The Last Night is a dystopian, cyberpunk game with a Blade Runner feel, offering players a chance to explore a visually striking world that combines 3D and retro-2D graphics.
The game, developed by newcomer Tim Soret, turned heads when it was revealed earlier today at E3, the world’s largest gaming expo.
It also attracted the fury of the social justice left, after it emerged that Soret once supported the GamerGate movement, which criticized feminist and leftist attempts to make the world of gaming politically correct.
Soret has also said he opposes feminism but supports egalitarianism.
Well, there goes my interest in "The Last Night" pic.twitter.com/0hrQECdZV7
— Elite Bear Agents (@Bearpigman) June 11, 2017
Soret’s claim that GamerGate was an egalitarian movement is borne out by the evidence. Two surveys of the movements political views, including my own, found that a majority of the movement were left-leaning liberals who happened to disagree with censorship and political correctness. One survey even found that most GamerGate supporters voted for Barack Obama in 2012.
Zoe Quinn, the feminist games designer whose complaints about allegedly sexist internet trolls drove coverage of GamerGate, was quick to condemn Soret for endorsing the anti-censorship consumer movement.
If you laid down with MRAs, abusive ex boyfriends, LITERAL NAZIS, et all, you deserve fleas.
— thought daddy (@UnburntWitch) June 12, 2017
Quinn is famous for Being Mad Online, and has arguably elevated the practice to an art form. She was even invited to the United Nations in 2015 to lecture the world on the dangers of “cyberviolence.”
Progressive anger is likely to increase when they learn more about the game’s political message, which offers a moderate critique of the left.
The game takes place in a future dystopia brought about by the rise of intelligent machines. Work has been abolished, and all humans (aside from the game’s protagonist) are sustained by a universal income. However, the abolition of work – historically a leftist goal – does not lead to utopia.
From the game’s website:
Humans first knew the era of survival. Then they knew the era of work. Now they live in the era of leisure. Machines have surpassed human labour not only in strength, but in precision, intellect, and creativity. Stabilised by universal income, people struggle to find their calling or identity, and define themselves by what they consume, rather than what they create.
According to Heat Street, Soret originally envisaged the game as a warning against extreme progressivism.
I find it interesting to show the danger of extreme progressivism, in the background of the game, the characters, and the story. Finally, we’ll have another take on the cyberpunk oppression instead of Big Brother/1984/HAL/big companies. What if the surveillance, bullying, marginalization won’t come from governments but from the Internet?
Leftists have been known to freak out when their favourite entertainers fail to make their acts sufficiently anti-Trump. If political neutrality is objectionable to leftists, the thought of a smart, visually appealing entertainment product that actually critiques their goals would send them into a tailspin.
It remains unclear, however, whether Soret’s views have changed since the comments published by Heat Street. In the wake of the controversy, Soret reiterated his belief in “equality & inclusiveness” but also acknowledged that the game will “challenge techno-social progress as a whole.”
Controversy time. That's fine. Let's talk about it, because it's important.
1 – I completely stand for equality & inclusiveness.
— Tim Soret @E3 (@timsoret) June 12, 2017
3 – The fictional setting of the game does challenge techno-social progress as a whole but certainly not trying to promote regressive ideas.
— Tim Soret @E3 (@timsoret) June 12, 2017
Nevertheless, expect little, if any news coverage in the mainstream gaming press about The Last Night, apart from outraged op-eds. Now that its developer’s former GamerGate sympathies have been revealed, however, politicized elements of the gaming press are unlikely to judge the game by its artistic merits alone.
Unfortunately for them, some left-leaning gaming outlets already published pieces on The Last Night’s launch trailer before news of its creator’s GamerGate heresy spread on social media.
The Verge, a Vox publication, called the trailer “gorgeous.” Polygon, regarded as one of the most leftist gaming sites, and hailed it as “one of the best-looking indie games” showed off by Microsoft at E3. Bleeding Cool praised its “vibrant and highly stylized” feel, while PC Gamer called it “stunning.”
The Last Night is scheduled for release in 2018 on PC and Xbox One.