I often write about both video games and politics, but today is one of the first times I’ve found those two interests aligned- and I wish they weren’t. Do you ever run across a piece of media that’s just evil? Something with vibes so wrong that it makes your stomach churn? I regret to bring your attention to Acquitted, an indie game published by developer Nordic Empire (sigh) that lets you play as Kyle Rittenhouse doing the sole thing he’s known for: gunning down innocent people.
It’s not immediately clear who this game is meant for. Is it meant for alt-right types to play while smugly stroking their beards? Is it meant to outrage “the librulz?” The Steam reviews grant a window into the mindsets of its most fervent players: by playing it, they become part of a secret club, and are able to consider themselves superior to those who aren’t in on the joke. It’s the crux of the entire online far-right movement at the moment, and it’s grown to such a critical mass that indie developer groups with overtly white supremacist names can rake in thousands with the most low-effort slop possible as long as it lets you shoot someone holding an Antifa flag.
Luckily, Nordic Empire has yet to produce another game since Acquitted’s 2022 release. Unfortunately, games like Infestation ’88 (get it?) are carrying on their legacy. If you want an actually decent political game, play Disco Elysium instead.