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Author Tract / Video Games

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  • The Ace Combat series, at least the ones based in Strangereal, tends to lay the War Is Hell themes on rather heavily. Most if not all the supporting protagonists are Technical Pacifists who constantly lament the state of the war and war in general, often launching into monologues on how the enemy faction are Not So Different from them or ranting at someone about the state of the war and how violence only begets violence...often while blasting enemy planes and vehicles into oblivion.
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  • BioShock and its sequels seem to be one big Author Tract against Extremism, in addition to having more mainstream anti-slavery and anti-discrimination themes. The second game also handles the issues with Collectivism and its With Us or Against Us mentality.
  • Deiland is a light-hearted survival game set on a Baby Planet. The language options are English, Spanish, Valencian, German and French. Most linguists will tell you that Valencian is the same as Catalan, but if you are from Valencia, then the name of your language is Serious Business.
  • Several members from the GTAForums community pointed out efforts of a Russian hacker named Dageron, which began as a series of fan translations for the Grand Theft Auto series of games that eventually ended up as a means to turn them into a platform for him to push his extreme right-wing, Russian ultranationalist/monarchist ideology, replacing billboards with author-tract messages about the purported dangers of gaming and censoring or nulling out missions and references he deems sacrilegious or offensive.
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  • The Last Resurrection portrays Jesus (the game's final boss) as being personally responsible for crusades, inquisitions, witch-burnings, and even Nazism; during the ending sequence, the heroes conclude that world peace will not be achieved until all religions are abolished. It's a long-shot, but there's a small chance that the designer might not be too keen on organised religion.
  • Spiritual Successor Scelus' Path adds a strange bit of eco-feminism to the mix, with female nature spirits proclaiming things like "The humans have spread lies of a male, God, and are using this left-brained thinking which invokes sexism and specism." There are many more statements like that, with similar spelling.
  • Captain Bible in Dome of Darkness is chocked-full of Author Tract. It's a Christian video game, and it shows - there are tons of not-so-nice lessons in the game like that science and religion are incompatible, every line of thought other than Christianity is wrong and a lie, and that you should beat your children.
  • In the first Left Behind, almost every unit on your side is assigned a name and history complete with conversion story about how finding Jesus fixed their life. Neutral (and borderline hostile) units can be recruited by evangelizing at them, while the evil recruiters are (white) rap artists (because secular media are evil and will take you away from God). Every mission is even followed by an explicit tract on some right-wing evangelical Christian bugaboo that has nothing to do with the game, like why evolution is evil and wrong, or how archaeology is proving the Bible 100% accurate.
  • Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear series has a tendency to pause the action for long cutscenes proclaiming the danger of nukes.
    • Kojima isn't just anti-nuke, but anti-war in general. Everything from the story down to the gameplay (such as the fact that from MGS2 onward, you weren't required to kill anybody) reflects a certain reverence for human life not typically found in video games.
      • Kojima also really hates people drafting children into war. Additionally, his dislike of PMCs is also quite evident. In general, he hates people profiting off of death. Also, a more subtle one, the idea of VR Troopers being an idiotic idea is likely a Take That! at the idea of video games making people hardened killers.
  • The Odd World games have shades of this. The save the environment Aesop being essentially the point of the entire series.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is Chris Avellone Tract about everything that he doesn't like about the Star Wars Universe via the character of Kreia. Which is a lot of things. While a significant audience appreciates the deconstruction, even its fans recognize that it could have been handled better and more subtly than having a mouthpiece character rant to the player, and not giving the player a chance to argue with them meaningfully.
  • It's very, very evident that the developers of the Persona series aren't big fans of Japanese Idol Singer culture - more specifically, the exploitative nature of it from managers and producers.
    • The Persona 2 duology features Ginji Sasaki, producer of the in-universe idol group "MUSES" - a guy depicted as a washed-up, One-Hit Wonder pedophile who's so desperate and selfish to get his own fame back that he performs a demonic ritual.
    • Persona 4 has party member Rise Kujikawa, a famed idol singer known as Risette. While Rise herself is a very sweet, friendly girl who loves being able to perform and express herself, the stress of the industry and her own insecurities forced her to retire though she ends up signing back on sometime after the events of the game, and she hates the "Risette" personality that was crafted for her to perform as - numerous characters even remark on how different Rise is as a person compared to how she's seen on TV. While her Character Development eventually helps her come to accept Risette as part of herself, she's also much more confident in showing her true self rather than hiding behind metaphorical masks.
    • Surprisingly for such a game that looks so silly and cheerful, spinoff Persona 4: Dancing All Night features a storyline that constantly jabs at the exploitation of women idol culture is somewhat infamous for. It continues on the Rise storyline presented in 4, with a group of idol singers all with drastically different stage personae compared to their true selves and some rather creepy in-universe advertising for the group, such as comparing themselves to edible meats as part of a tagline and promising that "[their] meat will be extra delicious". The opening of the game even features an idol killing herself due to stress.
  • Persona 5 does not have the approach of idols, but leans heavily into the ideals of justice and problems of society. Hell, the Big Bad is one massive Take That! toward Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Shinzo Abe. The game has the heroic Phantom Thieves work to combat crooked adults who ruin the lives of others by forcing them back to reality, mainly those with Palaces, colossal mental constructs reflecting their warped view. They steal the Treasure (the crux of their warped desires) and thus force them to realize their actions through objective lens and all the harm they did to people. Additionally, the main bosses are all themed after the Seven Deadly Sins (and a few extras though appear to reflect older views of the sins). However, the last one isn't Pride, but Sloth. Who's Sloth? The very people of Tokyo. Their Palace? None other than the bottom depths of Mementos, the collective mindscape the Thieves have been exploring and taking care of small fries with. The depths reveal it's a colossal prison with the "Treasure" (the root of the warped desires), being a Holy Grail... and the revelation said Grail is actually the true Big Bad. He has actually manipulated you and everyone else to his plot, even entrapping Big Good Igor at the prior start of the game. You only really begin fighting him once you save your friends. The Grail reveals himself to be Yaldabaoth, the embodiment of the Tokyo peoples' desire for societal order. Because of various social constructs heavily prominent in Japanese society (such as conformity, harmony and order), Yaldabaoth is born from the peoples' desire for a powerful opposing leader. How is it connected to Sloth? Out of the moral laziness from confronting the massive and complicated problems permeating society and he has warped reality to a colossal mess with no one noticing until the Thieves begin taking out his servants out, reflecting how many people will often disregard large problems until they become too big to ignore and nearly impossible to take care of. You as Joker defeat the Big Bad by manifesting the hopes of people fighting for rebellion into your Ultimate Persona, Satanel, to shoot the false god in the face on Christmas.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse wants to make sure you know that the Power of Friendship conquers all and that Loners Are Freaks. The game mixes this in by making the central conflict a friendship vs loner dilemma while mixing it with Black and White Morality, putting friendship as white and loner as black. This goes further than the central conflict however, with characters completely unrelated to it commenting on friendships power, and any character that makes loner-like statements are either evil, smug or horribly misguided. All of which are either killed or made to realize the error of their ways.
  • The Witness:
    • The lengthy audio excerpt from NASA astronaut and aeronautical engineer Russell Schweickart's No Frames, No Boundaries, with how interconnected we can become with our surroundings, comes off as this. Bonus points for the audio recorder containing this message appearing on the top of the mountain, after you've probably explored everything else.
    • The projection room, where solving one puzzle six different ways shows videos elaborating on the theme of the game, including James Burke contemplating "the key to change is the key of the world" (from the "Yesterday, Tomorrow and You" episode of Connections); and of American guru Gangaji, who implores her followers to stop looking for what they want, "not cynically, but innocently and openly."
  • The creation of "Courtney Gears" in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is at the very least, a Take That! aimed at Britney Spears, and female pop singers in general. Especially since she becomes a boss later on.


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