If you're looking to cause drama, you need search no further than religion or politics. Strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone using one or both of those subjects, and you're guaranteed for a show. Some people can straddle the line and remain neutral, but most have very definitive positions on either subject. Both of these factors have an effect on video games from time to time. There are certain religious groups that will claim some video games are going to destroy moral values and tarnish our youth. Then there are some political groups that use certain titles as a soapbox platform for other issues. This latter effect has happened with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
It's one of the most looked forward to Bethesda 2017 releases, with fans of the series chomping at the bit for their chance to play. It looks like a very modern take on the series. It's probably even going to be some people's choice for game of the year. And like all games that are getting close to release, Wolfenstein II is going through various marketing campaigns. All the campaigns attempt to sell the game based on certain qualities it has, gameplay and plot. One such marketing ploy has been getting a lot of attention lately, and it hasn't been positive.
There is one slogan for Wolfenstein II that reads, “Make America Nazi-Free Again.” Yes, it's a variation of the slogan Donald Trump used to become president. Marketing campaigns always use relevant-to-the-moment references to pull people in. Donald Trump's presidency is a hot button topic, so Bethesda decided to capitalize on that. Perhaps that wasn't the best move, seeing as how his presidency is a very dividing issue within the country. It's a great way to get a good portion of your potential customers to hate you, while the other half will applaud you for it.
Either way, the “Make America Nazi-Free Again” marketing campaign for Wolfenstein II has sparked a massive controversy. Comments like “Cool. Didn't know Bethesda teamed with SJWs and ANTIFA!” and “Way to make it political, not buyin.” have popped up. Somehow, there seems to be an incorrect discourse about the inclusion of Nazis in Wolfenstein II. They were not added into the game after any specific recent event and they are not there to function as a commentary on neo-Nazis. They are in Wolfenstein II because that's literally the plot of the game.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus features an alternate history storyline where Nazis won World War II. It's a peek at what America might have looked like if the Nazis had taken over and become the presiding world power. The main character, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, fights against the dictators that have taken over the country. Take Nazis out of the equation for a moment and think of Wolfenstein II in this manner. It's definitely not the first pop culture reference to a resistance against a controlling government. Star Wars is another example. There's is also Dreamfall Chapters, which follows a resistance to a government conspiracy. Wolfenstein II uses the same concept of rebellious humans fighting against other controlling humans. It just happens to be set in a historical period where a specific group can be pointed to as being a dictatorship.
For everyone upset about Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus' Nazis, take a moment to understand the subject matter. The word “Nazi” alone shouldn't automatically invoke the need to boycott a product. Look into it. Wolfenstein II includes Nazis because its plot focuses around a time period when they are in power. It's similar to Call of Duty: World War II including story material related to the Holocaust because it was a part of World War II. Nazis weren't added into the game as an afterthought to comment on the modern neo-Nazi presence in America. Please do some research before jumping to conclusions. At that point you're free to share your opinion, whatever that may be. But don't blindly start pointing fingers of blame on a non-issue.