Recently, I posted about why LOLcats matter in politics. The message of that post focused on an important point that Andrew Breitbart once made: “Politics is downstream from culture.” I’ve frequently said the same thing about video games.
Gamer culture is something the right has not only failed to tap into, but it’s never fully taken seriously just how much the left is attempting to capitalize on the culture to inject its own ideology. This effort to spread the left’s climate change messaging through a video game is merely the latest example.
Okay, so Reality Drop is not really a video game. It’s more like a gamified (yeah, I said it) database of science-backed climate change facts called “reality drops” that you can easily copy and paste into Tweets, Youtube comments, and your poor friends’ Facebook walls. In fact, the more you flood the internet with truth, the more points you get.
A popular TED conference in 2010 focused on how gaming can make a better world, and it further emphasized the idea that gaming can be leveraged to introduce ideas for social change in the world. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do think it’s important for all sides of the political spectrum to pay attention to precisely what sort of socio-political messaging is being packaged into some video games these days.
I think the right would be smart to consider gamer culture an important part of the landscape that influences politics. There are certainly policy issues that are also important to the gaming community, particularly when it comes to 1st amendment issues.
While I think most gamers will probably see right through efforts like Gore’s latest, which is overtly political and not entirely a video game per se, that might not always remain the case in future endeavors.