I know nothing about video games, but I greatly enjoyed this Salon.com critique of some game called The Legend of Zelda by one Jon Hochschartner.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the release of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” Critics frequently laud the Nintendo 64 title as the greatest video game ever. And yet the ways it deals with class, race, gender and animal rights are all deeply problematic.
[“‘The Legend of Zelda’ is classist, sexist and racist— The beloved game takes a dim view of workers, people of color and women,” Jon Hochschartner, Salon.com. October 5th, with a hat tip to Chuck at GLP.]
The Thought Police really love that word “problematic.” The people who write New York Times editorials have it set up as a one-key macro. Mr/Ms/Mx Hochschartner gives us it again in the very next paragraph. It means “ungoodthinkful.”
Some may interpret the fate of the wealthy family, who are transformed into spiderlike creatures, in the House of Skulltulla as a condemnation of an exploitive class system, but that would be a mistake.
Because, you see, that family was destroyed by its own greed, and
By focusing on the greed of individuals, the game ignores how private property incentivizes and even mandates such behavior. And with this moralizing focus comes a belief that society’s economic ills are intractable because of humanity’s flawed nature.
The Cultural Marxist paint is so thin there you can see the actual Marxism showing through.
All of the good characters, such as the Hylians and Kokiri, are white. In contrast, all of the bad characters, such as the thieving Gerudo and their king, Ganondorf, have brown skin.
Just like a Bollywood movie!
The game utilizes a damsel-in-distress trope that suggests women are weak and in need of male protection.
Like there could be any biological explanation for that!
The game apparently shows the domestication of animals to be “a mutually beneficial, voluntary arrangement.” So what’s wrong with that? For heaven’s sake, man! Sorry, I mean “person.” Or perhaps “sentient being.”
Of course depicting a relationship as anything like symbiotic when one party kills and eats the other, as well as the latter’s children, would be laughable if it weren’t so appalling.
You really have to read the whole thing to fully engage with its lunacy. Don’t miss the comment thread too.
The name Hochschartner means “high cracker” in German, by the way.