#NoMoreNazi is now controversial: New video game sparks online backlash

The latest installment in the Wolfenstein franchise is directly targeting the rise of the alt-right in America

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published October 6, 2017 5:38PM (EDT)

 (<a href='https://www.shutterstock.com/g/AndreyD'>Forest Run</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>/Salon)
(Forest Run via Shutterstock/Salon)

We have now reached a point in American politics in which it is controversial to make Nazi-killing the point of a video game.

The video game in question? Wolfenstein 2. The offense? A trailer for the soon to be released video game with the tweet "Make America Nazi-Free Again. #NoMoreNazis #Wolf2." The trailer itself shows Nazis marching down the streets with the words "Not my America" over the images.

While as Pete Hines, VP for PR and marketing at BethesdaSoftwarks, explained to GamesIndustry.biz on Friday, "Wolfenstein has been a decidedly anti-Nazi series since the first release more than 20 years ago," online outrage quickly grew after the Make America Nazi-Free Again trailer was released:

Three points warrant mentioning:

1. "Wolfenstein" has always been about killing Nazis. No need to belabor that point, since it makes the stupidity of the complainers pretty self-evident.

2. Yes, you could argue that working President Donald Trump's campaign slogan into that mix makes this political. Under normal circumstances, equating an American politician with Nazis would even be a violation of Godwin's Law, which states that people who compare their opponents to Nazis automatically lose a debate.

The problem with that argument here, though, is that Trump intentionally associated himself with Nazis when he defended the far right protesters at Charlottesville as "very fine people." For that matter, he placed himself squarely on the side of bigots everywhere when he began his aborted 2012 presidential campaign by appealing to birtherism and his 2016 presidential campaign by perpetuating racist stereotypes against undocumented Mexican immigrants.

"We're certainly aware of current events in America and how they relate to some of the themes in Wolfenstein II," Hines told GamesIndustry.biz.  We aren't going to shy away from what the game is about. We don’t feel it’s a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American, and we’re not worried about being on the right side of history here."

He added: "When it comes to Nazi's, you can put us down in the 'Against' column."

In short, associating Trump with Nazism isn't even a political statement anywhere. It's a reflection of the objective reality that Trump created for himself.

3. Have any of these people realized that constantly calling your opponents "cucks" says nothing about them and everything about you?

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Bethesda Software Donald Trump Gamergate Nazis Video Games Wolfenstein Wolfenstein Ii