It can take a lot to change someone's mind. To be honest, there are millions of people who are so set in their ways and close-minded that they'll never change their mind on any given topic. What they know is right, and there's nothing out there that can convince them otherwise. Still though, there's a small sliver of people who are open to seeing things from another angle. It can take a ton of convincing to make that happen, but it's possible. Do video games have the ability to make that happen? GamesIndustry talked to the devs behind Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and A Night in the Woods to see what they think.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus creative director Jens Matthies
"I think that people in general don't like changing their minds about anything, and that's regardless of your political preference, because in some way that feels like invalidating yourself and your own intelligence. If I'm committed to a position, that's who I am. It's a part of me, and the thought process that led me there seems sound to me. So what I think is the case now is there are lots of opportunities to affirm your existing beliefs.
And maybe that was always the case. I don't know. I don't know if the internet and the way we communicate now has aggravated or reduced the problem. It's incredibly hard to say, because I think a lot of self-reinforcement has always happened in any culture or any community. There are lots of opportunities to guide your online presence and general belief system in a way that doesn't expose it to questioning.
This is drifting quite far outside of game development, but I have this idea that I think people are at maximum 60% right. The wisest person on the planet is like 60% right, and if you don't care so much about anything, maybe you're 25% right. So I'm a very firm believer in a plurality of opinions and getting exposed to that. Trying to be humble in front of the fact that you may be wrong, trying to navigate based on credible information that you receive, and having the ability to question that and re-evaluate. But at the same time, I realize that's an incredibly hard project. It's not something that comes to us naturally in any way, I think."
Scott Benson, A Night in the Woods
"Literally an hour ago, someone came up and said, 'Thanks, your game made me a socialist.' Our game wasn't meant to be evangelizing or anything, but I think enough people saw their own experience, and just didn't have words for it.
When we talked about labor, it was just because that's what was in our face. All the things with the politics in the game... We started writing this in 2013 and all the basic ideas were there. It was just things we saw, people we knew and politics in our faces. And when it came out in 2017, we just happened to release at a time when a lot of people were suddenly talking about that stuff on a national level."