|Image from GiantBomb.com|
It's hard not be grossed at least a little grossed out by election season. Months (more like years!) of constant bickering, selective fact checking, and baseless predictions is tiresome. Additionally, because most of my adult life has been dedicated by studying my country's history (academia is a weird place), I have a hard time buying into the triumphant narrative that gets trotted out every few years. Without launching into a huge discussion on race, gender, and socio-economics, there are plenty of smudges on America's record and plenty of things the country needs to work on.
However, there is at least one thing that makes me proud of my country: the U.S. does not have, and has never had, established royalty. This brings me back to Dishonored.
Maybe I'm more patriotic than I thought, but I couldn't help be feel a little depressed that Dishonored's plot revolved around the attempt to reinstall a monarch. Democracy isn't perfect, but it at least opens the door for common folks to have a say in who rules them. As Corvo, not only was I responsible for killing more than my fair share of innocent bystanders and guards who were just doing their jobs, I was also ensuring that they would remain the subjects of an autocrat.
When you get right down to it, Dishonored's political system is pretty terrible. Consider some of the major players:
- An evil vizier who harbors genocidal intentions towards poor people murders his way into authoritarian power.
- The Abbey of the Everyman appears to be a government-backed church that functions to suppress the poor, eradicate traditional beliefs, and squash dissent with an elite, ecclesiastical army.
- The wealthy upper class are able to hire police and government officials as private security for lavish parties while the poor people starve and die in the city's alleys.
But I didn't have any choice in the matter. I was playing for the empire and, try as I might, I couldn't stab my way out of a monarchy. Democracy will have to wait for DLC.