Conservatives take a break from bashing video games

Video game coverage has been showing up in more and more newspapers, and that everyday reporting has filtered up to more thoughtful, long-form articles about games in the New Yorker and the Atlantic. But it’s still pleasantly surprising to see an appreciative, extremely positive story about Civilization in the Weekly Standard.

That a story like this is running in one of the two main conservative magazines (National Review is the other) really shows how far video games have come in terms of respect. You can bet that it’s an eye-opener for plenty of Weekly Standard staffers as well as their workers. What’s also great about that is the author of the piece is clearly a huge fan, and he mentions other WS staffers who are hooked. Nothing can shatter video game stigmas like showing that people of all dispositions are gamers.

This is also a fascinating bit:

Some have blamed videogames for juvenile delinquency and violence. Take Grand Theft Auto, in which you can rise through the ranks of a criminal enterprise and “power up” with prostitutes. In one version of this game, players were able to unlock a secret sex scene (known as “Hot Coffee”), creating an outcry on Capitol Hill. Or take Left Behind, based on the bestselling pulp novels aimed at Christians fascinated with the End Times, in which you must convert others to Christianity and, if they refuse, you can kill them.

A conservative magazine is equating Left Behind with Grand Theft Auto!! Talk about a sign of the apocalypse. (Yes, I know not all — or even most — conservatives are religious zealots. But as Andrew Sullivan has thoroughly documented, the Republican Party and conservative press have largely become, as he puts it, a Christianist party.)

— February 27, 2007

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