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Anti-Objectivist video games

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The most dissapointing game I think I've ever played was Star Ocean (the new one, for PS2). In the first half of the game I was like: WOW! This game rocks! It's extremely Sci-Fi oriented, building off of the laws of Physics we know and use today, and hints at other discoveries that have been made at the time of the game. It illustrates the role of human ingenuity in the development of a culture. There is tons of very explicit Philosophy throughout the game, but then at the end settles into a mish--mash of rationalism (the main character ends up existing as pure consciousness). Gameplay was ok, but the end was very disappointing.

At any rate, I'm going to add my seal of approval to the already abundant praise of Xenogears. What a great game! I even love the card game in it.

I'm going to have to say that I think FFVII is the best video game of all time. It's nothing short of a masterpiece—everything about it.

Also of note: The lastest Final Fantasy game—Final Fantasy XI Online. It is an MMORPG, which is bad news for those who get sucked in. But does the burden of responsibility rest on the game, or on the addicts themselves. Obviously, the people who become addicted to MMORPGs are at fault for their own vice, so there is nothing wrong with an MMORPG in itself, particularly FFXI. First of all, it's super fun. Your character has the responsibility of becoming a self-made man, in every sense of the word. You start off with next to no money, as a puny weakling. You have to earn your money by developing a craft and trading goods with other players through an in-game Auction House, or in a self-run store called your "Bazaar." It's pure lasseiz-faire capitalism; you set your own price, and find your own way to get materials as cheaply as possible, always bound by the laws of a free-market economy. And, best of all, you get to interact with other people while you play.

I have observed that many of the players get completely sucked in. Some even flat-out say that it is their entire life. This doesn't stem fromt the game itself, though. Rather it comes from their own problems. I highly recommend it to anyone who isn't seeking a recreational activity, rather than a substitute for life.

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Think about it like this though, Shin-Ra (the corporation in FF7) had seized power by coercive force. By the start of the game, they had already subdued Wutai, usurped the government of Midgard, and f

FFVII is a really interesting example. Kind of interesting you brought that one up. I LOVED that game when I was in the 7th grade (when it came out) and it was one of my fav games of all time. I

Half-life.

You play a physicicst who (in the initial game) is not running into a mess as a self-sacrifical hero, but is trying to escape a government created mess. You end up as a one-man army fighting against a government that sees its citizens as sacrificial lambs.

In the second part (Half-Life 2) you are dumped into a totalitarian future where humans are controlled by the mysterious Benefactors (in the name of what's good for the species). I can't say anymore without giving away too much of the mystery.

In HL2, understanding and using real world physics is key to being sucessful in the game. Teaming with those with common goals is also required but it is never handled in a self-sacrificial way.

Much is left to be revealed about the plot (which will arc over 3 games) but so far so good.

did I mention that the protagonist's name is Gordon FREEMAN?

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  • 1 month later...

Just to add, because I like video games....

I thought that Golden Sun was one of the Best RPG's out there and good graphics for GBA. Not as much in the Objectivist view, but a fun game anyways.

Any of the Legend of Zelda's were amazing games. Intelligence (i.e. puzzles), action, and self-preservation. The Windwaker was a phenomenal Game. I'd probably put that the highest on my list.

I'll check out that other game for gamecube mentioned.

Oh, and Gauntlet-Legends is pretty fun too.

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  • 5 months later...

Now THIS is a topic!

I'm a huge strategy RPGamer. Final Fantasy Tactics is probably my all-time favorite game, and Disgaea is one of the funniest.

Other games I really love are Virtua Fighter 4, Vagrant Story, FF8, Goldeneye, Deus Ex, and San Andreas.

Yuna's sacrificial intent turned me off from her. FFX is still good though IMO.

While FF7 could be considered based on bad premises, I think you are indeed reading too much into it. Especially when it's so good!

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Another one I'd like to add (as a Nintendo fan) is Pokemon (yeah, yeah, I know). But it actually does uphold many (not all ) objectivist ideals. It promotes being the best at battling and collecting Pokemon. It uses a CORPORATION as your friend (Devon Corp) the president of whom gives you good items when you help him. It promotes the idea of exploring, growing, technology and becoming better. I really don't know what's better than that. Plus it's just addicting to battle. My Tae Kwon Do instructor and I both play and we'll battle after class and what not. It's a lot of fun.

I'd also like to add that I think it'll be a while before Nintendo is brought down in the handheld market. The PSP may be better graphically, but from what I've been told by gamers. It's quite fragile. I've been told by parents whose kids have GBA's that the games have been run the the wash (on accident) and played fine afterwards. That's durability. Besides the Nintendo DS is just as nice, and the games for Nintendo are just better (outside of driving games anyways. Which I never play).

Edited by Styles2112
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  • 3 weeks later...
Any of the Legend of Zelda's were amazing games. Intelligence (i.e. puzzles), action, and self-preservation. The Windwaker was a phenomenal Game. I'd probably put that the highest on my list.

Windwaker has amazing aesthetics. People dismiss it as too cartoony, but it goes perfectly with the light-hearted theme that evil is ultimately impotent. The hero is just an innocent little kid with no motivation other than to save his sister from kidnappers.

Also the music was superb, some of it light-hearted, some of it sweeping and majestic. The violins accenting when you slash a monster with your sword is genious. No other game I know of combines music and action so closely.

I'm a huge strategy RPGamer. Final Fantasy Tactics is probably my all-time favorite game, and Disgaea is one of the funniest.

Other games I really love are Virtua Fighter 4, Vagrant Story, FF8, Goldeneye, Deus Ex, and San Andreas.

Yuna's sacrificial intent turned me off from her. FFX is still good though IMO.

Have you played Makai Kingdom? It's from the makers of Disgaea and it ate up about 2 weeks of my life.

Also, I couldn't get through FFX, because it was just too depressing. Aside from graphics, I don't know why people like it so much.

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Have you played Makai Kingdom? It's from the makers of Disgaea and it ate up about 2 weeks of my life.

Also, I couldn't get through FFX, because it was just too depressing. Aside from graphics, I don't know why people like it so much.

I haven't gotten Makai yet. I likely will, but money's tight :) If it's anything like Disgaea though, I'll definitely love it.

FFX was a downer in many ways. Yuna was just ... bleh. Altruism is one thing, but suicidal altruism is definitely a turn-off... and anti-Objectivist, I suppose.

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I have discovered the most Objectivist video game ever made, bar none. The best part is that every single person with a computer has it.

Tsk, tsk. May I remind you of the existence of the Macintosh and Linux operating systems, among others?

b1LL 0\|/n$ u!!!

--Schefflera

P.S. Your post made me laugh.

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Windwaker has amazing aesthetics. People dismiss it as too cartoony, but it goes perfectly with the light-hearted theme that evil is ultimately impotent. The hero is just an innocent little kid with no motivation other than to save his sister from kidnappers.

Also the music was superb, some of it light-hearted, some of it sweeping and majestic. The violins accenting when you slash a monster with your sword is genious. No other game I know of combines music and action so closely.

Indeed. I thought it was brilliantly done. I've pre-ordered the next legend of Zelda, which is supposed to be closer to the Ocarina of Time style. It looks a bit darker, but with better gameplay. It looks quite amazing. It's going to be hard to have to wait for it to come out. But, I did love the music of Windwaker. That's always been one of the most complete games ever made (graphics/gameplay/music).

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FFX was a downer in many ways. Yuna was just ... bleh. Altruism is one thing, but suicidal altruism is definitely a turn-off... and anti-Objectivist, I suppose.

you know, I wrote a long essay on FFX and it's highly positive themes in the first page of this thread. Remember that Yuna starts out as a suicidal altruist, but wholly rejects that philosophy at the end. By the time you are fighting the final boss, everyone is fighting solely for their own values. It really is a wonderfully positive game (despite it's tragic elements) which perhaps is why the failure-worshipping naturalistic American counter-culture despises this game so much.

P.S. Your post made me laugh.

I aim to please :lol:

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  • 1 month later...

Someone at Blizzard Entertainment is an objectivist. Two of the cheats in Warcraft III are "GreedIsGood" and "IAmJohnGalt".

The premise if the game is four waring tribes (by Ayn Rand's definition) who are presented with a world killing army from outside reality (My hypothesis is that the Burning Legion is a metaphor for altruism). The plot centers around individuals of the tribes who are trying (and sometimes failing) to remain sane in an insane universe. Never in the game (or in any game by blizzard, to my knowledge) is the word "greed" ever used as a negative.

The game play is army vs. army standard RTS but with a twist : (to my knowledge) WCIII was the first RTS to include "heros", units that could become equivelent to entire armies. Heros could gain levels with experience and with higher level came more virtues (same individualistic premise behind most RPGs, but in an RTS.)

As for anti-objectivist video games i would say that Pikmin, if it is to be taken seriously and not satire, is a portrayal of totalitariansm perfectly. Pikmin all look alike (except in their single bold color), are seperated into 3 categories (like social classes), and live entirely for the sake of you, the dictator. They act collectively in a herd and are abysmally stupid, following the commands of a whistle. They act like lemmings in that they will obey your every command, even if you tell them to jump off a cliff. You find yourself thinking, and stoping yourself, "I can leave that one behind, a single Pikmin is nothing compaired to the group." The standard of morality when it comes to Pikmin is "that which benefits the player" and, get this, the player is a little man in a red outfit with a red light on his head. I had no idea Shigeru Miyamoto could put any social commentary in a game before I played this...

The game is fun too, it makes you smile (and then feel very very guilty).

Edited by Apollo
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Someone at Blizzard Entertainment is an objectivist. Two of the cheats in Warcraft III are "GreedIsGood" and "IAmJohnGalt".

This would be a good thing. I have praised Blizzard on here before, and I consider them my favorite gaming company.

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As for anti-objectivist video games i would say that Pikmin, if it is to be taken seriously and not satire, is a portrayal of totalitariansm perfectly. Pikmin all look alike (except in their single bold color), are seperated into 3 categories (like social classes), and live entirely for the sake of you, the dictator. They act collectively in a herd and are abysmally stupid, following the commands of a whistle. They act like lemmings in that they will obey your every command, even if you tell them to jump off a cliff. You find yourself thinking, and stoping yourself, "I can leave that one behind, a single Pikmin is nothing compaired to the group." The standard of morality when it comes to Pikmin is "that which benefits the player" and, get this, the player is a little man in a red outfit with a red light on his head. I had no idea Shigeru Miyamoto could put any social commentary in a game before I played this...

The game is fun too, it makes you smile (and then feel very very guilty).

I can agree with your assessment of Pikmin, but that might be out of context a bit, too. I think the game is brilliant at teaching kids (and ADULTS) about how to allocate resources, get the most out of your resources with time constraints and large obstacles to overcome. While it may fail morality tests of society, it is great business training.

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I'd like to add that rpg games with "morality" systems tend to be very anti-objectivist in their definition of "good". For example, in Star Wars: KOTOR, light side (good) points tend to be awarded when one engages in blind altruism, while rational self interest usually results in no change or dark side (evil) points.

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  • 1 month later...

I never thought Chrono Trigger was anti-objectivist, and I also fail to see the biblical allegory. But Chrono Cross on the other hand, aside from being the best game ever, was almost pro-objectivist in some respects. Not only was there the "Free Will vrs. Fate" part mentioned earlier, but the game had an anti-environmentalist kick to it:

*SPOILER*

At the end it turns out that humans are a blight to the planet, but you decide that it doesn't matter that humans must use nature to survive instead of living with it. You decide that living is more important.

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I always thought that Sim City 2000 was an anti-Objectivist game. The rules of the simulation rewarded the type of policies that your standard liberal/environmentalist would advocate. Basically, industry was bad for the simulation, though it was still necessary for your game. You shouldn't build roads because cars cause too much pollution, which lowers your land value if you live near a road.

As far as generating power, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and microwave were the best choices. Don't use nuclear or coal. If I remember correctly (it's been a long time) I think the nuclear power plant actually caused heavy pollution too, which is obviously inaccurate.

And then there was the worst part: the "laws" that you could pass in your city. There were things like mandatory recycling, banning nuclear power from the city, and various other socialist policies. Passing those laws ended up improving your city and your job approval rating always went up when you did.

Overall still a very fun game, but I remember those things irritated me back when I played it.

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While Zelda: Wind Waker certainly was objectivist in certain aspects (the futility of evil), it was also extremely mystic in other respects.

- Gods evolving Zoras so they wouldn't dive underwater too deep to, uh, do some spoiler stuff...

- Fate? Every single main character gets some epiphany and therefore is fated to save the world. Where is the free will?

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SimCity 2000 was very liberal. I have every SimCity game and I must say that SimCity 4 is the best. They emphasize certain aspects of industry, like manufacturing and high-tech. It also has a much bigger focus on trade. A lot of the 'laws' are now unnecsessary because you can fix most problems with good city planning (IE good transit). Still socialist of course, but as right wing as you can get.

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I played SimCity 4 for about a week. One day, my junior year at A&M, I set up my city like I wanted it, then left it running while I went to class. I came back to a pleasant surprise: practically the entire map was filled with activity, I had tons of money, and everything seemed to be going my way.

Then I left to go to the bathroom. When I came back, an earthquake had destroyed pretty much everything. I just quit playing after that.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I always thought that Sim City 2000 was an anti-Objectivist game. The rules of the simulation rewarded the type of policies that your standard liberal/environmentalist would advocate. Basically, industry was bad for the simulation, though it was still necessary for your game. You shouldn't build roads because cars cause too much pollution, which lowers your land value if you live near a road.

As far as generating power, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and microwave were the best choices. Don't use nuclear or coal. If I remember correctly (it's been a long time) I think the nuclear power plant actually caused heavy pollution too, which is obviously inaccurate.

And then there was the worst part: the "laws" that you could pass in your city. There were things like mandatory recycling, banning nuclear power from the city, and various other socialist policies. Passing those laws ended up improving your city and your job approval rating always went up when you did.

Overall still a very fun game, but I remember those things irritated me back when I played it.

A game like Sim City would not be fun, if you as the mayor of the city could not actually do anything because you let the Sims be libertarians who do everything. What is the fun of playing the game if you just let the city develop on its own by a Lassie-Fare AI, and you as the player don't actually do anything except watch and maybe go "I would have built a road more directly then that, but since the roads are priavately owned, I can't do anything about it"?

Then I left to go to the bathroom. When I came back, an earthquake had destroyed pretty much everything. I just quit playing after that.

Can't you deactivate natural disasters in the new Sim City? (I was thinking of getting it, and may not if that option is not available)

Edited by Strangelove
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  • 4 weeks later...

One of my favorite games for the original playstation was Suikoden, which was a big RPG from the mid-90s, had some pretty strongly capitalistic, and definately some strong romantic themes to it. One of my favorites is one of the mini-tasks you have to perform at the beginning of the game where you oust a corrupt village governor who is over-taxing his citizens (I think the town's name was Rockland). ;)

Probably the most Romantic part of the game is how it ends. After defeating the Emperor of the Scarlet Moon Empire, rather than seize power and influence, your character wishes not to rule anyone or to be ruled by anyone else and disappears to live for himself. There is a little bit of John Galt in your character (whose name is EcDohl I believe) in just about everything he does. He fights for his friends, he rallies the best people he finds to a just cause, and all the while he depends on trade with merchants and using his mind to solve puzzles in order to gain the items he needs to succeed. 5 stars. :D

P.S. - Another strongly objectivist aspect of the game is the soundtrack. You've got music inspired from the likes of Baroque Concertos, Filmscore, melodic eastern music, and some other rather great sources of tonal consonance.

Edited by dark_unicorn
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey ya'll, I'm new here...so, hi, and all that.

I also do not see the Biblical allegory in Chrono Trigger, unless you're referring to the three Gurus, named after the three wise men from the Bible. I'd be interested in hearing more, but perhaps via email to spare the forum. :)

I have a game for you guys that has not been mentioned...Dragon Warrior IV, for the old NES.

Besides being a great game, it has Objectivist/capitalist qualities. There are 5 "chapters" to the game... In one of the chapters, you play as a merchant who works at a weapon shop, but dreams of owning his own shop in Endor (which is essentially the NYC of this game). A ways into the chapter, you can hire two party members who stay with you for 5 days only, and then leave...if you want them back you'll have to pay more.

In another chapter, you play as a princess who is holed up in her castle, and decides to go out on her own adventure instead of living a prescribed life. She actually kicks her wall down to get out!!

These are just the philosophical things...it's a very fun game in general...but it costs so much now (it often goes for $60ish, and even $30-$40 for just the cartridge. It does surprise me that someone on this forum suggested downloading a game to play via emulator (which is a breach of rights unless you actually OWN the game).

Someone already made the points I was thinking of making about FF7, so I guess that's all!

Edited by musenji
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In addition to my request to Zoso (to further explain the relation between Chrono Trigger and the Bible), I have something else to note about Chrono Trigger.

The Kingdom of Zeal was not a capitalist state. The "Enlightened Ones" were essentially looters, and elitist looters at that. They discovered the strength of Lavos and used it to gain knowledge and power. Yes, they developed a technologically (and magically) advanced culture, but it was all based on Lavos, a power they couldn't control or totally understand. This was ultimately what destroyed them--actually a good example of D'Anconia's maxim about inheriting wealth...if a man is worthy of the wealth he inherits, it will serve him, but if he is not, it will destroy him. In addition, the game shows that people went on to flourish even without Lavos' power, meaning they didn't have to loot to build a civilization.

Regarding the machines in the year 2300...It doesn't show how they got to that state, but if I remember correctly, the Mother Brain said something that implied a connection with Lavos. Lucca made it clear that technology is not evil--the robots only act as they are programmed to act. The following is only speculation, but perhaps Mother Brain was influenced by Lavos, and in turn influenced the rest of the robots.

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