Thursday, October 22, 2020
Gaming

COG Considers How To Not Feel Bad Playing Games That Cape For The Empire

COG Considers How To Not Feel Bad Playing Games That Cape For The Empire
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COG Also Might Not Have A Fix For This One, If We’re Being Totally Honest

You may have heard that Genshin Impact is somehow… really good? Like, it fully defies the conventional understanding of free to play games. Questions like ‘How come they haven’t begged for my credit card yet,’ and ‘what is this feeling in my blackened shell of a heart’ are abound. You may have also heard that the game censors words like ‘Taiwan’ and ‘Hong Kong.’ Does that make MiHoYo the enemy? Is Genshin Impact cancelled? Do you need to bring your own pitchfork, or will one be provided? I can’t easily answer any of these questions, though pitchforks are generally BYOP.

On the one hand, engaging in censorship that serves the needs of a gigantic regime isn’t a very cool move. On the other hand, maybe they don’t have a choice? As someone not currently living through any flavor of fascist uprising (dictator, extreme nationalism, or rocky road), I don’t know what it’s like to have John Francis Government breathing down my neck. It’s probably terrible! What if you can’t actually tell the difference between flag-waving patriotism and like, patriotism with a pistol pressed to its back?

But let’s be extremely real here. I’m talking ‘sitting backwards on a kitchen chair with your arms crossed’ kind of real. Genshin Impact being a pretty rad videogame is almost certainly a factor. Yes, the people who make said game are all individuals with individual beliefs, and holding all of them accountable for one design decision with a political bent isn’t a very cool move, either. But you know who else is in bed with China’s government? Blizzard! And let’s be honest, their recent output renders a boycott decision a little uhhhhhhhhh easier to make.

The moral of today’s story? Ethical consumption under late-stage capitalism is a fleeting illusion, the game is free-to-play, and I’m not your boss. Whatever you, the reader, choose to do with this information is none of my dang old business. Genshin Impact is still pretty fun, though.

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