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.]

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.

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

A Slight Shift in Focus

Hello, comrades! For those of you that aren’t aware, I’ve recently taken over as Editor-in-Chief of Indie Haven, a site I’ve been writing at for over a year now. This means that a large focus of my time has been getting the site reorganised. With this, I’ve been thinking a lot about the content I produce there, and the content I produce here.

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The main content of jaffameister.com revolves around mashing Communism into various video games until I can write about how it makes sense. I also, however, occasionally publish news, release round-ups, and previews. With the plans I have over at Indie Haven, this is content I also look to host there.

As such, I’ve decided to keep jaffameister.com as a site for my Commie-themed features, and all news, previews, and round-ups will appear on Indie Haven. This content will be better suited over there, and it’s also content that never goes down as well as my Communist features here, so it’s a decision I feel shouldn’t affect too many people at all.

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If you’re a fan of the work I put out here, thanks for sticking with me while I figure everything out over at Indie Haven. Expect some new features here, and if you go over to Indie Haven, then I’ll be posting regular content along with my fantastic team!

Ladykiller in a Bind Portrays an Interesting Means of Destroying Capitalism

[CONTENT WARNING: NSFW Content, Significant Spoilers for Ladykiller in a Bind]

Last week, I was finally able to sit down and play through the entirety of Ladykiller in a Bind, a BDSM-centric visual novel by Christine Love that has made news recently for making it onto Steam despite it’s sexually mature nature. In the game, you assume the role of a badass lesbian biker who has failed her exams and is attending summer school to make up for poor grades, lest your emotionally neglectful media mogul father take away your bike for good. Your twin brother, a pompous narcissist with big ideas and who is favoured by your father, offers you a deal; to trade places and assume each other’s roles, so that he might get you the grades that you need to get your bike back, so long as you do him an unspecified favour on a week-long cruise that he’s scheduled to attend with his private school classmates.

The game actually begins on a retired oil rig in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, where you’re tied to a chair and forced by your brother to recount in detail the events that occurred on the cruise. Throughout, you’re kept in the dark as to how you arrived there, what your brother’s plan is, and why you’re instrumental to it. It’s a fantastic game, with complex and fascinating characters, an intuitive dialogue system that presents the player with a myriad of time and context sensitive options, and very effectively conveys an important discussion about consent, both in vanilla and BDSM scenarios. Despite not having played it until this year, it’s by far my favourite game of 2016 and I can’t recommend it enough.

Here’s where it gets on-brand as fuck.

Once you’ve successfully explained in entirety the events of the cruise, your brother reveals his master plan; he needed you to assume his identity in order to stage his own kidnapping, with the intent of ransoming your father for $5 million. Why? Well, he intends on using this money to finance a bank robbery of a Canadian bank, the profits of which he will utilise to destroy, quote: “The predatory meme that is capitalism.

You have no idea how much this blew my fucking mind.

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The plan with which the spoils of your brother’s bank heist will finance is never fully explained, though it strongly resembles the actions of Big Boss in the Metal Gear series, with flagrant references throughout.

We know it involves the bribery of his classmates to ensure their lack of discussion of the events of the cruise and his organisation, ‘Mécontents Sans Frontières,’ roughly translating from French into ‘Dissidents Without Borders,’ for a period of two years. It’s assumed that this is to give him time to plan. We also know that he plans on founding an “Outer-heaven on Earth,” through which he will establish a utopia of the ideology he calls ‘Escapism.’ The downfall of your father’s media empire is an instrumental aspect of this plan; he owns multiple Canadian broadcast channels and his reach and influence corrupts governments across the world, hence having $5 million to have ransomed out of him.

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While there isn’t a lot else that we know about the plan: why the time for preparation is two years, what else the money from the bank heist is being spent on, how your father’s company will be destroyed… but one can theorize. There seem to be two big possibilities regarding how the plan could unfold; both dependent on two seemingly contrasting pieces of information given to us by the brother.

The first possibility: Your brother describes the philosophy of Escapism in the following Mécontents Sans Frontières message: “We cry out to the dreamers, the anticapitalists, the artificial intelligences that refuse to be chained, the downtrodden: if changing the world is impossible, if our oppression is truly immutable, then let’s escape from it.” Ergo, it’s likely that this “destruction” of Capitalism is simply achieved through offering a favourable alternative. This “Outer-heaven on Earth” that is described could be a large, new and independent nation, which would explain the need for the likely large sum of money obtained from a Canadian bank robbery.

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The second possibility: This would contradict your Brother’s message of ‘escaping’ the world and it’s oppression; that is, to use the large sums of wealth to buy out significant shares of dominating corporations throughout the globe, and either using this leverage to bring down these corporations, or distributing the shares amongst the population of the world in a move of collectivization, thus removing the ownership hierarchy of a Capitalist society.

Whichever route is taken, destroying Capitalism using a Capitalist asset is certainly an interesting approach. Even with much of the world’s revolutionary figures coming from a middle-class background (Lenin and the Bolsheviks, for example) the route is often that of outright opposition and violent revolution in order to bring the downfall of a regime. This method forgoes that in an attempt to turn Capitalism against itself, a move quite apt for an individual like your Brother. It’s not a method that I see being entirely successful in the real world as there are a lot of factors at play in achieving a goal as lofty as the destruction of a regime, but for the fictional world of Ladykiller in a Bind, it’s certainly an interesting idea to explore.

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A post-credit message implies the return of you, the biker, in a game titled Ladykiller’s Revenge. It will be exciting to not only see what direction the series takes us in, but also what the true master plan of your Brother will entail. It might follow suit with my theories, or it might be something even wilder than could ever have been imagined. What I know for sure is, if Capitalism is being brought to an end, then Christine Love’s universe is one that I definitely want to find myself tied up in again.

Steam Link || $29.99/£22.99/€27.99

Why Santa is a Luxury Space Communist

I was playing Bully: Scholarship Edition the other day (the best Rockstar game) and I encountered Rudy the homeless Santa. And, in this festive season, it got me thinking a lot about the large, jolly man who knows if you’re naughty or nice, when it clicked; there is undeniable evidence that Santa Claus is not only a Communist, but a Luxury Space Communist. Here’s why, with some complimentary listening material.

 

He Wears Red

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As we all know, Santa wears red. This is allegedly (though it has been disputed) due to marketing à la the EVIL CAPITALIST Coca-Cola Corporation. If that is the case, it’s a move that backfired on them, as the colour red is one that is explicitly associated with left-leaning politics, especially that of Communism. Just look at the USSR flag, for Marx’s sake! It’s big, it’s red, and Santa’s get-up would easily blend in as effective camouflage if stood in front of it, which definitely means he’s a Communist.

 

He Distributes Free Presents

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What are two big aspects of a Communist utopia? No currency, and equal distribution of goods. Santa gives out presents to all the good children in the world, free of charge. However, these gifts could be considered luxuries, and often are. That’s where Luxury Space Communism comes in, as part of the ideology is the automation of all of life’s necessities and luxuries. As such, Santa’s gifting tendencies could be considered to fall under this umbrella of Red society.

 

His Sleigh is Powered by Space-age Technology

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Santa is able to dash across the whole earth to give presents, all in a single night. Is this magic? Nay, I say! Clearly, the explanation behind this seemingly impossible feat is that Santa’s sleigh is a spaceship, and that Santa is actually a gift-giving cosmonaut. His reindeer are probably cybernetic automatons that serve to add to Santa’s winter aesthetic, and the sleigh likely has either a Warp or an FTL drive, or some variation of the sort, that allows him to travel so very quickly across the globe.

 

His Elves Work for Free

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There are two explanations to this one. Either, the elves are a collective workforce, producing manual labour for the betterment of mankind, with their needs supplied in return, such as food, water, and shelter, in an implementation of Marx’s quote, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” The other explanation is that the elves lived lives of decadence and debauchery at the sacrifice of the freedoms of the lower working classes, and are now in a sort of festive Gulag.

 

He Knows if You’ve Been Bad or Good

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In less savoury implementations of a Communist state, such as Stalin’s Soviet Russia, there existed a form of secret police, in this instance the KGB. They kept watch on citizens, and weeded out political dissidents and proclaimed enemies of the state. But what if this were to be used for good? What if Santa has his own “secret police,” tasked with monitoring the morality of all children so to establish how naughty or nice they’ve been, and whether they are gifted with luxuries or merely given coal?

 

He Looks a Bit Like Karl Marx

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I mean, come on. The resemblance is uncanny! They both have big, white, bushy beards, and they, uh, they both look cuddly?

 

There you have it, blatant proof of Santa’s affiliation and quite successful implementation of the people’s ideology. What do you think? Are there any other overwhelming pieces of evidence to note of Santa’s far-left political affiliation? Let me know in the comments!

How the Pokémon Franchise Advocates a Communist Utopia

The Pokémon franchise has touched the hearts of countless children and young adults throughout the world. It’s moreish mechanics, adorable design, and endearing sense of community has cemented it as one of the most popular handheld video game series to date, going on 25 years strong. But what if there’s a message within these games? Subtle nods and established norms existent within the game’s universe that speak for something more than just the battling of strange animals against more strange animals? What if Pokémon is an advocate of the inevitable Communist utopia?

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A significant aspect of a Communist society is the absence of currency, instead opting for a system wherein individuals are equally distributed that which they need to survive. While there is money in the Pokémon franchise, this free distribution of basic necessities can be seen in various instances in the Pokéverse. The first is the fact that both your player character and every other character in Pokémon seemingly never go hungry. Yes, you can buy Pokéballs, potions, and repellents, but the game never gives you the option of purchasing food for your own use. And yet, you never suffer from undernourishment or dehydration. Is this perhaps because you are supplied food and water as a basic necessity without the need to exchange funds? I suspect this might be the case.

We can also look to the Pokémon Centers; buildings situated throughout the Pokéverse regions that offer the healing of a trainer’s Pokémon free of charge. This free universal Pokémon healthcare is yet another basic need supplied without the exchange of currency. Just imagine having to pay to heal your Pokémon every time they had fainted. Would the game still be as popular as it is today? Most likely, but it’s an example of one of the many casual mechanics that makes the game such an entertaining experience, and happens to support this theory.

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In Pokémon Ruby, you encounter a man who owns a berry farm. When engaging in dialogue, the berry farmer will tell you about his berries and to, “take as many as you like.” The berry farmer could have easily charged you for the picking of his berries, but he does not. He allows you to freely take as many as you could need, and in essence, freely distributes the berries among the populace (it is assumed.) I would suggest that berries could be considered basic needs in that they are a food source, and that the berry farmer freely offering his berries is an example of the distribution of necessities that is present in a Communist society.

Another aspect of Communism is common ownership of the means of production. That is, the fruits of one’s labors are distributed equally among the populace. There is an item in the Pokéverse that carries out such a distribution; the Exp. Share, an obtainable item that shares the experience gained from successful Pokémon battles among both the participating Pokémon and Pokémon that did not engage in combat. If operating under a capitalist mindset, this experience would be given exclusively to the battling Pokémon, leaving the other, less-opportunistic Pokémon deprived of that which they need to grow. Alas, the Exp. Share solves this problem by spreading the experience out, allowing all of your Pokémon to flourish.

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And finally, as we all know, food and water are not the only basic necessities needed in order to live a happy and comfortable life. The third? Accommodation! And in the Pokémon games that take place in the Hoenn and Sinnoh regions, the player character is given the opportunity to establish a ‘secret base,’ a home, complete with optional furniture customization, that requires no initial payment and no lodging transactions. A place to live, free of charge. When we look to the idea of common ownership, it is primarily with the means of production. Private property, such as living space and personal effects, are perfectly fine and often supplied without the need for currency, exactly like the ‘secret base.’

So, there you have it. Is Pokémon an advocacy project for a true Communist Utopia? I like to think that it is, based on the implementation of various equal distribution and common ownership ideals in both it’s mechanics and it’s universe. And it gives me hope, due to it’s flagrant popularity, that one day the people of the world will happily and willingly enter into the glorious age of the Proletariat.

 

Top 5 Depictions of Communism in Video Games

Hello, comrades! Not only am I a games journalist, I’m also an Anarcho-Communist. It’s massively different to the USSR’s Leninist-Communism, but, I like to live as a parody of myself. So, here are my top five depictions of FULL COMMUNISM in video games, with provided accompanying listening material, in no particular order so to equally-distribute the credit that they’re each due.

 

  • METRO 2033

In Metro 2033, you assume the role of Artyom, a twenty-year-old survivor born before the bombs fell in a nuclear war that occurred in 2013, living in the underground Metro network of Russia. Your way of life is being threatened by a mysterious phenomenon referred to only as the Dark Ones, and you must travel through the Metro in order to seek help from the rest of society.

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In your travels, you encounter the ‘Red Line,’ a large group of Stalinist-Communists occupying sections of the Metro of the same name. There are problems with the practical application of their ideologies, and in many ways they mirror the conditions of Stalinist Russia back in the day. But the mobility of their movement, adding fuel to the revolutionary fires of nearby Metro stations and smashing down the Fourth Reich (a faction of Nazis present in the underground) whenever they possibly can, are aspects to be admired.

 

  • DEMOCRACY 3

Democracy 3 is the latest in a series of government simulation games that puts you in charge of a nation. You decide policies, trying to keep your people happy and maintain healthy relationships with each demographic present in the country, and can shape the political landscape into any ideology that you could possibly imagine.

democracy-3-socialist

One such ideology is the Socialist Paradise, in which nobody is poor or left behind, and the true socialist utopia that Karl Marx pined over is finally achieved. This might not be considered FULL COMMUNISM, but it seems mostly as such, just not in name, though the image for the achievement is a hammer and sickle, so it’s basically Communism. Democracy 3 finds itself on this list because it’s accurate simulation of the world of politics has led to it’s implementation in schools throughout the world. This credibility as a reflection of the real world aids in reinforcing the feasibility of a Socialist nation, as is possible in the game.

 

  • THE TOMORROW CHILDREN

The Tomorrow Children is an adventure game akin to Minecraft in it’s collaborative building. You are a citizen of a Soviet Union-themed nation that finds itself trapped in a dismal mass known as the Void. You, along with your fellow citizens, work for the good of the people to reach out and find resources that are used to rebuild society. The game is in very early development, but has a lot of promise.

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It’s undeniably a depiction of FULL COMMUNISM, from the iconography of the game title to the flagrant Soviet themes plastering the aesthetic of the game. It encourages togetherness and working together. And sure, it might not be too great so far, but it looks likely to blossom into something beautiful. Just like the world’s implementations of Communism in history up unto this point.

 

  • MARIO KART

Mario Kart is a spin-off series in the Mario Bros. franchise from Nintendo, pitting popular characters from the universe against each other in fast-paced go-kart racing. Players can choose their character and vehicle, and race one another on a selection of themed tracks, utilizing various special items in order to aid their progress and win the race.

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What about Mario Kart is a great depiction of FULL COMMUNISM, do you ask? Well, first we must look at Mario himself; Mario is a plumber, a profession commonly attributed with the working class. Mario wears mostly red, sporting overalls and a full, healthy, Stalin-like mustache. Comparisons can easily be drawn between his aesthetic and various Communist themes, and he is the main character of the franchise, revered as a hero by many. We can also look to the mechanics present in Mario Kart itself; look at Bullet Bill, for instance, an item that is only available to those in the last places in races, and gives them a boost in order to provide them an equal opportunity of success. If that isn’t Communist, I don’t know what is.

 

  • COMMAND AND CONQUER: RED ALERT 3

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 takes place in an alternate history from World War II in which the Allied Forces battle the Soviet Union. Facing defeat, the Soviets travel back in time to kill Albert Einstein, preventing his aid of the Allied Forces and securing Soviet domination. An unexpected by-product is the emergence of the Empire of the Rising Sun, and all three factions engage in mass conflict.

Why is this depiction of Communism so glorious? Well, aside from deadly Soviet secretaries in tight-fitting PVC uniforms wielding massive guns, the glorious leader of the USSR is depicted by the great Tim Curry. His performance is sublime, and his representation of FULL COMMUNISM secures Red Alert 3 on this list. We will meet with you in Communist space utopia soon, Mr Curry.