'The Last of Us Part 2', the video game that irritates homophobes and transphobes | Babelia

On June 19 reached the market The Last of Us Part 2 (PS4), sequel to one of the most beloved games of the decade, The Last of Us (PS3), which in 2013 conquered the hearts of gamers from around the world turning the classic zombie stories around with an extraordinarily mature approach, very focused on the narrative part of the experience and with a character development worthy of the best novels or movies. Regardless of whether it was a “zombie story”, the truth is that that work was a sample of how video games could tell a true story with great care and respect for the viewer.

On April 27, months before the sequel came to light and due to a massive data leak, the details of the plot of this second part came to light, fueling the spirits of much of the gaming community by three reasons. The first, the unexpected death of one of the most beloved characters in the first part at the hands of a woman. The second, the sexual orientation of the protagonist, who without being a structuring element in the plot of this Part 2It did influence the development of his character. Finally, the appearance of a transgender character was the icing on the cake for part of the community, which has considered for years that video games should not face political or social problems, but simply be entertainment. This Cainite division between conservatives and progressives kicks since years ago the one known as Gamergate.

When the game came out on the 19th, it was the victim of review bombing. The notes of the users and those of the critics had nothing to do: in Metacritic, the largest aggregator of analysis, the specialized press gave it a 9.4 while the public gave it a 3.4. The detail is not less than the day it came out, the game had only been played by the specialized press. The conclusion is obvious: those who criticized the game had not yet played it and attacked it only because of the above. And that's a funny thing.

Precisely, this is what happens when video games are considered an art: that they must dialogue with the problems of their time

It is curious because precisely those who defend that the games must not enter the swampy terrain of the political or the social (when they do not directly defend that the games must refuse to be a speaker of integration or multiculturalism) are, most of the Sometimes, those who rush to declare that video games are undoubtedly an art. And it is curious because, precisely, this is what happens when video games are considered an art: that they must dialogue with the problems of their time, that they must distill the problems of the real world and pour them into their fictional worlds, just as the Literature or cinema have been doing since they appeared on the face of the earth.

Ellie, the protagonist of the game, is a lesbian. And that? One of the characters she meets is a boy born into the body of a girl. And that? Nobody should care about wicker but what a video game (or any artistic format) does with those wicker. And what it does The Last of Us Part 2 is to tell a story of human improvement in an extreme context. And, above all else, what she does is talk about the cycle of violence, revenge, and its consequences on the world she proposes.

Because a game like The Last of Us Part 2 Talk about the LGTBI community is important in its fair measure, as it is something that at the moment involves the entire world. But what is really important about the game is its critical comment on violence, which is not a general problem in today's society (such as LGTBI integration) but a specific problem in video games. The Last of Us Part 2 He faces the elephant in the room, and that is what makes him extraordinary: putting his finger on the sore of violence as a traditional resource to resolve conflicts in video games. That is what makes it transcend.

'The Last of Us Part 2', the video game that irritates homophobes and transphobes

Don't be shy about saying here that video games encourage violence. Too many and too well-founded studies have denied this strange thesis. The point is that the fact that games use violence over and over again as an ultimate goal limits their own creative possibilities. Jewels like Outer Wilds or Elysium Disc, two of the most acclaimed games of last year, were strictly based on the collection and management of information, renouncing violence without losing an iota of narrative tension or sensory magnificence. And it is also curious that the two great masterpieces of Play Station 4 (this Last of Us 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2) pivot around this concept: the questioning of violence, its recontextualization, the exploration of the consequences that it brings. Something that also does, in part, the God of war from 2018.

The good news is that the attack suffered by the game only portrays part of the community. Last week we knew that The Last of Us part 2 Is the game that has sold the fastest 4 million units. As real players, and not trolls, have understood what the game proposes, the average score of the users has been growing, and the praises have been generalizing.

Video games, like any cultural medium, are the expansion of the battlefield of ideas that swarm the world. They are nurtured, they must be nourished, by the contradictions, the problems, the ideas that exist in the real world. But whoever stays there stares at the finger that points to the moon, at the tree that covers the forest. Because video games (the most worthwhile video games) are in the process of internal reflection. They are immersed in a critical process that will allow them to shake off the clichés they have been dragging for years and embrace once and for all the creative potential they hold. A creative potential that is, without a doubt, the most eclectic, profound, radical and brilliant that we are going to see in the rest of the century. Therefore The Last of Us Part 2 it is one more step in the right direction.


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