Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Politics & Frames of “Civility” in Gaming

Please watch this short FoxNews video entitled—Huckabee: Civility in Political Rhetoric?

Political conservative, Mike Huckabee’s criticism of a violent left wing video game is featured in this video clip. This video game, like Tax Invaders, discussed in Ian Bogost’s article “Videogames and Ideological Frames” serves opposing political purposes. On the one hand—it works to reinforce democratic ideologies, and on the other—it may help conservatives to further orient their frame in opposition to progressives. Thus it reinforces for progressives and for conservatives their political frames’ as diametrically opposed.
Snapshot of the Videogame (It does seem very violent, not my taste,
but this type of violent videogaming rhetoric exists on both sides.)
What is laughable about Huckabee’s sanctimony in this video is his pretended surprise over the existence of such left wing ideological video games.  Violent and so-called “uncivilized” video games exist on both sides of the political spectrum. We clearly see this in conservative video games, like Tax Invaders with its “taxation as theft frame” that invites its players to save the world from John Kerry’s tax positions (169). I see this video clip as more comical than anything else—for its so-called “civilized” framing of political discourse. Therefore, we see that Huckabees’s video represents and reinforces frames of conservative identity—the frame of the conservative as a “civilized” victim and the progressive as an “uncivilized” murdering, spendthrift who steals personal branding rights from the hardworking conservative politician. Lol… I hope you get a little chuckle from watching this sad video!


  1. This would be such a great, teachable example! I want to use it.
    The whole thing makes me sad. I find certain ideologies and beliefs completely wrong-headed and often hateful but the fact that we've sunk to this sort of "petty rhetoric" is sad - and it takes away from the content of the important things folks really need to talk about in DC.

  2. I completely agree - such rhetoric is very sad! This would be a good example to spur a critical classroom discussion about ideologies and political rhetoric.

  3. "some of the self-righteous elites who buy it will do so without a twinge of guilt over promoting murder, mayhem and mutilation of other human beings."

    This type of misinterpretation of the nuances of videogames is so incredibly prevalent in those people who have never spent any time with videogames. I'm going to respond more thoroughly in my post. I add a link on here when I write it up.

    1. http://dinspinroom.blogspot.com/2012/04/fundamental-misunderstanding.html

  4. I agree with Jen. While I don't claim to follow any of the political analysts, I want to put it out there that this reporter responded pretty nicely, he was polite and brushed it off with a little bit of humor, to something that's pretty hurtful and a little mean-sprited. As the "reader", I perceive that the game is directed towards Huckabee's persona and don't really associate his actual person with the video game. But if I were the one being turned into a zombie and (or if a member of my family were) beaten to death, I don't think I would view it the same way.