I relate gaming to “going round a friend’s house”, I’m there to kick back, have fun, and crush my enemy into dust. Telling people my world view/ideology is just rude under the circumstance. But politics creeps into everything eventually.
Paradox have recently been dragged into “making a political statement”. Let’s be clear here, they were not given a choice. Their recent and massively moddable new game Stellaris, has had a mod released for it that turns all humans into “Europeans”. In truth, what it really does is remove any avatars that are not white.
Now of itself, such a mod is not really provocative and not even offensive, Stellaris, like many games, is all about role playing and there are plenty of innocent roles such a race pack could take, but ultimately it still doesn’t matter. If someone’s that narrow minded that they want to pretend that only white people make it into space, then they’re going to pretend that with or without this mod.
Now the internet being the internet meant that this mod (also available on moddb) quickly gained a comment section akin to cesspool. That doesn’t need a reason to happen, that’s merely the sort of spontaneous reaction you get when you give anonymity to narcissists, i.e. use the internet.
However what eventually tipped the boat was when the mod author changed the mods description to one that clearly had a political agenda. As can be seen below, the mod author says “there’s no multiculturalism here”. Maybe that’s not an out and out “Zieg Hiel” but it doesn’t leave any room for doubt of their meaning either. Also on the site was a link to video by “Progeny of Europe” that promotes a racist agenda too.
At this point Paradox decided to pull the mod. I’m glad they did to be honest, I’m sure that many people will argue that modding is a sacred cow and that “people should be allowed make any mod they like”. Well I agree with that mostly, but this was no longer a mod. This mod has become a propaganda tool, one that has hijacked a game and hijacked modding to support its cause.
“But paradox should not have got involved.”
You’re right, they should NOT have been brought into this. I don’t want Paradox, a great games studio, to have its future jeopardised because it was dragged into a political argument, but they didn’t have a choice. They were dragged into this by the mods author. They were dragged into this by the mods very existence, and the fact that their game, their business was being made to promote a political agenda. Every minute they let this mod run (once its agenda became clear) was another minute where they were brought into this argument, and made to look like they supported this agenda.
Paradox had no choice, banning the mod was their only sensible course of action. But as it turns out, this whole thing might have just been a joke, a sick attempt at trolling. If you follow that YouTube link, and listen to the arguments made, one of the first things said is that in order to make this argument for a “white” Europe, all studies, and research and all facts need to be ignored, and instead a reliance on philosophy alone is needed.
As far as critical arguments go, that one’s akin to saying “my dad’s bigger than yours”.
So this mod author was a troll, he was making a joke of racists, a joke of SJW’s, a joke of Paradox, but most of all he was making a joke of gamers. He’s taken a tool for freedom and community, and caused division and censorship. Trolls are not a gamer’s friend.