In today’s modern era we’re stricken with political events and issues throughout our ever-changing world. Everywhere we’re reminded of current elections, political scandals and opinionated viewpoints, whether you asked for them or not. Recent trailer releases of games like Far Cry 5 and Call of Duty WWII invoke infamous global wars and familiar cult-like criminals, all while in the heat of dangerous threats making worldwide headlines against international powers and leaders.
New national Presidents, like the U.S.’s Trump, making waves across news stations and the non-stop reports of political voting fraud have seemed to increase the awareness of everyday civilians on political scandals; with commotion equal to that of the Watergate Scandal of the Nixon years. But are video games expanding their ideas to politically corrupt leaders because of current relations in politics? Hardly. In truth, video games have been handing out corrupt villains acting as political leaders throughout the decades of the entertainment medium, regardless of what happens in real world politics.
Take the Metal Gear franchise for instance. Since the original release on the NES back in 1987, creator Hideo Kojima has been increasing the fictional, but relatable, story to an unreal amount of authenticism. With its own downloadable database explaining all aspects of the long and elaborately detailed timeline, Kojima created a war-riddled world filled with corrupt governments and factions in every release throughout the series. Enhanced “super” soldiers genetically controlled by the powerful and dreadful opposing government, gun launders strategically playing off of all sides of war, and diabolical plans to have complete control over the world and its inhabitants, these are just a few examples of corrupt leaders and their actions making an appearance well before this modern era.
Other series with corrupt governments and politicians range from Assassin’s Creed to Grand Theft Auto, and even to earlier Fallout titles, all with their own view of twisted leadership and questionable decision-making. The Final Fantasy series has also featured many overpowering governments and political forces, quick to make use of the land’s resources, the game’s mystical power “magi” and even civilians populating the fantasy worlds. Many game developers use these ideas based on what we see in the real world, to a somewhat smaller degree, but the use of video games allows us to dive into a more surreal corrupted environment; to play the hero that dissolves the overthrowing government.
Because, at the core of gaming, that’s primarily what the average gamer seeks: to be the hero. It’s easy to place a character into an intense atmosphere, where a powerful force ravages the lands and towns, giving the innocent lives no chance for a happy life. We’ve created an average villain in corrupt political leaders, soaked in by what surrounds us in the everyday norm. No, scandalous leaders are nothing short of being yet another predictable antagonist for gamers alike; it has become something we’re accustomed to seeing in our everyday gaming library, and that’s quite alright. For the sake of humanity, let’s hope these audacious stories do not become any closer to reality than what they’ve already predicted.