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3:33pm on Monday, 13th March, 2023:

Game Politics


Hendrik Lesser has brought out a new game, Death from Above, set in the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Much of the gameplay converns piloting a Ukrainian drone to drop grenades on Russian tanks. He's been getting some flak over this, on the grounds that people shouldn't be making political games about an ongoing war in which real people are dying.

The fact it's a game should be irrelevant. If he'd written a book featuring a Ukrainian hero who used drones to drop grenades on Russian tanks (or indeed a Russian hero dropping them on Ukrainian ones), the primary argument over its content would have been to do with the taste and timing of its subject matter. OK, so some of the criticisms against Death from Above are in fact to do with that, which is fair enough: people are entitled to argue against the politics of a game (it wouldn't be politics otherwise); however, they can't argue that games such as this shouldn't be allowed if pretty well any other media commentary on the same topic would be (and indeed is) allowed.

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