Wolfenstein and the Power of Resistance

Wolfenstein and the Power of Resistance

Critical Intel explores Wolfenstein: The New Order, and how it does things most games wouldn't dare to.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the whole Da'at Yichud thing disturbing. I get that the devs were trying to portray them in a positive light (maybe as a subversion of the whole Jew conspiracy thing) but it still made me uneasy.

I'm not quite sure how the game resorting to stereotypical Nazi commanders/scientists actually reflects real Nazism. That said, how does it really reflect real Nazism when it was mostly one man's idea? Don't we call that neo-Nazism?

Even so, what is the point of the experimentation when they had pseudo-Omniscience? Most of the experimentations during Nazi Germany had some real if's and but's to answer which 'science' never really knew.

TheSlothOverlord:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the whole Da'at Yichud thing disturbing. I get that the devs were trying to portray them in a positive light (maybe as a subversion of the whole Jew conspiracy thing) but it still made me uneasy.

what's worse is that they're so spurious less to the plot. They only seem to exist to explain the Nazi super science, think about it, would changing them to Aliens/Templars/acolytes of tesla have really changed anything about the plot? Not really.

exobook:

TheSlothOverlord:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the whole Da'at Yichud thing disturbing. I get that the devs were trying to portray them in a positive light (maybe as a subversion of the whole Jew conspiracy thing) but it still made me uneasy.

what's worse is that they're so spurious less to the plot. They only seem to exist to explain the Nazi super science, think about it, would changing them to Aliens/Templars/acolytes of tesla have really changed anything about the plot? Not really.

Or even Illuminati. Or you know, just portray it as Nazi technology. There are so many theories about Nazi research and the technology they could have been working on, you don't even have to resort to some imaginary groups.

Aaaaand, this is the first anyone has ever quoted me on the forum! The honor of taking my forum virginity goes to you, exobook :P.

I loved The New Order.
It is by far the best game I have played this year.

Though I too had problem with the Illuminati-like group. Both for your reasons, how absolutely illogical it is and how much it makes the rest of humanity, all its scientists and technicians look like fools :( ...

They could have just used the Thule civilization in some absurd way again :P .

I also liked the little jab at Return to Castle Wolfenstein they included... ohh the Irony!

I liked The New Order. Compared with some of the other travesties still fresh in my mind (*cough* The Bureau *cough*), it managed to surprise me by virtue of not being shit.

That said, I'm not against Nazi Super Science, especially in something like Wolfenstien where the weird is part of the norm. Infact, I have to give New Order extra credit because it didn't feature the now cliché "Nazi Zombies" (the closest we got technically were "Nazi Mutants", "Nazi Cyborgs" and "Nazi Robots").

...However, I do agree that the Da'at Yichud was a silly, stupid idea that was a bit of a stretch. While I wasn't aware it was a Jewish Stereotype up until now, I do think it was more than a bit of a dumb twist that invalidates the Nazi's a bit. Couldn't Deathshead just have built all the Robots because - y'know - he's a Scientist? It's also a bit of a strech, but it's better than what can be best described as "Jewish Space Wizards".

TheSlothOverlord:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the whole Da'at Yichud thing disturbing. I get that the devs were trying to portray them in a positive light (maybe as a subversion of the whole Jew conspiracy thing) but it still made me uneasy.

I think it was intended to make them seem more hypocritical and served to bring the thought of Jews into focus in the camp level, since they couldn't/wouldn't show the actual Holocaust with crazy robots due to it being insensitive but wanted to bring it to your mind it was a compromise. The idea that the Nazis were succeeding only on the backs of Jewish inventiveness is a rather pointed swipe at their ineptitude with the sciences and the huge contribution Jews made to pre-war German industry.

It worked pretty well for me actually but the later expansion into a Jew Illuminati deal made me slightly uncomfortable, for a moment I was convinced they were going to turn into villains, which would have been tonally bizarre and hugely questionable. I wouldn't say it was as bad as the article did because I see what they were going for but someone should have noticed the tonal issues involved, though to be fair it's a huge job keeping on top of the insane shit people will believe about Jews.

As smart as this column is regarding the many different forms of "resistance" and how the game acknowledged the real evil of the Nazis, would it have killed the writer to put up a spoiler warning at the beginning?
To me, by the sounds of it, this Jewish Secret Society came together out of necessity, to help the Jewish people stand against the Nazis. If there's more to them than that, like some half-assed twist, I wouldn't know, I didn't pick up the game yet. Hence why I'm peeved about having the ending blown for me.

ForumSafari:

TheSlothOverlord:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the whole Da'at Yichud thing disturbing. I get that the devs were trying to portray them in a positive light (maybe as a subversion of the whole Jew conspiracy thing) but it still made me uneasy.

I think it was intended to make them seem more hypocritical and served to bring the thought of Jews into focus in the camp level, since they couldn't/wouldn't show the actual Holocaust with crazy robots due to it being insensitive but wanted to bring it to your mind it was a compromise.

It worked pretty well for me actually but the later expansion into a Jew Illuminati deal made me slightly uncomfortable, for a moment I was convinced they were going to turn into villains, which would have been tonally bizarre and hugely questionable.

They didn't really need to do the whole Da'at Yichud thing to include Jews in the game. Although I guess making the Nazis appear hypocritical by stealing from Jews is a valid argument.
Nevertheless the reason why I'm not quite comfortable is because there are people in the real world who are convinced that there is some kind Jewish conspiracy which aims to control the world.

TheSlothOverlord:

They didn't really need to do the whole Da'at Yichud thing to include Jews in the game. Although I guess making the Nazis appear hypocritical by stealing from Jews is a valid argument.

They couldn't have included them as the principal target of the camps as mixing the Holocaust and wacky Nazi science would have genuinely enraged people. They have to get close enough that it's obvious what they wanted to do, but not close enough to recreate the horrific deaths of people in living memory, but with robots and for fun.

TheSlothOverlord:
Nevertheless the reason why I'm not quite comfortable is because there are people in the real world who are convinced that there is some kind Jewish conspiracy which aims to control the world.

This is what got it for me too. The actual idea on its' own is perfectly OK, they basically lifted Raiders of the Lost Ark for their theme; arrogant Nazis parasitising Jewish culture they don't begin to understand and getting burnt by it. In a vacuum I'd probably have loved it. However, it isn't published into a vacuum and it has what TvTropes calls 'Unfortunate Implications'.

However, the main thing for me is that this article is suitably condemning but it's important to remember that it wasn't intentional, they just fucked up. I can see what they were going for and in a nicer world it may even have worked.

ForumSafari:

TheSlothOverlord:

They didn't really need to do the whole Da'at Yichud thing to include Jews in the game. Although I guess making the Nazis appear hypocritical by stealing from Jews is a valid argument.

They couldn't have included them as the principal target of the camps as mixing the Holocaust and wacky Nazi science would have genuinely enraged people. They have to get close enough that it's obvious what they wanted to do, but not close enough to recreate the horrific deaths of people in living memory, but with robots and for fun.

That makes sense, good point!

ForumSafari:

TheSlothOverlord:
Nevertheless the reason why I'm not quite comfortable is because there are people in the real world who are convinced that there is some kind Jewish conspiracy which aims to control the world.

This is what got it for me too. The actual idea on its' own is perfectly OK, they basically lifted Raiders of the Lost Ark for their theme; arrogant Nazis parasitising Jewish culture they don't begin to understand and getting burnt by it. In a vacuum I'd probably have loved it. However, it isn't published into a vacuum and it has what TvTropes calls 'Unfortunate Implications'.

However, the main thing for me is that this article is suitably condemning but it's important to remember that it wasn't intentional, they just fucked up. I can see what they were going for and in a nicer world it may even have worked.

Yeah, I never considered it as some kind of malicious intent on their part. Although it would somewhat amusing if in the near future conspiracy theory sites about Da'at Yichud popped up and cited Wolfenstein as their main proof xD.

Didn't really have an issue with the Da'at Yichud thing. Was kinda random, but didn't bother me. Wasn't their fault their tech was discovered by psychopaths. Any time technology of such power is generated there's always the possibility it'll fall into the wrong hands. That said, probably would have made more sense if the creators just did some research on the actual stuff real nazis were researching during WWII and they would have had plenty of material. They probably did, just wanted to take it in another direction, who knows.

TheSlothOverlord:

ForumSafari:

TheSlothOverlord:
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the whole Da'at Yichud thing disturbing. I get that the devs were trying to portray them in a positive light (maybe as a subversion of the whole Jew conspiracy thing) but it still made me uneasy.

I think it was intended to make them seem more hypocritical and served to bring the thought of Jews into focus in the camp level, since they couldn't/wouldn't show the actual Holocaust with crazy robots due to it being insensitive but wanted to bring it to your mind it was a compromise.

It worked pretty well for me actually but the later expansion into a Jew Illuminati deal made me slightly uncomfortable, for a moment I was convinced they were going to turn into villains, which would have been tonally bizarre and hugely questionable.

They didn't really need to do the whole Da'at Yichud thing to include Jews in the game. Although I guess making the Nazis appear hypocritical by stealing from Jews is a valid argument.
Nevertheless the reason why I'm not quite comfortable is because there are people in the real world who are convinced that there is some kind Jewish conspiracy which aims to control the world.

People who think "the Jews are taking over the world!" usually also follow it with "That's OUR job!" Neo-Nazis and Islamic terrorists both believe that to be true.

Doesn't Roth mention Da'at Yichud including non-Jewish people in one of his extended bits at the HQ if you don't interrupt him? The ones the Nazis found ingame were Jewish, but as a result of them raiding Jewish people, not the organizations entire membership. They also mention explicitly that they don't interfere in politics (until Deathshead started using their stolen tech as a weapon), they just invent things as a spiritual experience and then shove them in vaults to collect dust.

Beyond that, I don't see why its any more offensive then (to borrow an example above) Templars running the world with secret conspiracy science magic in Assassins Creed, Templars being explicitly a Christian organization in origin. Beyond a knee-jerk due to its proximity to Nazism in this case.

Seth Carter:
Doesn't Roth mention Da'at Yichud including non-Jewish people in one of his extended bits at the HQ if you don't interrupt him? The ones the Nazis found ingame were Jewish, but as a result of them raiding Jewish people, not the organizations entire membership. They also mention explicitly that they don't interfere in politics (until Deathshead started using their stolen tech as a weapon), they just invent things as a spiritual experience and then shove them in vaults to collect dust.

Beyond that, I don't see why its any more offensive then (to borrow an example above) Templars running the world with secret conspiracy science magic in Assassins Creed, Templars being explicitly a Christian organization in origin. Beyond a knee-jerk due to its proximity to Nazism in this case.

Glad to see someone who is finally not reacting in an "oh my god, think of the children" way. It seems to be that people are complaining; A) because "some" people think that a jewish race of space wizards is/has/will try to take over the human race and should be exterminated that this game is out of line; or b) because this happened in history, showing it in a game and then adding a fictional twist is again - out of line.

Its a wolfenstein game, they need some sort of wildly believable way to include evil nazi monsters for me to kill, the jewish guy is found in a concentration camp in the middle of nazi occupied territory because he's jewish.

Thank you, mister Rath, for a very nice article.
I'm hoping to see your column Nazi super-science.

I agree with many of your points about Resistance being an important theme in Wolfenstein: the New Order.

However, when it comes to the Da'at Yichud I have to take issue with you. I thought their inclusion was extremely clever because it highlighted all the ways that Nazi state was built on the backs of Jews, Slavs, Blacks and other people whom the Nazis claimed were "inferior."

Their inclusion is far from "poisonous" if anything is "poisonous" it's the hyperventilating protests of Social Justice Warriors who are poisoning the well of fiction by demanding that it be re-written to cater to their prejudices.

I know this is very late, but I feel I have to give my view on this.

I don't know who else in this thread has a Jewish background, but I do and to me Set Roth was the first time I ever felt like I could relate to a charachter in game based on a shared heritage. So naturally I'm upset to see people saying that he should not have been included.

As for the Da'at Yichud, not only did I think they were awesome, but they worked on so many levels. They represent the contribution of Jewish scientists to the allied effort in WWII. Caroline's inability to comprehend the Da'at Yichud's purpose shows how suspicion can fall upon Jews for harmless reasons, for example the Jewish tradition of washing their hands before every meal eventually led to persecution during the Black Death. Even their theology struck me as recognisably Jewish.

So in short. Set Roth and the Da'at Yichud are great characters who I felt I could personally relate to. It made me sad to see people saying they shouldn't be included.

Violet:
I know this is very late, but I feel I have to give my view on this.

I don't know who else in this thread has a Jewish background, but I do and to me Set Roth was the first time I ever felt like I could relate to a character in game based on a shared heritage. So naturally I'm upset to see people saying that he should not have been included.

As for the Da'at Yichud, not only did I think they were awesome, but they worked on so many levels. They represent the contribution of Jewish scientists to the allied effort in WWII. Caroline's inability to comprehend the Da'at Yichud's purpose shows how suspicion can fall upon Jews for harmless reasons, for example the Jewish tradition of washing their hands before every meal eventually led to persecution during the Black Death. Even their theology struck me as recognizably Jewish.

So in short. Set Roth and the Da'at Yichud are great characters who I felt I could personally relate to. It made me sad to see people saying they shouldn't be included.

No no mate, I at least never said that the characters are bad. No.
In fact I liked him.

What I did not like was how that organization made every other thing humanity has achieved, all the other scientists, engineers and inventors and generals, look silly :(. I felt it cheapened Wolfenstein's world. That and it kinda went too... really Super-Human in my taste (ethnicity had nothing to do with it) . As if their organization is almost alien superior :( .

 

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