Updated March 6, 2014: Added new section and improved some parts
This article deals with the controlled nature of the entertainment industry, pop culture, and the possibility of a conspiracy to turn gaming culture into a shallow, unhealthy and narrow-minded wasteland.
A Note of Conspiracy Theories
When talking about how the world works, there are perpendicular ways to approach the discussion. The first is to approach the world as a huge, complex ecosystem in which economic greed, political ambition, public pressure, and ideological competition collide and wrestle in an endless game for dominance, thus resulting in a maddening, beautiful mess. The second side is that the world is actually a simple system controlled by a secretive master class, who, through the centuries, have evolved and refined the art of manipulation to the point where it merely seems complex to those who are not initiated into the top echelon. Both of these approaches recognize that the world appears to be a complex ecosystem, but one of them is convinced that the ecosystem is beyond any real master control, and the other believes that it is only meant to appear that way.
It’s important to note that “conspiracy theorists” exist on both sides of this argument. Everybody who believes in the secret master class is one, but those who believe in a complex system often take their side far enough to claim that conspiracy theories themselves are exploited and created by clever organizations who wish to mislead over-imaginative folks who will waste their energy chasing phantoms, rather than making a real difference in the complex world. In other words, they believe there exists a conspiracy to keep conspiracy theorists occupied with red herrings. People who believe that the world is in the hands of a secretive global elite see everything except conspiracy talk as a waste of time, at least when it comes to important world affairs. Discussions between these two sides don’t go very far, since both think the others’ points are irrelevant. Before I get into the real topic at hand, I want to at least acknowledge both approaches.
Neither side is necessarily foolish, gullible, or simple-minded. There are brilliant people on both sides who have based their beliefs on serious historical research, thoughtful analysis of current affairs, and facts. Whether the world is truly controlled or not is impossible to know, even for those who are initiated into the highest reaches of such a theoretical system. Even if you were a member of the Supreme Council of 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Masons, the very Illumanti itself, sitting in a smoke-filled room and trying to dictate the policies of nations with your Brotherhood, there’s still a possibility that you would be ignorant of how the world really works. So, let’s all acknowledge some room for error.
Let’s also acknowledge that most people on both sides of the discussion are not only ignorant of the world, but prefer to stay that way. Dismissing “conspiracy theorists” can be just as over-simplified and convenient as dismissing CNN. Those who do bother to look deeper or debate their views are eventually pushed to one side or the other, and once you have picked a side it’s hard to take the other one seriously. And even within these opposing views there are many opposing views, as you would expect.
Ultimately, though, a realistic person must grant both sides their own fair share of importance, from petty political squabbles to far-reaching shadowy conspiracies, no matter how silly each may seem in light of your side; because it would be even sillier to pretend they didn’t have any real effect, one way or another. The world is huge and complex, difficult to manage, but some of its key parts are in the hands of what could be called a secret elite.
With that said, I have to choose which side to indulge, because I can’t talk along both lines at once. My choice is clear: from all of the study and observations I’ve made over the years, I have concluded the world is more or less being controlled by a group of secret societies. Forgive me if this turns you off. Because I reached this conclusion many years ago, I’ve paid more attention to conspiracy theories than to the various accounts of the media, or the version of history pushed on me by government schools. If you can’t tolerate such a world view, you probably won’t enjoy this article. Fair warning.
Games are Dangerous
It is my belief that games are not yet part of the “Master Plan” in any major way, but that the culture surrounding them is being sabotaged. They’re being allowed relative freedom of content because they don’t pose any serious threat to that Master Plan, but since they are not yet in the grip of the elite, they’re also not given much recognition. The elite only promote what suits them, and the rest is tolerated until it goes too far outside the prescribed lines. Unlike the rest of the entertainment industry, games aren’t controlled enough to guarantee desired results, and for this reason, I compare them more readily to literature than movies. Books are still around in a big way, but reading itself is portrayed as nerdy, antisocial, or at least boring compared to what pop culture is offering, and literature itself tends to follow the popular trends set by Hollywood, making them harmless. Games, like literature, are actually quite popular, being adapted to the big screen when they can be — thus “legitimizing gaming” — which should tell you about their place in the entertainment hierarchy. Guiness World Records has finally acknowledged gaming (in their own attempt to stay relevant, ironically,) and if we could only convince Roger Ebert to join our side, we’d finally gain some respect! That’s the feeling anyway.
Like literature, video games are inherently smart by their very nature, and therefore dangerous. Even if you play a game about stupid people doing stupid things, it will still challenge you, forcing you to solve problems and figure out an unfamiliar system as you learn how to optimize your results. That’s being smart. Puzzle games, which are generally considered the most simple and “casual” of all games, are still puzzle games. If watching TV is the mental equivalent of sitting on a sofa or going for a stroll, playing a puzzle games is like running an obstacle course over and over again, trying to figure out the most efficient route. Reading also makes demands of its audience, forcing them to dig deeper and follow a train of thought by their own effort, as opposed to passively receiving information without a thought.
Reading and gaming are both too empowering to be promoted by the elite. Today literacy rates are a joke, and it’s not surprising why. The sudden rise of literacy among the lower class was responsible for the modern age. Before the common man could read, people were forced to accept whatever ideas and concepts were given to them by word of mouth and tradition, keeping them in the grip of princes and popes. That’s the reason for why we call this period “The Dark Ages”, and the factors behind it are still relevant today.
For those who don’t know their European history, the Catholic Church and its puppet-tyrant royal families succeeded in stifling all intellectual development among the lower class, enabling them to lie, cheat and steal to their heart’s content, growing more fanatical and corrupt as time went on. However, all it really took to undermine this control of society was literacy. The world was flipped upside-down, and it was the printing press, not gunpowder, which did the lifting. So if you were an initiated member of the secret master class today, chances are you would know why reading can be a big problem, and why you’d want to have a plan to get rid of it. Video games, while not as educational or enlightening as classic literature, still has the potential to be a serious source of intelligence as well, and thus it too needs to be sabotaged.
I’m speaking of “the global agenda” here, so if you reject the theory that the entertainment industry and popular culture is constantly being tailored to push the agenda of ever-increasing debasement, stupidity, political correctness (ie. language control), and general indoctrination in some kind of Orwellian attempt to create a culture that is childish, easily manipulated and constantly occupied with pointless distractions, my theory about gaming will seem stupid to you. If, however, you agree with me that this agenda is quite obviously at the heart of pop culture, I hope you gain a new appreciation for gaming. I hope you also find a new hatred for the artificially stupid culture surrounding it.
Culture is a Tool
Before the rise of powerful radio broadcasting (ie. mass media) and mandatory, government-engineered children’s training (ie. public schooling), culture in America was localized and untamed. People paid attention to the area where they lived, reached their own conclusions about whatever they happened to be aware of, and sometimes listened to their local church leaders. Newspapers spread information and propaganda in a consistent way, but they weren’t very effective because life for most people was about being independent and finding your own way, making your own opportunities, and teaching yourself. The results were mixed, but a few decades before World War II it’s safe to say every culture was the product of local people looking after their own communities.
Mass media and forced schooling — both funded and controlled by the same small group of wealthy elites who owned industry, finance, and politics — enabled social engineers to weave together and unify the massively diverse cultures of old America. Public schools pulled children out of their homes, villages, and family businesses and subconsciously familiarized them with the routines and structures of factory workplaces. Bells and schedules and square rooms where you do what you’re told by a single voice of authority who grades your performance. You’re now ready for a factory job! (Unless you’re one of those stupid people who can’t pay attention to a teacher’s bland bullshit for hours every day, or one of those dangerous kids who refuses to conform to their authority! In that case you not only fail the grade, but you must have a serious mental disorder and need medication your whole life. You’re not normal, like everybody else.)
Just as government operated schools and national broadcasting overpowered local leaders and family traditions, mass-production overpowered local craftspeople and family markets. The middle class was destroyed and the wealth gap began to grow, despite resistance. That was the point. Just like furniture and clothing, culture wasn’t something crafted by people you knew, it was imported for cheap. We became “consumers”, in every sense of the word. The rambunctious middle class, known for being self-employed and hating to be told what to do or believe, was as good as extinct. Ever since then, the trends set in motion by the industrialist visionaries have continued with increased speed and effectiveness. People have become less skilled, less responsible in their living, and therefore more dependent on low-paying jobs and the enormous institutions.
The “wealth gap” we often hear about is equaled by the “intelligence gap” that is kept secret. Those who really understand how the modern world works continue to improve their mastery over the ignorant, in the same way that the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. The ignorant scoff at the idea of social engineering and deliberate campaigns to change consumer habits, and yet it’s obvious that manipulating and managing the population is the optimal long-term strategy for every major corporation. It yields the best dividends. Instead of creating better ads, you destroy the type of thinking that resists ads. Instead of creating superior products, you emotionally cripple people to the point where they feel secretly desperate to buy your product simply in order to feel normal and accepted by society. You don’t need a grand conspiracy to make this happen, it’s just the natural end-game of capitalism. Everybody who understands how the world works can see this, and those who got the ball rolling around the time of the Industrial Revolution have been sure to pass down their trade secrets. Culture is a tool for managing consumers.
The Internet needs to be harnessed
This is why we see the Internet as a force of good. The ability to share any information (even top-secret NSA files) with everyone in the world is a big middle finger to the social architects who have gotten very used to winning. This article you’re reading right now would be a prime example of that dangerous freedom, and I suggest you share it to prove the point. But like all potential instruments of human progress, the Internet is being repurposed for degradation.
As the Internet is being repurposed for degradation, it’s also being labelled as a threat to national security, individual security, and security period. The Internet, unlike gaming, has proven to be an active threat to the establishment, and therefore it must be disrupted and brought under control. Rather than being promoted as a means to healthy human development or a wonderful resource of information and communication, it’s rampaging cyber-terrorists, sickening levels of pornography, and the clearest displays of human stupidity on the planet. They can all be found online, and according to popular perception that’s pretty much all it’s good for. The amount of money and effort being spent on undermining the freedom of the Internet — and the usage of the Internet to expose and counter these efforts — tells you how dangerous it really is. Mass media is supposed to create culture, not you and I.
In its current form, the Internet allows us to build a communities and learn things we’d never understand otherwise. It’s empowering. Like videogames, that makes it dangerous, but unlike videogames it is making a difference.
If the Internet is a cesspool — if we believe that story — then it will confirm the #1 most important message we’ve all been conditioned to believe from the intellectuals of our times, and the supposedly progressive thinking all around us: that humanity is stupid, depraved, untrustworthy, irresponsible, and in need of constant monitoring and control by people who know what’s best for us. This is a perception that quickly feeds back into itself, causing it to become more true as more people believe it. Gaming suffers from a similar fate.
I want to make this next point very clear. There is a simple method for dealing with threats to the Master Plan, and it is to enable, centralize, and feed the worst aspects of the cultural threat until it either loses credibility, or it can be censored and outlawed with proper justification. Justify its destruction, then destroy it. Whenever I see a surge in stupidity surrounding something new and potentially good for human progress, I know it’s being repurposed to fit into the global agenda. Tools for communicating, researching, organizing, and empowering people will be turned into idle pleasures and amusement, or worse yet, a hub of pointless social competition. I feel sorry for those who think innovation will ever lead humanity to some new era of intelligence and social awareness. Hacktivists and crowdsourcing and cryptocurrencies and WikiLeaks are all proof that the Internet must be harnessed, and they will use The Method to do it. To put it in strategic terms, we’re not giving the elite much incentive to let us keep these freedoms, although mobile devices and the Internet are proving to be a wonderful at pacifying people too.
When I look at videogames, I see that they’re not just dangerous because they’re inherently smart, but because gamers often display an aggressively anti-corporate sentiment, protecting their industry against censorship, control, and cross-promotional attempts. Two of the biggest game publishers in the world, EA and Activision, are widely hated by many gamers for being too corporate, for buying up smaller developers and draining them of creativity, and generally acting evil. Using the Internet, gamers are constantly looking for red flags and protecting their interests from being hijacked. Many of the most popular games in history are filled with anti-corporate, anti-authoritarian, and yes, even anti-social sentiments. We hate society, we hate corporations, and we hate corrupt governments. What do TV and movies offer people like us?
I want to you imagine our world without video games. Pretend there never was a Grand Theft Auto, or a Metal Gear Solid. Pretend SimCity and Tetris never existed. Pretend Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog were titles nobody ever heard, and neither did the idea of “playing a game” on a screen. What would we have left for entertainment? Where would we find new and diverse mental challenges? Where do we get the chance to exercise our creativity, engage in fair competition, or satisfy the urge to, perhaps, overthrow a corrupt tyrannical system? Think about how many games have that as their premise. I’m not saying that video games empower people to make a real difference in the world, but I believe whatever empowerment they do offer can be translated into a sense of confidence and intelligence that is useful anywhere. Take away videogames and we’re left with some pretty bleak options.
“Bro-verload”: we spite women and intelligence in equal measure
Remember how threats to the Master Plan are dealt with? They take the worst of something and make it the center of attention until it can be discredited or outlawed. This method is being used to sabotage gaming. The culture around gaming is being flooded with stupidity, chauvinism, and frat-boy attitude in order to repurpose it into juvenile and offensive toys for morons, rather than a serious medium with built-in intelligence. If you think the popular masculine tripe represents the core of gamers, you’re wrong; although if the repurposing campaign continues, it may eventually become entirely correct. Women, children, and decent family people are all vital pillars of the gaming world, but they have been totally neglected by the testosterone-fueled circus surrounding it. The leader of this campaign today is, naturally, also the biggest representative of video game culture today: IGN Entertainment.
There was a time when IGN was a pretty good website, but the last nail in the coffin was hammered in 2005 by Fox Interactive Media, Inc. What you see above is a screenshot of the IGN corporate website, in which they brag to advertisers about their ability to package and sell ads to their audience in new and exciting ways! Many sites have a page like this, but in the case of IGN, it’s particularly cringe-worthy; notice how the “male” symbol representing their target audience is longer than the other one? Clever innuendo, dudes! No wonder gamers seem to be scrambling to associate themselves with these guys. You really need to see it for yourself to appreciate it, but allow me to take share some excerpts:
With a male composition index pushing one and a half times the online average and heaps of traffic, our original properties [AskMen.com, TeamXbox, etc.] together reach 1 in 5 men online in the 18-34 age range. Simply put, we do a better job of applying your media dollar directly to the young male demographic you need to reach. Matched by our breakthrough creative and guy acumen, our pitch adds up to integrated, targeted campaigns with room to scale: it could only be better if our rate cards were printed on crisp bacon.
Or how about this one:
Our days and frequent nights are spent reveling in the world of games and entertainment. We are elbow to hairy elbow with the immediate and beautifully fickle culture that captivates the minds of young men across the globe.
Your brand needs to engage these enthusiasts. We can improve your game.
As a team of clued-in editors, media marshals and creative mad scientists, we’ve worked through eleven years of successes and tribulations to better understand our viewers’ desires, and how to evolve your brand message into an authentic experience that inspires conversion.
With thanks to our editorial, our viewers are also the first to know and amongst the earliest adopters. And they tell their friends.
Wow, so their “clued-in editors”, “media marshals” and “creative mad scientists” are going to help corporations sell their brand names to the “immediate and beautifully fickle culture” of we the gamers? Thank you IGN! What would we do without you?
IGN claims to represent gamers and they have the numbers to prove it, but they belong to Fox Interactive Media, Inc., which is a subsidiary of none other than News Corporation — Rupert Murdoch’s sleazy media empire. That means in reality, IGN represents Murdoch’s vision of how gamers should think. If you’re on the conspiracy side of the discussion, by the way, that much should be obvious. Murdoch is rightfully called an “opinion maker”, preferring to tell people what they like and don’t like, from so many angles that they actually start to believe it — that’s one of the benefits of owning everything under the Sun. Don’t expect anything his company owns to reflect the truth. They charge in a direction and wait for the people to follow.
Where is Murdoch’s ominous News Corporation taking game culture? To “Bro-verload”, obviously. IGN Entertainment’s “original properties” include garbage like AskMen.com and TeamXbox, which may explain the obvious bias they’ve had for that console since it was announced. The 360 is the Halo toting, frat-boy catering, Doritos and Mountain Dew consuming spokesman for the industry today. Everybody’s favorite gaming site is plainly obsessed with alienating women, intelligent people, and anyone with a fiber of shame. Gaming rightfully belongs to nerds first, but nerds have a pesky tendency to question everything they’re told and think for themselves; so why not seduce nerds into becoming asshole “bros” instead! It’s more fun to be a bro than a nerd, after all! All you need to do is follow the instructions on AskMen.com and you can have your baseball cap and eat it too! You just need to check your brain at the door. IGN proudly rejects the female audience, family-friendly successes such as the Nintendo Wii, and begrudgingly acknowledges Sony products when it has to. If you think their continual, brainless attacks on the profound and socially conscientious Metal Gear series was a coincidence too, think again. Games should be about tits and mindless bloodshed, not questioning the world around you and becoming aware of a system of contextual manipulation by a shadow conspiracy! Get with the program, Kojima!
And yes, Fox Interactive is part of that FOX company. As in, the video game-hating FOX News and Friends. They say there are two sides to every story, and criminal billionaire Rupert Murdoch knows that it’s a good idea to control both. FOX News tells the world that video games are evil and unhealthy, and IGN Entertainment ensures that this claim is legitimized. The popular ideologies of the “Left” and a “Right” are nothing more than the two hands of the same master class. I can’t wait for IGN to give Saints Row: The Third the “Game of the Year” award, and FOX News to report this turn of events as the final straw against gaming — together, their job will be complete. Games are discredited!
Follow the Leader
What’s even more frustrating than the conspiracy to sabotage gaming culture from the inside, however, is the way we have embraced it. The industry surrounding games — the publications, editorials, merchandisers, distributors, retailers, etc. — are all looking for an identity to rally under, and IGN just provides them with it. Their “enthusiasm” for certain products, certain technological advances, and certain aspects of the culture is powerful enough to send ripples throughout the industry, and is sensed by people who want to know what gamers are all about; people who need to market their own products and services, but are confused by the huge diversity of gaming subcultures.
It’s a chain reaction of stupidity. The game industry, which is largely made up of normal gamers just making it up as they go along, is still innocent and gullible, especially when it comes to the constant question of “what do gamers want most?”. Just recently, the studio behind the new XCOM game said that they decided to reject the old strategy format because “strategy games are just not contemporary”, displaying their extreme ignorance. The very people who have the power to challenge the status quo are instead conforming to it, because they know exactly how it will be perceived by IGN and their copycat culture. The “Bro-verload” would not be impressed! Little do they realize there is a massive void begging to be filled by a truly great strategy game like XCOM could have been, and that the over-saturated FPS market is becoming a joke in the eyes of most gamers. There have been over a dozen attempts to update, re-create, and re-imagine the old X-COM games by fans themselves — a cult following that many developers would kill for — and yet they still somehow get the impression that gamers really want is a ripoff of Mass Effect. Reinforced by sales figures, this seems perfectly true; but those sales figures are in large part aided by extremely biased media coverage with their own agenda.
That’s the power of a man like Rupert Murdoch. We have become deluded into believing that we only care about explosions and sex, and, in turn, that’s what we’re given more of. It’s a cycle that reinforces itself, despite the many gamers who go online in order to find a more sane, open-minded world. Gamers are so weary of the stupid “bro” culture surrounding games that they search online for alternative views, flood forums to find like-minded people, and create websites of their own. The same is true of conspiracy theorists, who reject the mass media and look for some truth elsewhere. Yet in both cases, the most influential side is the one controlled and promoted by the Master Plan, and the resulting confusion creates the endless discussions we see today, by people who are half-aware of an unfairness, but believe that this is just a natural phase. It’s not a natural phase: it’s cultural sabotage.
If you need proof that the “bro” lifestyle isn’t representative of the majority of gamers, just look at the facts:
- Nintendo Wii: sold 86 million units
- Nintendo DS: sold 146 million units
- CityVille: 87 million active monthly users
- Xbox360: sold 55 million units
Notice which one is the least popular?
I can hardly believe the amount of prejudice against “casual” games today, except that I know how effective social control can be. We’re supposed to boo and hiss at the Wii for not targeting us “hardcore” gamers. How dare they! Sorry, I can’t do that. It appeals to a wide audience, which is what video games should be doing — at least somebody in the industry should be, and it may as well be Nintendo. Feel free to pretend that selling 36 million more units than the 360 is some kind of fluke of marketing, but remember that their even smaller and more “casual” system, the Nintendo DS, has sold 60 million more units beyond both of them. In fact, the marketing is all on the “hardcore” side of the equation from a pop-culture view, and yet Zynga’s CityVille is drawing a whopping 87 million users back to its grip month after month, making hundreds of millions of dollars doing it. Do I play it? No, but it looks pretty good once you take off the ridiculous “hardcore gamer”-tinted glasses and shrug the stigma surrounding it. But that’s never easy to do.
If gaming culture could only free itself from the grip of “Bro-verload” and respect what is, in fact, the predominant gamer demographic, the whole industry could move in a healthy direction. Creativity, intelligence, freedom, and wholesome challenges should be just as welcome as (if not more welcome than) macho bullshit, leveling systems, and headshots. It’s ridiculous for gamers to get stuck being associated with frat-boy society and beerbong, and its a testament to just how naturally appealing games are to women and families that they still manage to out-purchase the supposedly “hardcore” audience in the face of this all.
Developers don’t need to be “in on it” to be tricked into following the Master Plan. If IGN gives a lousy score to Cooking Mama for the Nintendo DS and ignores any news related to it, then obviously people must hate Cooking Mama, right? And on the other hand, if Halo: ODST receives high praise from their “clued-in editors” and savvy hype-sters, it must truly be a top-tier game that everybody loves! Meanwhile, the sales figures:
The sales trends are interesting here, too. While Cooking Mama has been out for a few more years than ODST, which helps to account for the sales figures being closer to equal, it started extremely slow and has been increasing in waves since, whereas Halo: ODST has almost completely plateaued after only a few weeks.
All of the sales of ODST were initial, before word of mouth could spread, making a big splash and then stopping. Cooking Mama started off with no sales, and then eventually built as word of mouth spread — despite negative reviews. I wonder how many more it would have sold if it had enjoyed a fair treatment. Ultimately, they have proven themselves to be more or less equals, deserving of equal status and respect, and yet professional reviews for Cooking Mama are in the gutter, and ODST gets near-perfect scores. I guess those stupid “casual gamers” will buy any garbage, huh! Clearly, the milked dry sci-fi military shooter, Halo, has earned its glory, and the innovative and quirky thing where you learn to make food should be shunned! Get with the program, developers! We hate quirky new ideas! Give us more gun porn! Also, Kojima, if you’re listening, don’t you dare quit making Metal Gear games — except next time make it exactly like Call of Duty, and quit trying to make us think!
Comparing these games may be apples and oranges, but that’s the point: there are some pretty good oranges out there, so why are we only being shown the apples? There are dozens of examples of good ideas that are handicapped by a biased agenda. In this respect, games are a lot like movies and TV shows as well. Put together, the whole entertainment industry is reinforcing a single pattern, discouraging fresh thinking in favor of formulaic trash and immaturity. Sounds almost like the theme of Metal Gear Solid 4, actually. Hmm.
It’s my belief that the same master class of people who once dominated humanity through ignorance and illiteracy are the ones who have destroyed literacy since then, and replaced it with the “entertainment industry”.
The apex of intellectual progress was right before the start of the 20th century, but thanks to cruelly designed public schooling system and lopsided media agendas, we’ve been tricked into sliding back down to the point of accepting their tyranny and ignorance once again. That may seem too serious for a discussion about gaming, but we’re talking about controlling society; gaming is just a significant part of that society.
The Internet and gaming work together, allowing many young people feeling sane in a culture of controlled bullshit. They serve as alternatives to the terrible entertainment industry, and we can hardly imagine a world without them. But both the Internet and gaming are being targeted, marginalized, and neutralized using their method of discrediting and censoring. The recent controversy of California Senator Leland Yee, who wanted to make it a federal crime to sell violent games to minors, was a premature (and perhaps well-intentioned) attempt to censor games, obviously not endorsed by the elite. The game industry, like the Internet, is not yet discredited or dangerous enough to face that kind of punishment. Neither has become a true threat to the Master Plan, and thus they can be tolerated for longer. The Supreme Court’s decision was no victory for the First Amendment or the game industry, it was an indicator that the elite are taking care of games on their own already. Games will become an obedient tool, and when they do, they will finally receive the praise and promotions that they so desperately crave. Either that, or they’ll remain neglected because of their intelligent nature.
Stupidity is not only dangerous, it’s infectious. If you don’t fight it, eventually it will spread and grow stronger — more convincing. Even in our idiotic society, there are many people who try to fight it constantly, but the sheer volume being generated by the backwards school system, the entertainment industry, and the cultural sabotage means that we can’t actually win; we can only slow the process down. In gaming culture, stupidity can be seen in the narrow-minded glorification of violence, immaturity, “booth babes”, gun porn, and the willingness to accept these things as the “core” of gaming identity. They are not. Nerds, older generations, younger children, and women of all stripes are being told to stay away from games by the mass media, to the point where they say if you’re a 40-year-old man who plays games, you’re weird. We know this is stupid. We don’t like it. But if we don’t recognize that this is a coordinated attack on our culture, inside and out, we’ll be stuck moving in the direction of the Master Plan: discrediting and censoring.
As long as gaming continues to hold onto its its intelligence, it will be smeared and attacked by the system. We can’t hope to have integrity as well as acceptance by pop culture. Choose which one you want, because you can’t have both. They are opposites. Video games are being repurposed to become stupid toys for our modern “bro” (ie. man-child,) and the more developers accept this trend, the closer gaming will get to its prescribed destination.