It’s Not Your Fault You’re Fascist, Destiny 2 We didn't say White Power, we said Light Power

2

I’ve always found the term ‘hate symbol’ misleading. Symbols, like technology, plain toast, and Jaheira from Baldur’s Gate are true neutral. We can charge them with significance or repurpose them, the same way we can use microwaves to heat burritos or build death-rays. Unless you’re Geralt of Rivia, though, a sign with no context is powerless.

That said, I understand Bungie’s choice to pull the ‘Kekistan’ logo from Destiny 2. Though not a Neo-Nazi insignia conceptually, the current ideological shit-show we find ourselves in leaves no room for nitpicking. We can sling empty Mountain Dew bottles at each other over origin stories all we like, but if there’s a chance even one person is going to feel less safe online because of the emblem’s presence, then why risk it? Again – symbols mean nothing without projection. So chill, don’t get attached, and if they happen to evolve into something ominous, cut them loose and let them die.

Destiny 2

Here’s a thing though: Destiny’s dalliances with fascist ideology are far more deeply entrenched than a few poorly researched armour crests. This isn’t to say the writers  at Bungie are fascists. Honestly, I don’t even think they knew what they were doing. Well, ok, I think they had some idea what they were doing. That is; blindly following a set of culturally encoded science-fantasy tropes. Basically, they were just copying Star Wars.

In his infamous Salon article ‘Star Wars Despots vs. Star Trek Populists’, the author David Brin listed a set of rarely examined assumptions about the intrinsic morality of Lucas’s elaborate toy lightsaber commercials, one of which is this: ‘True leaders are born. It’s genetic. The right to rule is inherited.’ Any time you play as a really, really ridiculously good looking person killing mobs of ugly things for a vaguely defined reason, you’re witnessing this kind of ideology first hand.

Manifest Destiny

Let’s compare this another with quote, this time by loveable old Third Reich propagandist, Joseph Goebbels:

‘Every age that has historical status is governed by aristocracies. Aristocracies meaning – the best are ruling’

ugh.

And finally, here’s one from Destiny 2

‘I know your kind. You started small, you will end small…only those the traveller chooses will be reborn in the light’

Wow. Now that’s some manifest destiny, master race, political exceptionalism rhetoric if I ever heard it. Who says that again? Oh right, yeah. It’s the ‘Voice of the Speaker’ – a masked zealot who claims to speak for a massive space orb like the big fascist Lorax that he is. He’s on your side, by the way. I don’t call it Destiny 2 anymore. I’ve started calling it FashQuest.

Destiny 2

I’m still playing the thing though. It’s fun, and the truth is, if I abstained from any media that included this trope, I’d still be reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Though, even that could have handled socio-economic inequality and rampant consumerism a bit better if I’m honest. Still, there’s more to unpack with Destiny 2, so check back for a pointless cash grab sequel to this article soon.


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Nic Rueben

Nic Reuben is a writer currently based in South Wales, UK. When he's not pausing games every five minutes to ponder the thematic implications of explosive barrel placement or having an existential crisis over CAPTCHA verifications that ask him to prove he's not a robot, he's reading sci-fi and fantasy short stories, watching cartoons, and mourning the declining writing standards in Game of Thrones.

  • Hvd

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    • Nic Reuben

      I would actually love a hugging dog. They sound incredible.

    • It’s like you’re not even trying. Though, I do like your SEO game.

      • Hvd

        dont need to try millennials arnt that smart…lmao.trump will win in 2020 and i cant wait for the wall.

        • Great album. Pink Floyd is the best.

          • Hvd

            fyi obama was the worst president in history next to the bushes.thank god for trump.

          • Nic Reuben

            Fam. This is a site about VIDEOGAMES.

  • Kemo Spear

    When you start quoting articles from Salon, you lose all credibility.
    This article is much ado about nothing, as is this site.

  • Novacell

    So you are bashing a game for having “fascist undertones” in turn calling the developers “fascists” ‘This isn’t to say the writers at Bungie are fascists. Honestly, I don’t even think they knew what they were doing. Well, ok, I think they had some idea what they were doing.’ and further in you are still playing the “fascist” game in your words because it’s fun! Most of the article is double standards. Or just click bait.

  • Novacell

    So you reply to a deleted comment!!!