— Wolfenstein (@wolfenstein) October 15, 2017
When life gives you a new version of an old Nazi-punching video game to market… own the fuck out of your Nazi-punching.
Thereby chafing the highly refined sensitivities of a group that usually delights in screaming snowflake! and flaunting FUCK YOUR FEELINGS t-shirts…
… Critics aren’t exactly arguing that the Nazis were nice, decent folks, but they say that in co-opting the president’s tagline, the video game company is quietly equating Trump supporters with Nazis.
Others claimed that the video game — or at least its marketing — is simply parroting the aims of the antifa, a loosely affiliated group of mostly communists, socialists and anarchists who aim to stop the advance of white supremacy, sometimes violently.
Is it good to give people in that group tacit justification to attack people who fit an ever-expanding definition of Nazis?…
The definition is hardly “ever-expanding”; marching with Nazi flags and screaming Jews will not replace us! has fit the parameters ever since the 1930s. It’s just that you didn’t used to see them mobbing around American college campuses, at least not with their faces unmasked.
2014: “A new Wolfenstein? Nazis as bad guys is such a throwback!”
2017: “A new Wolfenstein? We better ask Nazis if their feelings are hurt” pic.twitter.com/ZJ1LhHP9TK
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) October 7, 2017
— Wolfenstein (@wolfenstein) October 5, 2017
one of my fave recent pop culture phenomenons is anger that a classic game about killing nazis is rebooting as a game about killing nazis https://t.co/mHsGtWJieC
— daddy long legs (@jennschiffer) October 6, 2017
imagine seeing the words "no more nazis" and reacting like this pic.twitter.com/5L9b8CPm3s
— Vylash #TeamKICK (@MiraVylash) October 6, 2017
When this kerfuffle first popped up a couple weeks ago, commentor dmsilev linked to an article in Ars Technica:
Bethesda, publisher of the upcoming shooting game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, has issued a formal response to decidedly informal (and largely anonymous) criticisms surrounding the anti-Nazi game. In doing so, however, the company has made the curious decision to try to absolve itself of particularly political overtones…
After explaining the series’ premise to the uninitiated—that gamers control one soldier, BJ Blazkowicz, as a one-man-army against a rising Nazi order—Hines tried to dance around the series’ inherently charged subject matter. “Bethesda doesn’t develop games to make specific statements or incite political discussions,” he said to Games Industry. “We make games that we think are fun, meaningful, and immersive for a mature audience.”
Unfortunately for Hines’ argument, it’s hard to imagine any American era in which a violent, gun-loaded battle against a violent, anti-Semitic culture wouldn’t reverberate in a political way. Bethesda may simply be astonished that one of the media world’s longtime easy-target villains, the freaking Hitler-led Nazis, would ever attract anything that approaches “defenders.” Hines admitted this to GI to some extent: “In Wolfenstein‘s case, it’s pure coincidence that Nazis are marching in the streets of America this year. And it’s disturbing that the game can be considered a controversial political statement at all.”…
Looks like Bethesda has decided there’s no percentage in trying to soothe Nazi-sympathizing fee-fees. Given the responses to the top tweet (“I don’t even game and I might buy this fucking thing”), this may have been the better choice!