The Podcast: Is this podcast 'political'?

Latest episode available to download now, also discusses Nintendo's struggles with mobile

Rebekah, Matt, Chris and Haydn weigh in on one of the most divisive topics currently discussed across the industry: the relationships between politics and games.

As our contributing editor Rob Fahey recently wrote, simply asking 'Is you game political?' misses the nuances of a deeper conversation that could be had about the evolution of video games and their place in the world.

We explore those nuances, and ponder why this misinformed questions has become so prevalent when the media meets with AAA developers and publishers.

We also discuss Nintendo's mobile strategy and the platform holder's ongoing struggles to tame the most lucrative gaming sector -- particularly in the wake of Dr Mario World's slower-than-expected launch.

Finally, we use this as a starting point to share which Nintendo IP -- existing or invented by us -- that we'd like to see come to mobile.

You can listen to our latest episode below, subscribe to our RSS feed, or download the file directly here. It is also available via Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast, Player FM, TuneIn and other widely-used podcast platforms.

Related stories

The Podcast: Live from X019

Latest episode discusses the biggest announcement from Xbox's event -- technically, before they happened

By GamesIndustry Staff

The Podcast: What role will indies play on PlayStation 5?

We also discuss how Overwatch 2 could present a new model for sequels, and pay homage to the Nintendo Wii

By GamesIndustry Staff

Latest comments (6)

Ian Griffiths Product Owner, Hutch3 months ago
The question 'Is this political?' was picked up because it was a thinly veiled ask about whether The Division 2 was going to make an anti-Trump message.

To come along and say, 'oh no no no, we didn't mean is this critical of right-leaning politics, we meant does it touch on vague political themes' is frankly nonsense and borderline revisionist about the short but loaded history on this subject.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Christopher Dring Publisher, GamesIndustry.biz3 months ago
@Ian Griffiths: Who came along and said that?
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ian Griffiths Product Owner, Hutch3 months ago
@Christopher Dring: The entire discussion is basically revising the idea that when games journalists have asked 'Is this political?' that it's not about 'of the moment' politics, or more specifically that it's not a question about whether the game has an anti-Trump message. Let's be entirely honest, 'is this anti-Trump' is the seed of the 'Is this political?' argument, and I believe that journalists are trying to retrospectively justify as being a wider question than that.

If game journalists really were interested in politics they would ask more complex and piercing questions than the rather tedious 'Is this political?' one. This is why I assume that it's really not about getting insight into broader questions about how games developer are tackling politics in their games. I completely agree with Rob in expecting more from game journalists on this subject. Their approach this far has been as pathetic as developer's responses of 'no politics here' but without the excuse of a publisher or studio not telling them to take such a damp squib approach.

How about asking something more demanding of the COD MW developers, like:
"Your notorious 'No Russian' piece was widely criticised for depicting violence against civilians. As a critic I have to say it felt more about making something provocative to grab attention rather than deliver anything of substance.

Your new title reportedly includes child soldiers, which is clearly highly controversial, given your history with the 'No Russian' piece, how do you think you'll be able to address the topic of children in warfare with the sensitivity and respect it demands?"
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (6)
David Cornelius Software Engineer, Dire Wolf Digital, LLC3 months ago
@Ian Griffiths: You're literally describing what the original op-ed was about, congratulations.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ian Griffiths Product Owner, Hutch3 months ago
@David Cornelius: I think you've missed my point, if you read my comment thoroughly you will see a clear distinction.

You see, Rob Fahey talks about the word 'political' having become a rhetorical device and explains how that is unfortunate. I'm saying that it was game journalists who are seemingly obsessed with political issues of the day surrounding the Trump administration that turned the question political. I'm saying that it almost appears as though there is a concerted effort to revisit how we got here and suggest that it wasn't about modern-day politics so much as it was asking about politics in general but in a was that has become misinterpreted. I suggest that sticking to the same question is evidence in of itself of it not being about politics.

As for saying the same as Rob Fahey, you can see that I write:
I completely agree with Rob in expecting more from game journalists on this subject.
I then further it with an example of a piercing question of the sort that could be asked of the COD MW developers.

I won't follow with a quip intended as a put down because I don't value trying to insult people I'm in a discussion with.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
David Cornelius Software Engineer, Dire Wolf Digital, LLC3 months ago
@Ian Griffiths: I suppose, but Mr. Fahey offers the same premise + sample alternate questions albeit less specifically targeted for a singular game (COD:MW). It seemed redundant. I suspect he avoided addressing the Trump-sized elephant in the room intentionally because although the noise around political media is more amplified at this point in time that doesn't mean this isn't a timeless discussion and is important to be addressed as part of the industry growing up, regardless of who's in the United States' White House. Right-wing alt media outlets may have turned the word "political" into a poison pill for entertainment but we should talk about political content in games more, not less.

And for the record I do apologize for being flippant with my tone.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Cornelius on 23rd August 2019 10:58pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.