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Wolfenstein 2: make America Nazi-free again

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Wolfenstein 2: make America Nazi-free again

Most war games ignore the social and political influences on conflict, or conflict’s impact on them.

Most war games ignore the social and political influences on conflict, or conflict’s impact on them.

Most war games ignore the social and political influences on conflict, or conflict’s impact on them.

Most war games ignore the social and political influences on conflict, or conflict’s impact on them.


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In one of the previous articles titled “Do you feel like a hero yet?”, I had talked about mainstream video games failing to depict the horrors of war and the post-traumatic stress a soldier undergoes in the face of death. Such games not only establish that the true monster to a soldier is not the enemy, but the war itself. The chaos and death that occurs due to warfare are brilliantly portrayed in “Spec Ops: The Line.”

On the other hand, there lies an ideological conflict that perpetuates war. Specifically, World War II, the advent of Nazism in Germany and Hitler’s rise to power are the most sought out topics in history and depicted in hundreds of ways in the media. However, the controversial and offensive propaganda spread by the Nazis such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and forced abortion upon “unAryan” people are shielded from mainstream video games. Games like “Call of Duty WW2,” “World at War,” “Battlefield 1942,” “Medal of Honor” etc. shy away from these hard-hitting issues in favor of making the game look and sound historically accurate, right down to the engravings on the gun shells and the slang used in the early 20th century. Cue “Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus,” which not only allows players to tear the Nazis apart with outright ridiculous weapons like steampunk plasma guns and laser cannons, it actively mocks the ideology and the regime in no sterilized terms, which is quite bold in the current political climate of America.

Although the game is absurdly comic with its plot and setting, it cleverly manages to do what B-movies do best: to not give two hoots about public opinion on the subject. The game is set in an alternative history of the U.S. where the Nazis won World War II and set themselves up as a global superpower with a totalitarian regime.The protagonist is B.J. Blascowitz, an American soldier born to a Jewish mother and a conservative American father who, in this game, is set to defeat Gen. Frau Engel, the successor of Adolf Hitler (presented as a senile, paranoid caricature of himself), in order to start a revolution and end the Nazi Regime in America. Over the course of the game, we see instances of racial discussions throughout the game as snippets of conversation.

A particularly interesting scene pops up when Blascowitz walks around the streets of Roswell, New Mexico, to deliver a nuclear bomb to a contact. A Nazi soldier is seen schooling two men wearing KKK uniforms into preparing themselves for the New Order, saying “You are witnessing a new dawn for America. You have a choice in this new world. Because the time will come when….the wheat detaches from the chaff”. It provides an ingenious jab at the modern day America, especially when the proverbial “chaff” is being deported or getting shot, while the “wheat” believes that there is “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides”.

The game avoids having to make enemies cliché cannon-fodder like the rest of the shooters and provides context to why they deserve to die and what makes them truly evil. The irony of the regressive logic employed by neo-nazis and white America is apparent in this scene where two Nazi machine gunners converse: “I have no sympathy for terrorists,” one of them complained in German. “How can they promote violence toward us, just because we hold a different point of view?” His partner commiserated: “You’re right, Karl. Acts of violence are never okay. Never.” Karl kept going, indignant. “What kind of society would this be if I were to kill anyone who does not subscribe to my viewpoint?”

“Wolfenstein: The New Colossus” is a clever video game that laughs at the absurdity of American politics in 2018 by making it way too obvious. With controversial and creative promotion posters and quotes such as “Make America Nazi-free Again” and “If you are a Nazi, GTFO,” it succeeds both by telling casual gamers that “Nazis = Bad,” and by hurling acerbic monologues at the alt-right that their ideology is misguided and unacceptable and why supporting or following Nazism is never, ever okay.

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Wolfenstein 2: make America Nazi-free again