« Home | Jae Lee reveals all's not well between him and Tom... » | Miami specialty store regains customers, but what ... » | If AT&T doesn't call on DC to fire Tom King after ... » | A manga book wins an Eisner award category, but so... » | Marvel's Coronavirus publishing schedule allegedly... » | New Marvel documentary on Disney Plus brings past ... » | Newsarama/Games Radar fawns over Judd Winick's pas... » | First Chris Ryall resigned as IDW's editor. Now, h... » | More creators attack Comicsgate, desperate for att... » | Keanu Reeves believes ultra-violence makes the bes... » 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 

Brian Bendis' fan in video game development injected his leftist politics into Last of Us 2

It's time now for another special commentary on that notable cousin to comics, the video game, as I have done some research on how the former Israeli resident Neil Druckmann, today vice president of the Sony-owned Naughty Dog productions and somebody who once stated he considered the overrated Brian Bendis one of the best scribes in comicdom, worked in only so many political metaphors into what's now become a mostly shunned dud of a sequel to 2013's Last of Us. And realizing what kind of tactics he used, I'm beginning to find him as unappealing as I find Steven Spielberg after he produced 2005's botched Munich movie.

First, it's worth noting, having researched Liana Kerzner's description of the Last of Us 2, that, for a game designed by an Israeli, it's not very respectable of one of the characters whose ethnicity is the same as the producer's:

Well how fascinating! From what I've gleaned in more revealing discussions of this game, it appears Dina embodies antisemitic stereotypes, and not just because of the big nose she's got. In the story elements, she basically takes advantage of Ellie, and if it were a man in the role, chances are there'd be accusations of glorifying sexual abuse leveled against the production. What an embarrassment, and if an Asian character was belittled in the game, that's another terrible minus. That the game actually has a sex scene between the Abby character and another character who looks startlingly similar to Druckmann himself additionally reveals the double-standards Sony employs when it comes to Japanese games with the same, and come to think of it, US-manufactured games as well that don't meet their PC standards.

Also, about that "synagogue" serving as one of the locations in the stages:

Let me get this straight. They based the design for a synagogue on that of a Methodist church?!? If it weren't for the some of the more serious problems this game suffers from, that might almost be funny. There's presumably little or no menorahs or Stars of David to be seen either. Regardless, the game already smells like such a cesspool of hypocrisy, that to have those symbols turn up here would be an embarrassment anyway. Mainly because of the following revelation, which is even more alarming:

Hmm, this is getting even more disturbing. The same leftists constantly calling out racism wherever they believe they've seen it poking around the corner suddenly become quiet when this fishy game does it. Very bizarre, to say nothing short of atrocious and insulting to the intellect. One can only wonder what Black Lives Matter activists think if they know what the Last of Us 2's proceedings is like.

Now onto what Druckmann's said as he prepared the game for release involving his politics. I first came upon this interview in Gentleman's Quarterly UK edition, where he said, rather superficially:
Born in 1978, in the West Bank, violence is the spectre of Druckmann’s childhood. It was always on his mind, on the news and the subject of talk at home. He distracted himself by immersing himself in comics, movies and games such as The Secret Of Monkey Island and Metal Gear Solid. Then, in 1989, he emigrated to Florida. “I have a certain affinity and certain love for the United States that’s in some way unique to an immigrant,” he tells me. “I remember the first time we arrived, a couple of days later we drove through Manhattan. And I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m in one of the many movies I’ve seen that have taken place on this street!’ For me, a lot of The Last Of Us has an Americana vibe that is a love letter to these landscapes.”

It was while living in the US that he also suffered a personal trauma of his own, one that’d eventually become the inspiration for the game. “I don’t want to go into specifics about it, but I saw a video of a lynching when I was much younger,” he recalls. It’s a memory we discuss several times throughout my visits. “It was like an actual... like a news thing. And then, feeling intense hatred for the people that committed the lynching and thinking, like, ‘Oh, man if I could hurt these people in some horrible ways then I could.’”

While fleshing out the story of Part II and reflecting on his childhood – on the universality of tribalism, the othering of minorities and the justification of atrocities – he began to explore the themes of retribution, revenge and justice. “I was like, ‘Oh, we can make the player feel that,’” he says. “We can make you experience this thirst for revenge. This thirst for retribution and having you actually, like, commit the acts of finding it and then showing you the other side to make you regret it. To make you feel dirty for everything you’ve done in the game, making you realise ‘I’m actually the villain of the story.’
It's bad enough he wanted to put the player in the shoes of a repugnant villain. But the above only skims the surface. It was reading this Washington Post interview where he actually reveals more clearly what he was talking about:
The formulation for Ellie’s turn toward darkness can be traced back to the year 2000. Then in his early 20s, Druckmann witnessed news footage of a crowd lynching two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. “And then they cheered afterward,” Druckmann, who grew up in Israel, recalls. “It was the cheering that was really chilling to me. … In my mind, I thought, ‘Oh, man, if I could just push a button and kill all these people that committed this horrible act, I would make them feel the same pain that they inflicted on these people.’"

The feeling faded, though. Eventually, he looked back and felt “gross and guilty” for his intense feelings. With “The Last of Us Part II,” he wanted to explore that emotional tumult on a didactic level.
Ah, so now it's clear. He's a leftist ridden with "liberal guilt" who apparently believes the area he lived and grew up in (Judea/Samaria) was really that of an Arab/Islamic "palestinian people", and the villainous Abby character, touted as something of a transsexual, is meant to serve as a metaphor for Palestinians! What more bizarre ideas will these SJWs think of next? I can see now why the MSM's been taking his side so enthusiastically. This could also explain why, despite the game also being disrespectful to POC, the mainstream press has thus far avoided making any comment about it. Also notice that they don't identify who that "crowd" was, or what religion they adhere to. Typical of the Wash. Post to obscure it all out of political correctness. The less informed could assume it was Israelis who pulled the act from the vague description they give. And yet, it's not every Islamist who's going to support this game financially, seeing as it was banned in the UAE, for the very content Druckmann was so intent on injecting into the footage, and if they won't sell it there, don't expect it to turn up so easily in PLO-dominated areas either.

The Vice website's article is even more clear, though it's written by an Israeli native whose own biases are too:
More specifically, the cycle of violence in The Last of Us Part II appears to be largely modeled after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I suspect that some players, if they consciously clock the parallels at all, will think The Last of Us Part II is taking a balanced and fair perspective on that conflict, humanizing and exposing flaws in both sides of its in-game analogues. But as someone who grew up in Israel, I recognized a familiar, firmly Israeli way of seeing and explaining the conflict which tries to appear evenhanded and even enlightened, but in practice marginalizes Palestinian experience in a manner that perpetuates a horrific status quo. [...]

Druckmann drew parallels between The Last of Us and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict again on the official The Last of Us podcast. When discussing the first time Joel kills another man to protect his daughter and the extraordinary measures people will take to protect the ones they love, Druckmann said he follows "a lot of Israeli politics," and compared the incident to Israel's release of hundreds of Palestinians prisoners in exchange for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011. He said that his father thought that the exchange was overall bad for Israel, but that his father would release every prisoner in every prison to free his own son.

"That's what this story is about, do the ends justify the means, and it's so much about perspective. If it was to save a strange kid maybe Joel would have made a very different decision, but when it was his tribe, his daughter, there was no question about what he was going to do," Druckmann said.

Naughty Dog and PlayStation have presented Druckmann as The Last of Us Part II's creative lead and public face. Game development is a highly collaborative practice that demands the backbreaking labor of literally hundreds of programmers, testers, writers, and artists, all of whom make creative contributions and without whom a game of this size and scope would not exist. So while it's impossible to pin a big budget video game's themes and inspirations to one person, parallels between The Last of Us Part II and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict manifest in the final product, not just in what Druckmann has said in interviews.
The prisoner exchanges were bad for Israel, but I think propagandists like Druckmann are too (ditto the Vice contributor), if he thought it was wrong to be outraged in any way at the jihadists who murdered IDF officials Yossi Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhitz 20 years ago. Mainly because he clearly never spoke with the victims' families any more than he ever spoke with the families of World Trade Center victims on 9-11. One can only wonder what they'd think of Druckmann if they knew he'd thrown them under the bus 2 decades after. The irony is that, despite Druckmann's own apparent leftism and morally equivalent stance, Vice's writer still seems to criticize him, if for the wrong reasons.

Despite the liberal moral equivalence tactics Last of Us 2 is built upon, along with the degrading social justice propaganda elements, Druckmann reportedly received antisemitic insults on social media. Assuming this is factual and not a publicity stunt, of course I do think it's atrocious this happened no matter the man's politics, though I find it odd he's only telling everybody now, after the game was released to later experience an 80% drop in sales, and not before, given that even before Last of Us 2 went to press, there was already only so much negativity surrounding the dreadful mess. It's also hypocritical to complain about antisemitism when you're applying ugly stereotypes to the Jewish character seen in the video game. A big irony Druckmann presumably fails to realize is that the people who made the repulsive, foul-mouthed comments come from precisely the segment of society he wound up pandering to: those who believe Israel has no right to existence, yet have no issue with an Islamic state of "palestine". Heck, did they even complain about Dina's big nose? On which note, why is it wrong to employ revolting stereotypes of men, but not of women, based on what characteristics Dina's built on?

In the end, if there's any other reason I have to feel hugely disappointed with Druckmann, it's that he made the game so graphically violent, and the political propaganda it's built on only makes it worse. It's detrimental for somebody of his background to be so obsessed with violence to the point where he can't make an entertainment product offering a more optimistic viewpoint with joyful elements or a sense of humor. I don't know how much longer he'll be working in video games, but if he ever enters the comics industry, it'll be bad news, especially if Bendis gives him backing.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Considering he allegedly based Ellie on his own newborn daughter in the first game, that makes his depiction of her in the DLC and Part 2 even WORSE, basically a guy who abuses his daughter and tries to turn HER into a lesbian.

BTW, is it just me, or does Druckmann currently look like a splitting image to that of Karl Marx? It's actually pretty disturbing if you compare the two faces.

What have you got against Russians anyway eotness?

Post a Comment

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile



  • avigreen2002@yahoo.com
  • Fansites I Created

  • Hawkfan
  • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
  • The Outer Observatory
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
  • The Co-Stars Primer
  • Realtime Website Traffic

    Comic book websites (open menu)

    Comic book weblogs (open menu)

    Writers and Artists (open menu)

    Video commentators (open menu)

    Miscellanous links (open menu)

  • W3 Counter stats
  • Bio Link page
  • blog directory Bloggeries Blog Directory View My Stats Blog Directory & Search engine eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page  
    Flag Counter

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

The Four Color Media Monitor is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.