The Propaganda of Civilization

Errant Signal once again posted an excellent video about how a theoretically politically neutral game like Civilization, nevertheless provides and reinforces a political paradigm through its mechanics. Watch below the well-worthy video.

I couldn’t agree more about the message here. Even while being a huge Civ fan since the first game, it always bothered me how much “status-quo” politics a “neutral” game like civilization nevertheless managed to cram in its mechanics and presentation. From the simple fact that Anarchy has always been used as a synonymous to political chaos/vacuum, and never provided in any way, shape or form as part of the political evolution for your civilization, like Fascism or Democracy, to the fact that, as the video mentions, all civilizations start effectively as nation-states rather than city-states, or nomad tribes.

Some might claim that all those things are just an expedient game at making a video game, but isn’t it convenient that all those “shortcuts” manage to always promote a game in which a modern state is the end result before “world domination”?

Civilization is the perfect example of what “politically neutral” means in reality: The reinforcement of the status quo.