Impressive Games CEO Tim Sweeney this afternoon looked for to clarify controversial declarations he made about the function of video games in today’s dissentious political environment.
Providing the DICE top keynote in Las Vegas today, Sweeney stated that games were a legitimate medium for making political declarations. He referenced Harper Lee’s unique To Eliminate a Mockingbird as a masterpiece which contained messages that “makes people think about things.”
However he went on to state that “we as business need to divorce ourselves from politics.” According to a report on Gamasutra, he added: “We have to create a very clear separation between church and state,” and, “there’s no reason to drag divisive topics…into gaming at all.” He likewise stated that game business “should get the marketing departments out of politics,” according to a report onIGN
This produced considerable push-back and confusion onTwitter Was Sweeney arguing that games business can make games with political messages, however should not discuss them in any method that acknowledges their political material?
Looking For to clear up the confusion, Sweeney posted: “If a game tackles politics, as To Kill a Mockingbird did as a novel, it should come from the heart of creatives and not from marketing departments seeking to capitalize on division.”
This appears like a reasonable declaration, although it does not truly address his earlier “church and state” argument. If games business demand an apolitical policy, how precisely do “creatives” make political games? Nor does it clarify how a marketing department must resolve political material, in a world where games business are “divorced from politics.”
In an additional tweet, he resolved political debates and varying viewpoints: “When a business runs a community where developers and users can reveal themselves, they [the company] must … be a neutral mediator. Else the capacity for unnecessary impact from within or without is far too expensive.”
Once again, this appears reasonable enough, other than that business are seldom if ever “neutral moderators” about problems that they appreciate, or that they translate as being destructive to their own credibilities and fortunes. There are lots of examples of viewpoints that a person may reveal in a games business online forum, that would generate a powerful reaction, or a restriction.
Replying to specific Twitter reactions, Sweeney resolved circumstances in which corporations connect themselves to political perspectives, such as fast food cycleChik-fil-A’s well-known history of supporting anti-LGBT organizations “I think a company like that shouldn’t take a position on an issue like this, because it’s out of the scope of their mission. If one’s mission is to make great food, and 1000’s of employees have come together to support that, why drag them into an issue many disagree on?”
In another reply, he mentioned: “I just don’t feel it’s appropriate for one person, like a company CEO, to draw their company and its employees into their personal politics outside of the company’s mission.”
It’s not clear how this squares with Sweeney’s own exceptional history of charitable contributions. In 2016, he supposedly donated $15 million worth of land to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The contribution was made by him separately, it was done openly, and he is determined in associated press reports as the creator of Impressive Games.