Video games, as an art form, often avoid making any sort of definitive stance. They can do this, because the act of playing a game is a joy unto itself, with the meaning behind it often being an after thought, if it was thought about at all. The Last of Us was not like this, with its deep and impactful story that had a definite point of view about the world in which it took place, and our own world, by extension. According to series creator Neil Druckmann this will continue in The Last of Us Part 2.
Druckmann was responding to a fan who has since deleted his tweet. The overall point was that the fan loved The Last of Us, but didn’t like how political the game felt, especially near the end. He asked that the team avoid delving into politics in The Last of Us Part 2. Druckmann responded by saying “No can do. Writers work off of their views of the world. For example, the ending of TLoU is very much inspired by my “personal politics.””
It’s an important and extremely valid point. The Last of Us was a very personal project for Druckmann. He was involved in almost every step of the development process, and it was this love and devotion that likely set the game apart from so many others. To ask that Druckmann and his team develop The Last of Us Part 2, but avoid making any sort of point, or taking any firm stance on important issues seems silly in a lot of ways.
Twitter, of course, found better ways to explain the problem than I can. My favorite was from Talks Machinima host Brian Wayne Foster who described the request as asking for Druckmann to “Please take a picture with me but please don’t be in it.”
Are you happy that The Last of Us Part 2 won’t avoid politics? Do you want Druckmann to continue putting his view out there in his games? Let us know in the comments.