EU to use gaming as means of spreading ‘European Values’

The European Union wants to use gaming as a means of spreading its political values and beliefs in a bid to promote the European means of living to the rest of the world.

  • Players check the latest video games in the fair halls at the Gamescom computer gaming fair in Cologne, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022 (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

The European Union is going to be turning gaming from a fan-favorite means of passing time to a medium of political publicity, rendering a hobby adored by tens of millions a politicized, divided arena that serves its goals and interests on an international level, British magazine Sp!ked reported on Tuesday.

The European Parliament passed earlier in the month a resolution, the “resolution of 10 November 2022 on esports and videogames”, which focused mainly on the economic, social, and cultural advantages of gaming, voicing support for increasing Brussels’ support of the ever-growing industry.

The European Parliament, through the resolution, proved to be only interested in video games due to their ability to be used as a medium that would enable Brussels to spread its “soft power”, said the British outlet.

“Video games and esports have great potential to further promote European history, identity, heritage, values and diversity through immersive experiences,” says the resolution in a clear nod to the European aspirations to use the platform to spread their views and principles to a brand new, untapped audience. 

The resolution also invites the European Commission to delve into the means of promoting games that reflect European values and “launch initiatives” that allow it to tap into the market in question.

The European Parliament’s interest in the gaming industry stems from the fact that it helps Brussels access the young audience that would otherwise have no interest in consuming political content.

“Videogames and esports are widely accessible and can be used to increase inclusivity and diversity in learning environments such as in the classroom and throughout life,” the resolution reads further, highlighting how the EU is seeking to indoctrinate younger people without implementing different curricula, which is a lot more time consuming than sending implicit or explicit messages glorifying Europe through video games.

The resolution also argued that the EU utilizing the thriving gaming sector would allow the bloc to face the so-called challenges that gaming poses to, such as “cheating, adverse impacts on environmental sustainability, online features that can be misused for online violence or harassment… and disinformation.”

The usage of gaming to promote a state’s ideals and views is nothing new, as the US video game publisher Activision was subject to criticism last November after it desecrated and disrespectfully used Quranic text.

The game developers included pages of the Quran on the floor of a Call of Duty Vanguard Zombies map.

Following the launch of CoD: Vanguard, many players noticed that the game had various pages of the Quran scattered across the floor of a map in the game’s Zombies mode.

In Islamic belief, it is forbidden to place the sacred book on the ground, sparking a wave of criticism and a public outcry, as well as calls for boycotting the game.

Although the reason behind the insensitive use of religious text could have been some twisted version of “aesthetic”, the pages of the Quran were positioned in a manner that allowed players to step on them in combat and have them stained with blood in certain cases.

Activision has since apologized for the disrespectful act, saying they would address the issue to “prevent such occurrences in the future.”

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