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Opinion

Elite Squad Sends Dangerous Messages

By Caprice Benifield-Sanchez, Staff Writer

Politics always had a role in the gaming industry, but 2020 has driven political gaming to the next level of presidential propaganda and overt partisanship. 

 

Ubisoft, a major video game company, is popular for its production of “Just Dance,” “Assassin’s Creed,” “Far Cry,” “Raving Rabbids,” “Prince of Persia,” “Rayman” and the controversial Tom Clancy series. 

However, the Tom Clancy series has taken a tumble this summer with a very crass decision to release a game with present, real-world political disputes of this current presidential campaign. 

 

“Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad” is a dangerous game that strongly presents partisan views passed down from the founding fathers and used it as a form of political propaganda towards gamers.

 

“Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad” is a massive crossover title featuring villains and heroes from previous games. As a veteran with experience of the franchise, the ability to recruit your own squad from past games excites the geek in me, but I was petrified in learning the use of my chosen squad and its role of the racial slandering of civil unrest in  America. 

 

“Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad” promotes an extreme far-right viewpoint of the world. There is so much to unpack just from watching the first trailer, which begins by explaining the civil unrest the world faces through poverty, wars and corruption. A group emerges from the outrage claiming to take advantage of the situation, called Umbra, which is explained in the trailer as “a faceless organization that wants to build a New World order. They claim to promote an egalitarian utopia to gain popular support.” 

 

The trailer continues saying “Umbra organizes deadly terrorist attacks to generate even more chaos and weaken governments.” 

 

At this point, reality struck me to the core of listening to a remixed version of a commonly spewed fallacy by far-right extremists. 

 

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is villainized due to the recent few chaotic protests within major cities of the United States, which was caused by outside aggressors who took advantage of the movement. 

 

The movement is blindly grouped together with Antifa, who is a far-left autonomous group known for their extreme anti-fascist views. 

 

Thousands of peaceful protests across America go unnoticed because it is not newsworthy to the eyes of a conservative. 

 

Incidentally, the word umbra means shadow or darkness, but to further prove the goal of disparaging the BLM movement, Umbra’s propaganda posters and the logo of the game advertises a closed black fist, a universal symbol of resistance with a history of being an emblem of Black liberation. 

 

The trailer eerily ends with an upbeat call to action towards the players to put an end to Umbra’s regime.

 

The reason why this franchise has a history of embedded right-wing ideals is because of the founding father, Tom Clancy. 

 

Clancy was an American author known for his thoroughly detailed novels on espionage and military science. His apparent addiction for wars and militia is a misconception that he was ever involved in the military. 

 

The rise of Clancy began with an overall appreciation from President Ronald Reagan for helping his political campaign through the sales of his books. 

 

“The Sum of All Fears,” a novel by Clancy, showcases terrorists smuggling a nuclear bomb in a shipping container. This piece introduced his extreme right-wing fantasies of witnessing improbable terroristic events, which is a strong factor in the franchise. 

 

Fear of terrorism became a prominent obsession towards categorizing and demonizing minority groups post 9/11. 

 

Clancy died in 2013, but his political standpoint is fixed within the entire franchise, and if present, his views today as a right-wing extremist would also be included. 

 

Clancy was just a rich man with an overt passion for military and war. Who would have known for his unpronounced role in the decision making of this recent game?

 

Everyone is aware of the BLM movement, but some fail to witness or acknowledge the racism this country has carried since the very start. The voices of the oppressed have never reached its oppressors, and this game is proof of this phenomenon. 

 

BLM should not be a political take in this country. The right to be alive and live on should not be interpreted as an act of terrorism against America.

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