Video Games

6 Video Games Every Libertarian Should Play

Post-apocalyptic America, Ayn Rand underwater, the decline of the Wild West, and more.

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Until recently, popular storytelling was an essentially top-down art: Novelists told readers how characters thought and felt, playwrights determined what they said, and movie directors subjected captive viewers to their own individual visions. The story you saw was the story someone else imagined, and audience interaction was limited to throwing tomatoes at the stage, or scribbling in the margins of a book. Even popular sports were basically passive: Fans might follow along in great detail, but the plays and their outcomes were determined by the actions of an elite few on the field.

But for the last 40 years, video games have begun to change all that. Games were built around interactivity: Players got what they wanted, not what someone else gave them. And as the technological firepower that makes video games possible has grown cheaper and more abundant, those games have increasingly focused on complex choice architectures designed to let players make their own stories. Game designers still build the playing fields, and some are more constrictive than others. But the arc of game design has bent toward expanding player choice. You are at the center of the experience, and you make it your own. The star of the show isn't some writer or actor or player on the screen. The star is you.

It's probably too much to argue that video games offer players freedom from the iron grip of the author—after all, games still have designers, and the old stories weren't exactly forced upon their readers. But the rise of video games as a popular art form is surely a sign of the way that the broad universalized stories of yesterday have fractured into an array of niche narratives, each designed to serve an individualized interest.

All of which make video games of special interest to libertarians interested in the way the combination of technology, political freedom, and evolving social attitudes has resulted in an explosion of subculture interests and alternative modes of entertainment. So it's not particularly surprising, then, to find that a number of video games have built in ideas and concepts that resonate with libertarians—sometimes positively, sometimes critically. As the current generation of game systems begins its final year, it's worth looking back at six games of particular interest to those who like their minds and their markets to be free.

1. Fallout 3

A post-apocalyptic role-playing game set in a bombed-out, futuristic Washington, D.C. known as the Capitol Wasteland. Warring tribes of wannabe authority figures fight for control, thugs and scammers try to take your guns and your money at every turn, super-intelligent robots try to reengineer society, and the whole place is overrun with super-mutants. In other words, it's a lot like the Washington, D.C. we all know and love today. Fallout 3 is also one of the most expansive, open, and darkly funny games ever made.

2. Bioshock

Players fight their way through the ruins of an Art Deco underwater city set up as a kind of sci-fi anarchist utopia—where biological modification is plentiful, looters are treated as scum, and the pursuit of individual desire and accomplishment is treated as life's most noble goal. The villain is clearly intended as a riff on Ayn Rand's super-individualists, but in a mid-game twist, he shows he's not simply a bad guy. The revelation elevates Bioshock from satirical, action-driven homage to Rand into a clever riff on the perception of individual freedom and the nature of choice.

3. Red Dead Redemption

This open-world Western's anti-government individualism is so strong that it's occasionally accused of being outright libertarian propaganda. But what it really offers is character-driven perspective: Players step into the boots of John Marston, a former outlaw who resentfully sells his gun to both the Mexican army and corrupt agents of the U.S. government—agents help take his family hostage. The forces on both sides of the border are ugly, and Marsten, a reformed family man, wants no part of any of it. In the end, players take the role of Marsten's son in order to extract a years-delayed payback. Red Dead Redemption is a great genre piece about the decline of the outlaw West, and a surprisingly affecting look at the generational consequences of violence.

4. Fable III

Fable II offered a vast open-world in which nearly everything was for sale: Homes, items, stores—you name it, you could buy it. Better yet, violence and other in game actions affected local prices, which meant that the game acted like a simple economic simulator, encouraging in-game entrepreneurs to buy low and sell high. Fable III adds politics to the mix. Players not only participate in a complex in-game economy but are effectively required to campaign for the office of king. That means making promises to win over the game's citizens. But winning the people doesn't mean winning the game. After assuming the throne, players must either keep those promises—a task that is usually turns out to be difficult, if not outright contradictory—or take the game world in a whole new direction, risking the wrath of an unhappy citizenry.

5. L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire offers a down-to-the-shoelaces recreation of Hollywood shortly after World War II. And where many open-world games allow and even encourage players to engage in freewheeling thuggery, this time the objective is enforcing order: Players take the role of an earnest police investigator moving up the ranks by solving cases. The game's most intriguing innovation is the chance to conduct "interrogations" of suspects. The challenge is to determine, based on the suspect's behavior, whether he or she is lying. But unlike most video game challenges, there's no trick to mastering it. In the end, it's a mix of thorough prior detective work and subconscious intuition. And even then, it's easy to be wrong. The subjective nature of the game play highlights the uncertainty of much police work. Sometimes even good players—or cops—make big mistakes. 

6. Deux Ex: Human Revolution

Deux Ex: Human Revolution casts players in the role of Adam Jensen, a grim security chief at a biotech corporation that specializes in human augmentation. Set in a bleak, William Gibson-esque cyberpunk future, the game kicks off when anti-biotech militants break into the headquarters of Jensen's company on the eve of a legislative hearing about biotech regulations. Jensen fends off the attackers but is injured and must be rebuilt with biological enhancements. From there, players must uncover the truth about the break-in against the backdrop of an ongoing debate about the safety and ethics of human augmentation. The game's cast will be familiar to anyone who has followed such debates in real life—uncompromising anti-science radicals, moderates who favor regulation, self-interested political players, scheming corporate leaders, and apolitical scientists. The noirish story has no heroes, but it does subtly highlight the value of biological modifications. The key to winning: enhancing Jensen—and yourself. 

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324 responses to “6 Video Games Every Libertarian Should Play

  1. Is there something specifically libertarian about single shooter games? Are strategy games always not Libertarian?

    1. EVE is a strategy/RPG and is a lot more libertarian/anarchist than Fable.

      Although in 0.0 you quickly see how anarchy is quickly replaced with feudalism.

      1. Fable is Libertarian? I just bought it back in Dec, but didn’t play too much. Kind of dated now, but didn’t look too bad for a game that old. Started out sort a silly where I had to get a birthday gift for my sister…

        1. Didn’t say it *is* libertarian. It’s not, really. Just that the way it pushes players to manage economic variables and political expectations might be of interest to libertarians.

      2. yes but you can choose to leave the feudal corporation. Hopefully, you are smart enough not to be in 0.0 at the time though.

        1. The only places in the game that aren’t run by feudal military corporations are places where Concord has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

      3. I played a metric shite-tonne of EVE back in “the day.”

        When max concurrent players was about 8k it was a libertarian paradise. Then, as people piled in, it became much more “real.”

        It was precisely the expectation that I would pay fealty to people who got there first for the privilege of using “their” space that made me give up on it.

        I got enough of that shit in real life.

        1. Also inflation, and power creep, and…okay it was a lot of things.

        2. yeah it sucks when people defend their property rights with railguns. c.c

        3. I stopped when Remedial went all fuck goons and liquidated our titan fund.

          1. Hahaha, this all makes sense now. Are you HydroSan or NihilistCanada? Did Rem going fuck goons scar you so badly that you feel compelled to post here? Did you bawl when LF was shut down?

            1. Oh no a new conspiracy theory about my inner motivations!

              At that point in the game, titans were intensly OP. Not having one, and not expecting one anytime soon made me reconsider spending another couple of months training so I could fly around in a $200 spaceship and pew pew a bunch of immobile POS. Remedial did me a favor by going nuts.

              Although I do still get a little pissed off when people politicize Benghazi. Vile Rat RIP.

    2. Yes, you get to shoot things, with guns. What’s not Libertarian about that?

    3. Fallout 2 was not a shooter and in fact a central theme was the inherent unreliability (and often unfairness) of all government systems, including libertarian ones (there was indeed a libertarian city in the game). The ultimate bad guys were the remnants of the U.S. Federal government.

      But of course the game is now over 16 years old, so like the constitution it’s “old and stuff” and therefore irrelevant. It’s a far better game than the modern Fallouts IMO.

      1. Fallout and Fallout 2 are great stories, but the gameplay is really dated for anyone who is coming from a more modern gaming background.

    1. maybe tekkit?

  2. Assassin’s Creed 3 has a lot of libertarian concepts promoted throughout the game. The earlier ones in the series were pretty lefty but they’ve seemed to shift towards classical liberalism as of late.

    1. That’s interesting. There was definitely a mild liberal tilt to some of the earlier entries. I skipped out on three. Reviews weren’t strong enough and I had enough after like four iterations of Assassin’s Creed II.

      1. Ezio pretty much goes Lysander Spooner in Revelations.

      2. My son has been playing and loving it. You do get a really good dose of the libertarianish values that the founders expressed as they pop up in many parts of the game. Also, as an Indian you get to exact some pretty righteous vengeance on the white man.

        1. I feel really shitty about fighting Patriot militiamen and Continentals.

          1. Yeah, I always get bummed when I have to kill a bunch of them.

            BUT THEY’RE THE GOOD GUYS!!!

            Oh well, counter/parry/stab, repeat.

      3. I forget if it was in AC2 or AC:B, but one of the Subject revelations was that capitalism was invented as a tool of social control by the Templars, which was a big eye-roll moment for me.

        1. It was AC:B, where they also made the repugnant claim that Mao tse Tung, biggest mass murderer of the past five hundred years, was one of the “good guys” fighting for humanity and liberation.. They also pushed the BS fable in another puzzle that Stalin wasn’t a “true” communist, but was really an eeeevil capitalist who was there to defile the sacrosanct system of utopian bliss set in place by Saints Lenin and Trotsky.

    2. I’ve AC3 sucks.

    3. Assassin’s Creed 3 has a lot of libertarian concepts

      You mean Errand Boy’s Creed 3. Haytham, however, was completely awesome in every conceivable way.

    4. A free copy of AC3 came with my graphics card; I’ve never played any of the previous titles though, so my brother says I probably won’t enjoy AC3 because the storyline will be so foreign/arcane to me.

      Thoughts?

      1. Don’t listen to your brother. AC3 is the first one I ever got too and it’s enjoyable enough. Most of the story becomes evident as you play through and I haven’t seen a part that makes you wish you knew more about the beginning.

      2. Nah, the story would take you all of about two minutes to get caught up on. It’s not very deep. The meat is in the periods in which they play, and that’s the story you mostly pay attention to during the game.

    5. “Assassin’s Creed 3 has a lot of libertarian concepts promoted throughout the game.”

      I’m finding the exact opposite. I’m nearly done with the game, and I’ve had it with being pelted by Howard Zinn-esque revisionism.

      Every other email or “historical” note from that bootlicking douche Shaun contains some tacked-on cheapshot about how Americans be clinging to their CONSTITUTIONZ N GUNZ, or how American qualities of liberty and independence are meaningless because they were founded by old dudes who had slaves and had archaic views of homosexuality. And then there’s the pathetic historical note in NYC in which he tries to argue that pirates were the first “prgoressive socialists” because they donated lumber to the Trinity Christ Church or whatever.
      It’s bad enough on it’s own, but after sitting through Revelations and the pathetic revision gymnastics they undergo to obfuscate the slavery, conquest and barbarism inherent in the Ottoman Empire I think I’ve had enough of this series.

      Hell, I just played a sidemission where I had to go around beating and killing merchants because the Brotherhood Nomenklatura decided their prices were too high.

  3. what no EVE? EVE is the ultimate libertarian game.

    1. WTF is EVE?

      1. EVE is a sandbox mmorpg with an immense free market economy.

        eve online

        1. Ah. That’s why I wouldn’t know, I don’t have time for online gaming.

          1. They are supposed to be releasing an online FPS this year, call Dust 514,for more casual gamers that will be tied to EVE. You are going to be able to call for orbital bombardment in Dust from EVE.

    2. Joe from Lowell plays Eve. Skeptical hippo is skeptical.

      1. Are you on drugs today, John? Well, I guess that is pretty libertarian…

      2. I played it for a couple of weeks, it really is the most libertarian MMO I’ve ever come across. The problem is that it takes forever to do anything and is quite tedious. It’s a really cool idea, though.

        1. yeah that is a common complaint. you really need to get hooked up with a good corporation right away to have more fun while your toon is a noob.

        2. it takes forever to do anything and is quite tedious

          So, it’s extra libertarian.

          1. The lolz!

      3. I left minimatar battleship V training when I stopped.

      4. well the political unit is the corporation which voluntarily band together to for large alliances. Each corporation is allowed to make their own rules for members which can at times be incredibly Marxist. But if you don’t like the rules at one corporation you just leave and join another one whose rules more closely align with your beliefs.

        1. er band together to form…

          1. There are corporations that disavow Marxist principles like taxes and mandatory participation. But they are the minority.

    3. EVE is a great game to talk about, but no fun to play.

    4. We’ve written about it before. Also, I don’t play big multiplayer games. Although I’m considering trying out the Skyrim MMO when it comes online.

  4. I think Sim city is pretty libertarian. If you fuck up and raise taxes or pass a lot of stupid laws, your sims won’t live in your city.

    1. But zoning!!!

      1. It is a necessary concession to game play.

    2. Yes, but will they rise up and kill you in a bloody revolution, with guns? Otherwise, the game sucks.

    3. Central planning is libertarian?

      1. The planning part is the fiction of the game. What the game teaches is that government actions have direct and unforeseen consequences on people’s behavior. Learn that lesson and you go a long ways down the road towards libertarianism.

        1. It also teaches that with perfect planning you can make your city exactly the way you want it. I love me some Sim City but it is the least libertarian game out there.

  5. Games that everyone should play:

    Skyrim

    Fallout 3

    Fallout NV

    All of the Gothic series

    Two Worlds 2

    Borderlands

    STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl

    Just to name a few.

    L.A. Noire? Meh, I am soooo not convinced about that game. I just got it on sale last week and so far, I’m not impressed at all.

    And out of all of those games, the Gothic Series and Fallout 3 have definite Libertarian aspects. Skyrim, maybe if you join the Stormcloaks. WTF is Libertarian about L.A. Noire? I’m not even yet convinced that there is anything GOOD about it.

    1. Skyrim, maybe if you join the Stormcloaks

      I’m pretty sure that Stormcloaks in power would wield government power in a big way to oppress non-Nords.

      1. True this, and Ulfric is an arse. I tried to kill him and found that it’s not possible.

        But if you join them, listen to what the one guy says…

        And also, you get to wipe out the entire blue blooded empire, so it’s all good.

        1. *Spoiler*

          At the end of the revolt quest, you can kill him if you side with Elsif the fair.

          1. Thanks! He’s as good as dead. All the missions that I did for that arse and he just says something really stupid, like: ‘Good job, I will give you a new name, your name is now head breaker’, in that stupid nordic accent, and then he gives me a weapon that is 30 levels less than anything that I would consider picking up just to sell.

            1. If you have already done quests for him, it might be too late. I think you are supposed to pick sides at the beginning of the questline. You might be able to reset the quest with the setstage command if you are on pc.

      2. The Stormcloaks sort of reminded me of LRC fanbois: “The Argonians are takin’ all our joobs! The Dunmer won’t assimilate into our culture! That’s why we’re kicking out the multi-cultural Imperials, so that we can have a pure Hoppes-ian anarchotopia!”

      3. Yes, my primary character is almost level 50, and I still haven’t chosen an allegiance yet. On the one hand, the Imperials should allow the locals to self-government. On the other hand, Skyrim is probably a better place with Imperial rule, though you need to kick the fucking Dominion dbags out. It’s a very difficult choice.

        Yet if you can win for the Cloaks but give rule to Elisif, that may be the deciding factor. Ulfrid would turn the nation to shit.

        1. You basically get a choice between the religious bigots or racial bigots. Not meant to be an easy choice. You can, of course, choose neither.

          1. Just kill everyone.

    2. I couldn’t get in to LA Noire either but then again I didn’t finish Fallout 3 or bioshock either. The difference is the last two are good games just not my cup of tea; LA Noire kind of sucks.

      1. The ending of Fallout 3 will really pizz you off, it’s the worst ending of all time. But you should still finish it. Then you can play NV, with is much better on every level.

        1. I’ll try. The thing that pissed me off was that I had such worthless peashooter guns to start with. Maybe that’s what makes Fallout great for some people but it just annoyed me to pump all the ammo I scrounged up into one or two mutants and then just be SOL for a while.

          1. Don’t ever play the Gothic Series then, if that bothers you. You start out so weak, you are practically defenseless, and everyone in the game will berate you and if you give them lip, they’ll just kick the crap out of you and take what little you have. And it’s a long and effort filled journey to start to collect weapons and armor so that you can start to defend yourself.

            But to me, this is what makes them the greatest games ever, when you finally become a really powerful character, you go back and exact revenge on all the bastards that made you miserable in the early going.

          2. Yeah, ammo can be scarce, but you have a huge variety of guns so just switch off between gun types.

          3. Go unarmed. The fist weapons are crazily powerful.

        2. it’s the worst ending of all time.

          Now I’m going to have to buy it to see how it stacks up to the unbridled horror that was the original Mass Effect 3 ending. That one ruined my mood for a solid week and a half.

          1. would you like a red blue or green cupcake? it really doesn’t matter, they all taste like shit.

    3. I heard FO:NV was a buggy mess and really inferior to FO3 and I should just buy FO3 DLC instead. I needs to get into some STALKER.

      1. I didn’t think FONV was any buggier than Bethesda’s usual product, which bugs and all is better than most other games.

        FONV with DLC is a hell of a ride.

      2. If you’re talking about NV, there have been many patches, and I can verify for you that it’s bug free, on PC. I’ve got about 70 hours into and not one crash or glitch. Fallout 3 was buggy as hell when I played in on PC, although that was a long time ago, so I don’t know about now.

      3. NV can be buggy on Xbox, mostly locking up during load screens. The Miss Fortune perk can lock you up as well.

      4. Played both FO3 and FO:NV on the PC. Had no problems with bugs with either game.

    4. I did get a chuckle out of Skyrim’s political spectrum. On the one hand, you have the Imperials, a bunch of elitist authoritarian snobs. On the other hand, you have the Stormcloaks, a bunch of freedom-loving racist hicks.

      1. Don’t forget the Forsworn, the hippie terrorists.

        1. I tried to genocide the Forsworn. But it seems like the game just randomly respawns them.

          1. Genocide them? Heck, I joined them! It gave my “good” character an excuse to do all the “evil” quests. You can join them with a mod, or a console command, and then they consider you one of their own and don’t attack any more.

            1. They pizzed me off early in the game when I wasn’t that strong and a horde of them swarmed me a little by surprise. After that, I vowed to kill every last one of them.

            2. Those hippie forsworn aren’t that bad. They are a bitch in early levels because a location in the main quest has this huge camp of theirs right next to it. When I first went there, they kept zerging me, but they haven’t really given me much trouble since.

              There is a group of mercs I seem to have pissed off though. Found this house near Riften with these guys called Black-Briar mercenaries. Just killed them and looted the place and now they seem to take up raiding one of my homes as a hobby. Luckily, I have Illia as my steward and she just steamrolls them in a matter of seconds when they decide to visit. Kind of entertaining to watch.

    5. I’ve got Skyrim, played it for a total of about 3 hours so far. It probably would be more if I had a decent chair for my desktop or could control it with the trackpad on my laptop but really the problem is everytime I try to play a computer game that is not Everquest2 my wife gets all needy wondering why I don’t want to play with her anymore.

      1. everytime I try to play a computer game that is not Everquest2 my wife gets all needy

        Here’s how you fix that, although it does of course have a limit.

        Get her an iPad and show her some games like plants and zombies, or that one where everyone is raising baby dragons. Enjoy the silence and gaming time.

        1. Yeah see that doesn’t work, she plays all that shit on her iPhone all day. She specifically wants me to play EQ2 with her pretty much as often as possible.

          1. “my wife gets all needy wondering why I don’t want to play with her anymore.”

            “She specifically wants me to play EQ2 with her”

            You’re both doing it wrong.

    6. Oh speaking of Skyrim, my 13 year old is begging to play but since I havn’t gotten far enough into the game to discover why it got an M rating, just how “adult” is it?

      I really couldn’t care less about the alcohol use or violence, more concerned with the sexual situations in the game, just how realistic and graphic are they?

      1. There are no sexual situations in the game other than that you can get married (including gay-married) to an NPC in an awkward ceremony with no contact physical contact between the spouses-to-be.

        The only reasons I can think of for it to be M are that it includes alcohol (mead, wine, and ale), a fake drug which hardly factors in to the plot at all (“Skooma”), and blood (in some killcams, for instance, you can chop someone’s head off).

        I mean, it even prevents you from killing the children. It’s pretty tame IMO.

      2. Probably not reading this anymore, but I don’t remember any sexual situations. I mean I downloaded the nude patch, but then again, I’m a pervert.

        If you’re cool with lots of violence and killings, he should be good. I’m pretty sure you can even disable gore if you want.

        To sum up: You can get ‘married’ (it’s kind of a joke), and there’s a few characters that TALK about being raped, but there’s no actual sexual activity in the game.

        1. Yeah, Don’t care anbout blood and gore, that whole video game violence makes people violent crap is one of the dumbest ideas to come out since the satanic D&D scares of the 80’s. Nor am I terribly worried about alcohol use, my wife and I talk openly with our kids about all drugs (both legal and illegal) what their real effects are and it will be up to them to decide when/if they decide to imbibe (and generally speaking all of my kids think drugs and alcohol are stupid, possibly because I don’t drink at all and my wife rarely does).

          The sex part however is a minor concern and the reviews we could find mentioned that it was there. Given that my wife allows him to play The Sims (without the nudity patch) anything tamer than that should be safe.

        2. there’s a few characters that TALK about being raped

          Oh, yeah, I forgot about Molag Bal and Sapphire. But I guess that’s the point — those dialogues are entirely forgettable.

          1. Oh, and what I’m referring to, Rasilio, are:

            If you ask her what her real name is she’ll fake tough: “Look, I don’t really know you. I don’t even really know anyone here. Why do you care anyway? It’s not like we’re family. This is a business. Look, you want to know about me? All right, I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you about the time I was a young girl, barely out of her teens… living on a pig farm in the middle of nowhere. Didn’t have a coin to spend between our entire family. Ate the same slop we fed our livestock.” If you comment on how horrible that sounds, she’ll press on: “Oh, wait… it gets much better. How about the fact that our farm was attacked by bandits, and that they killed my entire family who didn’t even brandish a weapon against them. Here’s the best part. They took me as a prize, and violated me for a fortnight. Tossed me from bandit to bandit like… like…”
            If you notice her distress she’ll pull herself together: “It’s fine… I had to tell someone I suppose. Carrying around a weight like that… it hurts after a while. Cuts you inside like a dagger to the heart. Over time, I managed to gain their confidence. Then one night I grabbed a knife, waited until they fell asleep and cut their throats. I never returned to that pig farm you know. There’s nothing for me there. So that’s my sad story. What do you think?” If you press her for her name, she’ll be elusive: “Maybe one day, just not today.”

            1. pt. 2:

              And then I haven’t played Dawnguard (a DLC) yet, but apparently there’s this (though I don’t know what dialog, if any, alludes to it):

              http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/…..oldharbour

              1. pt. 3

                Also with Molag Bal, this is part of an optional quest:

                Make Him Bend to Me
                Inside the house, the oh-so righteous priest will head right into the basement, without thinking twice. When he reaches the foot of the altar, Molag Bal will trap him right away and a conversation will take place:
                Logrolf: “Molag Bal. You think you can best Boethiah’s faithful? I have won this contest before!”
                Molag Bal: “Ah. But I have my own champion this time, Logrolf.”
                Logrolf: “What? You!”
                Molag Bal: “Mortal. I give you my mace, in all its rusted spitefulness. Crush the spirit from Logrolf’s bones. Make him bend to me.”
                The rusty mace will then be equipped and you will have no other choice than to help Molag Bal humiliate the elderly man. You will have to repeatedly beat the defenseless priest as he quivers, and ultimately kill him. Once he is dead, Molag Bal will revive him, ready for yet another beating. When Logrolf’s spirit is finally broken, he will bend before Molag Bal as requested:
                Molag Bal: “You bend to me?”
                Logrolf: “Yes!”
                Molag Bal: “You pledge your soul to me?”
                Logrolf: “Yes!”
                Molag Bal: “You forsake the weak and pitiful Boethiah?”
                Logrolf: “Yes!”
                Molag Bal: “You’re mine now, Logrolf.”

                Though I always interpreted that as meaning “bow to me”.

                So, you be the judge.

                1. Oh and I guess this counts as sex, in that they refer to it: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Caught_Red_Handed

            2. Yeah, really not worried about a character mentioning having been raped at some point in the past, I was more worried about some leisure suit larry level “seduction” quest or even worse GTA level abilities to rape NPC’s or hire prostitutes.

      3. There is no sex in Skyrim. If there is, I missed it all in 135 hrs. of gaming time.

        1. You obviously haven’t found the right mods. No, don’t go looking for them at work, wait until you get to the privacy of your own home.

          And yes, there are a LOT of modders out there who have never seen a real woman, let alone have sex with one, which explains the quantity of super-glistening, flastic-faced, huge titted, pube-shaven female replacement mods out there.

          1. “flastic-faced”

            I’m afraid to ask.

            1. Heh. I meant “plastic faced”. I love the faces in Skyrim because they have so much character, but all these modes try to “improve” the female face (even the non-sexy ones) but they all end up looking like fake plastic. I really do think some of these modders don’t know any females in real life.

          2. Wasn’t talking mods BB, matter o fact, I have not installed one mod for Skyrim, yet…

            Oddly enough, it may be the only PC game I have that I have never installed a mod for..

            1. Some of the texture packs are pretty sweet.

              1. Yeah, I think there is an HD texture pack that I want to install. Since I upgraded my PC and set everything on max, the graphics are already pretty stunning.

                1. The base texture pack, even the HD one from Bethesda, are utter shit compared to the 2k and 4K internal resolution texture packs available.

            2. It’s fairly tame unmodded. The only thing I can think that makes it deserve an ‘M’ rating is the decapitation kill-cam. In terms of sex the most you get is some cleavage and some fairly modest underwear.

            3. The sun-glare, water, grass and flora packs on steamworks are pretty sweet. There is also a snow mod that looks more like real falling snow. Can’t see shit during a blizzard.

      4. You can mod it so every NPC model has boobs sticking out at random angles.

        1. … or walk around with strap-on dildos. Really. Even Crassius frowned at that one. It’s almost as disturbing as the My Little Pony mods.

  6. What, no Custer’s Revenge?

    1. Please don’t tell me you’re talking about the one I remember…

      From my friend playing it. I would never.

      1. The gameplay was outstanding. The flaming arrow physics were decades ahead of their time.

  7. Surprised there’s no love for the Mass Effect series here, particularly the first two.

    1. I thought about including ME3, which really does a lot to develop the political universe, on the list. But the political aspects really just seem to serve the space opera. They’re not all that interesting on their own.

      1. I refuse to play a character named Captain Sheepherder. What is up with that? There’s no way to create and name your own character? What kind of RPG is that?

        1. In Skyrim you have full control of your name, but everyone’s just going to call you Dragonborn for 178 hours anyway.

          1. Yup, nobody will properly call me by Cobra Commander.

            Though if you look at the notes on assassins and hired thugs they usually name you.

            1. Don’t worry. If you join the Stormcloaks, Ulfric the Stupid, will give you a new name every time you wipe out an entire city for him.

              1. And a shitty weapon that will make you want to kill him.

        2. One that’s fully voiced. They need something to refer to you as.

      2. Which is why I said the first two which is more about private actors attempting to save the galaxy while their governments’ ministers and petty bureaucrats are more concerned with their own power.

        Plus the Asari’s home government seems to be of a decidedly libertarian bent. But that’s just silly since they’re all women and we all know women run from libertarianism like vampires fleeing a cross.

        1. The Asari Republics don’t even have a unified military. Local militias band together when the need arises.

          1. Yep. They had a fantastically fleshed out universe there. It’s a shame they ruined the franchise with the ending, I think they had fertile ground for a new breed of MMO tied into the aftermath of the Reaper threat but they went in a different direction (to say nothing of how badly they executed that direction).

            1. Nah. I’m willing to bet money we’ll see several more games out of the series. 4’s already been confirmed.

              1. Oh, I had no doubt about that. My point was that they took away any possibility that they’d go in the direction I’d go, and not in a way I particularly like.

                I’m sure I’ll end up shelling out $50 for the next installment the day it comes out, but I’ve not purchased one bit of ME3 DLC despite getting it all in ME2 (and have only done one playthrough). Bioware’s down to its last bit of goodwill with me, unfortunately.

      3. I also think it’s strange, especially considering that the Asari are probably the most libertarian society that was portrayed in a positive way in electronic media.

        How often a race comfortable with sexuality, with no central government, lax regulations is portrayed as the most powerful, economically & culturally and second most powerful militarily, race in the galaxy?

        One of the bigger Asari colonies was basically a libertarian paradise where everything(except murder) was legal as long as it was consensual and backed by legal contract(drugs, sex, indentured servitude – you name it).

        Although it is mentioned that their governance is heavily bureaucratic it’s mentioned that its decentralized nature means that this is due to public consensus on the matter and not a centrally imposed, top-down state bureaucracy like we have.

        In a world dominated by future socialist societies like (puke) Star Trek’s UFP, an advanced capitalist/libertarian society portrayed in a positive way should be advertised more.

        Just my two cents on the matter 🙂

  8. Darn. None of these run on my PS2 or Wii. *sigh* Next they’ll be putting in an XBOX 360 or PS3 as a required benefit of Obamacare.

    1. PS2? WTF? Consoles are for little kids. Get a PC if you want to talk with the grownups about gaming.

      1. Yeah, come join the PC Gaming Master Race.

        1. Wow, we’ve went from just being PC elitist gaming snobs to master race. I like it.

        2. If you just want to play games and watch Netflix, a cheap console is just as good as a high end PC gaming rig. Maybe better, since you can stretch out on the couch in front of a big screen rather than hunch over a keyboard and mouse.

          1. “Maybe better, since you can stretch out on the couch in front of a big screen rather than hunch over a keyboard and mouse.”

            My 8″ HDMI cable and wireless setup would beg to differ.

        3. Peter – I agree.

          Some games like Skyrim have come out with graphics upgrades that obviously only work with PCs and make it look beautiful, but, I still find the graphics of either my PS3 or my XBox to be enjoyable. And to me, that’s really all that matters.

          For me, hunching over a keyboard at the end of a day of hunching over a keyboard is not my idea of relaxation.

      2. Guess I’ll keep talking to the kiddies. Be sure to say hi to your mom when you go upstairs from the basement.

        1. I can’t go up right now, your mom won’t let me.

          1. She’s making you go down instead?

            1. She would have to come back up first

        2. Bioshock and Bioshock 2 are both available for the PS2 (I believe). Assassin’s Creed 3 (which someone mentioned above) is out on the Wii-U and is pretty good.

      3. Oh great now we have the PC elitist pricks here.

        Yes, get a PC if you want to spend thousands what a console can usually do for hundreds and are anti-social.

        PCs are sometimes better but the difference is getting harder to spot all the time.

        1. I was joking, and I think Hyperion was too, at least in degree (“Consoles are for little kids”).

          1. It was a joke. If you don’t have a sense of humor, or have thin skin, this is really not a good place for you to hang out.

            That being said, PC gaming, is IMHO, superior in every way. But it’s all a matter of preference.

            Also, if you know what you are doing, you don’t have to spend thousands. I have top end hardware all around, and I have around a grand in my system.

        2. Yes, get a PC if you want to spend thousands what a console can usually do for hundreds and are anti-social.

          You can get a decent PC for about twice what you would pay for a console. You can also do a lot more with it than play games. Jess sayin’.

          1. You can watch pr0n on the PS3 too.

        3. You hardly have to spend thousands on a gaming PC nowadays; there are fairly few games that push the envelope of modern hardware, largely in part due to the age of the current console generation and there being so many ports.

          1. My rig:

            Armor Case, 13 drive bays, 600 watt PS.

            Intel i7 3.8 G quad core Sandy bridge CPU.

            ASUS Rampage IV ROG Gene board.

            32 G Corsair Vengeance Ram.

            ATI Radeon 5770 video card(this is the oldest piece of hardware I have, besides the case and PS)

            25″ Samsung Monitor.

            64 bit Win7

            Cheapy Logitech surround sound speakers.

            Not counting the monitor, I have around $1000 in this. Monitor was maybe $200, or a little more, can’t remember.

            Still, saying you need to spend thousands for a high end system just proves that someone has no idea what they are talking about.

        4. “PCs are sometimes better but the difference is getting harder to spot all the time.”

          That’s because Sony and Microsoft realized the only way they’d be able to pull more customers was to make their consoles as “pc-ish” as possible. I.E. HDDs, USB ports, networking capabilities, etc.

          If I want better graphics on a console, I have to buy a new console. If I want better graphics on my PC, I can overclock, d/l updated drivers, or break down and spend 90 bucks to SLI my graphics card(s).

          1. Also, there is no comparison of consoles to high end PC, graphics wise. Anyone who makes such a statement has never seen PC graphics on the newer games. I have Xbox 360 with a quality HDTV, and it isn’t even close.

              1. My next move is to get new video cards and crossfire. That and buy a decent gaming mouse. Nothing worse than trying to switch weapons in an intense battle and the damn mouse wheel isn’t quite working as well as it should be…

                1. Pretty much anything by Logitech (even the cheap end stuff) works pretty well for me. Most of them have good DPI adjustments and track pretty well. If you want to go full-retard gaming, a good Razr keyboard and mouse might put you back a hundred but will definitely be a worthwhile improvement to your KDR.

            1. Best point them to Crysis 2 on even a relatively mundane set up: no coolant system, 8 gigs of ram, maybe a 2 year old gfx card on a knock-off motherboard. And that’s not even getting into the astounding sound quality you can get off of most onboard audio cards. You’re right, doesn’t come close.

        5. er, no. The major beef of PC gamers is how games are designed around consoles that were created in 2007, and are not taking advantage of strides made since then. Most games for the PC now are just ports with no additional high def content.

          1. Most games for the PC now are just ports with no additional high def content.

            Have you ever seen Skyrim, Witcher 2, or 2 World 2, with the graphics set on max on a high end PC, wihout any mods at all?

            If you don’t see a difference in these games on PC and anything on Xbox, even with the best HDTV, you are obviously not using the same type of eyeballs that I am using.

            Just sayin…

            1. Just sayin’ most AAA games does not equal all, not even close.

      4. Can’t play Red Dead Redemption on a PC, though (breaks my heart, but it’s true), and it’s one of the best two games on that least, easily.

        1. A studio that doesn’t market to PC is a fascist studio unworthy of libertarian support.

    2. check out Dust 514 when it comes out. I think it will only run on PS2-3.

    3. I quit PC gaming a few years ago in preference for my PS3 and XBox360. I never looked back.

      I know there is a lot more freedom to do things on a PC with a game but I enjoy my 82″ TV/home theatre and sitting in my easy chair too much to go back.

      Also, I’ve been programming for so many years and I sit in front of a computer so many hours per week that I just don’t even want to look at a keyboard when its time to game.

      1. Also, PC gaming is expensive. YMMV.

      2. I usually wait for the console games to drop in price before I buy them. I have enough of a back log on my shelves that I am behind the cresting wave of the new game costs.

        So yeah, I find it economical to go through massive amounts of games for relatively little money as compared to PC gaming.

        1. I usually wait for the console games to drop in price before I buy them.

          There’s another plus to PC gaming, the games are a lot cheaper. I typically never pay more than 10-15 bucks for a game. $20 is about the max. Unless you HAVE TO have a game when it first comes out, which I don’t.

            1. I hate Steam, but sometimes there is no choice if you want a certain game.

              I go to deals4downloads and check the prices.

              I buy from Steam, GamersGate, and a few other sources.

              1. Oh, and Amazon.

            2. I’ve looked at Amazon for some old school games like AoE, prices were ridiculously high. That same week, Steam had the entire collection on sale for 20 bucks.

              1. Deals4downloads dude, it will save you money, and make you a happier gamer.

                1. I’ll def check it out now. Thanks for the heads up.

                  1. What is does is collect the pricing data from all of the sites, so you can do a quick check and often will catch a great deal that way.

      3. I own a console. I just almost never use it. The only exception being Fallout 3, which I liked on Xbox, and Red Dead Redemption, which is not available on PC.

        That being said, console gaming is ok, if you don’t care about graphics or all the community enhancements you get with PC gaming. Also, I prefer a mouse and keyboard over a controller.

        It’s expensive, yes, but some folks, like myself are also into building the hardware for it, so there’s another plus. Console gamers are stuck with the same hardware for 10 years. 10 years is eons in todays technology timeline.

      4. Can’t you hook up your computer to the TV?

        Oh yeah another console plus: you don’t have to ‘click’ your enemies to death.

        PS3 has no gaems

        1. Uh, yes? HTPC mean anything to you? Valve is working on a Linux PC designed to compete with consoles. I would guess it will be ready around the same time as the next MS and Sony consoles.

        2. You most certainly can hook up your PC to your TV.

          Why would you want to? An HDTV is 1080i, where a PC is 1920×1020 and you are only sitting a couple of feet from it.

        3. Oh yeah another console plus: you don’t have to ‘click’ your enemies to death

          This is just a really uniformed comment. There is not so much difference in clicking a mouse button and clicking a button on a controller.

          Also, you can use a controller on a PC in most games, if you want to. It’s just that most PC gamers prefer a keyboard and mouse, myself included.

      5. I’m not a console elitist or anything. I have played many games on a PC over the years. I just find that I like chilling in my easy chair with a controller these days.

        PC gaming does have all the community content advantages and you just can’t beat a keyboard for versatility as compared to a controller.

        Plenty of games on the PS3. Plenty on XBox360. That is why I own both. Sometimes the games drop in price for one or the other first and that’s when I buy. I usually don’t pay more than $20 per game either. My Amazon cart is full of games I want and every now and then one drops in price below my threshold and I buy it.

        1. Thanks. I’m on Amazon regularly though and I always take a moment to check my cart. It tells me if a cart item has dropped in price.

          I might check that out though. I buy a ton of stuff through Amazon and there are times I am just waiting and I know the price drops sometimes on items then bounces back up.

          1. It’s companion site CamelEgg is great for Newegg as well.

      6. That’s basically the situation for me. I deal with enough computers (qua computers) at work — fixing bugs, writing code, wondering how the user screwed it up — to want to jack with compatibility and obsolescence at home.

        And there are some great games on my PS2 that I’ve not yet experienced, so I’ve not yet wanted to drop the cash on the newer, fancier thing.

  9. No Skyrim? I’m libertarian, and I like Skyrim.

    Case closed.

    1. One of the best game engines, ever. But it has it’s weakness, in that the characters typically have no personality at all. This is the flaw with the entire Elder Scrolls series. Also, your character has no voice. Lame.

      But I love the game, I was playing it some last night.

      1. My character is a mute who had her tongue cut out as a child. She uses a magic slate to communicate, but as a result of her injury, she cannot shout and resents anyone who uses their voice in such a way.

        1. Dunno, shouts always struck me as more akin to vomiting than vocalizing.

          1. I actually grew quite fond of the shouts. If you get into a battle where a group of enemies have closed in on you, it’s nice to knock them down with one to give you an extra moment to retreat a little and refocus your attack plan.

            1. In the Dragonborn DLC you are given the ability to respec all your dragon souls.

        2. Wow. I’m just a plain old Nord with a fondness for stealth and ranged weapons, preferably with fire enchantments.

          1. That’s how I play it too. Absolutely never get into a face-to-face fight if I can avoid it. Sneaking around is so much more fun.

            1. ^THIS^

              I grew into the ranged weapons thing starting with the first Gothic game. Once I got my hands on a good crossbow, I just never looked back, and carried that over into every other game that I have played since.

      2. One of the best game engines, ever.

        Eh, not so much if you’re on the PS3 version, where I logged 400+ hours.

        Haven’t put much time into my PC copy yet — I’m waiting for Dragonborn to be released.

        But it has it’s weakness, in that the characters typically have no personality at all.

        Yeah, though I can see how it’d be tough with so many different characters. Though you do have Nazeem. What a dick.

        My biggest criticism might be that your actions rarely effect other questlines. This is especially glaring in the Civil War questline, which was a major disappointment.

        Actually, my biggest peeve over the game is probably that like 90% of the NPCs are played by half a dozen voice actors.

        Though General Tullius is played by Col. Tigh, which is awesome.

        1. Eh, not so much if you’re on the PS3 version, where I logged 400+ hours.

          On a high end PC, if you are in some labyrinth sneaking around, the effect is just incredible, the graphics, and it’s so smooth. Combat, same deal, just incredible smoothness of the game engine. I have an Xbox 360, there is just no comparison to the PC game play.

          One game in particular that difference really stands out, is with Arcania Gothic 4. I first got the game as a gift on Xbox. It’s so bad that it’s literally unplayable. On PC, it is great, just not the same game at all. Same with Two Worlds 2. Actually, Two World 2 is superior to Skyrim in every way, except for the game engine.

          Probably the only exception I have ever found to this rule is Fallout 3, which I like better on the Xbox. Fallout NV, on the other hand, is awesome on PC.

    2. I’ve spent more time playing Skyrim than any other game. I sympathize.

  10. How about games for non-libertarians?

    A very statist friend had a Sims stage. He would remark how amazed he was at the unforeseen impact even a slight change would make. I would point out that this might suggest why his statist worldview was so damn impractical (not to mention immoral). It’s a slow process, but he’s coming around, and it all started with Sims. Oh, and my calling him a fucking slaver

    1. That was my point above. I wish people would play games like Sim city for that reason.

      1. thanks John, you posted while I was typing so I only saw that after hitting “submit”. Playing Sim City is like a gateway drug to Knowledge and Decisions

        1. If it really is this great tool of enlightenment, then can we get a clause in OCare that forces progs and freepers to play it, as part of a mental health initiative?

    2. CoD, Age of Empires, etc.

    3. “How about games for non-libertarians?”
      Lemmings, anyone?

  11. Spoilers for Bioshock and Bioshock 2

    The makers do screw up a bit by making the bad guy a smuggler, which is not a crime in Libertopia.

    The main enemy in BS2 is explicitly communist, extorting everyone that sacrifice of the individual to the needs of the people is the greatest virtue, and employing an army of slaves to fight and work for her.

    1. See, the thing about the original Bioshock game is that Andrew Ryan, contrary to how he portrayed Rapture, was a privately owned property under his direct control. Which would be fine, except that no one was allowed to leave. That was the #1 flaw: people who were dissatisfied with the place couldn’t leave.
      This essentially made Rapture a dictatorship under Ryan who didn’t allow anyone to leave or any outside materials to come in.

      And when people didn’t comply with his dictates? He goes after him with his proto-government police force. Then he nationalizes the smugglers legitimate business, and tries to use his power to make everyone his slaves when it all goes to pot. Rapture is absolutely how you DON’T make a free society: by making it dependent on 1 person’s whim.

  12. I grew up in the age of chess which is the most libertarian game in that you compete against another strictly on merit.

    1. You are just so damn intellectual.

    2. Monarchy and standing army. Not libertarian.

      1. The pawns need to discard their false consciousness and seize the board for the proletariat

        1. The hollow hope of reaching the other side of the board and being promoted to the aristocracy keeps the proles in line.

    3. Mighty bold; implying that you’ve grown up!

      Most here would disagree.

  13. I wish there was a game where you just get to build roads. I’ve always wanted to build roads. It would only be a one player game because competition in building roads is ridiculous and no one could build roads without central planning anyways…

    1. You can build roads in Civilization, but it sucks, really.

      1. yeah, but Civ is just like the real world. Building roads is boring but helpful so you just empower some lowly engineer with the power to build roads wherever they see fit. That engineer then exploits thatpower and builds unnecessary roads everyfuckingwhere in order to keep his job.

        1. Yeah you REALLY don’t want that in Civ 5. In none of the earlier incarnations of Civ did you have to pay to maintain the roads, in fact at least through Civ 3 they boosted the economic output of the tile they were on by +1 gold.

          Starting in Civ 5 after a certain point in the game the roads actually cost you money to maintain, and they can get quite expensive.

          1. Yeah but you don’t have to put roads in every fucking tile for a commerce bonus like you do in earlier iterations of Civ.

            1. Auto-worker FTW.

    2. Settlers of Catan?

      1. Ever play Settlers with a bunch of libertarians? It’s great, because everyone spends a huge amount of time on trading strategies. I’ve heard of some folks building futures markets within the game, where certain resources are guaranteed for trading at a particular price any time certain conditions arise, or where you pay for the option to trade later at a prenegotiated price.

        1. Gee and all my friends ever did is make Wood for Sheep jokes

    3. The Somalian Government will probably commission one

    4. Empire Builder, except they are Railroads which the government loves even more.

    5. transportation tycoon was a great game, back in the day, and it’s abandonware now

      http://www.openttd.org/en/

  14. I cried at the end of Fable 2. Fuckers killed my dog.

    1. So, the cops went to the wrong house again?

    2. I thought there was a way to get him back. I think you had to sacrifice a few kids or something, but whatev.

  15. I would add Spec Ops: The Line…one of my favorite games from last year. I thought it was going to end up as one those generic Call of Duty clones but it turns into one hell of a critique on the psychological aspects of war, drone strikes, and the mindless “shooting-foreigners-is-awesome!” stupidity of games like Call of Duty.

    1. But in Call of Duty, sometimes I’m the foreigner!

    2. This. From a gameplay perspective, it was just ok- a pretty formulaic cover-based shooter. From a story/ cinematography perspective, it was astonishingly good. The one time in the game you get the CoD “god’s eye view” of the battlefield and call in artillery leads to the most uncomfortable experience I’ve ever had in gaming. It really is a great game for tearing down the genre, and more importantly, the mentality that supports it.

    3. and the mindless “shooting

      IF you want some mindless shooting fun, try Borderlands.

      Don’t let the cartoonish graphics fool you, the game is a constant adrenaline rush. You have to give it some time, but it delivers.

      1. I’m level 47. True Vault Hunter Mode is the way to play it – I feel just a little underpowered, which makes for better gameplay, really. I definitely need mo’ bigga guns, but I’m sure they’ll show up in that next red chest. . . .

        My biggest complaint with Skyrim is that you can easily build a character that is never really in any danger of getting greased.

        1. True Vault Hunter Mode is the way to play it

          Is this something you have to unlock? I don’t remember seeing that option when I started my game.

          1. Finishing the main storyline unlocks it.

        2. I’m playing hunter class, but I’m only level 21 now. My fav toys are a good sniper rifle and an incendiary revolver.

          1. You’re going to want something corrosive soon. Like a nice Maliwan SMG.

            1. I killed Sledge with the revolver, only that. Was no way to get any distance on him to use the rifle, so I just hunkered down and started blastin him.

        3. Farm Hunter Hellquist for the Bee, equip shotgun, problems solved.

      2. Plus, it’s hilarious.

        1. “Big deal! I can do sexy innuendo too! Next up is the Vault Hunter and Flyboy! BLOWJOBS!”

      3. Borderlands’ real trick is supplanting the fantastically mindless shooting – which, yes, is some of the best mindless shooting I’ve ever encountered – with Diablo-style random loot drops, and a custom gun-spec system that allows for hundreds of thousands of potential combinations. (Maybe more? I recall reading that the sequel allowed for more than a million different gun combos.)

      4. Yeah I enjoyed Borderlands quite a bit. I think I heard they just released a new DLC campaign for it too so I’ll have to check that out if I can ever put down X-Com.

        1. The new X-Com?

  16. I just beat Fable III. Disappointed, I preferred the second. There was no motivation to upgrade weapons, and the spells were overpowered. It felt smaller as well.

    1. I also thought Fable II worked better than III. I was actually kind of frustrated with the end of III, which didn’t ask players to make the kind of trade offs that a really interesting political game might have managed to include.

      1. I have to chime in here… Fable as a franchise is just not that good. Fable II is the best of the lot, but Peter Molyneaux likes to say his games have such important moral choices.

        Making your avatar fart in an effort to make friends or enemies is not really that groundbreaking.

  17. Fallout 3 is the only one on this list that I actually agree with. Stellar game, especially when they fixed Fawkes so he’d actually go in the damn reactor at the end.

    1. THEY DID! I NEED TO REPLAY THAT RIGHT NOW.

      1. Only if you have Broken Steel.

        And Fawkes was a woman before she became an androgynous supermutant. /FO pedantry

  18. How about some love for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Series?

    1. Shadow of Chernobyl is incredible, intense.

      I just bought the expanion… something about pripyat, something like that, but haven’t even installed it yet.

  19. My favorite libertarianish game is Minecraft. As far as granting uninstall autonomy, not exactly sure if thats libertarian, it excels. It also requires inteligence and vcreativity, unlike these first person shooters.

  20. I’ve been playing Metal Gear Solid 4 obsessively for the past month. I’m sure you could pull some libertarian ideas out of that if you tried but I definitely recommend it. Although you really need to play the first 3 if you want to understand what’s going on.

    1. Did you see the video for the potential MGS5? This series has been getting stronger, so I seriously fear they will make a Final Fantasy error and overestimate what it is their fans want and fail (a la FFXIII; I loved 12, which could maybe be libertarian)

      1. Did you mean “stranger”? And are you talking about the phantom pain trailer or the ground zeroes trailer? Ground zeroes is going to be the next Metal Gear Solid game.

        Regardless I won’t worry about Metal Gear until Kojima retires.

    2. Trying to understand a Metal Gear Solid plot is an exercise in futility. Hideo Kojima’s storytelling ability is just awful. And the series lost me forever when MGS2 made me play as Raiden, the androgynous anime character, for 75% of the game instead of Snake.

      1. I felt the same way the first time I played 2 but I just recently replayed it and came away with a very different impression. Once you’re over the initial shock of not being Snake and take the game for what it is, it’s pretty interesting.

        Raiden is kind of a metaphor for the player. Here is an excellent video about 2 and I think this guy is actually libertarian; he even discusses the broken window fallacy in this video. http://thesnakesoup.org/?secti…..lityofmgs2

  21. No Star Control 2 ?!!?!!!???!!!!!!!

  22. What amazed me about Assassin’s Creed 3 was how steadfastly, genuinely pro-American it is. Awesome game with a fucking awful lack of appearance customization options.

    1. And Connor’s voice!!! If that doesn’t make someone want to become a Templar I don’t know what would.

      1. A better voice actor would have been nice, but his character still squarely and violently rejects authoritarianism in every form he encounters. I’m amazed Ubisoft made the guy that way.

    2. Assassin’s Creed games are just WAY too easy for me to enjoy. They practically hold your hand the entire time: go here, watch cutscene,rinse and repeat. Throw in some combat where it’s nearly impossible to die unless you’ve just never played a video game before and that’s pretty much it.

      I gave them one last chance w/ III b/c I wanted to kill some redcoats (as opposed to the usual pc enemies: nazis, russians, terrorist, aliens, & zombies) but I couldn’t take it.

  23. Also: No Half Life 2?!!???!!!!!!

    1. I know, right? Reason’s like the unofficial sponsor of Gordon Freeman. He even dresses in orange and black.

      1. ++++++lambda

  24. Mirror’s Edge: A first-person parkour simulator set in a ‘Big Brother is Watching You’-type future city where you disarm and beat up SWAT teams while trying to figure out who’s behind the assassination of a liberty-loving politician with the initials R.P. Doesn’t really get much more libertarian than that.

    1. Hmm, I’ve never heard of that, but I am googling it as we speak…

      Oh, is the game any good?

      1. It’s literally a Radley Balko revenge-simulator. There’s a two-button combo to kick cops in the nuts, and another one to flip them the bird.

        1. Hopefully they come out with a sequel where you get to kick congress critter in the nuts.

          1. It’s decent, but nothing special. Which is why Steam had it on sale for $5 during the holiday event. I’d imagine you can still get it for $5 – $10.

            The v-sync is terrible – almost as bad as Dead Island.

            1. I never use v-sync for anything. The first time I read what it does, I knew it wouldn’t be good for me.

      2. It’s a bit pukey.

    2. Good choice, although the game is a bit short.

  25. FO3: absolutely yes it’s great, except for the ending which is tailor made to piss off Objectivists.

    Bioshock: NO. Nobody should play this clunky corridor shooter. Brilliant story aside, it has to be the most overrated non-military FPS ever made. Graphics are kinda ugly too at least on the 360 and enemy AI is nothing to write home about.

    1. completely agree on Bioshock.

    2. FO3

      NV is better, much better. If you like FO3, you will love NV.

      1. See… I can’t agree with that. I love FO:NV, but I like FO3 even more. That first moment you leave the vault in FO3 is probably my favorite video game moment in 30 years of gaming.

        1. I know exactly what you are talking about Ska.

          Played FO1 & 2 in the 90s. Then had to wait years for FO3. I go through the beginning part in the vault. Learn my character’s back story. Finally get to leave and…

          …holy crap look at this devastated wasteland! And look!! A flying robot satellite looking thing!!!

  26. How does this list not have Eve Online on it? Its one of the very few sandbox MMOs out there where almost all of the content is emergent and player created.

  27. Is World of Warcraft good for libertarians?

    1. WoW is good for anyone with 6+ hours a day to play.

  28. Doom. It all begins and ends with Doom.

  29. If this has sorta become a video game thread, is there any love for Homeworld? I remember loving that game, if for no other reason than the realistic 4D nature of space. Hyperspacing was pretty sweet as well. I haven’t played in a LONG time though, so maybe I’m forgetting any flaws.

    1. Homeworld 2 with the Star Wars mod that has realistic scale = best shit ever. You can sink day after day after day into it.

      1. Homeworld is the ONLY game that ever managed to take over my life. I had a real problem with that game. It was consuming for me, even after playing the entire campaign through twice. I traded the game for some hardware or some such because I didn’t want it around me anymore. Last and only time I neglected my wife and kids for a game.

      2. Damn, looks like I need to upgrade to a good PC soon to get that stuff; although maybe not the best idea with law school starting in the fall.

        1. If you’re starting law school, sell all your games and never look back.

    2. Loved Homeworld when it came out. Just a great game at the time. (1999)

    3. Homeworld was the game that really hooked me on video gaming.

      Wonderful storyline, good gameplay. I can still hear the soundtrack in my head. Great stuff.

      Homeworld 2 was an excellent sequel.

      1. Damn, another game that I have never heard of, and I consider myself a serious gamer. Have to check this one out also.

  30. I know it’s old school, but we really enjoyed the Thief series. The storyline seems libertarian to me. We just bought Dishonored, mainly because it seems Thief-like. we’ll. see.

    1. We just bought Dishonored, mainly because it seems Thief-like. we’ll. see.

      I loved the Thief games too. A friend of mine has said the same thing about Dishonored.

  31. StarCraft 2 is a really awesome explicitly libertarian game. The whole thing is about an outlaw’s fight to overthrow the tyrannical government but not to install himself as the new emporer. The game is even critical of the Federal Reserve.

  32. Grand Theft Auto has a libertarianish flavor to it. You start out with nothing and through hardwork, a few activities the government disapproves of (like homicide), and the use of firearms, you too can be a millionaire with cars, properties, and female companions in multiple parts of the world.

    1. Don’t forget a tv show you could watch in GTA IV – Republican Space Rangers! lol.

  33. For some reason I can’t see the comments unless I post one on my smartphone.

    1. Obviously you failed the purity test. Go find some orphans to work your coal mine. Maybe that will fix it.

      1. Buying a jewel encrusted monocle is also a plus.

  34. Just want to say that I’m in the D.C. metro area, Bethesda specifically, for the next two weeks on business. The Fallout 3 deja vu I’ve been getting is intense! The bridges and subways look exactly like they do in the game. Even downtown Bethesda feels like they’ve merely slapped up some shiny steel and brick facades over the grit and grime.

    1. for the next two weeks on business.

      Glad you made that explicitly clear, BB. Wouldn’t want to mistake you for a swamp-dweller.

      Fun fact: Bethesda Softworks, the company behind Fallout 3 (and Skyrim, and a metric fuckton of your other favorite games) is located in Bethesda, MD. So reference was easy for them when they were designing FO3.

      1. I get a kick out of my nephew thinking it is a made up fantasy word. He pronounces it ‘Bah-teez-da’. One day I’ll correct him.

      2. You’d think they were located in Bethesda MD, based on their name, but they are actually located in Rockville.

        1. The company started in Bethesda, but moved soon thereafter.

    2. Darn, I’m sorry to hear that. In the DC metro area, and in MD at the same time. I feel for you.

      But yeah, Fallout 3 is one of the best, ever.

  35. Me, I’ve been playing Nethack since 1987, and I still play it. Graphics are for kids! 🙂

    1. This ought to make you happy.

      A Doom Roguelike:

      http://doom.chaosforge.org/

  36. I own, Deus Ex, Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire…all excellent games.

    1. I don’t get the hype about L.A. Noire. My brother wouldn’t leave me alone until I finally found it on sale and bought it. But I can’t get into it. Maybe I have to force myself to play for a little longer.

  37. I stopped playing Fable 3 right after I got evil points for not bailing out the banks. Bleeding hearts win out?

  38. Not a bad list. I would add:
    Deus Ex – The original was a classic, and hits a lot of the same notes as HR.
    The Witcher 2 – Weary witcher Geralt’s attitude about the feudal society he in habits is nice for cynics, humanists, or libertarians. The game does a good job respecting your choices (going so far as to offer two very different second acts based on the choices you make in the first) and doesn’t shy away from adult topics or political intrigue.
    The X series – Space sims where you will probably devote less effort to dogfighting than to building up a massive supply chain of interstellar factories and transports in a simulated economy. On the downside, they’re a bit buggy and poorly translated. Also, apparently no one explained to them the problem with naming their antagonistic AI race the “Khaak”. It does make for unintentionally hilarious dialogue, though.
    Ultima 5 – All of the good Ultimas (4 – 7) have their strong points, but the plot of Ultima 5 involves a fight against an oppressive tyranny that arose by taking the ethical system established in the previous game and transforming it into a brutally enforced code of laws, corrupting it in the process.

    Also good are Minecraft (driven by individual initiative) and Starcraft (established in a world filled with progressive dystopias and a story that involves assisting a revolution overthrow a corrupt government only to see the leader establish himself as an even more vicious dictator).

  39. Nobody in their right mind would play Fable III on purpose. The Witcher 2 should be on this list, as Geralt of Rivia of the ultimate Libertarian.

    1. He might need a few reminders about the non-aggression principle.

  40. Grove street 4 life.

    1. “All you had to do was follow the damn train, CJ.”

  41. …and apolitical scientists.

    The clearest indication that the game is a work of fiction…

  42. How about Portal 1? It might be a little weak on libertarian credentials, but most good games are. It is short, cheap, relatively accessible to casual gamers, and tends to be very well received. Its dark humor casts authority (more corporate / military-industrial-complex than government, but close enough) in a rather negative light.

    1. I loved Portal. That and Mirror’s Edge are two of my favorite FPS games despite not having much shooting in them. Mirror’s Edge has you fighting a typical evil corporation though. The corporation did pretty much take over the government so you could say it’s crony capitalism. I doubt that’s what the creators intended though.

    2. Oh and you get to disarm and beat up corrupt cops. Many people on this site would enjoy that 🙂

  43. 2013 Happy New Year,NFL,NBA,Fashion kickoff for u

  44. These games are so good, i like them

  45. No DayZ? Seems pretty libertarian.

  46. “Fallout 3”? No, ’tis a silly game. Rather poor main story, stupid “help the old lady or brutally murder her and molest the corpse” type moral “choices” and an ending that just laughs at the whole “my choices matter” concept.

    If you want a storyline about the conflict between a brutal depot, a power-hungry, “manifest destiny” believing, join us or die type of democracy, and a utopian, technocratic dictator – with the option to say screw it all and sieze power for yourself – then Fallout: New Vegas is your game.

  47. 2013 Fashion kickoff for u

  48. others. But the arc of game design has bent toward expanding

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