Far Cry 5 – To the Extremes

I was brought up Catholic but have turned mostly agnostic. I have moderately conservative economical leanings and liberal social leanings. There was only one option for me to vote for president.

To be honest, from after the conventions and through the debates, I wasn’t sure how anyone was able to think there was any more than one option for president. As someone with a strong Christian upbringing, I wasn’t sure how anyone who identified as Christian could support Donald Trump. Everything that came out of his mouth seemed to be nestled in fear and hate. Neither of which are very Christian.

Tie that in to one of his biggest supposed strengths, his business savvy, and the reality of his business practices – which weren’t new bombshells for people that lived in the NE corridor, and I couldn’t see how anyone that wasn’t a right wing extremist thought he was a good option. I mean, he was endorsed by the KKK.

No one outside of hateful, spiteful individuals would vote for this man right?

And then he won.

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I’m going to admit, despite being a middle class white man, that lives in a nice neighborhood of the Philadelphia suburbs, I was scared. I was scared for my daughters and wife because they were female.. I was scared for my sister-in-law who is gay. I was scared for the godmother of my youngest daughter because she had just married a black man. I was scared for my wife and her sister, my oldest daughter, and myself, as we all suffer from conditions that the party in power doesn’t deem necessary to cover as part of health coverage. I was scared for my friends that aren’t white, some of which are of middle eastern decent. And I wasn’t the only one.

In the days following the election, things became increasingly contentious. From my seat, the man elected president had divided the country more than anyone ever before in my lifetime and this was before he was even in office. I witnessed friends and family members fighting it out. And on a number of occasions, when I saw something that I found to be abjectly moronic, I stupidly entered the fray as well. I wrongly went in to these arguments with the feeling that these Trump defenders were the far right extremists that had no regard for anyone not white, straight, healthy, and male. To be fair, their arguments didn’t really lend to support that they weren’t, often attacking anything that wasn’t part of that very specific bucket. But I wrongly started to lump everyone that had supported Trump into the same bucket. A bucket of racist, homophobic, sexist slugs.

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And much like Hilary Clinton and her surrogates, I was wrong to do so. A good many people that supported Trump weren’t any of those things. They had tons of differing reasons for supporting him over Clinton. And while I don’t agree with any of them and find the man they supported and his now vice president to be despicable human beings, I can sympathize to an extent. He spoke to their fears, rational or not, and promised to return us to a time when those fears weren’t existent. Even if that ideal never actually existed for most people.

So what does this have to do with games, specifically Far Cry 5, which is what I assume, you’ve come here to read and discuss?

Far Cry 5 is set to take place in Montana and the main antagonist is an ultra right wing Christian that has formed a cult-like militia and forcibly taken over a county. Let’s put aside the fact that the premise is outlandish and fantastical, even in today’s environment, and just focus on the optics.

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Since the reveal of Far Cry 5, the game has received notoriety in some circles as an attack on Trump supporters. It doesn’t help that there are some very vocal “liberally” minded people that are saying things like, “I can’t wait to shoot me some Trumpsters.” Some of these people have spent years painting themselves as progressive, inclusive, and tolerant. And guess what, those same people that weren’t racist, homophobic, sexist slugs but still supported Trump feel attacked again. Neither side see themselves in extremists. But here we are, the gaming community further divided.

Just like not all gamers are representative of GamerGate, not all gamers are representative of this anti-Trump desire to kill onscreen avatars of his supporters. If you look around the internet enough, you’ll see that there are people vocally supporting or condemning the direction Far Cry 5 is taking. And the reality is that Far Cry 5 isn’t about shooting Trump supporters. It is, at least on the surface, a game about rescuing a county in Montana from right wing extremists.

Games have long dealt with extremists. For Americans though, and many Europeans as well, they usually don’t hit so close to home. So, in a way, Far Cry 5 itself is quite progressive. It is a AAA franchise that is taking aim at its largest player base and telling us that not all the dangers in the world are brown people and Russians. It is as clunky as a bag of rocks and I don’t expect the final product to be subtle in any way but it is at least trying something. In doing so, it is asking those of us that aren’t on the two extremes – those that want to virtually kill Trump supporters and those that self identify with the far right extremist – to maybe look at the world in a different light, outside of our shaded viewpoint. Realize that the world isn’t black and white and there are problems everywhere, in every color, and ever creed. But still climb those radio towers.

This post derives from a comment I made on Falcon Game Reviews.

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3 thoughts on “Far Cry 5 – To the Extremes

  1. I agree with you here as much as I did with you comment! Very well said.

    While I personally am excited to see how this game handles the material, I’m afraid of two things: one, that the game *won’t* cover the nuance in a way that is obvious to a majority of gamers, and two, that it will bumble the whole thing and just reinfoce the divide between liberal and conservative, perceived as liberals getting to shoot conservatives and conservatives feeling victimized.

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