Pickernanny recently posted an extensive review of the PS3 video game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. To make it easier to respond to it, I’m reposting it as a separate article. Note that you do not need to be an avid gamer to find the content of the review interesting. In fact, his review comes just in time as the game is set in an unnamed African country in which whites wantonly kill the black leadership whereas in the real world, as we speak, South Africa is going up in flames, with rioters destroying the infrastructure of the country, not much more than half a century after whites gave control of the country to blacks.
Having recently completed my first play-through of MGR:R, I wanted to bring up some interesting points about the narrative that I probably wouldn’t have given much thought to if I had played it back during its initial release. Story aside, the game was a blast and it was always very enjoyable to string along a complex combo or dodge and parry several consecutive enemy attacks. The graphics and animations were also pretty exceptional. I didn’t expect some of the overtop boss battles going in either (especially early on). At one point during the prologue, Raiden is running full speed down what appears to be a collapsing church building while dodging missiles and hopping over debris to eventually land on the back of a Metal Gear Ray (recognizable from MGS2), then running down the length of its body while your sword traces through cutting it in half. As Aaron pointed out in another comment, the game gets much less intense in this aspect as it progresses. Most of the later boss fights merely take place in an open arena with little to no utilization of the environment, but the combat in this game felt so good to me that I kept playing with much enthusiasm. I do think it would have been nicer to have maybe 50% less cinematic scenes and 20% more game play in the end.
I remember by the end of the game during the final boss fight having a big WTF moment because I found myself actually sort of siding with the main villain, Senator Armstrong, and his philosophy. You see, these American terrorists (along with a suave Spanish man serving as the main antagonist) are implementing this extremely far out plot to harvest the brains of third world children, training them to be elite soldiers via VR simulations, and finally transferring their brains into highly advanced cyborg bodies to be used in what I presume is a highly capable private military outfit. What is the purpose of wielding such power, you might ask? Well, it seems to me from Senator Armstong’s speech during the final fight that he plans to bring down the current political regime and usher in a new, more just era where “the weak will be purged and the strongest will thrive”, as he plans to “make America great again” and create the optimal environment for true individualism and freedom of thought to reign at the expense of the parasitical classes. Having come out in 2013, that latter quote obviously stuck out to me. Senator Armstrong honestly appears to be ‘our guy’, the true populist that we have been waiting for with the power and determination to bring down the corrupt and destructive cabal that rules over us, with the stated goal to end war as a business model and place the destiny of the people in their own hands. It appears to me that this Armstrong character wants to create a new aristocracy based on merit. Have a look at this approximately 7 minute long video containing his speech in an attempt to convert Raiden over to his side:
The game seems self-aware enough to point out in an early conversation between Raiden and his Wolf AI counterpart that Raiden is merely acting on his own bias having been raised as a child soldier, to which Raiden has no objection. This, to me, sets up the hero of this game to be a complete tool who is a slave to his environmental circumstances and at the mercy of the whims of his emotions. He fights because he doesn’t want others to have to endure hardship and adversity. Raiden would rather life keep on going at the expense of those who build civilizations and maintain them, because those who are less capable will either get left behind or dealt with by nature. I believe that it’s implied that Senator Armstrong’s intentions are not to simply go around mass murdering ‘the weak’ as his stated goal is to end war and conflict as we know it. Think of the Bantu in our world, for example, if Western civilization would simply butt out of their affairs and let nature take its course, their numbers would be significantly less as they would no longer be able to feed their current numbers. Not to mention that their population levels would simply not be near as large as they are in the first place if it weren’t due to the medical interventions and standards of living given to them by Westerners in the first place. This would also help with those overpopulation concerns that the left seems so concerned about, though we should be certain that those concerns are merely veils that commoners eat up to fuel a sense of righteousness while allowing our captors to rule without suspicion from the majority. Give an R selected group of people access to K selected technology, and the results aren’t exactly harmonious. Give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish.
It might sound evil and cruel on the surface to turn foreign children into to killing robots, but it’s not necessarily the worst fate for these poor souls. While Raiden takes it upon himself to stand against this outcome, it must be noted that in the process he goes on a killing spree taking the lives of dozens of police officers as they stand in his way. “We’re making the mother of all omelets here, Jack. Can’t fret over every egg”, Armstrong tells Raiden. The question is, how do you go about reversing the colossal fuck up that we find ourselves in our actual reality without the use of force? Armstrong is attempting to overthrow the elite ruling class and you’d have to be naive to think something like that could ever be accomplished through peaceful means.
I write this review because you can find similar themes playing out in all kinds of media from games to movies, you name it. It’s irrational once you dig into the meat of the topic, however, this game illustrates how easy it is to portray a certain message in a positive light no matter how hypocritical and irrational it actually is. To me, Raiden defeating and killing of Senator Armstrong is merely delaying the inevitable. Sure, now some children are spared a particular kind of fate, but it’s not unlike going more into debt. The further you go and the longer you put off your debt, the more interest you incur until eventually it become too insurmountable to ignore. Something radical will eventually come along and disrupt the status quo either way, even though it’s not a very fashionable idea to deal with these types of issues swiftly and effectively, the reaper is coming for his harvest one way or the other.
Another quick example of this type of theme that vilifies the right and exonerates the left in gaming is Vanquish. I haven’t finished the game yet so I can’t exactly tell you what the main villains stated objectives are, but I have a feeling I’ll end up leaning toward their agenda by the end of the game. Vanquish takes place in a sci-fi future where the Earth has become so overpopulated that food and resources are scarce. To help remedy this, a space colony has been constructed that orbits the earth. Without going into too much detail about what’s happening, some super evil Russian guy uses this massive micro wave beam to vaporize San Francisco effectively declaring war on the American government. It’s worth noting that the president of the US looks eerily similar to Hilary Clinton. Anyways, I want to link to this recent music video of an all gay San Francisco choir where they sing about literally coming for your children and converting them. I believe some of the members of the choir are even on the national sex offender registry. Have a look a note how psychopathic the main gay looks into the camera as he talks about corrupting your kids:
Now, imagine what kind of place San Francisco must be in the future if things continue on the same trajectory. When this Russian guy effectively decimated the city, I can’t help but kind of support this narrative. Maybe this example is a little extreme, but the US unleashing nuclear weapons on Japan during WW2 seemed justified, so why not just microwave San Francisco? My final point here will be that perhaps we need to make our own media somehow. We need our own games, tv shows, movies, novels, music etc. and we need them yesterday. It’s easy to propagandize people and it’s necessary, the right has arguably lost the culture war because they didn’t see the value in having a stake in the media. The Right has failed to conserve anything and is continuously seceding ground. Perhaps the reason why the left is so viscous current day, however, is because they are afraid the winds are changing against their favor. The pendulum can only swing so far in one direction before it either comes back crashing into everything on its way, or the entire machine is destroyed into nothing and can no longer function. Which will it be?