Openly fascist philosophies of eternal conflict
June 11, 2018 12:15 PM   Subscribe

 
In 1984, George Orwell famously wrote, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” To which NBA Live 19 rejoins, “But what if you imagined that boot was the officially licensed athletic shoe of your choice?”

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posted by JamesBay at 12:19 PM on June 11 [6 favorites]


In 1984, George Orwell famously wrote, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” To which NBA Live 19 rejoins, “But what if you imagined that boot was the officially licensed athletic shoe of your choice?”

This might have something to say about society, but this article is a set of jokes that was looking for a subject. EA's a gross company, but there's nothing out of the ordinary in any of these trailers, compared with, for example, every other sports game trailer over the last 20 years.
posted by TheProfessor at 12:24 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


hehe! By happy coincidence, the Cracked podcast did a history of FIFA and other international sporting events this week, with a focus on corruption and dictatorships. So I just finished listening to that and then saw this.

As a guy who isn't all that into sports, but has a ton of family and friends that are, I always find sitting down to watch the NBA, NFL or World Cup a jarring experience. So much politics and commerce squished into an institutional convention that fans practically SCREAM is a safe-space.
posted by es_de_bah at 12:35 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


there's nothing out of the ordinary in any of these trailers, compared with, for example, every other sports game trailer over the last 20 years.

Probably, but, then again, I come from Canada, where there is a very fascist hockey culture. My two sons like playing it, and I will support them, but, good grief, the culture is violent and weird.

So... good Orwell quote!
posted by JamesBay at 12:39 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


EA's a gross company, but there's nothing out of the ordinary in any of these trailers

I'm pretty sure that is a fundamental part of the joke?
posted by solotoro at 1:20 PM on June 11 [9 favorites]


And I say that as someone who was totally ready to take the premise seriously after 17776, so it took me a beat or two to get where they were going.
posted by solotoro at 1:25 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]


Hey guys I've got a great idea, let's take everything the NFL touches and put it in the bin.
posted by adept256 at 1:32 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


there's nothing out of the ordinary in any of these trailers, compared with, for example, every other sports game trailer over the last 20 years.

The problem with this trifle of an essay isn't that it's wrong, it's that it's soggy. Somebody who cared about their thesis a bit more could have done something with it.
posted by wotsac at 1:36 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


If you'd rather read about a dystopian future sport, instead of watching it, don't miss Head On, the latest book from jscalzi (aka ‘MetaFilter’s own’). The story, set again in the world he invented for his 2014 novel Lock In, centers around hilketa, in which you score by fighting your way to the designated person on the opposing team, ripping off his head, and then kicking, throwing, or carrying the head through the goalposts.

p.s. ‘Hilketa’ is the Basque word for ‘murder.’
posted by LeLiLo at 1:42 PM on June 11


Power constantly tells the powerless that end results don’t matter; it was really about “the moments that got you there.” That’s a convenient philosophy when the end result is brain damage

Plenty of pull quotes to choose from, but across the board these were great reviews.
posted by Metro Gnome at 1:45 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Sport is where we put our most energetic fascists so that they won't fuck over the rest of society. It's one of the ad-hoc solutions we've found to the "but what to do about the psychopathic alpha assholes?" question that every society has to answer.

There are some nice people in sport, too. I like to kick a ball around now and then myself.
posted by clawsoon at 1:52 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


I used to maintain that Football wasn't really that bad, and that teams are a good thing for cities and states to maintain local identity, and to act as a social glue between strangers. The past three years have made me regret ever carrying any amount of water for the NFL, and I'll be entering my second year of not watching or supporting them in any way, while urging others to do the same.

I don't think sports are necessarily fascistic. In fact, many personalities in the NBA (like Lebron and Popovich) are openly anti-fascist and anti-racist. Sports labor unions are also some of the few unions in the U.S. with any degree of power.

However, sports at scale are definitely profit first, and all of them bow to financial pressure before anything else. That makes them easy targets for fascist ideology, because vocal minorities of fans can exert a lot of pressure to enforce fascist policies, like the no kneeling rule. Sports are an emotional and socially loaded form of entertainment, and having had Sunday football taken away by the NFL's capitulation to trumpism has felt like I've lost a friend. In reality, I sort of have. Watching football with friends, being able to talk about games each week, and having a stake in my team were all really fun and enjoyable parts of my life. But I personally can't square my ethics with that pleasure, so I'm going to continue abstaining until the NFL makes actual changes in its policies.

Back to the article, sports games often put you into the managerial perspective (usually with some dipping into player perspective to control a single individual's body at once), with all of the shitty morality and objectification of players that entails. You are Dan Snyder, making the calls, not RG3 having his body broken by incompetent management. It's not a surprise that the advertising that serves to promote those mechanics ends up foregrounding the worst, most right-leaning aspects of professional sports (individualism, power fantasies of control, fetishizing bodies, and profit at all cost).
posted by codacorolla at 2:05 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


wait, is there a sports game where you play one person, starting in grade school and going through daily trainings and all the games and then hoping you get far enough to make it to the major league? There's no redo, every game and decision you make is set and determines the rest of your life. Your goal in this game is to be get the championship. But you also have no control over what your teammates, who are based on real athletes, do in every game. You can only play as the one character as best as you can.

I don't care much for sports but for some reason I would play that game.
posted by numaner at 2:33 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


^^^both FIFA and NBA2K18 have those modes. I think it was FIFA17 where you start off as a kid in London whose father rejects him because he’s not good on the pitch. We didn’t stick with it because dealing with the consequences of your suckiness is far more tedious and sad (and a replication of real life) than automatically playing Messi in a packed stadium.

I actually don’t know anything about EA sports, is this a company worth boycotting? This article just seemed mean spirited, lashing out at pro sports culture when the games (I only have played FIFA) are actually pretty good and don’t seem to have anything to do with the politics and money of pro sports. Unless you count the times when I’m getting beat bad by my son and I spend the rest of the game trying to get my entire team red carded for fun.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:44 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


"Career Mode" is the term for a single player perspective in a sports game: the Wiki article is a decent summation of typical approaches and mechanics. Many sports games have them, but my understanding from talking to players in person is that they're far less popular than managerial modes.
posted by codacorolla at 2:55 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Sport is where we put our most energetic fascists so that they won't fuck over the rest of society. It's one of the ad-hoc solutions we've found to the "but what to do about the psychopathic alpha assholes?" question that every society has to answer.
Wait, I thought CEO positions is where we put our fascists, and then they do fuck over the rest of society. I mean, it's certainly where we put our psychopathic alpha assholes.

I thought sports was where we put our gladiators that we sacrificed.

My only wonder about the EA games is if you can make your players take a knee (or give them the self-determination to make that decision on their own), and if you can get into twiter wars with the POTUS about your decision to let your players speak out. I would imagine not though.
posted by el io at 8:25 PM on June 11


Calling players fascist is really fucking insulting, since many NFL players last year put endorsement deals and their personal reputations on the line to protest police brutality. Arguably one of the most visible left-wing protests of the year came out of those player's collective actions, until it was first co-opted (as a signal of "unity") and then shut down by the largely white business class of pro sports. This isn't jocks versus nerds, it's the moneyed managerial class versus the workers, even if those workers are very highly paid.
posted by codacorolla at 9:28 PM on June 11 [8 favorites]


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