I'm a Human Inbox

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Contrarian: Why We Fight


[Media: Article]

I've been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks now, so forgive me if you've read this one already. I think this article from The Escapist called "Why We Fight" is an important one to read due to its brutal truths. Although I consider myself a non-violent person and I usually take the most peaceful path when I play videogames, I can really understand the feelings that are mentioned here.
Fascism is ultimately rooted in the belief that those in charge know what's right and have the authority to manifest their will by force.

And it feels really, really good.

The gun settles all arguments. The boot silences criticism. The tank crushes protest. When the world is quiet and you are the only one standing, your opinion is the correct one because there is no alternative. You are right, because there is no competition to prove you wrong.

I usually feel guilty when I do bad things in videogames, but every once in a while I let go and allow myself to enjoy doing bad things. Because I can. The thing about videogames is that once you have the skill to accomplish what you want, you are unquestionably powerful via brute force.
A friend of mine studied political science at Yale. In one class, the professor posted a game scenario: You are the newly empowered dictator of a third-world country. Your people face famine, plague, poverty and unrest. What policies would you enact to solve these problems? (Fans of Tropico, you know how this works.) My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them.

This article speaks the truth of gaming. The truth that we don't want to readily admit to because it sounds just plain awful. The truth is that we are killers, murderers and rulers, and we've gotten damned good at it.

Link (via Slashdot)