If you’ve been online the last couple of weeks, you may have heard the name ‘Richard Spencer’.
He’s the ultra-right white supremacist bloke who was punched in the face during Donald Trump’s inauguration last month. Spencer’s racist views and the general appeal of schadenfreude combined to send the video of him being decked viral.
This in turn started a heated online discussion about whether or not it’s all right to ever hit anyone ever – even if they happen to be a neo-Nazi (a label, incidentally, that Spencer rejects even though a speech he gave in Washington after Trump’s election win sure made him sound like one).
As you can imagine, the internet has been having oodles of fun with Spencer, who was one of last month’s top memes. Now, coder Ramsey Nasser has added his two-cents worth to the debate on whether or not it’s okay to punch a Nazi, in the form of a game called Dialogue 3D.
The game is essentially a modded version of the open source FPS classic, Wolfenstein 3D, in which players trundle around a map shooting Nazis. Dialogue 3D offers a twist on this template; as players approach a target, a little dialogue box pops up. In order to fire on a Nazi foe, players have to answer questions such as “Is it OK to shoot Nazis?” and “Wouldn’t peaceful protest be more effective?”
Those who pick an aggressive response can carry on shooting Nazis. Those who don’t die pretty quickly.
Dialogue 3D could be interpreted as an inference from Nasser that those becoming bogged down in discussion about whether an attack on Spencer was justified aren’t really addressing the threat someone like him represents. It’s not exactly subtle, but then neither are the politics of one Richard Spencer.