Wednesday, April 16, 2008

EPISODE FIVE: "Patriot Games"

There's been a meme going around talk radio and the right-wing blogosphere for about a year now that video games (or, rather, Military FPS games) are becoming the new #1 entertainment for "patriotic" Americans, replacing the output of "liberal" Hollywood. I'm callin' BULLSHIT on this one, details in the video:

I'll be honest, I'm not 100% satisfied with how this one came out. The 10-minute time limit on YouTube meant I had to use the sped-up sound more than I would've liked to, and while it means I got out what I wanted to in terms of words I'm concerned that it undercuts some of the more serious matters I'm stumbling around swatting at with a wiffle-bat. Overall, I think it's as good as I can make it within current circumstances, and the important thing is I think the point gets across. It's not so much that I have a problem with the IDEA of video games having a conservative and/or pro-war political bent, I just happen to think those propping up this whole notion are grasping at straws and damaging the medium as a result.

The subject-matter has been on my to-do list since before Episode One, but I've been hesitant to jump into politics too early. This is meant to be about the culture surrounding a hobby, not a political machine, and if you get into politics before establishing a broader identity you risk getting pigeonholed as "a liberal commentator" or "right-wing game rant guy" which can turn off a lot of people unnecessarily. For what it's worth, I'm generally libertarian-leaning independent. I loathe Hillary Clinton, I find Obama's cheezy tent-revival schtick insufferable even though he seems like a nice fella otherwise, I admire the hell out of John McCain and voted for him in the Republican primary BUT I'm against unnecessarily prolonging the Iraq War plus I've nothing but contempt for the current administration. Make of that what you will.


wandering said...

Very good episode sir. Made me laugh more than a couple of times, and you had a very good wrapup. I unfortunately know more than a few people who believe that bloodywarfest = patriotism. : /

I really don't like plugging, but I thought I'd point out that Audacity can speed up audio without making it higher pitched. Might be useful for you.

Paul said...

Ten minute time limit. What a drag. Why not switch your profile over to "Director" at youtube. There's no time limit then.

Oh, and Audacity is free, btw.

Mark said...

interesting stuff - i've myself wondered many times about the weird pro-military vibe many games have. i won't be surprised if a type of "gamer conservative" emerges - anti censorship, pro military jingoism.... kind of creepy.

Michelle Klein-Hass said...


Better quality, no time limit, however, there is a limit of 500MB/wk you can post. You can live with that, right?

BTW you will be getting much love next Cartoon Geeks podcast.

Blake said...

Do switch your profile; I'd love to see what you could cover in 15 minutes of time. Just makes me believe with even more conviction that the government is incapable of understanding video games. Hopefully when the game playing generation gets into office, there will be a better understanding of what they are and that they are not, and I quote, "the devil".

Literary Rock Star said...

Is this video up somewhere else? It's showing unavailable and a quick, lazy google search pulled up nothing of note so I figured I'd just go to the source.

Just discovered these and found them very entertaining. My own opinions made clever and concise. Can't argue with that. ^_^

Anonymous said...

I think I was called a subhuman, yet I remained entertained enough to keep watching.

squall lee said...

Very great episode, and one of the most profound to me. It really opened my mind, and reminded me of my days back in high school where I thought a lot of my fellow students, and even teachers, and folks I've met on the street had a lot of misconstrued views on patriotism and America.

I do know that so many focus on the so called glory of war, and unfortunately that's most Americans. Since we just happened to step in at the right moment during both world wars and save Europe from destroying themselves, even though millions of German, French, English, Belgian, etc. men died beforehand.

We love these wars, even if the rest of the world wants to forget them, and like it or not, a lot of these liberals and conservatives you brought up are always going to attempt to remind of how strong we are, and how willing we should be to fight if anyone looks at us the wrong way.

I could never buy into pro-war, especially since it costs too many human lives, the reasoning for a war is usually terribly flawed (almost any historical war applicable), and most of the time it's just some messed up ploy to drum up more money for whoever's producing weaponry and war provisions.

That's my two cents, great video.

apple said...


Christopher said...

I'm sure Bob wasn't aware of it at the time but a little game called Metal Wolf Chaos would have fit right in with the theme of this episode. Shame it was never brought to America.

Anonymous said...

I've just recently came across your videos thanks to TV Tropes, and I'm finding them awesome.
Now don't hate me for this, but I'm actually a fan of Halo, though I'm not an idiot I can see why you and a lot of others hate it, and it's not a problem for me.
I also hate to be nitpicky, but I just want to point out that Master Chief is an actual military rank, not his name.

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