So, the first thing is, there’s an Alex Jones video game. And the second thing is, yes, it’s as awful as you might guess, both in terms of its racism, homophobia and misogyny, and that it’s just a dreadful game. But there’s a third thing, and it’s more interesting: it’s really weird.
There’s a thing the alt-right does that’s pretty essential to its survival: it obfuscates everything it believes in overlapping layers of irony. No one involved is in any form of agreement over which aspects are irony and which are sincerely held beliefs, which only adds to this bizarro wall of gibberish that protects it from any form of intellectual scrutiny. Yes, some of them absolutely believe there’s a pedophile ring being run out of a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C., and would die in the cause’s name. Others, meanwhile, laugh at you for thinking that’s really a thing the alt-right believes, you libtard idiot cuck. Apply the same to every other element of their clusterfuck of deranged and bigoted beliefs.
This weird duvet of unironic irony makes any and all external criticism fall on deaf ears and sneering mouths, only allowing them to feel more powerful within their ludicrous bubble. Think of it as a shield made of shit. Throwing shit at it only makes the shit-shield thicker.
So it’s with this in mind that I approach an attempt at a critique of Alex Jones: NWO Wars. I am very aware that every aspect I criticize will immediately be something that was deliberately bad, an ironic inclusion in the game, there to mock me for thinking it was intentional. Although, in the case of this 48-minute-long game, which costs $17.76 (geddit?), it would have to be some pretty widespread intent.
This is a 2D side-scrolling shooter, in which you play as poorly inflated balloon animal Alex Jones, here rendered like a 1980s video-game Rambo, shooting at pixel enemies with as many as three different weapons. The enemies, be they gay frogs, gay rats, homeless people, or Hilary Clinton, sort of vaguely hop around you, not operating on the same platforms as you, meaning you shoot randomly while jumping up and down to try to hit them. At the end of each level, there’s a miserably easy boss fight that involves just shooting in a straight line, occasionally dodging something. Then it ends.
It’s objectively terrible. It’s just a bad side-scrolling action game. It’s bad like a movie tie-in game you bought for 99c out of a bin in a dark corner of a gaming store in 1992. That it’s hilariously short is, if anything, a mercy. It’s very obviously a cash-grab, an attempt to get all those fervent Infowars viewers to hand over their money in an act of loyalty, and it’ll probably work. The game already has 323 reviews on Steam with an overall rating of “Very Positive.” God, even if you’re daft enough to have enjoyed a really janky action game, you should still be pissed it didn’t last an hour.
But that aside, let’s explore what makes the whole thing so very strange. Because it’s hard, as you slog through the three-quarters of an hour, not to wonder if someone is openly mocking Jones here.
Within this repulsively bigoted game, that wants me to get outraged and write paragraphs about its racism (all the homeless people you murder are black, all the babies you rescue are white), its misogyny (every time you die Jones barks, “That BITCH!” for reasons I cannot fathom), its homophobia (the entire game’s thesis is around Jones’ bizarre belief that America is turning frogs gay, and an open hatred of gay people), and incredible combinations of all three (vile transphobic references to Michelle Obama with the line, “This is as fake as big Mike being a woman,”), throughout the game Jones never stops declaring, “I’ll eat your ass.”
Which is hilarious.
The messaging becomes more confusing with the random barks Jones recorded for the game. While the game’s levels aim to reference Jones’ most familiar beats—everyone who ever met Epstein is a satanic pedophile, San Francisco is controlled by liberal tech elites and also overrun with malevolent homelessness, Tucker Carlson heroically hates Canadians I guess?—it has these lines that appear throughout that fluctuate between just boldly stated, firmly believed conspiracy theories and deliberate jokes.
This means you have the line,
9/11 was an inside job, it was a controlled demolition
appearing at random alongside the line,
The elites don’t want you to know this, but the ducks in the park are free. You can take them home. I have 558 ducks.
That second line is genuinely funny. I laughed. I then wondered if Jones thinks it’s true.
But why is that line there? Is it there so I have to question if he means it when he then just blathers, “The moon landing was a hoax.”?
This is a game where a level based on the Canadian trucker protests (remember those?) is ostensibly on the side of the protesting truckers, but then has you blow up all the trucks, while a voice purporting to be that of Tucker Carlson cheers you on, yelling barely coherent epitaphs about how wonderful Alex Jones is.
It’s those ever-folding layers of unirony, there to ensure you’re never quite sure where you are. It’s the same reason the game thinks it can get away with a boss fight against “Doctor Fooker,” where Jones shouts, “Oh hey, it’s Doctor Fooker, who allegedly created HIV in a lab.” They don’t mean that, right? It’s a joke! Can’t sue them for a joke. But meanwhile you’re being attacked by doctors carrying giant vaccine syringes.
There’s nothing brave about it. It openly calls Bill Clinton a rapist, but then so does Some More News most weeks. It takes the coward’s route at every opportunity, hiding its claims behind changed names and cartoon allegories. Although, you’ll never guess which Jones pet subject never comes up. Yup, no mention of Sandy Hook to be found. And amazingly, it misses the opportunity to promote any of Jones’ woo-woo soy-based vitamin pills, instead using vague “Alpha” pills for extra lives.
In that desire for their shit-duvet, or wherever that analogy got to, a large part of the reason for this game to exist is to enjoy watching liberal outlets become justly outraged at its racism and homophobia. But honestly, it does it so poorly and unsubtly that it’s not even interesting to counter. Yup, you murder homeless people of color for the lulz. That’s astoundingly shit. But it’s about as interesting as some racist old cartoon from an old-timey newspaper. It’s a wonder they don’t have bones through their noses. The game doesn’t even do bigotry well.
Sure, I’ve given it the oxygen of publicity, and yes, there will be a commenter who loudly declares they’re buying it now just to show us what’s what. But that’ll be some prick having $18 fewer dollars in their wallet and a terrible game to have to pretend to enjoy, and that kind of works for me.
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