First it was boobs, then it was guns, and now it’s nukes. Yes, Social Justice Warriors are now clamoring to criticize Bethesda for allowing gamers to launch tactical nukes at their foes in the MMO action game, Fallout 76.
As noted by Daily Wire, it all started with an article over on Vice’s Motherboard that was published on October 16th, 2018. The article consisted of quotes from “experts” on nuclear war who chimed in to talk about how “off-putting” and how “very sanitized” the nuclear bombs are depicted in Fallout 76.
The article quotes professors claiming that “ICBMs are not fun”. PhD candidate from the University of New Mexico, Martin Pfeiffer, told Waypoint…
“I have always been somewhat ambivalent about Fallout,” Pfeiffer said. “I would argue that a focus on the aesthetics of nuclear warfare rather than the human toll descends into spectacular #NukePorn…navigating a post-nuclear wasteland for fun, well. That line between satire and an aestheticized and fun post-apocalypse can get awful thin.
“I think it’s difficult to do nukes in a game format that doesn’t incorporate or allow for meanings that, from certain perspectives, are problematic. It’s all about context and form and the audience.”
As is typical with almost every sociopolitical topic circulated within Leftist media circles, the vultures came for the carcass.
Paste Magazine had their own take on the matter, with author Holly Green writing…
“In Fallout 76, you can literally drop bombs on other players (or rather, in general widespread areas, where those caught in the path of destruction will receive some notice, so they can evacuate). And this is probably the most egregious departure from the original series of all. Granted, there are many ways to kill people in Fallout (though no-kill playthroughs are possible), but this is different. […]
“[…] There’s a difference, in ethics and philosophy, between dropping a nuke (effectively salting the Earth and killing many people at once) versus shooting someone in the face, in that the distance afforded by technology plays a role in how we separate ourselves cognitively from the results of our actions, making it easier to engage in violence. This goes to a meta level when you consider videogames are virtual environments with real people represented by digital faces.”
An acute interlude in the article links out to Bethesda’s video introducing gamers to the nukes in Fallout 76. An obvious way for the article to drive the point home about the triviality for which nukes are depicted in the game.
Paste didn’t really walk lock-step-and-sync into recycling Motherboard’s narrative when discussing the topic, but ComicBook.com didn’t mind repeating some of the talking points from the Vice piece.
ComicBook.com’s Liana Ruppert wrote…
“Apparently nuclear weaponry experts aren’t too thrilled with all of the hype surrounding the Fallout franchise, despite the franchise itself being nothing new. “ICBMs are not fun. Or funny,” said Tom Nichols to Motherboard. Nichols currently works as a professor at the US Navy War College and is a bit of an expert on this subject. He even authored a book called No Use: Nuclear Weapons and US National Security, so you know he’s not messing around.”
Variety (among other outlets) also got in on the complaints about the nukes in Fallout 76, but it’s difficult to stoke the fires of outrage over a topic as lame as using nukes in a video game. The attempt at generating hate-bait seemed to be about as effective as an old man in hospice with colon cancer trying to use a fart to kill a nurse.
Even Ian Miles Cheong took jabs at gaming media in an 11 minute video over on Hype Break to poke fun at the media for trying to stir up the community using nukes.
Even with an attempt to create some buzz by complaining about nukes in Fallout 76, I doubt most anti-SJWs will come running to Bethesda’s defense given how lame the general concept of the game is, and how boring and uninteresting the gameplay has been depicted in the preview videos.
TL;DR: SJW game journos tried to fan the flames of controversy by making it like nukes in video games are problematic, but most gamers probably don’t care enough about Fallout 76 to be outraged by the lame attempt to generate buzz for/against the game.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)