The Hamfisted Propaganda Of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

The first thing you will notice about Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus upon searching it up online is that Bethesda has some truly talented graphic designers and artists working for them. The second thing you’ll notice, if you either have watched the full length trailer or seen the recent piece concerning the franchise for The Ringer, is that the series, or more specifically, MachineGames and Bethesda, are pushing some very not-so-subtle propaganda. What kind of propaganda? See if you can discern it.

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Still not seeing it? Here, let me give you a hint:

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If you haven’t drawn the conclusion yet what Bethesda and The Ringer are here trying to do is draw a comparison between the Charlottesville ethnonationalist protesters (and presumably any of the other ones who were holding tiki torches) and the diabolical neigh-inhuman Natzees of their video game. It’s noteworthy to say that the National Socialists presented in the game are, in their entirety with one exception for a bumbling, minor, comedic relief character, absolutely evil and irredeemable in every conceivable way (Hitler, for example, is utterly deranged, flying into fits of uncontrollable rage as quickly as will fall to somber reverie, in one scene he kills his own people because one of them refuses to refer to him as Mein Fuhrer which is not only vile, but stupid and contrary to the National Socialist preoccupation with, and veneration of, their folk).

Evil Natzees in fiction, however, are old hat and of little interest, what separates this game’s presentation from many other such portrayals is that such portrayals were generally self-contained within their respective fictional realms – take the undead, sociopathic, blade-wielding Natzee in the Ron Pearlman helmed, Hellboy film, for instance; the filmmakers never tied him to a actual person unlike with the above-featured post which is clearly attempting to tie the Charlottesville protesters to not just the ideology of National Socialism, but also to the depraved villainy of the characters contained within the game. This is the crucial difference that should be noted for all those crying, “It’s just a video game.” Yes, yes and Common Sense was just a pamphlet. Pepe is just a frog. The Crucifix is just a Roman instrument of torture, the Fasces is just a bundle of sticks. But of course everyone who reflects sufficiently on both culture, art and their intersection realizes that art is a fulminate expression of some undercurrent, often which has failed to be given form or function through those more common means of communication, which comes roaring up from the depths of our collective souls to bring catharsis or realization, a renewal of purpose or the destruction thereof.

Consider Shepard Fairey’s HOPE poster of Barack Obama, it was “just a poster” but that post was extremely powerful. Indeed, so much so that it is now so ensconced in popular culture that it is far more well known that it’s creator. The HOPE poster was powerful because it latched on, condensed and translated all the fervor of which the Obama campaign created, the idea that America was moving into a “post racial” mode paired with the rather ironic ethnic pride of those blacks who took immense joy in the fact that Obama would be the first black president of the United States despite the fact that it was his presidency which did the most to re-ignite racial tensions across the country (though it could certainly be argued, and I would make this argument myself, that such was not his or his administrations intention, it seems more likely that they just didn’t much care).

The ultimate point of all of this has nothing to do with arguments concerning National Socialism, or even the thinly veiled ways in which Bethesda, Machine Games and The Ringer are attempting to push a vaguely neo-Marxist agenda (which they are – the game constantly pushes “the woman as man-in-a-dress,” racial miscegenation as a inherent virtue, radical feminism, consistent degradation of “whites” as a group, ect, ect, it could go on in that boring vein for quite some time) but rather that these very attempts isn’t at all going to be noticed and every time someone attempts to point it out (except in very ideologically self-contained internet circles) the accusation will be highhandedly dismissed which (“it’s just a vidya game, dude”), ironically, makes the propaganda itself all the more powerful. This fundamental error of assuming that none of the major gaming corporations are out to propagandize and convert their audiences to the Church of Equalitarianism because they are all just motivated by passion or profit fails to take into account the fact that the profit they can make is indelibly tethered to the Church of Equalitarianism itself.

The solution to the problem is relatively simply, in theory. Stop buying their games and make your own. If you can’t make your own, buy games from the people who do. Now I am not “a gamer” but many of my friends are and they wear that distinction like a badge of honor. Gamers are a subculture similar to the beatniks, they’re cultural wayfarers who have gotten together to for their own cultural niche, only instead of hitch-hiking across the by-ways and highways of America they’re surfing across the endless ambit of the information superhighway. Just like the beats, they aren’t very interested in politics and most certainly don’t want it shoved down their throats, especially not after the cultural phenomenon of GamerGate which turned large portions of the “gamer” community decidedly political, anti-SJW, anti-feminist and pro “free speech” and “free expression.” The antidote to this newest incarnation of sociological poison is not to critique or deconstruct games and other cultural artifacts similar to Wolfenstein 2 but to simply, as in all other spheres, to exit. Once sufficient parallel institutions are erected one need not bother worry about any of the options. One can observe this change occurring already, where Twitter has been faltering with it’s base by censoring, shadowbanning and out-right banning any accounts who do not adhere strictly enough to egalitarian doctrine, WrongThink and Gab had been flourishing. Politically minded gamers, or even those who simply occasionally appreciate the artform should take their money elsewhere and, as we like to say in the land of the free and home of the dollar, “vote with their wallet.”

Here is a fairly lengthy series of in-game scenes from Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus which illustrates the maker’s fairly on-the-nose ideological leanings. My personal favorite line came from the main character, B.J. as he faced down a invading natzee horde: “Come and fucking get me, you white ass nazi facist pigs!” B.J. by the way, is himself, of European extraction. Must have been a while since he looked in the mirror…

 

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Futurist, artist and published fiction writer whose work asks the question, Of what use is the art which does not ruthlessly seek to force life to imitate it?

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