I will preface this entire article by saying that these comments on Doom: Eternal are mine and mine alone. I, Dr. Bob, am not speaking on behalf of all Wicked Good Gaming because even if we agree or disagree, we all have our own thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and emotions. What makes us a cohesive unit in the VideoGame Journalism Industry is our ability to understand our varying views on everything, whilst also being able to comprehend and empathize with each others’ opinions.
QuakeCon 2018 took place over this past weekend (Aug 9th-12th) where Bethesda got to host the largest annually recurring Quake tournament, which I of course tuned into, and also had the chance to show off some of the latest and greatest games that are on the horizon. One of these games was the sequel to the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Doom 2016, in the form of the first ever released Doom: Eternal gameplay footage. Being someone who has yet to play the…I guess reinvention, of the Doom franchise with Doom 2016, I was blown away by what I saw and was incredibly impressed by the over powering brutality of everything going on in it. However, a very vocal group of individuals have spoken out in protest against id Software for 3 lines of dialogue spoken by a computer system strangely resembling Cortana. These lines of dialogue include, “Earth is the melting pot of the universe”, “Let’s make our friends feel welcome in their new home”, and “Remember, ‘Demon’ can be an offensive term, refer to them as ‘Mortally Challenged’ “. Keyboard warriors have taken to the internet, and Twitter specifically to call out id on what they believe to be an open mockery to some of the most hot button topics in our current political climate. I have no idea if it was intended to prod at modern day politics or not, nonetheless people are angry.
I am just completely taken aback by all of the outrage pouring out into the social media streams, Youtube videos, podcasts, and the (unironicallly) blogs being written. So what if they want to develop and release a game with mildly political japes in it, this is their game to create and our game to purchase, play, and enjoy if we so choose. What makes no sense to me is the the imaginary line that is being crossed at some far off distance well beyond mutilating demons in brutally gruesome fashions, to the straw that broke the camel’s back with 3 lines of dialogue. Apparently, political correctness in “demonizing demons” is more concerning than ripping possessed demon marines’ limbs off with a chainsaw. I am 100% in favor of videogame developers creating the game they want to create and also 100% in favor for the general gaming public to voice their opinions back about said game. Hell, Lords of the Fallen was released as one of the earliest SoulsBorne games and I tore that game apart in my review, not because of any underlying characterizations of modern politics, but because the game was a rushed piece of broken trash that could have been greatly improved with a fuller team of Quality Assurance testers. In a perfect gaming world, developers would be able to craft the game that they think consumers will enjoy the most, and the criticism will be focused on the actual content of the finished product. Yes, of course there are developers who go out of their way to make shitty shovelware, semi-flash games on Steam in order to stir up controversy, but Bethesda is a trusted company in my eyes when it comes to their content.
I recently watched a 40 minute video of our friend and guest on the podcast, Asmongold where he watched another streamer/Youtuber attempt to scrutinize his content. He ended this video with an incredible quote, “People need to lose this delusion they’re Batman of the internet. Let people do whatever the fuck they want, why are you so worried about what other people do? Are you gunna bring everybody to justice? Give me a break”. I guess my only suggestion is if you want to play Doom: Eternal, then play Doom: Eternal. If you are someone who abhorrently detests any form of political incorrectness, then just don’t play the game, but take a step back for a minute. The videogame community as a whole is one of the most inclusive groups of people on the planet, even if sections can be some of the most verbally toxic. I have come across so many more gamers who are open and willing to help others than harm, and I feel like that is almost universal. Maybe it’s time we stopped bastardizing companies, especially reputable ones like Bethesda, and learn a little bit from each other.