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We’re winning ONE of the culture wars, anyway

With all the (perfectly justified) handwringing about the culture wars and how we’re decisively losing them, I’d like to point out one battlefield that right-libertarians have absolutely PWNED!!: computer games. Particularly first-person shooters.

Partly because geeks trend libertarian. Partly because you’re, you know, shooting stuff. Partly because these games tell stories, and dystopian, Road Warrior-type stories are a fun and obvious way to tell stories about, you know, shooting stuff.

Most games of this kind are, I reckon, 80/15/5 libertarian/conservative/sociopath. Varies, depending on the game and your own playing style.

In most of them, government is either useless or actively working against you (not necessarily counting the military in a military game). And while Black Mesa or Aperture Science have a shockingly lax attitude toward employee health and safety, nonetheless it looks like corporate labs are the only player up to inventing a portal gun. You’re the lone, heavily-armed, super-athletic Randian bad-ass that’s single-handedly going to save the frickin’ world (or the embers of it, anyway) whether it likes it or not. You are capital-I Individual.

Even cooperative games, you’re cooperating to throw pipe bombs at hordes of onrushing fast zombies.

Don’t underestimate this. Playing 8 or 20 or 300 hours worth of game is an incredibly vivid and personal experience, and an awful lot of kids are playing an awful lot of games. It’ll be hard to make a liberal out of anyone who grew up being Gordon Freeman, the one free man.

Curious? Sure you are! The mega games distributor Steam is having their annual holiday sale. Up to 80% off a lot of great games.

I think I’ve scooped up about ten games for under £20. Total.

Comments


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 3, 2013, 11:13 pm

Up next in my To Do pile, the zombie hunting cooperative game, Left 4 Dead. I don’t know why Zoey is just standing there like a lemon. If I’m going to play a chick, she’d better be pointing a bunch of evil-looking hardware at some poor undead bastard.

Different games on sale every couple of days, so keep checking.


Comment from Redd
Time: January 3, 2013, 11:33 pm

There should be a chicken holding an AR in that picture.


Comment from RushBabe
Time: January 3, 2013, 11:33 pm

Stoaty, does this mean you belong to the UKIP?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 3, 2013, 11:44 pm

Well, I can’t vote, so I don’t really belong to anything. I absolutely agree with UKIP on just about everything, but…how can I put this?

They’re kind of like the Libertarian Party in the US. Philosophically righteous but actually a little goofy. Their candidates frequently put their foot in things and generally demonstrate their never-in-a-million-years-get-elected qualities.

They’re gaining ground, though. If they can force the Tories to the Right, they’ll be worthy of votes.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 3, 2013, 11:46 pm

Oh! I should mention — not my illustration!

The concept art on this game is really good, and I’ve been poking around trying to find who did it. Particularly, between chunks of the game, there are these movie-style posters (like the one above), beautifully done. I sort of recognize the style, but can’t put a name to it.


Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: January 3, 2013, 11:49 pm

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you! To think that they would show a person smoking a cigarette in those post-apocalyptic first-person shooter games, is downright repugnant.

Makes me miss smoking.

Perhaps Zoey is hiding a basket full of grenades behind her back.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 3, 2013, 11:51 pm

I think she’s holding two handguns at her sides. I blurred the less relevant bits because it reduces file size quite a bit. I try to keep this picture-heavy blog from being a resource pig.


Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: January 4, 2013, 12:35 am

Awww dangit! I had a whole scenario built-up on how a basket of hand grenades made perfect sense.

So much for that bowl of cheerios ;)


Comment from ElSuerte
Time: January 4, 2013, 12:39 am

What about BioShock? That was pretty anti-Randian.

I picked up FTL (a spaceship game) off of steam. It’s a great game for the price ($10 if it’s not on sale). I fell in love with it after I had a giant man-eating praying mantis named Tiffany assigned to my crew.


Comment from Surly
Time: January 4, 2013, 1:46 am

I wish it was only 300 hours. (checks again for Dragonborn dlc)

btw, reading Tom Bombadil to the kiddies, nice cameo by Uncle Badger. ;)


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 2:23 am

I dunno, ElSuerte. I didn’t finish the second one, but the first one was not anti-Randian in the end.

I meant 300 hours per character, Surly. BTW, I found a piece of your art floating around the web and tried to alert you, but the stupid WordPress comments system didn’t like my password for reasons I don’t fathom. And you didn’t have a contact address. So I put a comment on the blog’s thread giving you credit.


Comment from Brad
Time: January 4, 2013, 2:51 am

I’d agree with Stoaty about BioShock. I didn’t feel that the story in the first ended up being anti-Randian, although I could see how the first half/two-thirds might be interpeted that way. As for the second, it’s about as anti-collectivist as you can get without a straight up lecture.


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: January 4, 2013, 5:43 am

This kind of reminds me how the same people who cheer and stamp their feet in the movies when the cop ignores due process and the anti terrorist unit tortures the bad guys to save the world… then screams when there’s any hint of an accusation about that in the real world.


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: January 4, 2013, 5:45 am

“They’re kind of like the Libertarian Party in the US. Philosophically righteous but actually a little goofy. Their candidates frequently put their foot in things and generally demonstrate their never-in-a-million-years-get-elected qualities.”

Yeah but what is interesting to me is that when the left puts candidates up like that… they win anyway. I mean Boris Johnson was thrown out of office for corruption and just moved to London and got elected there. We have a sitting congressman in America who was thrown off federal court and IMPEACHED as a judge for taking bribes. Al Franken is a congressman. Half-a-tard Biden is Vice President. A sitting Democrat congressman seriously worried about Samoa tipping over in the ocean.
Its only the right that seems to have a problem with being daffy, stupid, or making mistakes.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 12:47 pm

Sadly, Christopher, Boris is a Tory. In fact, speculation is that he has designs on a leadership position. I don’t think he has a corruption rep; he lost his parliamentary position for lying about an affair.

But, it’s true. The left elects people who couldn’t stand five minutes in the scrutiny of the media, because they’ll never, ever get the scrutiny of the media.

Meanwhile, when anybody interesting turns up on our side — *cough*Sarah Palin*cough* — the media turns on a firehose of filth and opprobrium. Doesn’t matter if it later turns out false, the left (and half the right) will soak it up.

Wait, you weren’t thinking of ‘Red’ Ken Livingston, Boris’ predecessor as Mayor? He was corrupt.


Comment from Redd
Time: January 4, 2013, 1:29 pm

Boris is always shilling for islam.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 1:39 pm

Oh, he’s a mess, Redd.


Comment from Redd
Time: January 4, 2013, 2:14 pm

Speaking of messes, why doesn’t he comb his hair? What’s he hiding up there?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 3:13 pm

It’s his signature. He’s a brand.

Like making a point of riding a bike to work…while he’s followed in a limousine that’s carrying his papers and stuff.

Feh.


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: January 4, 2013, 3:15 pm

Left 4 Dead, my favourite therapy!…the first one is better than the second one…I usually play as Francis. Bought that game the day it came out.

Anyway, we just have to wait till the gov’t runs out of credit and can’t print any more money…then the liberals and RINO’s will eat each other and we can have peace.

Gold, bitchez! :)


Comment from mojo
Time: January 4, 2013, 4:18 pm

Theme from “Shaft”, on the Ukelele…
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/336263.php#336263


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 4:42 pm

We went to see them in concert in September, Mojo. They put on a spectacular stage performance.

If you get a chance, go! They keep up a gruelling touring schedule and are in the States a fair bit. (I don’t know where commenters on Ace’s thread got the idea they’re publicly funded).

Their cover of “Smells Like Team Spirit” is not to be missed.


Comment from mojo
Time: January 4, 2013, 5:40 pm

Youtube of something called the “Banjolele“…

This, of course, is the instrument that caused Jeeves to leave the employ of Bertie Wooster, if only temporarily.


Comment from surly
Time: January 4, 2013, 8:41 pm

Thanks for the heads up Sweas. I don’t mind folks pinching things so much (though credit is always nice). It’s the ones who repost and say “Looky what I painted” that get me.


Comment from Redd
Time: January 4, 2013, 9:07 pm

I am watching that 3 part series on Queen Victoria’s children. She was always complaining about their looks. They were the spitting image of her – except better looking.

What I don’t understand is that I always heard that people were so short back then due to malnutrition. Yet, she was only 4′ 11″. She certainly wasn’t malnourished growing up.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 9:09 pm

Well, it wouldn’t be so bad, surly, but it’s a lefty blog and it was used to illustrate the Newtown shooting.

Ah, here it is.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 10:15 pm

We’ve recorded that, but we haven’t started watching it, Redd. I’m a bit of a Victoriaphile. She was an absurd, dumpy little woman…but very interesting and not at all as Victorian as she’s made out to be.

I read her letters years ago. She was practically humming the Hallelujah Chorus the morning after her wedding night.


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: January 4, 2013, 10:49 pm

I think Bioshock did with Andrew Ryan what Watchmen did with Rorschach. Ken Levine and Alan Moore created those characters to be hated, but instead they were adored by fans.

Whatever, Bioshock is one of the best games ever made.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 11:17 pm

I haven’t finished the second one, Gibby, but I thought the first one was…ambiguous at worst about Ryan. Maybe I’m such a libertarian, I would say that, wouldn’t I?

I get the feeling Cartman was never intended to be the runaway hero of South Park, though.


Comment from Redd
Time: January 4, 2013, 11:18 pm

It’s pretty good, stoaty. Though they make her out to be suc a rotten person, I have to wonder if they haven’t cherry picked. One of the authors they interview, who has written what looks like some interesting books, I can’t determine the sex of. You’ll know who I’m referring to when you view it.


Comment from surly
Time: January 4, 2013, 11:28 pm

Under his interests he lists “social justice”. Apparently the internet is not part of society and “justice” doesn’t include due credit. Maybe he thinks what he has to say is so damn important it trumps all the rest of us he steals shit from to build his crummy blog.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2013, 11:40 pm

Well, who knows where he found it. He may have picked it up innocently from a third party. But I have to admit, I couldn’t read much of that blog before my spleen began to throb like native tom-toms.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 5, 2013, 12:33 am

By the way, if Bill can pause to light the occasional cigarette, why the hell can’t Louis tuck in his shirt?


Comment from surly
Time: January 5, 2013, 1:11 am

Maybe Peter Konig? He did concept work for Valve.


Comment from bastiches
Time: January 5, 2013, 6:56 pm

“(I don’t know where commenters on Ace’s thread got the idea they’re publicly funded).”

Well, if you name your musical group The X of Great Britain, who wouldn’t come to the conclusion that you’ve been officially approved by some ministry?

Besides, they’ve popped up on BBC for the past 30 years. I find it hard to believe that they didn’t receive some amount of compensation for those performances.

The Yooks of Great Britain + BBC = Funded by the UK public.

Happy? No? Ok, bring on the dancing chickens then.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 5, 2013, 9:05 pm

It’s a bit of that British irony you’ve heard so much about.

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