A-Political Stance: Games and Politics Cannot Be Separated

Late last month, OnlySP’s parent company Enthusiast Gaming, in collaboration with Russ Pitts, announced the purchase and revival of The Escapist—a formerly well-regarded gaming site that, in later days, has been seen as a hotbed of political engagement. In the post announcing the news, Pitts said that one of his goals as Editor-in-Chief of the website would be to “leave politics at the door,” and that claim sparked a debate about the value and relevance of social topics within video games. Sources commenting on the reopening confused Pitts’s statement with a claim for apoliticism, which was never written in the original post, and the two ideas should be be conflated. Choosing not to discuss politics is not the same as not having an opinion, and, indeed, for any media outlet to claim the latter would be ignoble.

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Rimeskeem74d ago

You can just not buy the game if you don’t agree with it. Just don’t complain when you have CoD 20 or spend money on new skins on Fortnite. Put your money where your mouth is.

Gh05t73d ago

That is an extreme oversimplification of the issue being discussed. This article isnt just about the politics IN games, it was brought about because of the journalistic side and the politics around WRITING about those games and stances taken by the MEDIA about those games.

We are really talking about peoples ability to voice an opinion ABOUT the games and the politics of the game.

sampsonon73d ago

"That is an extreme oversimplification of the issue being discussed."

simplified or not, he's still correct when it comes to consumerism.
if you don't like something don't buy it and move along.

Rimeskeem73d ago

As far as I’m concerned, you can say what you want about a video game. But you can’t do it without consequence sometimes. In the US the government cannot prohibit 99% of speech. But that doesn’t mean I (someone not constitutionally restricted) can’t say they disagree with someone else’s opinion.

Gh05t73d ago


I dont think you fully grasp what the article is about. Its not about whether to buy a game or not. Its about "Can games be non political" and "Can game journalists be non political" which has ZERO to do with just dont buy the game if you dont like it.

fr0sty73d ago

Politics is life, everything is political in some way.

Dragonscale73d ago

@frosty, sorry but I disagree. There are plenty of things in life that are apolitical and should stay that way. The less politics the better as far as I'm concerned.

sampsonon72d ago (Edited 72d ago )

@Gh05t: yeah, i know what the article is talking about. what it will always come down to is if you don't like something then stay away from it.

example: i hate the Opera and would never buy a ticket to see one.
you will never see me complaining about who is starring in a show because i couldn't give a rats ass about the topic.

what it all boils down to is you either like something, then play it, or you don't, then don't play it.
this includes the media and gamers alike.

just because a dev decides they want to have a gay couple in a game doesn't imply they have an agenda because the game takes place in the world we live in, even though it has turned to $hit.

gay developers, directors, actors,doctors,musicians, bus drivers, ect.. are real and shouldn't have to be questioned as to why they are here, or in a stupid game just because some bigots have small minds.

so having a game that shows people from a real world, even though fictional, that is like our own shouldn't have to make anyone justify real world characters like the lesbian couple down the hall.

sometimes it just is, the same way having a mixed race couple kissing just is.

this whole topic is embarrassing, and people need to grow the F-ck up!

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Mystogan72d ago

Exactly, if the artists wants to express their thoughts that way, who are you to tell them what to do?

If you don't like it don't buy it. It's easy.

Born2Game8372d ago

Then why you bitching about COD or Fortnite? don't buy the game or the MT. You are also bitching about what other people use their money for.

rivaldoo77774d ago

The one and only game Im hyped for atm is TLOUP2!!!!!
Unless new IP from ND or Persona 6 comes out, my real hype is only on this game. Please make the game good!!!!!!!

pcz72d ago

A good game is fun to play, not political. If I want politics, I watch the news.

is chess political? no, its fun, strategy. sure you could make it political by attaching meaning to each piece and the setting of the board, but the game itself is meant to be fun.

same with Pong, pac man, Mario, Zelda etc all the classic games are just that- games. you play them for fun.

making games will be the downfall of gaming. they will cease being games and become a tool to brainwash you. and if games have political content, politicians will weaponise them, or claim that they are weapons.

its already happening, with games being blamed for the ills of society.

nobody would blame Mario for a mass shooting, but GTA sure.

I would argue that some of these titles aren't even games anymore, interactive entertainment maybe... but a game is, or in my opinion should be, innocent fun.

a 'game' packed with political messages or agendas is a corrupt one, in my opinion.

rivaldoo77772d ago

Yeap I agree. That's why I'm looking forward to have fun and unforgettable experience in TLOUP2.

Srhalo74d ago

Two people kissing shouldn't even be a political issue. No one should have to justify love.

Rimeskeem74d ago

I’m still trying to understand why people are upset about Ellie being lesbian. Mass Effect had many moments with lesbian and/or gay characters and most people believe that series was a masterpiece (which I agree with).

rivaldoo77774d ago

I think most of them are fake outrage coming from the other camp. Games from ND will get hate all the time. People just dont want to admit they are one of if not the best game developer in the world.

FITSniper73d ago

And plenty of people had issue with it. I didn't like the fact in ME3 and Andromeda that you can't get rid of the flirt option with the same sex so you're always having to be sure you don't accidentally hit it if you don't want to(Andromeda in particular). Give the option to specify your character is straight.

Godmars29073d ago

Gay moments in ME were just that: moments. They were unconnected to the overall plot whereas with TLOU2 sexual orientation likely going to be a a major driving force.

Dirtnapstor73d ago

There’s so much more to this issue than just really need to look into it.
Robingaming did an excellent, objective commentary on this issue:
Despite it all, ND is still king for now. Looking forward to TLOU2!

Godmars29073d ago

UC getting hate because it set a graphic standard, isn't on Xbox/PC or a Tomb Raider clone is no where near a player taking the role of a gay character who will likely do gay things over the course of the game. How the setting - people - around the character is going to react to them, cause I really doubt a mushroom zombie if it's next meal muff dives or not.

combatcash73d ago

IMO they threw it in there to garner attention. Like hey look at me we're really progressive. Is it serious enough not to buy the game, I doubt it, but I don't think it was necessary to make her a lesbian. IMO her love interest could have been a dude, and it would not have an impact on the game. IMO they're doing just to do it, and get that attention.

SlashHabit73d ago

Because it feels forced? The DLC which came for TLOU 1 brought nothing to the story other than "Oh she's a Lesbian" Which is kind of a shame if you think about it, Ellie being immune and all, might've actually been a good thing for humanity.

So maybe that's why she's a lesbian and they'll bring it around and focus on that aspect?

Also, games and politics can be separated. Doesn't mean they have to if a creator wishes for it, but don't make it feel forced.

Sono42173d ago

You and people like you don't understand because you won't leave your little comfort zone bubble. Robin Gaming (Who if you are a true fan of the uncharted series and play their online will know who that is, he is featured on the Uncharted TV series ever since it was started) Made a perfect video explaining exactly why it's a problem.

If you are even going to talk about the subject you need to watch his video. I'm tired of people like you simplifying it it the worst way possible "I don't see why people have a problem with Ellie being gay" As if you couldn't be missing the point anymore, I don't care who is gay or what sexuality anyone is, that's not the point. The point is agenda pushing and identity politics. Did Naughty Dog ever release a trailer for Uncharted where the only cut-scene shown was Nate kissing Elena? No. Why? There wasn't a straight agenda to push. The Last of Us story DLC was nothing but a "hey look Ellie is gay" I was soooo let down. Why? Not because she's gay, I couldn't care less, but because it was so short and didn't add anything besides an agenda to push. Ellie being gay doesn't make her a more interesting character, the story wasn't interesting because we already knew how it was going to end, she told us that in the story. Literally the only thing it added was "oh shes gay" also as I said before, it was short. Honestly I could rant for days but Robin Gaming sums it up perfectly, just watch his video. I love Naughty Dog and their games, just focus on making good games, nothing else.

Muzikguy73d ago


Sounds like you need to get back into your comfort bubble. Anything you play, listen to, or watch is pushing some kind of agenda. Agenda isn’t a bad term. If you don’t like it then don’t play, listen, or watch. Just know that agendas are everywhere in your life whether you like it or not

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FITSniper73d ago

So pedophilia is cool with you.

Rimeskeem73d ago

Pedophilia is not love, very different things.

FunAndGun73d ago (Edited 73d ago )

That is a super stretch Armstrong reach there sniper.

A minor can not give consent because they are not an adult. Simples!

FITSniper73d ago

Ask a pedophile if it is and they'll say yes.

FITSniper73d ago

And @FunAndGun, it's not a stretch.

We're told the LGBT crowd feels a certain way and many claim they were born that way so how they feel should be what we use to decide on.

Pedophiles say the same thing.

I'm pointing out the flawed thinking of "no one should have to justify love". There is right and there is wrong. What is right and what is wrong depends on point of view.

For me, both are a sin. Now granted yes whereas I merely disagree with the LGBT crowd, I believe pedophiles should be executed along with murderers and rapists.

Rimeskeem73d ago

Love is a mutual feeling. Pedophilia means it’s anything but mutual.

RememberThe35773d ago

One would have to be a raging idiot to think pedophilia and homosexuality are moronally equivalent. Homosexuality doesn't require preying on children.

Srhalo73d ago

Your mistaking sex with love, love is two consenting partners. Pedophiles are generally taking advantage of an underage child.

But congrats on jumping off the the deep end with extremes

combatcash73d ago

For those that state this is a stretch, a large portion of the lgbt were molested sexually abused in some way when they were young, so there is definitely a correlation there. Pedophile groups are starting to push their own agenda, and they're trying to get support from the lgbt community. I think we've gone too deep into this lol IMO it's all for attention, they know many gamers will end up making peace with this, and it won't cost them any sales. Naughty Dog is smart, they know making Ellie gay won't have an impact on their sales, however having a male protagonist character be gay would have killed the series. It was a safe way to bring the LGBT movement to the game.

Srhalo73d ago


What you said isn't even true, read some actual research from actual psychologists instead of just parroting propaganda.

Child abuse is a terrible thing and it happens to both gay and straight young people.

It's unfortunate that misinformation so often used to discredit things and that people just repeat them with out question.

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sampsonon73d ago (Edited 73d ago )

didn't you know? if anyone kisses besides a man and a woman it's a "political statement".
Or if you have a black guy in star wars it's "forced upon us".

small minds all.

"every guy in this room is staring at you right now."

"maybe they're staring at you?"

"..... no...."

"maybe they're jealous of you?"

", just a girl......not a threat"

"oh Ellie.... i think they should be terrified of you."

AND BOY! they sure are jealous and terrified, aren't they? lmfao! :)

ND, keep making the kind of game you want to.

Cobra95173d ago

Including homosexuality in every new movie and game very much is a political statement. If they stuck with actual demographics, it would feature in maybe one out of every ten.

sampsonon73d ago (Edited 73d ago )

@Cobra951: "Including homosexuality in every new movie and game very much is a political statement."

every new movie and game?

"demographics"? show me stats please.
1. show the percentage of gay and lesbians in games and movies in the last 10 yrs.
2. show the percentage of gay people in America.

if not i will, but i thought i would spare you the embarrassment.

ah!! F it

"GLAAD released its annual study of LGBTQ representation on television this week, and for the most part, the findings are positive. The study found that 2017 was the best year ever for LGBTQ characters on television, with 6.4 percent of characters on broadcast prime-time TV identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer."

6.4%? everyone run to the hills.

"In U.S., Estimate of LGBT Population Rises to 4.5%"
gaming would be in the same range or less.

looks about right.

stop crying, you still have 94% of everything.

RememberThe35773d ago

But it's not. No gays in GoW as far as I could tell, or in the last 10 games I've bought. None in Thor or any of the movies I've seen recently. Maybe some of the TV shows, but I'm not on the hunt for gay fictional characters so...
The fact is you see it because you hate it and you need to get over it. Gay people exist and are apart of our stroy, you not liking them is your problem, not ours.

Psychotica73d ago

Love or an expression of perversion?

sampsonon73d ago


who are we to judge?

we love who we love, whether others think t's ok or not.

AnubisG73d ago

True, no one should justify love. However when you make a lesbian kiss the main focus of the most highly anticipated game in recent times, especially in times where the LQBTQWXYZ agenda is pushed like crazy, now THAT will rub people the wrong way because it is done to shove an agenda down your throat.

sampsonon72d ago

"True, no one should justify love."

yet your next statement is meant to make the developers justify why they have a same sex couple falling in love.

you contradicted yourself all in one paragraph....... are you Trump? lol

hikikomori-yume73d ago

They aren't just two people, they're young girls.
This is pushing homosexuality onto young people.

Srhalo73d ago

First off Ellie is an adult second the game is rated mature for adults.

sampsonon72d ago


"i love the uneducated"

gamer780473d ago

No but it is very interesting, notice how they didn't have the story revolve around to gay male figures. They are still pandering to their audience but only giving an illusion of breaking new ground politically. Gay male characters still are the ones who have the stigma in gaming and won't be presented like Ellie as the main character in a game, they will be relegated to optional side romances not impacting the story. I just don't see how a game would sell too well but it would be very interesting if naughty dog reversed this for the next game with males and how It would reflect both critically on gaming sites vs sales figures.

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Rimeskeem73d ago

Explain your argument then. CoD has politics and so does Battlefield and practically every major shooter that isn’t Battle Royals. People just need to stop complaining and just not buy the game. Rather unfortunate because you will likely miss out on many top notch games.

JokerBoy42273d ago

War politics and social politics are way to far apart to claim them as the same. Unless youre talking about both the games going full feminist?

AirJohnston73d ago

Ok, how many games aren’t political in the slightest? I don’t get what you’re trying to argue

Cobra95173d ago (Edited 73d ago )

All Nintendo games I know of aren't political in the slightest.

Rimeskeem73d ago


I’m arguing that anything can be made about politics. Battle Royals has guns in and this can be connected to politics. If a character is straight it can be connected to social politics. If you don’t like it don’t say anything. Don’t buy the game, the glorious ness of capitalism is that you can be heard without speaking a word!

RememberThe35773d ago

Joker doesn't know why WW2 was fought. Here's a hint, basically everything we argue over in the US right now.

JokerBoy42273d ago

RememberThe357, youre telling me WWII was fought because of abortion, feminism, and social identities? You retarded?

Dragonscale73d ago

@joker he means identity politics. Thats what happened in nazi Germany in the 1930's and in the Soviet Union and communist China and was responsible for over 100 million dead people last century. Its the same schtick just a different flavour and is the consequence of the extreme left wings current attacks on the 'patriarchy' and why there is a massive schism in the US currently. He's anything but retarded fgs.

pinkyxyz73d ago

You picked the "low hanging fruit". Of course shooting games are about politics, war happens because of politics. But there are plenty of games that are not about politics. uncharted, tomb raider, flower, mario in general, splatoon, dragonball z games, gran tourismo, forza, madden "nearly all sports games for that matter with storylines", etc etc.

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343_Guilty_Spark73d ago (Edited 73d ago )

Politics affects all aspects of our lives so in games based in realism it seems like it would be difficult to avoid such topics.

Cobra95173d ago

Games are escape from reality, or they have been up till recently.

RememberThe35773d ago

You again? How recent are you talking? The original Metal Gear? Or maybe the original Metal of Honor? Or any GTA game? Or any period of time that gaming g has existed, because there have been political themes in this genre since it grew past Pong.

Sounds like you need a cacoon for you and all your Mario games.

343_Guilty_Spark73d ago

TLOU is an escape from reality?

rainslacker73d ago

Almost every story is going to be influenced by the culture and society for the time that it was written.

There is also nothing that says that one can't escape while also having a relevant story.

Its when things are done in shallow ways, and the politics take over the story that it becomes a problem. There are times where a story is meant to address a strong political issue, but for the most part, we really don't see that in gaming as much, and we tend to get the shallow preaching which tries to make its point without taking all sides into consideration.