The Quarians from Mass Effect are Council Communists

In my latest straw-grasping feature, I highlight and explain my discovery that the Quarians from the Mass Effect series are actually big ol’ commies.

I’ve started replaying the first Mass Effect recently in a bid to indulge my nostalgic cravings, and while the first hour or two are a bit of a slog to play, you eventually reach a point where you can really start to sink your teeth into it. I thankfully reached that point of the game and decided to catch up with my newly-acquired crew, which led me to the engine room where I had a chat with Tali’Zorah, the Quarian you pick up after she helps you in finding evidence to condemn Saren, the antagonist of the game. And I found out something rather fascinating after asking her about Quarian society.

The Quarians operate under a sort of Council Communist society. They don’t call it that, but that’s what their system of government is. Really, it is. Allow me to explain.

Quarians find their home in the Flotilla, also known as the Migrant Fleet. It’s a massive collection of ships and cruisers that move in unison to form a sort of spaceborne Venice. While the Flotilla is technically under martial law and the captains of each ship have their final say over ship matters, in practice Quarian society is much more democratic.

The government of the Migrant Fleet is referred to as the Conclave, and is made up of representatives from every ship in the Flotilla, who collectively decide on day-to-day matters like the course of the fleet, resource collection, and law enforcement, the martial law element taking the form of the Admiralty Board, a group of five Quarian Admirals that oversee Conclave decisions and have the power to override decisions, though it has to be unanimous and it comes at the cost of immediate resignation from this post to keep the power in check.

Individual ships, as well as putting forward their Conclave representatives, form their own democratic councils to decide on individual ship decisions and what issues they want their Conclave representatives to bring to meetings, and crew resources are pooled to upgrade, replace, and stock their respective ships.

If we act under the hypothetical that the Migrant Fleet were not under martial law and subsequently the Admiralty Board did not have a final say over the Conclave, then almost all of these aspects of Quarian society and government follow suit with the political theories of Council Communist ideologies, like De Leonism and Luxemburgism. For the purposes of a strong argument, I’ll approach this from a Luxemburgist perspective.

Luxemburgists generally support the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, though their support ends at Lenin’s dictatorship of the proletariat under his vanguard party, as this position of authority would be susceptible to corruption of power (we saw this when Stalin exiled Trotsky and took the reigns of the Soviet Union). Therefore, Luxemburgist theory instead calls a collection of worker councils, each council deciding on the policy best suited to its respective industry and community, and sending representatives to one greater council to decide nationwide policy, these representatives being regularly replaced by new representatives to keep power in check.

We can see this in Quarian society: with individual ships serving as equivalent worker councils, democratically deciding on what would be best for their own inner communities, and sending off representatives to the Conclave for fleet-wide concerns. We can even see certain elements of this theory in the Admiralty Board, with members forced to resign and be replaced by new representatives in the event of policy vetoes. This isn’t quite the same, but there is a resemblance.

There are other elements of the Flotilla that resemble general Communist theory too: Part of Quarian culture is to send newly-matured Quarians on Pilgrimages to find something useful in the galaxy, and bringing it back to the Flotilla as an offering, giving it to the ship they wish to join the crew of. This act for the betterment of the community could be considered quite Communist in ideal, and its intrinsic attachment to Quarian tradition only goes to further that thought.

These Pilgrimage items are almost always accepted by the ship captain that they are offered to, as the expansion of a ship’s crew improves its standing in Quarian society. This is an excellent means of incentivising the housing of Quarians, and despite overpopulation issues in Quarian society, it’s at least an assurance that no Quarian will go without a figurative roof over their head.

The Quarians also find within their fleet three Liveships, enormous vessels that house agricultural technology that serves to feed much of the Flotilla, and Quarians living in the Flotilla partake in voluntary rotational working positions on the Liveships to maintain and harvest their produce . This equal distribution of food is a significant aspect of most, if not all, Communist ideologies, and the voluntary rotations that Quarians in the fleet serve is an embodiment of the Karl Marx quote, “From each according to [their] ability, to each according to [their] needs.”

Sometimes I feel like I’m really pulling at straws. I have no problem with that: I think desperate, conspiracy theorist ramblings make for some rather comical content. But sometimes I’ll stumble across something that genuinely makes me say, “holy shit, it’s actually Communism.” And I think the Quarians are a pretty damned good example.

[Disclaimer: any nonsensical connections made between video games and Communist themes, zealous and self-righteous dictator-esque behaviors, and perceived support and/or apologism of oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union are purely instances of self-satire as a means of comical introspection, and in some cases have no basis in truth or personal belief.]

Review – Calm Down, Stalin

I don’t remember how I found Calm Down, Stalin. All I did know is that I purchased it almost immediately after its discovery. I don’t regret that decision.

Calm Down, Stalin is a comedy simulation game, putting you in the shoes of former leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin. You control Stalin’s hands as he performs stately duties, manages his stress levels, and attempts to maintain the ‘cold’ aspect of the Cold War.

Let’s get this out of the way: Calm Down, Stalin is absolutely fucking ridiculous. It’s a glorious work of satire through absurdity, boiling down the complex and brutal machinations of Stalin’s regime into a collection of time-sensitive minigames akin to Surgeon Simulator mixed with the cutscenes from the Red Alert series.

It begins as Stalin, the main character, has moved into a brand new office. It’s barebones, but the State slowly populate it with more items, be they decorations or more tasks to perform (after choosing an optional mission path that led me to focusing on my Stately duties, I was given a portrait of Vladimir Lenin to hang on the wall behind me).

There are two primary components always present: the enemy invasion timer, and the nuclear detonation button. Stalin must perform a series of tasks in order to maintain the “State Integrity” meter, but must also be wary of the “Tiredness” meter, which can affect motor functions. If the timer reaches zero minutes to midnight, then the West will invade and there will be Nuclear War, and the means through which you prevent this is by threateningly hovering your finger over the nuclear detonation button, while being careful not to actually press it.

As well as tiredness, your motor functions are also affected by stress, caused by failure to perform your stately duties. These include answering the phone, stamping important documents, executing enemies of the state, and whacking a faulty lamp. If your stress and tiredness are too high, it can make not only performing these tasks more challenging, but also your ability to simply threaten nuclear war, rather than letting your hand slip and pushing the big red button. It becomes a high-pressure game of maintaining state integrity, holding back the threat of war, and managing your stress through pipe-smoking, shots of vodka, and working out your frustrations on a punching bag.

Stalin moving into a new office is a nice way of explaining the slow progression, and gives you a steady learning curve to get to grips with the best ways of performing each task as they come about. And that steadiness is definitely needed, as all of the tasks require constant attention in order to ensure there are no slip-ups. Once you really get into the meat of the game it can be frustrating, stressful, but ultimately more entertaining.

It’s quite a basic, small game, as reflective of its price tag, but much in the same way as Surgeon Simulator and its progression into a (debatably) fuller, higher production value game, I feel like a bigger budget and a larger team working at Calm Down, Stalin could lead to a genuinely funny and compelling experience, perhaps even more-so than Surgeon Simulator ever did. Which isn’t to say that it’s not fun and worthwhile in its current state, it certainly is for me at least: but there’s potential for even more, perhaps with a greater story angle and dialogue that could enhance the comedy of the game.

It does at times feel unnecessarily slow, with some levels feeling twice as long as they might need to be. Calm Down, Stalin is a game that I’d like to enjoy in short bursts, and its levels don’t feel concise enough to qualify. And as competently as it functions with its mouse and keyboard controls, I can only imagine it’d be a lot more fun to play with a dual-analogue controller, with each stick controlling either of Stalin’s arms, rather than having to switch between the two. It’s little things like this that come together and hold the game back from being an outright recommendation, but if you’re a die-hard Communist shit-poster or enthusiastic about silly simulator games, then I’d say give it a go!

Calm Down, Stalin put a smile on my face, and while there are pitfalls that keep it from being the short burst game that I want it to be, there’s a lot of potential at its core and it has the framework to become something really compelling. Also it’s got Stalin in it, which is a bit funny, isn’t it?

Steam Link || £2.79 || $3.99 || €3.99

[Disclaimer: any nonsensical connections made between video games and Communist themes, zealous and self-righteous dictator-esque behaviors, and perceived support and/or apologism of oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union are purely instances of self-satire as a means of comical introspection, and in some cases have no basis in truth or personal belief.]

Comparing the Imperium of Man and the Soviet Union

Humanity’s creations often bear resemblances as a result of inspiration, be it conscious or subconscious. This can also be explained by coincidence. But sometimes, coincidence can seem awfully strong. Much like the number of coincidences to be found between the Soviet Union and the Imperium of Man from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. And, as the 8th edition of the game has recently been released, what better a time to explore them!

 

They Were Both Inspired by an Idealist Man

Ten thousand years before the 41st millennium, the Emperor of Mankind ruled over the Imperium. When many wished to worship him as a God Emperor, he said, “I am not a god; rather than enslaving humanity I want to free it from ignorance and superstition.” After his ‘death’ at the hands of Horus and his installation into the Golden Throne, 10,000 years  passed, and throughout this time, the citizens of the Imperium and its custodians all revered him as the God Emperor that he wished not to be.

Much like the Emperor, Karl Marx was simply a scholar with a strong mind and a pure vision for humanity who believed religion to be “the opiate of the masses,” and throughout the duration of the Soviet Union after his death, was considered almost god-like by its citizens and rulers.

They Both Had Commissars

Within the structure of the Imperium are Commissars. Often assigned to Imperial Navy ships or to regiments of the Astra Militarum, the Commissars act independently of the entities that they are assigned to, their primary roles being the enforcement of discipline and devotion to the Emperor of Mankind.

The Soviet Union also employed Political Commissars, who also existed outside of the official bulk of the Red Army. Their primary roles were also discipline and devotion to the Soviet Union, and they performed this role through the production of propaganda that they formulated based on their experiences with their assigned regiments and entities.

 

They Both Had Go-Getters to Realise Their Ideals

By the Emperor’s side sat Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines. He was considered by many a Paragon of the Imperium, and before his brutal brush with death led the Ultramarines and all the other Space Marine chapters not fallen to chaos on a glorious crusade to unite the galaxy under the Imperium of Man. On the brink of death after his battle with Fulgrim, Guilliman was placed into stasis, until his resurrection in the 41st Millennium, wherein he condemned what the Imperium had become, saying: “Look what they’ve made of our dream. This bloated, rotting carcass of an empire is driven not by reason and hope but by fear, hate and ignorance. Better that we had all burned in the fires of Horus’ ambition than live to see this.”

Similarly, Vladimir Lenin was a significant figure in the forming of the Soviet Union, himself leading the revolution that resulted in its formation. He championed Marx’s ideals in the same way that Guilliman did the Emperor’s, and upon his demise his body was preserved and kept in a tomb, still to be seen this day behind glass in Moscow. This is very weird, but is also almost a kind of stasis if you think about it. And I have no doubt that, were Lenin to be resurrected like that bit in The Simpsons, then he’d also be rather upset about the legacy of the Soviet Union.

 

They Both Have Winter Soldiers that Wear Ushankas

The Astra Militarum are the primary fighting force of the Imperium of Man. One of its regiments, The Valhallan Ice Warriors, are “famous for their tenaciousness in holding their ground against even the most hopeless odds, and their ability to suffer the most appalling casualties without breaking.” They adorn long, grey coats and ushankas that keep them warm on their homeworld of Valhalla.

The Soviet Union’s Red Army is awfully similar to the Valhallan Ice Warriors, which is definitely a massive coincidence and not because they were based off of them, honest. They had long, grey coats and ushankas as Russia is a very cold place, and they were famous for their ability to stand ground and defend positions, as well as to suffer heavy casualties, like at the Siege of Stalingrad in 1942.

 

Well, there you go. I’d say the evidence is pretty compelling: Warhammer 40,000 is actually secretly Communist Propaganda, and I bet it doesn’t even know that it is. Say what you will, I merely spread the hard facts. What do you think? Let me know!

[Disclaimer: any nonsensical connections made between video games and Communist themes, zealous and self-righteous dictator-esque behaviors, and perceived support and/or apologism of oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union are purely instances of self-satire as a means of comical introspection, and in some cases have no basis in truth or personal belief.]

Nothing Else About E3 Matters Because There are Communists in the New Wolfenstein

We’re right in the middle of E3, a week-long extravaganza showcasing what every big triple-A games publisher has to offer for the coming year and beyond.  But none of it really matters, except Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus because it’s got Communists in it.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a sequel to 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, which took series protagonist William “B.J.” Blazkowicz through an alternate timeline 1960’s Europe where the Nazis’ technological advancements secured their victory in World War II. The New Colossus brings us to the United States of America in the same timeline, and from the trailer we can see that the US Government have welcomed the Nazi Occupation open-armed, with SS Officers drinking strawberry milkshakes in diners, and making sure Klansmen have been keeping up on their German lessons.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m a bit of a fan of Communism. Shocking, I know. And as a result, when a piece of media, especially video games, portrays Communism in a positive light, I get a warm feeling deep inside of me that reverberates throughout the very core of my being. So, it’ll come as no surprise the immense joy that I felt when I watched the reveal trailer for The New Colossus, that premiered at Bethesda’s E3 conference last Sunday.

It has Communists in it, which renders everything else about this year’s E3 completely unimportant.

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There are a lot of other things to love about The New Colossus‘s reveal: the diverse cast of minority and disabled characters, including the fact that Blaskowicz himself is paraplegic (we can see badass action missions in the trailer where Blaskowicz is wheelchair-bound), the poignant commentary on the shared views of the Third Reich and many Far-Right organisations in the western world (the aforementioned Klansmen), and the abject hilarity of the Alt-Right’s sheer anger over the game’s objective of killing, I quote, “people you disagree with.”

But, I’m all about that on-brand content. So for me, more important than all of that, is the group of American Communist Revolutionaries that Blaskowicz seems to recruit into the Kreisau Resistance. We see as-of-yet unnamed men and women with red-banded arms engaged in distanced gunfire, surrounded by what looks like vintage distillery equipment, as Blaskowicz sits down to share a bottle of whiskey with the assumed leader.

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The old man talks with fury about the Imperialist war machine of the United States, the greedy moneymakers of Wall Street, and the families of the Proletarian masses. They even have a Constructivist propaganda poster on the wall, with a rising sun backgroup and hands clutching a hammer. And look at that man with the claranet. That’s fucking amazing.

That’s the most important thing to take from this year’s E3. Not the tactical opposition to fanatical religious cults in a Southern American state in Far Cry 5. Sure there’s Boomer, the Fangs-for-Hire who nicks guns off of your enemies and gives them to you. He may be a very good boy, but is he a Communist in The New Colossus? Nay I say!

Not the revamped gameplay and fascinating new setting of the upcoming Assassins Creed Origins. Yes, Eagle Vision is actually the vision of an eagle now, and the main protagonist doesn’t have a painfully out-of-place American accent like Altair in the first Assassins Creed. But even worse, Communism didn’t even exist in Egyptian times! Ridiculous.

And not the much-awaited unveiling of Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Michel Ancel’s resultant tears of joy. Yes, BG&E2 looks like literal gold embezzled onto a screen and Ancel’s muted outburst of pure emotional catharsis was one of the most beautiful parts of the Ubisoft conference, nay, the entirety of E3. But you know what London slang-spouting anthropomorphic monkeys don’t beat? Communists in The New Colossus.

Killing Nazis has always been a timeless conquest in video game history. They’re the perfect enemy. And I look forward to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus‘ continuation of the medium’s tradition. But, as proven in actual World War II, the most effective force you can throw at a Nazi Occupation is a big handful of Communists, which makes me ever-more eager.

[This is a disclaimer that I’ll be adding as a footnote to all of my work from now on: any nonsensical connections made between video games and Communist themes, zealous and self-righteous dictator-esque behaviors, and perceived support and/or apologism of oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union are purely instances of self-satire as a means of comical introspection, and in some cases have no basis in truth or personal belief.]

Thoughts in the Wake of Launching Jaffameister TV

Months of planning, re-planning, designs, redesigns, shoots, re-shoots… but it finally got filmed, edited, and published.

Jaffameister TV grew from various trailing concepts into the answer to one question: “Wouldn’t it be a bit funny if I took this brand that I have and make videos with it while assuming the role of a zealous propaganda news anchor?”

For those of you not quite in the loop, I’m a Communist. Shocking, I know. I am, however, not the Stalin-loving, Authoritarian-state, Lenin-was-a-shining-golden-god kind of Communist stereotype often attributed to the Marxist-Leninist movement (sometimes unfairly.)

But then it dawned on me: what if I play the character of a Stalin-loving, Authoritarian-state, Lenin-was-a-shining-golden-god kind of Communist stereotype, for a bit of self-satirical introspection and because it might be a bit funny?

That’s how my brand, of propaganda poster-inspired aesthetics and adamant Communist assertion, came about. And it sorta just stuck, for better or for worse. Jaffameister TV is a continuation of the big joke that I’ve built around myself, to a degree far higher.

And thus far it’s been well-received! Which I can’t say how relieved I am about. It’s been a lot of work to get the ball rolling on the project, and I’ve had a lot of anxiety in the time leading up to its launch. But a lot of it has been quelled seeing how many people are excited for more.

So stick around comrades, and stay tuned for the next broadcast from Jaffameister TV.

[This is a disclaimer that I’ll be adding as a footnote to all of my work from now on: any nonsensical connections made between video games and Communist themes, zealous and self-righteous dictator-esque behaviors, and perceived support and/or apologism of oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union are purely instances of self-satire as a means of comical introspection, and in some cases have no basis in truth or personal belief.]

My Quest to Find Communism at May MCM Expo London

This weekend just gone, I went to MCM Expo in London, a convention that finds its home in the ExCeL Centre sandwiched neatly between the DLR line and the River Thames. And I went with a mission: to find any and all instances of Communism in the games area of the Expo. Why? Because it’s on-brand, of course! Here details that very quest, as well as other wonderful little aspects of my trip.

 

The first game I managed to get my grubby little commie hands on was the upcoming Volition game Agents of Mayhem, an effective blend of a character shooter and Volition’s previous franchise Saints Row, which shares a universe with Agents. It follows an organisation called MAYHEM (Multinational AgencY Hunting Evil Masterminds) on their mission to take down the evil LEGION (the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations.)

Photography by Wesley Elkins

I’d casually kept my eye on Agents of Mayhem since its announcement, as it seemed intriguing and fun, but what my eyes didn’t catch was what I now consider the greatest video game character of all time: Daisy, a butch roller derby girl with a rockabilly haircut and a giant minigun. Now, that’s not explicitly Communist, but a significant aspect of the kind of Communism I adhere to is women’s empowerment, and what better way to empower women than by giving them a giant gun and a penchant for aggressive roller sports? I certainly felt empowered by that design choice.

The game itself feels great to play, with smooth controls and a slightly clunky but functional shooting mechanic that feels understandably reminiscent of Saints Row. There’ll be a roster of 12 playable Agents each with unique playstyles, abilities, aesthetics and personalities, four of which were playable on the show floor: Rama, an archer and distinguished immunologist, Kingpin, the alias of 3rd Street Saints Communications Director Pierce Washington, Redcard, an unstable and bulky man with a shotgun, and the aforementioned Daisy.

 

Photography by Jane Magnet

My next destination was Rising Star games. I saw the name and the logo, a red star, and assumed that this would be where I found the highest concentration of Communism at the convention. And what do you know?

I picked up a 3DS loaded with a copy of Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop, a continuation of the handheld cooking mini-game franchise, and immediately understood the subtext as I began to play: Cooking Mama is about producing food for the glorious motherland. It all made sense! For years, Red Star had successfully integrated, in cleverly-sublimated messages, its belief in a glorious Communist Utopia. My evidence? The Zuccotto, which looks a bit like one of those coned roofs on the Kremlin. But oh, this was just the tip of Rising Star’s dialectic iceberg.

What does this year of 2017 mark? Only the 20th Anniversary of the Harvest Moon franchise, marking the release of Red Star’s new game, Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, yet another continuation of their glorious propaganda campaign… allow me to explain. I am convinced without a doubt, based on the theme of the game and the branding of the publisher, that the Harvest Moon franchise is indisputably a simulation of workers control over the means of production. Growing food? Cultivating crops? This combined with Cooking Mama clearly shows that Rising Star Games places a heavy importance on informing the masses of the plentiful food and produce available to all under Communism! My quest had been successful! I had found Communism at MCM Expo London.

 

I didn’t attend the convention exclusively for this glorious purpose, of course; I adore a lot of what MCM London has to offer at their biannual events, and the con has found a special place in my heart since attending my first one in 2014.

There’s VidFest, home to many beloved YouTube content creators, gives many members of the public the opportunity to meet fantastic directors, vloggers, reviewers and comedians, like RedShirt Films, Chloe Dungate, and Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell, and the talks and panels that they host are funny, wholesome, and a clear reminder  of the great and entertaining communities that arise around the work that these people produce, which could be seen Ridgewell’s panel on Saturday, wherein I instigated a group ‘dab’ that the whole of the audience took part in. (Though this does leave me feeling responsible in part for his declaration at the end of the recent episode of his YouTube series Last Week, that he had quit dabbing. You can also see the group dab in this video.)

There’s the Comic Village, a sea of gorgeous artwork and nervous yet passionate faces, all dedicating their time and energy to producing compelling storylines, memorable characters, and stunning illustration. Most notably this year I purchased a concept art book for an upcoming graphic novel called Roller Grrrls, a colourful and dynamic series that looks to tell the stories of a diverse range of women participating in the sport of roller derby.

There’s Discord Comics, a wonderful booth headed by Tab Kimpton, a queer comic author responsible for Minority Monsters, Shades of A, and Sir, Butler and Boy, as well as many other inclusive and representative comics celebrating the queer community and all its diversity. Tab is a lovely person, and Discord Comics’ presence at MCM Expo makes the whole convention feel that bit more accepting and comfortable an environment to exist in.

And then there’s the Cosplay community, joining fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Steven Universe, Undertale, Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, Marvel, DC, 2000 AD, and countless other universes and franchises under one big umbrella of nerds who love to dress up as their favourite characters. It’s a community that constantly surprises me with its passion, its dedication, and its inclusivity, and a significant part of the appeal of every MCM is seeing what wonderful costumes, suits, and outfits are rolled out on the show floor.

 

This weekend has to be one of the best I’ve had in a long time. I saw beloved friends, enjoyed my favourite creators, and even found a little bit of Communism along the way.

 

[This is a disclaimer that I’ll be adding as a footnote to all of my work from now on: any nonsensical connections made between video games and Communist themes, zealous and self-righteous dictator-esque behaviors, and perceived support and/or apologism of oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union are purely instances of self-satire as a means of comical introspection, and in some cases have no basis in truth or personal belief.]

Comparing Nintendo and the Soviet Union

Human history is cluttered with instances of large, dominating forces that sweep societies and take hold of nations. Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire, Ancient Roman Post-Republic society, and, in the past decade, two equally impactful phenomenon in their respective fields… Nintendo and the Soviet Union.

 

mario-stalinNow, you may be asking yourselves: “Comrade George! How could Nintendo and the Soviet Union possibly be similar? One was a Marxist-Leninist state, and the other is a bourgeoisie corportation! Well, dear readers, while this may be the case, the two entities do share their similarities, and I’m going to tell you what they are.

 

Both Succeeded a Failing System

A quite significant comparison to draw is that both the Soviet Union and Nintendo established their dominance in the wake of an already failing system. For the Soviet Union, it was the oppressive Russian Empire led at the time by Tsar Nicholas II. The Bolshevik Party and it’s allies led a revolution in 1917 to overthrow the regime with great success, and eventually went on to form the Soviet Union.

et vs tsar.pngFor Nintendo, this was embodied in the North American video game crash of 1983. The video game industry experienced a massive recession, with a primary cause being the saturation of the market with video games of immensely poor quality, like the infamous E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, that led to the downfall of the second generation of console gaming. In the wake of this crash, in a time where it was public opinion that home consoles were a dead medium, Nintendo released the Famicom, known as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the west. It proved immensely successful, revived the home console industry, and led to Nintendo’s domination of the industry, ushering in the third generation of consoles.

 

Both Took Measures to Prevent a Relapse

A very real concern when revitalizing or replacing a phenomenon is the possibility that it relapses into what came before it. Both Nintendo and the Soviet Union enforced contingencies as a means of preventing this, with the Soviet Union very quickly moving to a Marxist-Leninist system that enforced a one-party state, suppressing political opponents to the regime and those that might have aspired to reinstate the monarchy.

seal of approval one party state.pngNintendo’s moves to prevent another video game crash included moves such as the enforcement of strict prerequisites and regulations on 3rd party publishers for the NES, loading all NES machines with 10NES chips that rendered games without the Nintendo Golden Seal of Approval unplayable, as well as a policy that required 3rd party publishers to pay full-price for cartridges to be produced for their games as a means of restricting accountability to said developers.

 

They’re Both Used to Describe Things That They Aren’t

People of ignorance will often look to that which they will not understand and declare it that which it is not. For instance, the Red Scare that gripped America in the 40’s and 50’s, a time where the perceived threat of Communism led to flagrant false accusations of individuals even only minutely left-leaning being Communists sent from the Soviet Union to destroy America.

nintendo red scare.pngSimilarly, it’s common for those of an elder disposition to find difficulty in the specific classification of similar things. A frequent trend, most notably in the late 20th century, was the referral of any and all home consoles as “Nintendos” by the older populations, be it parents or grandparents, which subsequently led to unfortunate mix-ups during the holiday season and birthdays.

 

They’re Both Associated with the Colour Red

nintendo-hammer-and-sickleThis one’s undeniable: The Nintendo logo is often stylized with a colour palette primarily consisting of a deep, vibrant red, a colour intrinsically linked to the iconography of the Soviet Union and many other left-leaning organizations and ideologies.

 

There you have it! A mere handful of similarities present within Nintendo and the Soviet Union. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense, actually. Especially considering Nintendo even made a deal with Soviet Union-owned Elektronorgtechnica, the electronics import and export company responsible for distributing Tetris, so that Nintendo could license the game.

16706780_1252315418186184_1383686175_n

(No, seriously. Read this Kotaku article. This image is the official ad that they used to announce it.)