View RSS Feed

Forsaken Lover

Fantasy vs. Reality

Rate this Entry
"You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall."

For those who don't know, my real life politics are of a very Progressive persuasion.I'm a filthy SJW, if you are the kind of person who uses that term seriously. My YouTube Subscriptions are all to channels fighting a heroic e-battle against the stream of right wing racism, misogyny and transphobia that plagues that site.

But, in my heart of hearts, am I a Progressive? I've thought about it a lot. Introspection is of course no mark of genius, I just have a lot of time on my hands to wonder about this kind of thing. One bit of filthy SJW Ideology I hold is that fiction and media is an excellent mirror to reflect our culture back at us, as well as an obvious tool at perpetuating our culture. As gamers, we should all be aware of and accept that the video games we play say something about us and the world we live in.

What I'm getting at with my second paragraph is this. I have supported everyone from Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas to Cerberus in Mass Effect to the Stormcloaks in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Now, these three organizations have very little in common, no matter what some Imperial fans will say. However there is one unifying factor, one common denominator between all three. I'm sure you can figure out what it is.

Edward "Caesar" Sallow, Jim "The Illusive Man" Harper and Ulfric Stormcloak. These three wildly different movements are gathered around powerful, charismatic figures. Indeed, when I've argued Empire or Stormcloak, I've pointed to the fact Ulfric is just such a more impressive figure than General Tullius. Where are Tullius' awesome speeches? Similarly in New Vegas, I point to the fact Caesar exudes quite a magnetic pull. Invariably, Imperials and NCR supporters will counter with "well, that's a BAD thing. The Legion will collapse when Caesar dies and the fact Tullius isn't all that remarkable plays into the Empire's strength."

We live in a hyper-individualist society that sees supplication to authority or power as some sort of grievous insult to be avoided at all costs. Speaking purely from a IRL perspective, this is probably a good thing. There is no superman in real life and putting all your faith in a single person can be extremely dangerous for a lot of people besides just you.

There is an excellent show in the UK called Big Questions. I am sorely jealous we have nothing like it here in the US. Anyway, they had a whole episode on "is there a difference between a cult and a religion?" They assembling various religious and "cult" people - including even a member of the Branch Davidians (the people killed at Waco) who still believes in their founder - and one of the ex-cult people said something that always stuck with me. He misses being i the cult. Why? Because things were simpler then.

I know all too well what he means. The thing is, while we may live in this "ME culture", a lot of people, myself included, are hardwired to desire exactly the exact opposite. We want the kind of security and peace that only comes from devotion to something beyond yourself. It's not wrong or bad, but it is dangerous. The desire to belong, to have some purpose to our lives, to escape the fear and anxiety of this crazy world we live in, is too easily manipulated into something really bad. It's so easy to just say someone else has all the answers and give up our free will. What's "freedom" done for us anyway? Are we really free when we spend so much of our lives in terror of being alone or forgotten?

I don't know if any of you have ever heard of the Enneagram of Personality or if you have, if you even buy into it. However while I do not consider it absolutely authoritative, it's still interesting and I've read up on it. I am a Type VI according to the Enneagram and this is what one writer had to ay about us:

"The pattern of “authoritarian aggression” and “authoritarian submission” noted by the authors of The Authoritarian Personality may be mentioned here: type VI manifests aggression towards those below and submission to those above in the authority hierarchy. Not only do they live in a hierarchical world: they both hate and love authority consciously (being, in spite of anxiety in the face of ambiguity, the most explicitly ambivalent of all character types). In addition to traits of submissiveness, the demand for obedience and love, hate and ambivalence toward authority, ennea-type VI exhibits, to a larger extent than any other, an
idealization of authority figures—manifest either in individualized hero-worship, in a generalized attraction to the great and the strong or in an orientation to impersonal greatness, which causes some to over-mythologize life so as to indulge a passion for archetypal sublimity.

This penchant for what is larger than life seems not only to underlie a divinization/demonization of the ordinary (observed by Jung in connection with the introverted thinking type) and the perceived sublimity of ideals of fanatics, but is a characteristic of ennea-type VI people in general, who in view of this may be described as “idealistic.”"

So what the hell is my point and what does any of this have to do with politics or video games? Ever since I was a dumb teenager who became a Marxist-Leninist, I thought of myself as an authoritarian. Authoritarianism makes sense if you've been paying attention to my little psych profile. But the thing is, a poster named Ser Serendipity brought a very obvious fact to my attention a relatively short while ago. He pointed out how society is pretty great today and my romantic ideas of kings and emperors was outdated. Indeed, king and emperors generally go against all my progressive beliefs. They don't call themselves kings or emperors anymore but there are still dictators in this world and they all fight against the things I care about.

And so we arrive at my point. There will never be a society I consider "ideal" in the real world. It just won't happen. I will never find that Glorious Leader I can follow all the way into Hell itself. This is probably a good thing for me but it does little to assuage my many emotional needs. My doubts, my fears, my insecurities, I have tried to rid myself of all these things ever since I can remember. I tried with politics and religion because they are such obvious sources of strength for others. But they don't work for me.

So, if in reality I can find nothing that so fundamentally appeals to me, I must look to fiction. Fiction is not real. The more abhorrent practices of Caesar's Legion can be ignored. I can "morally" compartmentalize things, fixating only on the base and primal need the Legion fulfills while shoving aside the moral repugnance.

In a more complete example, the Qunari of Dragon Age are my favorite video game faction in....anything. They give me everything I could ever want. They are extremely well-written and the core of their society is giving everyone a purpose and leaving no one behind. Tallis from Dragon Age II's Mark of the Assassin is great at explaining the appeal of the Qun because she's a convert who joined them for exactly the same kind of reason I would join them. To receive that certainty that can only be given to you, never found on your own. conclusion. I love right wing authoritarian fiction because it serves as an outlet for my issues and hopefully gets all that out of my system so I can Leftist Progressive causes in the real world.

Updated 06-04-2017 at 11:59 AM by Forsaken Lover

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags


  1. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Well this sort of explains why you got buddy buddy with the Law faction in Strange Journey. Still, I do appreciate the fact that games allow us an outlet to experience a different type of social world view.

    Fun fact: In the Enneagram, I usually rank highest with Type V and Type VIII.