western countries with universal healthcare all the time and it’s rarely because they think the average level of care is better. It’s because they are uncommonly wealthy >

Plenty do, and not just the wealthy.

and they know that will allow them to get preferential treatment in America. It’s not an indication of better care; it’s an indication of care inequality at best and a willingness to exchange fairness for greed.

To the extend I understand what you're saying, I don't think I agree with the characterization.

Yes, in any other industry that is just called “capitalism” and if you think capitalism is a good model for healthcare then so be it, but be it honestly. I’m tired of seeing people that claim that because they personally own a ZR1 that Americans drive the fastest cars in the world.

I'm not fan of provincialism, either. I have plenty of criticisms of America, including of our health care system. We could debate this, but this isn't the place, and the example was brought up only to illustrate that stories honestly told, even about the same subjects, rarely push easy political narratives.

A game of trees

by EffortlessFury @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 13:34 (88 days ago) @ Kermit

I linked a Twitter thread; you should read it for some criticisms of the interview itself.

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Twitter account apparently gone

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 14:25 (87 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

- No text -

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Twitter account apparently gone

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 15:16 (86 days ago) @ Kermit

Well that’s pretty ominous isn’t it?

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+1000

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 17:46 (86 days ago) @ Kermit

I’ll just add that “x is always political” type statements are only true if you zero in on a certain bandwidth. You can find a political angle to almost any subject, but that is rarely the only angle of value, and rarely if not never the deepest or most significant. Philosophy, art, morality, spirituality and many other things exist at deeper, more fundamental layers than politics.

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+1000

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 18:39 (86 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I guess it’s just semantics at a certain point. All of those things are also politics.

As with everything, it’s a spectrum. Making a game devoid of politics is impossible. There’s probably an essay out there somewhere about the politics of Banjo-Kazooie or Crash Bandicoot. It’s a lot easier to accept Super Mario as just a video game that’s supposed to be fun without really considering the values of the Mushroom Kingdom. A game like Six Days in Fallujah is undeniably political. Every decision they make with that game is political. What they leave out absolutely speaks just as much as whatever they put in.

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+1000

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 19:02 (86 days ago) @ cheapLEY

It’s a lot easier to accept Super Mario as just a video game that’s supposed to be fun without really considering the values of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Mario perpetuates the notion of women as reward. Rescue the Princess, get a kiss.

[image]

I think this is 100% why in Mario Odyssey at the end of the game Peach leaves on her own and doesn't get with anyone.

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+1000

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 07:54 (86 days ago) @ Cody Miller

It’s a lot easier to accept Super Mario as just a video game that’s supposed to be fun without really considering the values of the Mushroom Kingdom.


Mario perpetuates the notion of women as reward. Rescue the Princess, get a kiss.

[image]

I think this is 100% why in Mario Odyssey at the end of the game Peach leaves on her own and doesn't get with anyone.

If we’re really going to poke at that angle, we could just as easily say the game is presenting the idea that bravery, determination, and the willingness to self-sacrifice are behaviours that other people admire and find attractive. Which happens to be generally true.

I’m convinced that a great deal of university degrees have done little more than teach people how to interpret everything in the most cynical way possible ;)

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+1000

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 09:00 (86 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

It’s a lot easier to accept Super Mario as just a video game that’s supposed to be fun without really considering the values of the Mushroom Kingdom.


Mario perpetuates the notion of women as reward. Rescue the Princess, get a kiss.

[image]

I think this is 100% why in Mario Odyssey at the end of the game Peach leaves on her own and doesn't get with anyone.


If we’re really going to poke at that angle, we could just as easily say the game is presenting the idea that bravery, determination, and the willingness to self-sacrifice are behaviours that other people admire and find attractive. Which happens to be generally true.

And when you are a hero in real life, what happens when you then DON’T get the girl? How would the message you just expressed affect you then?

What happens when you come back from a war, and nobody really gives a shit about what you did there?

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+1000

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 11:26 (86 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Kermit, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 11:32

It’s a lot easier to accept Super Mario as just a video game that’s supposed to be fun without really considering the values of the Mushroom Kingdom.


Mario perpetuates the notion of women as reward. Rescue the Princess, get a kiss.

[image]

I think this is 100% why in Mario Odyssey at the end of the game Peach leaves on her own and doesn't get with anyone.


If we’re really going to poke at that angle, we could just as easily say the game is presenting the idea that bravery, determination, and the willingness to self-sacrifice are behaviours that other people admire and find attractive. Which happens to be generally true.


And when you are a hero in real life, what happens when you then DON’T get the girl? How would the message you just expressed affect you then?

You put a lot of responsibility on one story. If you have been formed by a culture the inherently values bravery, determination, and self-sacrifice (which by definition means you've been exposed to more sophisticated morals than "do good, get a cookie), you already realize that disappointment is a possibility. One hopes that by a certain age you've witnessed unhappy endings or heard stories about them and in the process have gained some psychological tools that make disappointment more bearable. But it's not a bad thing that fiction is satisfying in ways that life is not. Fiction can often help us by presenting the possibility of a satisfying ending, if not now, in the future.

What happens when you come back from a war, and nobody really gives a shit about what you did there?

You write "The Things They Carried," and get nominated for a Pulitzer, and you raise that number from zero to several million.

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+1000

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 11:46 (86 days ago) @ Kermit

What happens when you come back from a war, and nobody really gives a shit about what you did there?


You write "The Things They Carried," and get nominated for a Pulitzer, and you raise that number from zero to several million.

This kind of proves my point.

Also ask any women ever if she's had to deal with a guy who thought she owed him affection because he did something special. Nearly all will say yes.

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+1000

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 13:22 (86 days ago) @ Cody Miller

What happens when you come back from a war, and nobody really gives a shit about what you did there?


You write "The Things They Carried," and get nominated for a Pulitzer, and you raise that number from zero to several million.


This kind of proves my point.

And if you know that book, you'll recognize parallels to Six Days in Fallujah in terms of its scope and intention.


Also ask any women ever if she's had to deal with a guy who thought she owed him affection because he did something special. Nearly all will say yes.

Yep. Men should not expect sex. Women should not judge men by the size of their ... wallets. News flash, people suck. If you're trying to tell me that one shouldn't depend on Mario games as the source for their moral instruction, I'm with you. I'm perfectly okay with games not having any moral instruction, or games being a form of wish-fulfillment or games being fantastical in the way they present characters. Everything should be labeled appropriately, and parents should teach their kids judgment and how to treat others. I'm old enough to remember when censorious types who demanded everything be made according to their moral specifications were considered the bane of creative expression by free-thinking people.

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by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 13:39 (86 days ago) @ Kermit
edited by Cody Miller, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 13:45

I'm old enough to remember when censorious types who demanded everything be made according to their moral specifications were considered the bane of creative expression by free-thinking people.

Do you think that's me? I fully support all types of creative expression. I truly hope this game doesn't get canceled again. Nor would I cancel Mario.

All I am saying, is that the totality of the media influences our culture and what we think. And we should be examining that. Especially since, as others have pointed out here, media is often our only way to see war.

Tamte is unconvinced: "Very few people are curious what it's like to be an Iraqi civilian. Nobody's going to play that game. But people are curious what it's like to be in combat.

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2021-02-16-six-days-of-fallujah-dev-i-dont-think-we-need-to-portray-the-atroci...

He's right, and that is exactly the problem.

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+1000

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 13:51 (86 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I'm old enough to remember when censorious types who demanded everything be made according to their moral specifications were considered the bane of creative expression by free-thinking people.


Do you think that's me? I fully support all types of creative expression. I truly hope this game doesn't get canceled again. Nor would I cancel Mario.

No, I don't. Just making a point that in 2021, the line between "I don't like the message I'm interpreting in this thing" and "This thing shouldn't exist" is pretty thin.


All I am saying, is that the totality of the media influences our culture and what we think. And we should be examining that. Especially since, as others have pointed out here, media is often our only way to see war.

I've pointed out the latter, and that's why I'm hopeful aboul the game, not that I hope it presents a picture of war that makes people romanticize it, but that it paints a picture that helps people understand the reality of war (and hopefully not casually or eagerly support it).

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by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 13:53 (86 days ago) @ Kermit

I've pointed out the latter, and that's why I'm hopeful aboul the game, not that I hope it presents a picture of war that makes people romanticize it, but that it paints a picture that helps people understand the reality of war (and hopefully not casually or eagerly support it).

The reality of war they want to show you. This is the key. You cannot show objective reality in storytelling. So ask, what are they showing you and why?

I don't know what's IN the game, but after that interview we sure know what ISN'T.

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by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 15:18 (85 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I've pointed out the latter, and that's why I'm hopeful aboul the game, not that I hope it presents a picture of war that makes people romanticize it, but that it paints a picture that helps people understand the reality of war (and hopefully not casually or eagerly support it).


The reality of war they want to show you. This is the key. You cannot show objective reality in storytelling. So ask, what are they showing you and why?

I don't know what's IN the game, but after that interview we sure know what ISN'T.

We know only that they're not going to try to address the politics. That doesn't mean that the game can't have an impact on how people feel about war. That impact could very well persuade them to take a political position that many of the critics agree with. That's not good enough for some people--even though it might be more effective than making a game leaning into a political narrative.

We know that their goal is to attempt to show something close to the objective reality of what happened to certain people at a certain time in a a certain place. If such a thing is not possible, why do we bother to communicate?

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+1000

by Malagate @, Sea of Tranquility, Monday, February 22, 2021, 07:24 (82 days ago) @ Kermit

We know only that they're not going to try to address the politics. That doesn't mean that the game can't have an impact on how people feel about war. That impact could very well persuade them to take a political position that many of the critics agree with. That's not good enough for some people--even though it might be more effective than making a game leaning into a political narrative.

We know that their goal is to attempt to show something close to the objective reality of what happened to certain people at a certain time in a a certain place. If such a thing is not possible, why do we bother to communicate?

Way late to the party here, but such a thing certainly is possible. The undeniably political issue here is the context from which they are attempting to render it. Even if the last thing the devs want to do is delve into the geopolitical (or boots-on-the-ground locally political) effects of the conflict; they are going to be doing so by default. This echoes a point Cody made up-thread.

It is quite the privileged (and I would go so far as to say bordering on ignorant) stance to take that rendering a contemporary conflict as entertainment could somehow be selectively done and not incur some serious backlash. All art is political, full stop. This is a fairly well-established school of thought. Anything a person (or company) creates and brings to life is an artifact of its context and the perspective of the creator at that time.

All they are doing by insisting that they aren't going to be engaging with the political aspects is leaving it up to everyone else that experiences their efforts within the context of the real world. Personally, I think that's kind of reckless, but if they want to handle things that way it's their perogative. I have a feeling they're going to come to regret it.

~m

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by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, February 22, 2021, 15:59 (81 days ago) @ Malagate

We know only that they're not going to try to address the politics. That doesn't mean that the game can't have an impact on how people feel about war. That impact could very well persuade them to take a political position that many of the critics agree with. That's not good enough for some people--even though it might be more effective than making a game leaning into a political narrative.

We know that their goal is to attempt to show something close to the objective reality of what happened to certain people at a certain time in a a certain place. If such a thing is not possible, why do we bother to communicate?


Way late to the party here, but such a thing certainly is possible. The undeniably political issue here is the context from which they are attempting to render it. Even if the last thing the devs want to do is delve into the geopolitical (or boots-on-the-ground locally political) effects of the conflict; they are going to be doing so by default. This echoes a point Cody made up-thread.

Because a historical event has controversial political narratives around it doesn't mean it's not worth focusing on individual stories connected to that event without addressing the potltics. You say they can't help but be political, but that denies any objectivity from anyone, in which case why not just present whatever best serves their preferred political narrative?


It is quite the privileged (and I would go so far as to say bordering on ignorant) stance to take that rendering a contemporary conflict as entertainment could somehow be selectively done and not incur some serious backlash.

Do you think they take that stance? Do you think they don't know it's a challenge? They surely expect some backlash, because it's 2021 and...

All art is political, full stop. This is a fairly well-established school of thought.

It is, and I'm very familiar with that school of thought, and I believe it is wrong-headed and lacks imagination. It inevitably leads to people saying things like "everything is political." Worse yet, they believe what they're saying and act like it, thereby making everything political in their domain, using politics as the measure of all. It's quite depressing.

Anything a person (or company) creates and brings to life is an artifact of its context and the perspective of the creator at that time.

Yes, but that's not the same thing as being political. There is more context than political. There is more perspectives than the political. Most of all, there is more to creators than the political. At least if they don't themselves subscribe to the belief that that's the motivation behind why they create, in which case, they aren't creating art, but I repeat myself.


All they are doing by insisting that they aren't going to be engaging with the political aspects is leaving it up to everyone else that experiences their efforts within the context of the real world.

Perhaps the way to look at it is they're trying to present a limited slice of the real world, and they respect their audience enough to know that the audience will provide context and knowledge of larger events, or, this game will spark their audience's desire to know more.

Personally, I think that's kind of reckless, but if they want to handle things that way it's their perogative. I have a feeling they're going to come to regret it.

That sounds ominous, like they could have some punishment coming their way for making something the authorities won't approve of. Let's face it, the game could be very political in the correct direction, and it wouldn't be enough for those in twitterville who won't like it because they believe someone at that studio is a fascist or some other grotesque distortion.

~m

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by Claude Errera @, Monday, February 22, 2021, 16:26 (81 days ago) @ Kermit

Anything a person (or company) creates and brings to life is an artifact of its context and the perspective of the creator at that time.


Yes, but that's not the same thing as being political. There is more context than political. There is more perspectives than the political. Most of all, there is more to creators than the political. At least if they don't themselves subscribe to the belief that that's the motivation behind why they create, in which case, they aren't creating art, but I repeat myself.

You're not actually disagreeing here - with Mal's words. You're disagreeing with what you think Mal is saying (and I don't think he's saying what you think he's saying).

Anything you create, at any given point in time, is a product that has been affected by who you are. That means that all art is political. And all art is cultural. And all art is trauma-based, to the extent that you've experienced trauma (and most of us have, to some degree or another). Saying "all art is political" is NOT saying that art is not affected by other aspects of your psyche, or your environment, or the world you live in. DENYING that all art is political, however, is asserting that you can create something that's outside your own frame of reference, you can make things that have no relation to who you are. I don't think you can. (I'm not talking about you, Kermit - I'm talking about humans.) I'm not an art historian, but I'm pretty sure that if you pointed to any particular piece of art, SOMEONE could explain how it was tied to its creator.

I'll agree that art can be created that transcends the mundanity of the world it was born in - that we can consciously ignore the world around us to create something that's bigger than we are, bigger than we can normally be. But that doesn't make it non-political.

I see you arguing pretty hard against this because (as you've said) you believe that any politically-influenced art is propaganda. That's where I think you're wrong.

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+1000

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Monday, February 22, 2021, 19:54 (81 days ago) @ Claude Errera

We have two words for "politics" down here. One is the official one and the other, coloquial, (something like politcness) that relates exclusively to the things politicians do*, while the former is used for the broader term.

I may be misinterpreting what Kermit is saying, but I think the second word would fit with what he is saying while the first what Mal is saying?

*usually pejoratively, but that's besides the point

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by EffortlessFury @, Monday, February 22, 2021, 22:42 (81 days ago) @ ZackDark

Agreed. "Art/Everything is Political" doesn't refer to "trying to influence your perception of political parties/politicians/voting behaviors/government/etc. It is referring to the stances/perceptions/believes/notions that are being put forward. As government is driven by the beliefs of the people (the citizenry, the powerful, etc.), the politics of governance is driven by the individual politics (beliefs) of the person.

When creating art you are putting out something that will inherently reflect your perception. Those who receive that art will be shaped, in some way, by that art.

Highwire choosing to ignore the politics of the situation can either mean:

A. They're not going to pay attention to the matter and all and are therefore not being mindful of the way their art could be received by and shape others. Irresponsible, IMO. No, you can't predict how everyone will respond but you could at least put forward a best effort, especially when folks are actively pointing out that there are glaring issues that are being ignored.

B. They're going to pay active attention in trying to shape a politically-devoid narrative. This isn't physically possible. They'll be shaping what they believe to be a politically-devoid narrative, which is just a product of their own perception of what "politics" even means, which is in itself political.

What makes this whole thing a clusterfuck is that the troops on the ground, regardless of their personal feelings, were the villains of the stories of the countless innocents that died. What they did there is widely agreed to be an atrocity. The US committed war crimes. Even if you were to tell the story of the best people on the ground in that battle, who did the least awful things of our soldiers, who tried their best to do the right thing...is that story the right story to tell about this specific event? What does it say when a developer decides that telling the story of the "best of the bad guys" is more important or more worth telling than the stories of the victims of the event? There's nothing wrong with telling the stories of good people in bad situations or even the stories of villains as the protagonists...but should we be telling the story of a real life event, in this way, from this perspective?

Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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+1000

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 12:39 (70 days ago) @ Claude Errera
edited by Kermit, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 12:53

Anything a person (or company) creates and brings to life is an artifact of its context and the perspective of the creator at that time.


Yes, but that's not the same thing as being political. There is more context than political. There is more perspectives than the political. Most of all, there is more to creators than the political. At least if they don't themselves subscribe to the belief that that's the motivation behind why they create, in which case, they aren't creating art, but I repeat myself.


You're not actually disagreeing here - with Mal's words. You're disagreeing with what you think Mal is saying (and I don't think he's saying what you think he's saying).

Anything you create, at any given point in time, is a product that has been affected by who you are. That means that all art is political. And all art is cultural. And all art is trauma-based, to the extent that you've experienced trauma (and most of us have, to some degree or another). Saying "all art is political" is NOT saying that art is not affected by other aspects of your psyche, or your environment, or the world you live in. DENYING that all art is political, however, is asserting that you can create something that's outside your own frame of reference, you can make things that have no relation to who you are. I don't think you can. (I'm not talking about you, Kermit - I'm talking about humans.) I'm not an art historian, but I'm pretty sure that if you pointed to any particular piece of art, SOMEONE could explain how it was tied to its creator.

I'll agree that art can be created that transcends the mundanity of the world it was born in - that we can consciously ignore the world around us to create something that's bigger than we are, bigger than we can normally be. But that doesn't make it non-political.

I see you arguing pretty hard against this because (as you've said) you believe that any politically-influenced art is propaganda. That's where I think you're wrong.

Not a pull a GV here, but I've been thinking about your post for a while. First up: politically-influenced art. I just reread Animal Farm. It's obviously influenced by the politics of its day (and is relevant to our day). What makes it relevant today is less the obvious parallels to and inspiration drawn from the particulars of the rise of Stalin, but more the humanity of the characters and how these characters are corrupted by their power over others. Yes, it has been used by governments as propaganda (notably altered in some manifestations), but at this point it's as likely to be used by the left or the right to highlight the corruption and hypocrisy of either. The fact that it can be used to criticize both speaks to its power as art, which can transcend the particulars of political beliefs (even the artist's) to reveal larger, more important truths. There are wheels behind the wheels of politics.

Regarding the particulars of Iraq, consider two relatively opposite positions: one says the US (shorthand for brevity) were right to go there, did much good while there, and should not have left, another says we had evil intentions in going there and committed war crimes while there. I'm not an expert or a scholar, but I find both positions controversial and debatable, and I won't be measuring the worth of this game by how well it litigates the truth of those positions, nor would I endorse the mindset that, to coin a phrase, "the game is either with us, or it's with the warmongers/anti-American peaceniks." And that's where saying "they can't help but be political" seems to take us.

I THINK I understand INSANE when he says war is political commentary, but to me the comment is politics has failed or, as someone said, war is politics by other means. Within any war, there are individual stories that are the grist of art, and those stories, artfully told, affect us more than any political argument about war could. (This is where I have less humility--I've been pretty obsessed with stories for about 50 years, and I've also cared about how games make us feel about war for a long time*.)

I do agree with Malagate if he's saying that all art exists in time, and that time has a political context, and that context is worth taking into account while evaluating art. I think that's similar to Cruel's point when he said you can find a political angle to almost any subject. That doesn't mean that's the best angle, the most valuable angle for the work at hand, or the only angle that matters. It's worth nothing that most people in this thread did not say all art is political--they said EVERYTHING is political. I think that's what bothers me about this cultural moment, because that belief is a product of our moment, and where has that belief gotten us? We live in a culture dominated by (in my view unstable) reactionary obsessives, who judge everything by its relevance to Red vs. Blue (and not the fun machinima series). I give the benefit of a doubt to everyone reading this--I'm not referring to you, but if I've pushed back hard against certain statements, there's a reason.

I remain hopeful about the game while acknowledging the challenge they've undertaken. Our interest of games involving combat brought most of us here, and this is an opportunity for something new and useful in that genre.


*disclaimer: all views expressed by Gorehead do not necessarily reflect my current views (I was a kid [sorta]).

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A dumber explanation

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 13:21 (70 days ago) @ Kermit
edited by Cody Miller, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 13:27

I wonder if the intent was something simply dumber.

Especially around and after Last of Us 2, there was a vocal outcry of "Keep politics out of games". What the folks who say this mean is that they don't want issues of social justice to be inserted into the games they want to play.

Perhaps all Tamte was trying to do is tell those people (who also happen to be the people that tend to enjoy military shooters, which is ironic since those are themselves highly political ), was "Don't worry, this game isn't going to be a dumb liberal anti war game".

I'll be charitable since I don't think he is dumb enough to think you can actually make a game about a super controversial battle in a super controversial war and not have that be political. I wonder if he was simply trying to assure players it wouldn't be political in the same way Call of Duty isn't political.

Which is to say, very political, but just in a way that won't offend your sensibilities.

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+1000

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 00:21 (81 days ago) @ Kermit

We know that their goal is to attempt to show something close to the objective reality of what happened to certain people at a certain time in a a certain place. If such a thing is not possible, why do we bother to communicate?

Why is this game a first person shooter?

Seriously.

This author picked up on it:

"90% of the challenges that players face will be consistent with what the actual Marines and soldiers faced: tactical challenges, not moral challenges [that are] effectively completely independent of the controversy surrounding the game. Challenges where the player needs to think through, 'How can I use my toolset to overcome this challenge?'"

That isn't too enlightening. The tactical challenge could well be 'there are four enemy combatants firing at you from behind cover' and that toolset is the selection of guns and grenades at your disposal.

"I hadn't thought about that till you said it that way, but you're right," Tamte admits, reiterating that he's not ready to talk about features yet.

If your goal is to really get people to sympathize emotionally with the soldiers, then don't you think it's undercutting it when the majority of the game is spent with this line of thinking? Putting you in problem solving mode? Why not make the game something like an RPG or a quantic dream type adventure game where story and emotion is the main way of interacting? Reducing their story to the mechanics of an FPS seems rather uncreative for the stated goal.

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+1000

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 08:06 (86 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I guess it’s just semantics at a certain point. All of those things are also politics.

As with everything, it’s a spectrum. Making a game devoid of politics is impossible. There’s probably an essay out there somewhere about the politics of Banjo-Kazooie or Crash Bandicoot. It’s a lot easier to accept Super Mario as just a video game that’s supposed to be fun without really considering the values of the Mushroom Kingdom. A game like Six Days in Fallujah is undeniably political. Every decision they make with that game is political. What they leave out absolutely speaks just as much as whatever they put in.

I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Going back to the topic of cultural landmarks, I think our tendency today to read politics into everything says more about us than it does about politics. It’s really easy for all this stuff to get lost down a semantic rabbit whole, but politics to me is more of a surface-level manifestation of far deeper issues and motivations. For example, politics were obviously involved in WW2, but to limit one’s understanding of that war to the political level is really to fail to understand the whole thing.

As far as this specific game, there’s no doubt that it is a politically contentious issue, and many people who play the game will have political feelings about it. So if the game fails to reinforce their preconceptions, they may see that as a political statement in and of itself. For this reason alone, I personally wouldn’t recommend anyone make a game about this event unless they’re planning to address the political context in a serious and nuanced way, but that’s just me. It’s totally possible for someone to write a little human-drama story about a few troops on the ground who have no clear view of the larger picture and are just caught up in some personal life-or-death struggle. Such a story wouldn’t need to be political at all. Whether or not such a story would be generally well received is a totally different question, though.

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*Large Sigh*

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Monday, February 15, 2021, 20:39 (88 days ago) @ EffortlessFury
edited by INSANEdrive, Monday, February 15, 2021, 20:47

What are you thinking Hirewire?

*Click link*

Title: Six Days in Fallujah ‘not trying to make a political commentary,’ creator says.

We're not trying to make water wet. We're not trying to make the sky so high. We're not trying to make the war videogame a political commentary.

[image]

All war is political commentary. In all the histories... in every battle I can think of, and perhaps of the battles I have yet to know of, to even hear of... war is political commentary. So if you are to make a game based on war, it doesn't matter it's a real historical moment or a reimagining of a real outcome, it will have some sort of political commentary. That is the nature of this beast regardless of the war tale you tell. So, to try and claim that it's even possable to not have some political commentary in your war game "if you don't try to" is already folly, but to do so on a battle that is still so fresh... you IDIOTS. That battlefield is still breathing of its stories... right now. Freek'n good luck, good-ness. Highwire games indeed.

Of that article, there may be more, but with as title like that... nah. I'm not reading that.

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*Large Sigh*

by cheapLEY @, Monday, February 15, 2021, 20:46 (88 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

You’re not wrong. The fact that they are ignoring the war crimes IS political commentary. That they think that’s not important says a whole hell of a lot.

As for not reading the article—again, you’re not wrong. This is one instance where the title actually does tell the whole story.

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*Large Sigh*

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Monday, February 15, 2021, 21:04 (88 days ago) @ cheapLEY

You’re not wrong. The fact that they are ignoring the war crimes IS political commentary. That they think that’s not important says a whole hell of a lot.

Is it that simple? What ever it may be, it just seems to me that Highwire Games has walked into a pile of shit they don't have the shoes for. By all odds I've very briefly observed, they ain't goin' to smell pretty when they reach the... heh... end of this project.

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*Large Sigh*

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:28 (88 days ago) @ cheapLEY
edited by Cody Miller, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 13:04

You’re not wrong. The fact that they are ignoring the war crimes IS political commentary. That they think that’s not important says a whole hell of a lot.

As for not reading the article—again, you’re not wrong. This is one instance where the title actually does tell the whole story.

Honestly, I think just reading the title gives a more charitable view of the situation than reading the actual article. In my opinion, this interview was a PR disaster and casts serious doubts as to their aims and abilities if we take what Tamte says at face value, and assume the article didn't mischaracterize anything he said.

I realize he doesn't necessarily speak for anyone at Highwire, but it just isn't the best look.

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Ouch

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 15:35 (86 days ago) @ Cody Miller

this interview was a PR disaster

Ouch.

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Damage and spin

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, March 18, 2021, 01:01 (58 days ago) @ cheapLEY
edited by Cody Miller, Thursday, March 18, 2021, 01:09

https://www.pcgamesn.com/six-days-in-fallujah/politics

I guess they admit it's political now. The article is worth a read if you care at all about this. This is probably all beside the point now. The actual text of the game will be the true look.

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Damage and spin

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Friday, March 19, 2021, 09:47 (57 days ago) @ Cody Miller

https://www.pcgamesn.com/six-days-in-fallujah/politics

I guess they admit it's political now. The article is worth a read if you care at all about this. This is probably all beside the point now. The actual text of the game will be the true look.

For the record, I have no problem with what they're describing. It's political because the game will present a variety of opinions about the politics of the war? Is that what people mean by "being political"? The impression I got from many comments was that the game damn well better come out in support a particular political narrative, else it's "inherently propaganda" against that narrative. Much of the disconnect might have to do with how people interpreted Tamte's original comment. I took it as "our purpose isn't to push a political narrative."

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Damage and spin

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, March 20, 2021, 22:22 (55 days ago) @ Kermit

For the record, I have no problem with what they're describing. It's political because the game will present a variety of opinions about the politics of the war? Is that what people mean by "being political"? The impression I got from many comments was that the game damn well better come out in support a particular political narrative, else it's "inherently propaganda" against that narrative. Much of the disconnect might have to do with how people interpreted Tamte's original comment. I took it as "our purpose isn't to push a political narrative."

The opposition is much more thoughtful than that. It is worth a read.

https://www.ign.com/articles/six-days-in-fallujah-is-complicated-and-painful-for-those-connected-to-the-real-events

Choice bits:

What they're doing in Six Days in Fallujah is actually using the [stories] of Marines...and having the player act out scenarios in which real Marines were actually involved. So now, you've made a promise, which is something that films don't do, certainly not something that Saving Private Ryan did. You're making a promise to transport people to the battlefield. You're making a promise to gamers to let them experience what it was like in Fallujah. It doesn't matter what the battlefield is -- that's empty, that's a hollow promise. You can't do that. There is no way you are going to portray anywhere near what it's like to be on a battlefield digitally.

John Phipps, a veteran involved in the Second Battle of Fallujah, expressed similar worries about the messaging surrounding the game, agreeing that a Western, military perspective on Fallujah was not a trustworthy one. "There is a massive unwillingness on the part of American media, no matter what form of media it is, to portray US soldiers as the antagonists or the bad guys, which, in that instance, we were," he said.

Tamte has attempted to counter concerns that the story will be solely focused on the US military perspective by noting that in at least one mission in Six Days in Fallujah, players will be in the shoes of an Iraqi civilian trying to flee the city. But many of those we spoke to mistrust this framing… None of this is helped by the fact that, as many of those we spoke to said, the group making Six Days in Fallujah seems very far removed from the reality of the situation they’re exploring. Highwire Games, they say, is a Western studio, and at least in appearances doesn't seem to have much Iraqi representation in its ranks -- or doesn't care to put that representation forward to lend itself authenticity.

Ultimately, Alex and several of the others I spoke to wish that the games already being made by Arab game developers -- regardless of whether or not they cover deeply traumatic events -- received the same kind of mainstream attention and consideration as Six Days in Fallujah. If games are to be used to build empathy, they said, it is better to uplift the art already being made by those who have been harmed by the Iraq War and its widespread consequences for Arabs and Muslims globally. Better, certainly, than making yet another war game with stories, true or otherwise, told through the intermediary of a Western, military-connected studio.

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