Politically charged reviews, news, and gaming articles are a plague to the industry which has become disturbingly one-sided as the years go on. But enough of that, we here at RGN have dabbled in the topic throughout the past – especially during more tumultuous time periods of gaming. However, fans tell us that one of the best attributes of RGN is that we are more focused on gameplay than anything else. Politics are not always appropriate and often times are used as a way to click-bait users into rage commenting to drive up views rather than genuinely believing the toxic nonsense they’re spouting.
One website which was heavily involved in the political gambit during a darker time in games journalism is The Escapist. With slowly losing many of their creative talents who fled to YouTube among the sinking popularity of gaming websites, The Escapist eventually had to close its doors. This week we received word that the website will return in the form of Escapist Magazine Volume Two, but this time they’ve promised that they’re “leaving politics at the door”.
While stating that it’s impossible to be 100% objective, The Escapist has vowed to do its best to keep politics and the divisive nature of modern gaming websites out of their reviews and news coverage. Perhaps articles aimed purely at the political arena shouldn’t exist at all on gaming sites, and The Escapist agrees. But even worse is when political outrage is injected into what would otherwise be looked at for gaming evaluation, such as games reviews of major releases.
Some recent and notable examples of the negative effects of politics in gaming reviews include Far Cry 5 being lambasted for showing both sides of its story and not going full anti-Trump. A game can be a tool for spreading a message or teaching a moral lesson, sure, but they shouldn’t be forced to. Far Cry 5 received unfair treatment from some gaming websites which were far more concerned with the game’s failure to line up with their political ideologies rather than evaluating whether or not it accomplished the gameplay designs it sought out to achieve. This is just sloppy and inappropriate games journalism and resulted in a sub-standard review format which hardly even notices the good and bad about the game.
We have strong skepticism about The Escapist coming back on to the scene, but maintain a cautious optimism about what is possible if gaming websites were run more on the heels of passion for gameplay rather than profiteering and social engineering outrage for clicks and ad revenue. We wish the team over at The Escapist the best and may luck be on their side as they attempt to make decisions they believe in with their games coverage. Of course, there’s still the off-chance that memes and recycled faux outrage will immediately retake the brand as we’ve seen lately with major games websites… but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for now folks. Until next we meet, keep it real and keep it gaming!