Axe of the Blood God: How RPGs Have Handled Social Commentary Through the Years

Axe of the Blood God: How RPGs Have Handled Social Commentary Through the Years

From Shinra to "Augs Lives Matter," the highs and lows of social commentary in RPGs.

With civil rights once again taking stage in American—and indeed global—discourse, this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God examines how RPGs have handled social commentary through the years [download link here]!

As we discuss in this episode, RPGs are uniquely suited for social commentary. More than any other genre, they are concerned with either telling a story or putting you in the role of another character, and that provides many unique opportunities for interesting insights into social conditions. Many have tried to take advantage of those unique opportunities; as for whether they've succeeded, that's another matter entirely.

This episode was recorded live as part of USgamer's charity marathon, in which we were able to raise more than $7000 for Black Lives Matter. We're joined by VG247's Alex Donaldson and News Editor Eric Van Allen, and we cover subjects ranging from BioWare to Vampire: The Masquerade-Bloodlines. Join us!

Want to contribute to the conversation? Leave a comment below! We'll read our favorites on the following week's episode.

Final note: We launched a new podcast! You can hear the teaser on the Axe of the Blood God feed, and the first episode goes live on Wednesday! Subscription info can be found through the link.

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Show Description

In the course of USG raising more than $7000 for Black Lives Matters during a live stream, Axe of the Blood God recently held a live discussion about social commentary in RPGs. That segment is included in this episode, in which we are joined by Eric Van Allen and VG247's Alex Donaldson, who talk about the failings of Vampire: The Masquerade and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the successes of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and more. Plus: Outer Worlds on Switch isn't so great, unfortunately!

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Raine, composer of Celeste. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

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Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a former freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and EGM. Her fondest memories as a journalist are at GamePro, where she hosted RolePlayer's Realm and had legal access to the term "Protip." She is USgamer's resident mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).

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