Tag Archives: Propaganda

#422 Mission Majority Report

Oh boy has Political Christmas came early this year, recently I was thinking to myself how it has been ages since my last political videogame blog post and as luck would have it when I came home to find that the one of the biggest political parties in the United States, the GOP, more specifically the National Republican Senatorial Committee, just released a videogame to try to sway voters to support the republican candidates for the upcoming midterm elections.

After looking further to the game, Mission Majority, is a pixel styled platformed web browser game. As a fan for these sorts of games starring a pixelated protagonists perfectly dodging unpreferred enemies and pitfalls, I think it is my duty to play, review, and tell you what I think about this game. So lets dig in shall we?

This game stopped me from watching the newest Doctor Who episode and postponed my Mario Kart 8 DLC blog post.

This game stopped me from watching the newest Doctor Who episode and postponed my Mario Kart 8 DLC blog post.

Just for the sake of transparently for my readers I am not only as video game blogger but I am also a candidate for NH House of representatives

The game starts simple enough at the title screen of some upbeat bit music and a simple pixelated graphic of the game’s mascot, Giopi, telling you the importance of participating the midterm elections and how, with your help, the republicans can retake the US Senate in 2014.

This game stopped me from watching the newest Doctor Who episode and postponed my Mario Kart 8 DLC blog post.

 

After starting up things starts going down (capitol) hill, real fast. In order to play the game you have to sign up either you email address, your Facebook account, or your Google + account. After going over the controls of using your left right and up arrow keys to move little Giopi around, you are then tasked to collect the various golden keys, “to unlock the Senate and help Republican win the majority” scattered across the stages, while avoiding and jumping the “taxer” and the “Democrat’s Mudslinger”.

You know what's worst than Democrats' Mudslingers? the few Republicans that makes Strawmen caricatures of their opponent.

You know what’s worst than Democrats’ Mudslingers? the few Republicans that makes Strawmen caricatures of their opponent.

 

If you do jump on the two different sets of enemies you are rewarded with sound files of prominent democrats taken out of context. There is the infamous Obama sound file of him saying, “You did not build that.” but even I had some problem identifying who said which quote and what it had to do with politics,  like the sound file of someone talking about how there is ‘no towel service’. At the end of every stage there is a button prompt to try to persuade you to click and join or donate to the Republican movement.

There are only four levels, the platforms are pretty spread out with very little to do beyond traveling along the one set path the game designer had in mind when creating the game and there is only one music track set to repeat throughout the entire game but worst of all Giopi does not have a jumping animation. Let me repeat that, this platformer game does not have an animation for when the main character jumps around the stage.

I will give Mission Majority credit though you can fail in this game. The game gives you four hearts at the start of each level, there is a timer (set to 9999 seconds) and I did encounter one or two bottomless death pits that will send you to a game over screen and back the start of the stage if you continue.

At least I beat the game

At least I beat the game

 

After it all is said and done what is Mission Majority? My advice, do not play it, no matter how tempting the game is with it’s silly the game play and the premise.

It is a terrible game and I would not be surprised if it was purposefully created to be a bad game just to act as clickbait get the biggest amount of views and plays to score the most email addresses or Facebook accounts to add the their databases. The game plays terribly and is incredibly bias, worst than normal even in today’s US Political environment, painting the political opposition as  goombas and terrible pixel monsters without explaining why the GOP does not want the democrats to retain the majority in the senate, besides the terrible ideas of taxes.

I highly doubt that the person was making was trying to motivate and energize the ‘young conservative gamer crowd’, I know that the GOP and all connected committee are better than this, making a flash in the pan flash game for 15 minutes of fame. If the conservatives, or any political party wanted to put sway voters to vote for them by using videogames the process needed to make it would require some hard work and passion for the project, just like proper politics.

 

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#285 Russia, Videogames, and Propaganda

A blog that I follow, After Dark Gaming, recently brought to my attention a news story reporting that Russia’s government is making plans to create their own state-funded videogame. This includes plans to give government grants to local private companies in order to promote Russian history and patriotism.

This is quite an interesting story for me because being a student of Political Science, one of my favorite aspects of politics and history is government propaganda during the Second World War and the Cold War.

As an New Englander with left-wing tendencies, I respect my government and the programs the government provides (from highways to schools and even Healthcare), but from having studied history and from reading several choice books I am hesitant when it comes to government-funded programs to promote patriotism. This is because I’ve learned that in government, there tends to always be two sides to every story. 

I say this because I have been scorn I too many time by terrible PSA and propaganda clips, here's looking at you Disney

b I say this because I have seen one too many terrible PSAs and propaganda clips, here’s looking at you Disney

 

I do not want to jump the gun with this topic because we currently do not know what kind of game the Russian government is creating. From a pop culture point of view, this is not a completely unexpected response from Russia if you consider the plots of major games American companies have made in recent years. The Russian government has said that the goal of this program is to set the record straight on what exactly the Russian Army did throughout World History. The first state funded videogame will be focused on the birth and development of the Russian army during the first World War and is slated to be ready some time next year.

The big question that I have is what kind of game could it be? While a point and click adventure game seems like the standard choice for delivering a history lesson about Russia, it would not be that popular for young Russian gamers and I do not know how well a First Person Shooter game would be received in the post-Cold War political-correctness world we live in.  Also history does not allow much wiggle room when it comes to player interaction, as an example, no matter how good I am at the game I could (and should) never be able turn the tide at the battle at Bunker Hill during the American Revolution.

History does not allow much wiggle room when it comes to player interaction, so no matter how good I am at the game I could never turn the tide at the battle of Bunker Hill. Although I would gladly pay for a game that lets me play the life and adventures of President Teddy Roosevelt.

Although I would gladly pay for a game that lets me play the life and adventures of President Teddy Roosevelt.

 

Even with that being said I am very interested in following the game’s development, what message it gives the players, and more importantly how well the game actually plays. As intriguing as the game’s story line could be and because historical accuracy needs to be maintained, a  game is only as good as the controls,  gameplay, and delivery of the story.

The more important question is; does this sets a precedent for other Western Superpowers to make their own games to rally their citizen’s patriotism or educate about the nation’s past? I ask this because the Russian government has acknowledged the fact that videogames can be used to teach, educate and entertain citizens. How effective this will be remains to be seen.
Source: “Russian Government to Produce ‘Patriotic’ Video Games


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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