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Increasingly, gamers are seeing the resurgence of the “video games as art” phenomenon, where games are starting to tell more complex and deep stories rooted in the battles of our ever-changing society.

Art by Kalea Fresh, 15, Parkview High School

Vox 5: Top 5 Video Games About Resistance

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With video games becoming an ever-growing and widely accepted medium of declaring ideals, it was inevitable that creators would use their product to convey the struggles of our modern day. Increasingly, gamers are seeing the resurgence of the “video games as art” phenomenon, where games are starting to tell more complex and deep stories rooted in the battles of our ever-changing society. Video games present an interactive way to show struggles and problems, much more than just reading about it or watching a documentary. 

The video game landscape is changing and adapting to our fast-changing world of leaders and ideals. With that said, here are my picks for the top five video games about resistance. 

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

The world of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst portrays the clean and the perfect city of Glass from above. On the street level, however, you can very much see the struggle of the dangers of when “Big Brother” is watching. You follow the main protagonist Faith, a spirited teen who’s a part of a group of activists called Runners who help the citizens of the oppressive state by running information and materials around the city. All while staying out of the persecuting eyes of The Conglomerate, the government of the City of Glass made up of the most powerful companies in the nation. 

Through the city, you will find police cameras on every corner. Oppressive and intimidating police officers who tag and brand all of the city’s citizens. Faith and her group of runners live outside of this depressive society, on the “mirror’s edge.” This game shows the very near future of what could happen if surveillance gets out of control, and shows that there will always be people who hold out for their rights and through their runs, deliver materials for today, and hope for a better world tomorrow. 

Aragami 2

Set in feudal era Japan, the persecuted remnants of the Kurotsuba Clan, a race of beings who are immortal and are few in number, have very much lost hope. As their last hope, you take the role of the legendary warrior of the clan known as the Aragami while going around the city stealing food and supplies for your demoralized people. Amidst this is a power struggle in the capital of the country where two brothers squabble with seemingly no regard for their subjects. 

With very few allies and hope at an all-time low, the Kurotsuba must rely on their Aragami to see them through this dangerous political climate, or die at the face of extinction. To me, Aragami 2 sends a clear message that if government officials only work to gain power and waste resources on pointless wars, in the end, the biggest losers are the citizens that they are elected to serve, being faced with neglect. Against seemingly impossible odds, with the power of tenacity, and the tremendous efforts of the Aragami, will it be enough to keep a persecuted and demoralized race alive amidst a dangerous power struggle of a failing government system?

Halo: Reach 

“Tell ‘em to make it count.” These are the last words of a soldier who’s just made a sacrifice to himself to save his home planet of Reach from invasion by an unstoppable force. In the end, every move for the badly outnumbered, and outgunned forces in the United Nations Space Command needs to count. They are the difference from living to fight another day and losing it all against the almost omnipotent forces of the villainous Covenant. As a supersoldier and a part of the team of hardened soldiers in the unit, Noble Team, you know that everyone is not going to survive. But that won’t stop you from trying to save as many as you can. The elite unit is tasked with performing desperate last-hope missions to get civilians, materials, and other pertinent information to the survival of the human race, off the doomed planet. 

You know that for everyone to win, some of us have to lose. Reach is a story of facing insurmountable odds for the futures of all you serve. It shows the struggle that tells people that even if the fight seems pointless, you never give up without that fight, as there will always be someone you inspire to fight back and eventually, win. With every action taken in the game by the team,  there’s a chance for more to survive. So with whatever you do in life, make your effort count. Who knows how your effort could contribute to your eventual victory. 

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

The struggle of the benevolent Jedi against the evil Sith is something that most people know. Jedi: Fallen Order shows the efforts of Cal Kestis, a young man trained under the Jedi government, to piece the Jedi back together after its fall in one fell swoop by the Sith. Along your journey, you meet a small team of people, each of whom you inspire more and more to lead against the oppressive Sith. No matter what may have happened, no matter what setback may have occurred, with the endless support of Cal’s team, Cal keeps his goal of freedom for all in the galaxy in mind and keeps fighting. 

“Star Wars” has always been a series about hope and tenacity, however, this game takes it to another level with the player being able to actually experience the failures and low points of Cal and his team and be able to lead them back to the fight against the Sith stronger than ever. This is a message that is given to the player through its emotional story. There will always be hope against all of the personal Siths we are fighting individually. 

Detroit: Become Human

With Detroit highlighting numerous themes like forced labor, civil rights, ethnic cleansing, and more, it’s taken the world by storm. You play as Kara, a caretaker robot wishing to escape an abusive home, Marcus, a privileged robot who is tasked with leading a revolution when he has everything taken from him, and Conner, a robot detective tasked with finding out why robots are revolting and how to stop it. In the city, humans employ androids to do much of the grunt work and housekeeping of their lives. Often the androids “wake up” or become deviant in the game and abandon their duties and declare themselves to be alive. With parallels to the American Civil Rights Movement, this game is an emotional ride filled with difficult decisions that can determine the entire course of the game for the player. 

With automation being increasingly more common in our daily lives, the questions presented in this game could be relevant sooner in the real world than people think. Issues like robot sentience are addressed and one quickly realizes that this could certainly be the world we live in in the very near future. 

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comments (2)

  1. CEO Allen Pough

    Awesome job !!

  2. Henry

    Amazing! Very insightful review of Detroit. You captured the nuances of the game beyond the gameplay.