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Game Developer and a Conservative?

A topic by TentMakerGames created 34 days ago Views: 213 Replies: 5
Viewing posts 1 to 6

Is there a place at the table for a conservative thinking game developer? It seems like the majority of developers in the game industry (indie and AAA) are left-leaning and very vocal. I'm more right-leaning, and not so vocal. Not so much because I'm afraid that I'll be boycotted or something if I speak up (as if that would make a difference in my sales anyway), but simply because all I want to do is make games. My conservative values are largely irrelevent to my work as a game developer. But with all the political noise I hear from the left, I'm starting to wonder if my silence is being forced on me. For example, Insomniac Games posted a video on YouTube where the Founder and CEO of the company stood in front of, what looked like the entire staff of the company and said that they all oppose President Trump's immigration moratorium. That video made me wonder if there were any employees standing in that room who disagreed with their CEO. If not, was it just a coincidence that all Insomniac employees also happen to be against Trump's policies? If there were people in the company who disagreed with their CEO, did they feel discriminated against? I would imagine being the one guy still in his cubicle when everyone else leaves to shoot that Youtube video would certainly paint a target on your back.

To give a non-game developement example, Hollywood is also largely left-leaning and some of the speeches at the recent SAG awards certainly demostrate that. However, I happen to know of a few celebrities in Hollywood who are conservative and who are afraid to say anything because their are afraid it will hurt their career. Every once in a while one springs up and says something and then faces backlash. Joy Villa is a good example.

I just wonder if the same is true for the game industry. Regardless, I'll keep making games. Ultimately I just would like to know if I am welcome to express my conservative views, without fear of backlash, if I choose to do so.

I'd also like to know if I'm the only indie developer with conservative views. There were obviously enough voters to push Trump over the 270 mark and its hard for me to believe that none of them are game developers.

You're not alone there. I feel the same way. Games now feel like another art form for pretentious people to push their agenda on. I just want to make video games.

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I'm tired of this left-right categorization. There are far more forms of politics.

The word conservative means that everything should stay the way it is, which is a bit silly in our ever changing universe.

I think game development and politics are two very different things and shouldn't influence each other. One is entertainment, while the other is very serious. Although there are also a few political games with a message which are an exception.

Of course there is space at the table for conservative game devs. I think most game devs are open minded enough to accept different ideologies.

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I feel you brother.

These days, it seems that everybody who isn't a full-on Marxist is considered an "evil right-wing conservative". Disagree with any part of the accepted narrative, and you're branded and outcast, regardless of what your views are on other issues.

Note that a lot of this is because of pressure from large corporations-- you'll notice that these big companies are vocally political, shoving their opinions down everybody's throats whether we want it or not. It's most likely that their invisible bosses tell them to push a particular agenda, so they do so. Otherwise, nobody would even be talking about this stuff. A way to think about it: for generations, Hollywood has had a monopoly on mass media, and a lot of the wealthy powerful people have wormed their way into that system in order to use it to promote their worldviews. Control what people watch and see, and you control how they think.

Now that videogames are a potentially bigger form of entertainment than TV and movies, these same people are trying to take over. Videogames, if left to being "just fun"-- is too much of a threat to their established propaganda system. Their political agenda could really be any political agenda-- they've latched onto extreme leftism. It's really about control.

It's really sad. I just wanted to make pixel art and fun video games, and most people probably feel the same way. Did you see that presentation at GDC that talked about how all video games should be political? Games are supposed to be about FUN. I feel like I'm constantly bombarded with political stuff, to the point where it's simply pushing me further and further to the right.

The more they try to shame what they imagine to be wrongthink, the more it makes me feel like I have no choice but to speak up. This thread itself is a good example: we feel like we're alone out there because of the incredible pressure of "the left". In response, we want to announce our own politics just so that other people of a like mind feel less trapped-- the result: things just get even more politicized. It's a horrible cycle.

Best approach imo is just stick to your guns. Stay indie, work hard, and don't let Big Brother keep you down.

Disclaimer: I consider myself being on the far left spectrum of politics. I also live in Europe, and it doesn't mean exactly the same thing than in the US.

I see a lot of contradictions in this thread. Some of you suggest that conservative views are in minority, and feel pressured, even though the US just elected Trump. What you may experience is just public discourse. No one prevent you from expressing your views, but why would anyone expect to not face counter points when they become vocal about their opinion?

I keep seeing the sentence "pushing their agenda" which is really puzzling. I don't think most of gamedev, leftists or not, start making a game to push an hypothetical agenda. Gamedev is hard enough like that, why would they try to achieve anything in this direction, for what purpose? No, what happens instead, is that gamedevs may want to express a message or a particular view point on our current societies. But that's quite personal, the same way a book author would write a story dealing with racism, or poverty.

To demonstrate that, let's take my case for example. In the future, I would like to build more games that are less violent, don't rely on imperialist mechanics (i.e. colonisation, expansion, war, etc), or don't use basic capitalism as a core loop. Why do I want to do that? To push an agenda? What agenda exactly? No, I just want to create more games aligned with my political views, that's all. And when you see the ocean of shooters, 4x games, and what not where you kill everything, I don't think my own effort will change anything at this level.

If by "pushing their agenda" you just mean the evolution and mutation of societies to a more progressive mindset, then it's just a natural shift, something that happens all the time.

As for games, they are not supposed to "be" anything. A game that makes you sad is still a game. A game that makes you think is still a game. A game does not have to be fun. Most games are designed to be, though. And I don't agree with the idea that games must be apolitical at all cost. Why games should be void of politics? Moreover, being neutral is just a way to support the default politics, and as for now, the default state of politics is not left wing.

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@Minitrope This thread is pretty clearly about political views in the entertainment industry, particularly in the game development scene (and Hollywood has been mentioned too). There is a very obvious left-wing bias in those areas, regardless of which political party holds office. If you think that the "default" state of politics (particularly within these corporate-controlled entertainment industries) is not currently-left wing, then I don't know what to say. If you lived in America and thought such things, you'd be considered "out of touch". Things must be really different over in Europe!

>I don't think most of gamedev, leftists or not, start making a game to push an hypothetical agenda

Most gamedevs don't! You're right. Most of us just want to make games that we find fun to play.

Like I said in my post, it's not the gamedevs themselves, but the corporations behind them. The ones who do have an agenda are incredibly vocal-- vocal and in positions of perceived power, with corporate backing, and that's the problem we're talking about here. Imagine being a right-leaning person who works at a company like the one mentioned in the OP-- you'd have to keep quiet about your views for fear of being fired. I remember reading an article about a company where the boss sent out an email saying that anybody who voted for Trump would be fired. It's very 1984-esque.

This stuff wasn't really politicized at all up until a couple years ago when the big corporations began to feel threatened by the medium and started getting involved. Since then it's spiraled out of control.

My solution? Stay indie. ;)