Out of all the people in the world, I am not the first person who should be talking about this. I’m just some game developer from the suburbs whose own experiences with abuses of power pale in comparison to that of countless Americans.
But at the end of the day, I am developing Tyrannis, a game that portrays dystopian American authority figures as the villains, and those who stand up against them to be in the right. And in that game, the heroes do support violent means to achieve their goals in response to the violence those same authority figures have used against more peaceful methods.
I won’t lie when I say that my game does portray it’s setting’s America in a negative light. Nor will I deny that my game pulls any punches with the America I live in, since the sins of the setting’s America are based on my own country’s misdeeds.
But out of all the themes in the game, one of the most important is the importance of peaceful societal change. Or to be more specific, what happens when it is made imposible.
Or as John F. Kennedy put it, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
In the setting of Tyrannis, there is a civil rights movement that is violently surpressed by the American rulers, including the American Caesar. What had been a peaceful movement had been escalated by police brutality and bullets to the face, from the authorities.
Which is, sadly, similar to what is happening today. Thirty minutes from my home, a young man was shot in the face by local police. And today, the President and a Senator from Arkansas have called for a similar escalation of force and violence against a largely-peaceful demonstration.
The violent actions of Tyrannis’ American dystopia are coming to life in our own world.
And they are as unjustified, needlessly violent and morally wrong as they are in Tyrannis.
Still, Tyrannis is about a conflict between two Americas.
Not police vs. protester or white vs. black, despite what some with power may wish.
No, the conflict in Tyrannis is between two visions of America.
On one side is the protagonists, struggling and bleeding to make a better America. Where people of all colors, religions, languages, and cultures may live in peace. An America without fear, hate, greed, brutality, and intolerance. One that will lead to all peoples’ happiness,
On the other side is the antagonists’ America, fighting for a status quo of violence, abuse of power, corruption, cruelty, prejudice, and white supremacy. an America that lets men torture and prison innocent people with impunity.
At the end of the day, Tyrannis is about a struggle between the America that we can become, and the America that we tell ourselves that we are not.
This is not in support of violence, but a condemnation of the use of violence by those in power who would use their power to abuse others.