Thursday, October 16, 2008

It never ends...

I was in a fairly good mood until I found this article, via Psychopolitik:

Too busy playing video games to watch presidential ads on television? Barack Obama has found you, too, by becoming the first presidential candidate to buy ad space inside a game.

Nine video games from Electronic Arts Inc., ranging from the extremely popular "Madden 09" football game to the street racing "Burnout: Paradise," feature in-game ads from the Obama campaign. The ads — they appear on billboards and other signage — remind players that early voting has begun and plug a campaign Web site.

I doubt it was intentional, but the way the lede gives the impression of a relentless hunter-"Barack Obama has found you, too"- seems wonderfully appropriate. The hunter being not Obama in particular, but the overwhelming importance of politics and the state in American life.

This apparently will apply mostly to sports games, where it's much easier to fit ads for real products into the game setting, and I'm mostly an RPG/strategy guy, so it doesn't reach me directly. Still, it frustrates me that there are ever-fewer places in our culture where one can avoid this crap.

Ayn Rand once remarked (quoting from memory, probably not exact), "I'm interested in politics so that one day I won't have to be interested in politics." That's always resonated with me. The need to guard against aggression is never-ending, and would remain so even in a fully free society, but the maddening thing about our current situation is that it feels as if there is never a moment's peace- the state and it's machinery of legitimation never stops poking, probing, trying to work its way into everything.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

100% agreed. I spend as little time as possible thinking about or interacting with the state or its agents, and the fact that society has fewer and fewer corners that are out of reach of the state and its bloodsucking leeches is deeply disturbing.