Politics in the Witcher 3 – Part 1

“More often than not, ambitious video games that try to be about an important topic end up just mentioning a topic repeatedly without offering any engaging commentary on it. Bioshock tried to be about Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, but doesn’t represent the philosophy accurately and ultimately just used a complex philosophy as mere window dressing. Watch_Dogs purported to be about modern surveillance states, but reduces the nuanced tradeoff between security and privacy down to lame mini-games and bad jokes rather than take any serious look at a prescient issue.

But then there’s the Witcher 3, a ridiculously massive game which delves into a huge range of interesting thematic issues including father-daughter relationships, infidelity, social etiquette, the value of traditionalism, social toleration, the psychological costs of warfare, and many others, yet somehow still manages to say more interesting things about the nature of good government than perhaps any other game I have ever played.

That’s a strong statement but I think it’s warranted. The Witcher 3 involves lots of politics, but it’s mostly kept to the background of the more relevant main plot involving Witcher Geralt finding and protecting his missing surrogate daughter, Ciri. Yet lurking behind the thrilling monster hunts, charming characters, and often bleak world building is a political conflict between four major countries, multiple important factions, and dozens of relevant characters who offer conflicting view points on how governments should be run. With a few notable exceptions, these characters rarely state their goals in explicitly philosophical terms, but their views can undoubtedly be plotted along political-philosophical lines. When this set up is combined with some of the best writing in recent video game memory, The Witcher 3 somehow manages to offer a more comprehensive analysis of the nature of government, law, and society than even the likes of the Civilization, Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings 2, and especially Skyrim...”

 

 

Read the rest of the article at Gaming Rebellion:

Politics in Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Part 1

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