Okay, so this freaking thing:
Yeah, that just happened. It’d be hard not to notice that the new Rainbow Six game’s baddies seem to be spouting some stridently Occupy-ish stuff in this trailer. It’s definitely a very… overt take on the “violent hippies” meme that’s been floating around the Fox News Circuit, making heroic efforts to link any of the Occupy protests to whatever unrelated crimes might have happened nearby, or to reclassify classic acts of non-violent resistance as secretly somehow violent.
I mean, don’t get me wrong here. As someone who enjoys a lot of modern action games, we come to expect some of this sort of thing to be out there to some degree. You’re talking about War! Rar! so there’s a lot of fanboys of actual foreign adventures who are going to be part of the target audience. So, it’s never really surprising that the heroes, villains, and situations are ripped pretty much directly from late-Cold War action movies (sometimes rather shamelessly, in fact), or that the occasional Jack Bauer interrogation technique makes an appearance. It makes sense that the player base probably skews towards people who think this stuff is cool, and not those who think some of these things might reflect a deeply shameful period of American history.
Of course, this particular trailer gives the impression of a game that’s taking that sort of rightward skew and dialing it up to 11, ripping a video game scenario straight from the fever-dreams of the more militant anti-leftists out there. And, maybe that’s not terribly surprising, either, to be frank. The Tom Clancy series of games have always been a bit full of the conservative whackadoodlery, even if they have previously attempted to use some subtlety in their approach. Previous Rainbow Six games have featured, as prominent antagonists, Eco-terrorists, Islamic terrorists who are actually being led by ersatz Hugo Chavez, ersatz WTO protestors, and a border-crossing Mexican terror cell that attacks Las Vegas. And the Splinter Cell games haven’t been too much of an exception, either: even ignoring the fact that Conviction falls solidly on the side of Team Torture, we have it’s immediate antecedant, Double Agent. The main antagonists in that game are a group called JBA, or John Brown’s Army. Yes, that John Brown. Unless they were secretly written to be an anti-abortion group, in a repetition of the old “abortion==slavery” meme/canard, I’m not really seeing them being right-wing, either.
None of this is to say that any of these games are bad games, mind you; the Tom Clancy series, and most Ubisoft games in general, tend to be technically incredible, and they definitely manage to produce a number of compelling storylines. But the constellation of messaging behind them remains pretty atrociously anti-leftist, even by FPS/modern combat simulator standards, and makes the current installment -if remarkably unsurprising- all the more disappointing.