As a game reviewer, I often find my self playing strange games which I would never of found on my own. One such game is NosTale, a free to play Korean MMORPG with colorful 2D graphics and simple game play. I wasn’t expecting much from this MMO, your basic grindfest with some fetch quests thrown into the mix. Following the main quest line, I was surprised that at around level 17 I was asked to investigate rumors of a miner’s strike. I had to go ‘undercover’ into a mine and listen to a group of workers and either confirm or deny the rumors of a strike to the Mine Boss. Unfortunately for the miners, the rumors were true – the miners were planning a general strike! I informed the Boss and he gave me the following instructions:
That’s right, I had to ‘break’ the strike by killing 8 of the miners. That’ll put those workers in their place! Bear in mind that these NPC miners are NOT aggressive towards players and have names like ‘Happy Miner.’ Political and ideological concepts in video games can be used to enhance a game’s overall plot, just look at Bioshock. But it seems to me that the developers and publishers of NosTale Gold, a game aimed at a young audience, just didn’t think things through when they wrote this quest line. Now don’t get me wrong, nothing in NosTale Gold is offensive but this quest did raise an eyebrow. I wonder how many other games have subtle (or unintentional) political statements in them?