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Anti-Objectivist video games

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Zoso
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Doom 3 is an anti-objectivist video game. The demonization of big business is to the point that (I believe not sure because I lost the game before reaching the end) that the owner of the big business is the devil himself.

What I feel people have missed, as far as this type of thing goes, is that it doesn't matter what actual objectivist traits the owner does or does not have. People only see the initial greed and make that the target for their anger. So it matters very little if your an objectivist or like the people in the games/movies that misuse their greed, you are demonized by these things.

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My favorite games are the Splinter Cell series; it's a stealth game where you play as an ex-SEAL who becomes a spy. There's a fair amount of action, but you have to think quite a bit because it's impossible to beat if you just confront enemies head-on. The hero is also very likable, and the game's message is very pro-American. The graphics are also the best I've ever seen, particularly in the third installment and the forthcoming fourth installment.

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  • 1 year later...

For those who've praised Xenogears: is there anything in the storyline that's pro-life/pro-reason/etc?

In the only part I can remember, they detailed how some new resource was discovered and the populace was separated into (using the game's terms) "haves" and "have-nots", which is just asininely socialist. IIRC correctly it was on the second disk, but that game was basically one big dialog with little bits of gameplay every couple hours or so.

As an aside, I'd come to some of the same conclusions about FF7 as you, Tryptonique, but yours were much more in-depth and articulate.

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Huh, after a little thinking it seems as if I have played mostly pro-Objectivist video games. I've never been one for bloody violence in games, though I have played some games of Halo at length with my old friends, so I've been more drawn to Mario and stuff.

In fact I'm mostly a Mario fan. Hey, the princess is captured and it's in your best interest to save her. And in some games it goes further than that when Mario himself is in danger and saving the princess is not his only incentive (like in Paper Mario). Mario Party 1, 2, and 3 are awesome too.

I just now noticed Sonic games (the old ones at least, Dreamcast and older) have an environmentalist/animal rights twist what with all those big scary machines being powered by the tiny animals inside (HOW does that work anyhow? :dough:). But saving the world is still a priority due to Robotnik's desire to become a dictator.

But the best game of my youth would have to be Banjo and Kazooie. Tooie was good too, but far too big and long. Not sure if I'll ever see Threeie in any other form than a speedrun.

Now I have an urge to play some of the old Mario Parties and Super Smash Bros. :P

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I'd highly recommend Sins of a Solar Empire, which I think has some truley objectivist values put foreward as positive.

SoaSE is a 4X/RTS hybrid, with the player taking control of one of three factions, and it's the differences between them that I think demonstrates the pro-reason, pro-individualism at play here.

THE TEC

One faction, the TEC(Trade Emergency Collation) is responsible for the so-called Golden Age of humanity that occurred over a period of centuries prior to the events the game depicts. How was this Golden Age achieved you ask? Unfettered capitalism. A huge group of industrial combines formed a cohesive monopoly focused solely on profit, ignoring individual cultural discrepancies between worlds and trading resources to maximize profit.

However, they did initiate force(Bad TEC, BAD!) against a cult they found operating on a desert world, driving them from known space. As you might have guessed, this will come back to bite them in the ass, but not until after the appearance of...

THE VASARI

Xenos from beyond the stars, they are truly evil in a very Objectivist sense. They initiate force(conquering all species encountered and attacking without warning or provocation), and use that force to make slaves of those they defeat. Their appearance in TEC space effectively ended the Golden Age of Humanity, as the trade fleet was(initially) ill-equipped for combat. Fighting the Vasari became possible after the huge industrial might of the TEC was turned toward combat ready battleships(hence the Emergency in TEC). The war was going well until the appearance of the aforementioned cultists, calling themselves...

THE ADVENT

Here are the real bad guys, forget the evil aliens. While human, they are(quite literally) suicidally altruistic, cybernetically modified, psychic collectivists intent on pursuing a campaign of revenge against the rest of humanity. All individual thought is subsumed in a massive psychic collective, and no decision or action may be made individually. Further, this message of unity is forcibly broadcast directly into the minds of individuals outside the collective, slowly turning them into mindless drones.

IN SUMMARY:

We have heroic capitalists striving to defend the galaxy against force initiators and a collectivist cult. Also, the game almost oozes goodness. If you like 4X or RTS at all, you should give SoaSE a try.

Edited by Dr. Radiaki
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I don't play a lot of video games, but one that I truly love is Mass Effect.

Now that is a great game - a lot of different things to do within the game, and it is very story driven.

The only other games I play now and then are 99 Nights (I guess you could call it anti-objectivist since there is socery, sacrifice, yadda yadda yadda...but I don't play games for philosophy) and sometimes I will play a sports game on the Wii.

I am too old to be good at any video games, and too impatient for most of them. It either has to be quick gratification (ooo I just wiped out all the bad guys!) or have a very interesting plot that I can understand. My 6 year old occaisionally kicks my butt on the bowling game on the Wii. At one point, she started playing backwards, not even facing the tv and was still doing better than I was.

Ohhh - the best game we play together as a family though is Rock Band. It is one of the few games my kids can play with out fighting after 10 minutes. The only thing, my kids have said I am banned from singing...or atleast not Missippi Queen anymore. I just like to play it because it is fun - this and Guitar Hero are the most expensive versions of air guitar hahah. My husband and a few of my kids are really into the side of the game where they can amass fortunes and fans, etc...and my daughters love to put different outfits together from the store. But me, I am a simpleton - I just care about the songs hahah.

Edited because tonight I have typing turrets

Edited by SherryTX
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I recently discovered that my brother owns the most pro-Objectivist video game ever made: Freedom Fighters.

The game takes place in an alternate world where we essentially lost the Cold War. Basically you play the role of a New York citizen who co-owns a plumbing business with his brother in the last free nation of the world, when all of a sudden a Communist Army shows up and starts taking over. It's up to you and an underground resistance to drive them out of America.

Why I like this game:

1) It encourages leadership and rewards achievement. You are allowed to "recruit" a certain number of rebels to fight under your command, but the number you can take with you depends on your actions. Capturing Soviet supplies and bases earns you more prestige and support. This is not a game where all the American forces are under your command through and through from beginning to end. You have to earn your right to lead men into battle.

2) It encourages intuition. This is not a game where you just walk down the street shooting people. You can, but you can also take a number of alleyways, make your way through an office building, go around that street via a different street, go under it across the train tracks and climb up the other side, etc. There is never just one way to go.

3) It encourages planning and reason. In one scenario there is a helicopter guarding an objective of yours. Rather than try to take it down directly, you can go to a different part of the city and capture the helipad (and again there are at least three ways to go about doing this) so when you go back the helicopter is no longer there. Being systematic and rational in your efforts makes it a lot easier to capture key stations. Just running and gunning straight for the main goal like a barbarian means you get chewed up by machine guns.

4) You shoot Communists. This part's pretty self-explanatory. Also, I noticed that all the American rebels are of all sizes, races, and genders while the Soviets all look essentially the same.

For a low-budget cheaper game I really enjoyed playing this while I was sick with the flu last week. I don't get to play games that much due to time restraints but I want to finish this one eventually. I think it costs like $10 right now so go pick it up if it looks like you'll be snowed in B).

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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.

Whoever the Objectivist is, he must not be there anymore. The Warcraft Triology was amazing with it's story line. It was really a lot different from most fantasy.

But World of Warcraft has nothing to do with that. It has the same name, the same "world", the same characters. But all the principles have been gutted to turn it into a endless grind machine where you waste your life away just trying to get the right items so you can actually experience the story. Even that story has been completely retconed and transformed into something else with the addition of the "new" Draenei and there naaru.

The Naaru are the super beings of light that preach altruism is the only way to destroy the Burning Legion...

The naaru explained that there were other forces in the cosmos that would stand against the Burning Legion. One day the naaru would forge them into a single unstoppable army of the Light. Deeply affected by the naaru's words, the draenei vowed to honor the Light and uphold the naaru's altruistic ideals.

Altruism is constantly being called the good in WoW. So I don't think there are Objectivist influences in Warcraft anymore.

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  • 7 months later...

I personally loved EVE online for that capitalist streak. You can sort of tell that the Designers think of the Caldari (the race that focuses most on free market values) as kind of bad guys, though not so bad as the religious fanatics with slaves and such. I think it is a very important theme of a successful video game to include differentiating philosophies between races or factions, which is something WoW completely lacks, and I think also leads to the problems with the game as a whole.

As far as Final Fantasy goes, definitely a great series. SPOILER: My favorite is FF8, as the main character Squall seems to have no connection with his reality. He is sad, depressed, and lonely, and he's not entirely sure why. It's not until he realizes that he values someone - Rinoa - that he truly ascends into a developed individual. The conflict at the end is most poignant to me, the villain wishes to compress time, in effect, make all reality exist at once, so that she can rule over it. In order to escape this compression once Ultimecia is defeated, Squall must go back to a place he remembers - a place he values in his past - and find his friends - the people he values.

As far as anti objectivist video games go I'm surprised I haven't seen Bioshock in this thread, it's literally anti-objectivist. Though I still found it great fun to play, in most scenes to go 'MAN this is a cooler place than where I live' and in others to go 'That's not Oism, that's just crap.'

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I wonder how it is fairing in the current economic climate?

Not sure, I haven't actually played EVE online in some time. One of my friends who plays it says they add at least another 1,000 subscribers per month so I'd assume things are doing fairly OK.

On another note, I was playing GTA IV last night, and was wandering around the "Manhattan" area. I bumped into a woman, and she said, "Piss off, I'm an objectivist!" Then as she ran away from me, I heard her say, "Haven't you read Atlas Shrugged?"

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  • 4 weeks later...
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.

As a matter of fact, the Gurus' Bible-themed naming was a translation change, completely unrelated to the original game itself. In Japan, they are named Gash, Hash, and Bosh. When it was translated into English, the translators decided that, to to the ears of English speakers, those names were unfitting for "gurus" and that to use Biblical names would sound much more appropriate for wise men.

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  • 1 year later...

To those of you who said FF7 was about "defeating an evil corporation"

The "evil corporation" in this case was privatized national security.

And yes, I would certainly have to agree that FF10 is very Pro-Objectivist.

I was about to disagree with those who said that Yuna was an altruist at the beginning of the story. Obviously, she's not at the end, but I was going to argue that she was dying for what she believed in. Then I remembered that, her main goal was to sacrifice her life, and that only stopped being her intention towards the end of the story.

Overall, FFX had the best characters in any game I've played. But unfortunately, I've only played like 6 video games. Lulz.

Edited by Black Wolf
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  • 3 months later...

I have a new game to add to the list; Im a huge Adventure game fan, so I keep abreast of new releases.... Well, this one is essentially an ode to socialism and pragmatism. I quote from the promo material:

"15 Days is a fast-paced and sophisticated adventure game about Cathryn, Mike and Bernard - a troupe of political activists stealing art for good causes. In meticulously planned coups, the three Londoners steal precious paintings from the best guarded museums in the world. The group then donates their millions, Robin Hood style, to development projects in Africa. Their goal is to share out the money of eccentric art collectors to the poor."

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  • 2 months later...

Starcraft is about heroes who fight oppressive governments and religious zealots.

You know, it really is! I never thought about the plot much and just played on Battlenet as a kid. We need to take the video game industry back. That is our industry. Everything of merit in video games comes from Objectivist thought. The beauty of the graphics, the elaborate stories, the enticing gameplay, and the realization of the fantastic for the sake of simple enjoyment without any value to the state, all gave rise to the video game industry. Hell, even the city in Bioshock, the only good part of the game, comes from Objectivist thought. Let's take it back.

I've always imagined Galt's Gulch having a video game design lab.

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  • 11 months later...

I think Baldur's Gate 2 has a very Individualistic edge, after all you are some Kind of Demigod on his Quest for his very own destiny. You have many choices what you want to do with your ever-increaasing power throughout the game.

Aaaah, good ol' BG2, those were the times my friend :)

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Another vote for mass effect, as being for individualism.

The current main plot of the game, has you fighting off a sentient machine race that appears to "breed" by creating single machines from whole entire races. So they intend to harvest the whole human race, and combine them into one mass collective consciousness in a sense. These machines are also big on "indoctrination" or brainwashing other's into thinking this is a GOOD thing for them.

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  • 1 month later...

While I find the concept of an "objectivist video game" silly, I do think that a game that exemplifies what is meant there (capitalism, the power of the individual, struggling for goals motivated by self interest, etc etc) is EvE online.

Single player games, imho, can't really do this because you only set yourself up to compete against a computer algorithm. When there is only one "self" involved then there is no concept of self, as it is the existence of others that defines self. So only multiplayer games can do this.

Most MMOs though, are far too forgiving for consequences. You screw up and you die and there are negigible consequences. The world you are put in does nothing to punish you for incompetence, beyond simply withholding a reward.

Moreover there is generally little real competitive motivation in most MMOS. There is almost no reason NOT to work together, so much so that, as was mentioned before, the concept of the individual actually dissapears into the concept of the group. EvE is different. The consequences in that game are incredibly significant, and there are many reasons to go it alone or to work together. There is a real dynamic driven by the individuals interacting, so that each individual maintains his identity while either working together or in a group, or at least has that option.

Many choose to abandon their individuality for personal gain, and join the larger alliances and become another faceless peon that contributes nothing beyond simple mechanical responses to orders given by commanders. Others, however, refuse to work with groups like that because they know that the faceless blobs stymie competence, so you have smaller organizations with less heirarchical structure but far greater competence.

It's a truly fascinating game world to be perfectly honest, and this is helped along by it being a single server. But its not for everyone. There is no leveling grind in it, which you would think would make the game more casual, but on the other hand it is so consequence driven that it is difficult to play casually. Plus there's the fact that the interface is not particularly great, so it requires a lot of talent from the players. A lot of people are turned off by that.

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