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On Luftrausers: content, critique, and why being offended isn't a choice


There are a great many people alive today for whom World War 2 is not another history lesson. It’s a trauma that was deliberately inflicted on entire ethnic groups, communities, families - and people still bear the scars. This human cost is often lost in pop culture portrayals - particularly…

It makes me sad that Polygon, such a beautiful, popular, well-funded, influential site, publishes such shit.

It’s horrifying to me that we now live in an age where unironic outwardly racist groups are using promo art from Bioshock: Infinite as propaganda postings online.

powered by hate: THE ALLEGIANCE OF WHITENESS: The Games Village of Childish Understandings of Racism and Satire 


So of course, having an entirely white led creative team, Bioshock: Infinite was a racist piece of trash that will most likely go on to win numerous Game of the Year awards and go down in the history books as “true art” by the games scholars of the Western world.

The Crisis Of The American Cultures

Tom Bissell:

We’ve arrived in a strange emotional clime when our popular entertainment frequently depicts torture as briskly effective rather than literally the worst thing one human being can do to another — yea verily, worse even than killing. Inflicting pain and suffering on a captive human being because one person feels like it and the other can’t stop it … is this not what we’re told awaits sinners in hell? Is this not the domain of Satan?

I left the Blacklist demo [wherein the act of torture occurred] sick and infuriated, which was a shame, because the person introducing the demo was a game designer I admire and have long wanted to meet. I really wanted to ask this man how he felt, demo-ing that. Ask the programmers and artists, too, how they felt, bringing that moment into this world. I wanted to ask them all what the deal is with this industry we’re a part of. I didn’t. Couldn’t. I know people who’ve been tortured. Someone I know was tortured because of something I wrote about him — a cold little bibelot I’ll take with me to my grave. I described my Blacklist experience to some gamer friends, a couple of whom thought I was overreacting. Overreacting to a blithe, shrugging presentation of the very definition of human evil, all in the name of “entertainment.” I spent a couple days feeling ashamed of being a gamer, of playing or liking military games, of being interested in any of this disgusting bullshit at all.

This piece on Grantland and the plot of the game it’s about make a really compelling critique of video games in a way that’s definitely not preachy. The idea of a discipline calling itself into crisis is as old as, well, anything, and it’s a healthy precursor to growth. Disallowing free discourse about self-critique and crisis is like picking off and eating your own scabs — gross and probably unhealthy.

You could say that video games and I went through adolescence together. As I shed my exoskeleton of fat, Nintendo’s blocky pixels started to fuse into sleek 64-bit curves; as my voice lowered, video games’ plinky soundtracks matured into little symphonies; as my social circle expanded beyond my little clutch of sweaty and foulmouthed friends, the market for video games expanded into (or at least toward) similarly new demographics: adults, girls.