Sunday, February 17, 2013

Video Games for Conservatives

Video games are often mindless diversions, but some do contain stories and themes of depth.   I do not claim that the following games are "conservative" but rather that conservatives may especially appreciate them.

Freedom Force

Freedom Force and its sequel, Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich are delightfully goofy games in which the player commands a squad of superheroes in battle against the enemies of freedom and justice.  What makes these games especially appealing to conservative is the commie bashing.  Literally.  You can hit communists over the head with street lamps.  Your team of superheroes fights Soviet villains like the radioactive Nuclear Winter, and the Russian sorceress Red Oktober.  In Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich, you battle both Communists and Nazis.  When the team of superheroes go back in time to fight the Third Reich, they must prevent the Nazis from burning great books of Western Civilization, including the Summa Theologica.

Check out this video featuring the origin of Minuteman.  The audio quality in the video is not great but it should be sufficient.

Call of Duty


Call of Duty and Call of Duty 2 are First Person Shooters in which players fight in the Second World War from the Soviet, British, and American perspectives.  The Soviet portion of the games shows the brutality of Communism.  In the beginning of the first game, you play a Russian infantryman who takes part in the battle of Stalingrad.  You survive crossing the Volga and are thrust into combat with a clip of ammunition but no gun.  The commissars will shoot you if you take one step backwards, even if moving backwards is a good idea tactically.  In order to gain an advantage on the Germans, you help a comrade kill your commissar.  A political officer also makes an appearance in the second game.  He sends you off to fight the Germans while he stays behind to murder a POW and only emerges when the danger is over.  The portrayal of Communist Russia is one of the elements that make the old Call of Duty games great.

Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is an action RPG that takes place in post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.  The player wanders the wasteland completing a variety of assignments.  Two of these quests are especially relevant for conservatives.

Players can visit Tenpenny Towers, a hotel run by the elitist and not entirely sane Allistair Tenpenny.  He has a problem with nearby ghouls, ugly zombie looking people deformed by radiation.  The ghouls, led by one Roy Phillips, wish to live in the Towers but are denied admittance.  Their presence frightens the tower residents, and the chief of security commissions the player to solve the ghoul problem by any means necessary.  He suggests that you kill Roy Phillips, the leader of the ghouls.

Roy Phillips

If you speak to Roy, he will try to enlist your help in a violent takeover of Tenpenny Towers.  However, he also seems open to a peaceful solution.  The player may return to Allistair Tenpenny, who relents, telling the player that if he can convince enough Tower residents to accept the ghouls, he will allow them in.  You go about convincing the residents in the manner of a progressive, simply telling them that change is happening and that they need to accept it or leave.  After going through this process, you can report to Tenpenny that "the bigots have been taken care of."  The player  informs the ghouls and they move in to the tower.  You then go on your way, pleased with your victory of integration.

The story takes a dark turn at this point.  After you leave the Tower, Roy and his gang murder all of the humans and dump their bodies in a utility closet.  Conservatives can appreciate that complex social problems can't be solved by a simple pro-diversity mandate from on high.  Solutions must be considered in light of human (or ghoul) nature.

Another episode in the game can be appreciated by traditionalists.  After taking a riverboat ride down the Potomac, you land at Point Lookout, Maryland.  There you discover Blackhall Manor, and old plantation house and it's sole resident, the aged Obadiah Blackhall.  He asks you to retrieve a book belonging to his family that has been stolen by the mutant swamp people for some sort of ritual purpose.  As you leave, a woman named Marcella tells you that the book, called the Krivbeknih was evil and must be destroyed. ( So yeah, it's the Necronomicon.)  When I got to this part, I was supsicious of Marcella.  I though that there wouldn't be anything supernatural in a sci-fi game.  Blackhall will tell you that Marcella is a crazy religious fanatic and the book is a harmless family heirloom.

After shooting your way out of their ritual site with the book in hand, you can visit Marcella's campsite.  The player will find her camp overrun by hostile smugglers (I have no idea why smugglers exist in a world without tarriffs or laws of any kind, but whatever).  After eliminating the smugglers,  you enter Marcella's tent to find her dead on the floor.  An audio log on her computer relays Marcella's last words.  She was dying and recorded a message for the player to find, imploring him to destroy the Krivbeknih.  She then begins the standard Roman Catholic act of contrition, and dies.

If you choose to act in accord with Marcella's instructions, you must bring the Krivbeknih to the Dunwich building (another Lovecraft reference) back in the Capitol Wasteland.  The Dunwich building is an extremely creepy office building full of feral ghouls, who seem to have been ghoulified not by radiation but by some sort of spiritual evil.  After fighting your way into the basement, you find an obelisk.  Press the Krivbeknih into the obelisk and it bursts into flames.

The reason I include the entry is the spiritual element put in a sci-fi videogame.  The fictional Fallout setting reflects our own world in a way.  It is seemingly material, but the supernatural will appear at surprising times.  I would certainly not say that only those who identify themselves as conservatives believe in the immaterial, but a belief in the supernatural is certainly not considered progressive.

Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2 has a story that conservatives can definitely appreciate.  You play as Gordon Freeman, a physicist who is surprisingly skilled in the art of crowbar combat.  Freeman fights the Combine, interdemensional aliens who have invaded Earth and set up a puppet government under Dr. Breen, Gordon's former boss.

A few things stand out to the conservative gamer.  Firstly, the game mostly takes place in City 17, a decrepit Eastern European city full of drab Soviet architecture.  Its possible that I'm just a crazy Mcarthyite, but I think that this association of the Soviet bloc with tyranny is deliberate.

The worst Combine atrocity portrayed in the game isn't the suppression of free speech, or the shooting of dissidents but the sterilization of humanity.  An energy field that somehow inhibits conception has been deployed on Earth.  This reminds one of the Communist Chinese and other progressive antinatalists.  

Dr. Breen's propaganda is undeniably progressive.  He tells humanity that they need to purge themselves of "instinct" and "superstition."  Breen preaches obedience to the Combine, promising that Earth's alien overlords will lead humanity into a new era of science and reason.  He promises that the sterilization field will be turned off once humans are sufficiently enlightened.  Enlightenment and progress are always promised by modernists, but instead we get misery and tyranny.  Free men, like Freeman, must oppose the evils done in the name of progress.

Breen's Speeches:


  1. Fallout 3. So what about Congress? Something tells me that they wouldn't be bothered by zombies. ;)

    1. Indeed. Our legislature seems full of zombies itself. In the game, the federal government remains as the evil "Enclave."

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  3. Actually, conservatives don't look for games with conservative themes. This is because conservatives don't live their lives thinking about politics all the time like liberals do — since the ideal conservative philosophy is minimized government, it should be easy to see how conservatives would actually like games that have nothing to do with politics. Politics only represents issues of government. Conservatives don't like that. So yeah.

    How do I know? Because I run a right-wing videogame blog,
    And the games we most heavily endorse are ones like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze — apolitical. That's true conservatism.

    1. I certainly agree that it's the liberals who tend to see everything in political terms. However, that does not mean conservatives can't have a special appreciation for some themes that relate to our worldview. That being said, it obviously isn't anywhere near the primary reason we play games.