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One of the questions that has come up repeatedly this year is whether or not there is political content in video games, and the Fun & Serious Games Festival in Bilbao just finished this case happened two interviews that presenter Antonio Santo conducted with Warren Spector and Harvey Smith, which coincided with the development of Deus Ex at the end of the last century, a game in which the player had to make decisions that decided the end to be reached. Spector and Smith explained that politics are everywhere, although each of them has done it from different angles. According to Smith, current director of Arkane Austin, “If someone says in my game that there is no politics, that’s a fucking lie. There is politics in your game. There is a scenario where you spend a billion dollars on some characters who deploy to a site to shoot terrorists or whatever and you only tell part of the story. and you think there is no politics in your game. You make me hesitate. “
Know who has the power and how it is distributed
Smith went on to say, “There is politics everywhere. Politics is about who has power and how it is distributed. It’s interesting because Dishonored is about inequality and what you do with power when you have it. Are you making everyone around you suffer or are you trying to create as little noise as possible and not give up on your principles and what you have accomplished? It puts you in difficult moral situations. ” Since the start of the pandemic, I have received the principle of Deus Ex several times in which Bob Page talks about the spread of the virus in the streets and Dishonored talks about the plague of rats. Cyberpunk was all the rage when the team that developed Deus Ex, around ’96 or ’97, we were all reading Snow Crash and Neuromancer came out when I had just finished high school. It’s very complicated because you have a static layer of cyberpunk in which you say it’s very cyberpunk because the guy wears a blue coat of arms and has a cap on the side of his head, but there is the theme layer which deals with whether you are dedicated to the most thing rational, who is to get money and what people in power cling to it, often to the detriment of others, of what makes us human, the good things in life, the nice things, the things that can’t be bought and faced that involve great effort, say no, damn it, that’s not what I want, I don’t want to work my whole life for a fucking corporation even if it doesn’t bring me any benefit. It’s an act of rebellion and if you work in cyberpunk then you have to stick with that. “
Without arriving at a position as clear as Smith’s, also veteran Warren Spector, that he directed and codified with Smith Deus Ex indicated during the interview that Santo conducted politics is in all works one way or another. According to Spector, “It’s a cliché but everything is political to a point. I always try to make games that are about something, that people don’t kill anything that moves, or kill nothing or whatever. Everything has a why. Epic mickey it was about the importance of family and friends among other things. I always start with a series of questions, what is this game about? But I try not to make a plea The movies, the books, the pears, even the paintings make a statement, what they convey to you is the opinion of the creator and your position on this is either I am from either I agree or I disagree. Video games are not built around advocacy but around questions and then we can allow players to answer those questions through gameplay. “
Let the players decide for themselves on the right ending
Spector explained how this translates into games that can be viewed very differently: “No one will ever know which ending I consider good for Deus Ex, I will never say. I got my opinion on it but I’ll never say it, go let the players decide for themselves. Not just in the game, but in the real world, let them say what it should be like. To give you an example of how this might work, I went to a conference at a university and when I was done I did something that I never do. Some of the attendees asked me if I wanted to go for a drink at the bar, and I said yes, I don’t know why. After a few drinks, a guy was a little happy and said: How did you think about making such a good game? -We need to fill in the spaces in soft-, right-wing? and then another came and blurted out: No? But what if it was left from start to finish? And the point is, they were both right, because of the way each of them had played, they got different answers and decided for themselves, ” concluded.