One of the biggest new features being introduced by Bethesda’s upcoming cooperative RPG survival Fallout 76 is the ability to use nuclear weapons to obliterate other players. While Bethesda has downplayed the role nukes will play in the game overall, some experts aren’t pleased with the developer is depicting nuclear weapons in the game.
“ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) are not fun. Or funny,” Tom Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Navy War College and author of “No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security,” recently told Vice’s Motherboard.
Journalists and YouTubers were recently invited to a gameplay reveal event for Fallout 76. According to Motherboard’s Matthew Gault, the event ended with Bethesda detonating a nuke in the game, prompting some players to run towards the blast and witnessing their avatar’s body being liquefied by the nuclear heat.
Martin Pfeiffer, a PhD candidate at the University of New Mexico who studies how nuclear war is talked about, doesn’t take issue with the fact that Fallout 76 depicts nuclear war, but rather the way in which it does.
“I have always been somewhat ambivalent about Fallout,” Pfeiffer said. “I would argue that a focus on the aesthetics of nuclear warfare rather than the human toll descends into spectacular #NukePorn…navigating a post-nuclear wasteland for fun, well. That line between satire and an aestheticized and fun post-apocalypse can get awful thin.”
Pfeiffer points specifically to the strategy series DEFCON: Everybody Dies and Civilization as examples of video games that handle nuclear weapons well. “I think it’s difficult to do nukes in a game format that doesn’t incorporate or allow for meanings that, from certain perspectives, are problematic,” he said. “It’s all about context and form and the audience.”
Fallout 76 comes out on Oct. 23 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, so we’ll soon get the chance to judge for ourselves whether or not it qualifies as #NuclearPorn?
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The 20 Most Controversial Video Games Ever Made
Let’s face it: controversy is extremely easy to manufacture and almost instantly brings notoriety to itself. This is especially true in the video game industry, as nearly every video game out there has had some kind of controversy surrounding it, or has offended somebody, often for trivial reasons. However, there are a handful of games out there that truly deserving of the term “controversial” because of how offensive, disgusting, and downright awful they are. Read on and see the top 10 most offensive video games ever.
Warning: graphic content will be discussed.