The Politics Of Hitman


#487

Even by that standard, they militia is distinctly “left-wing” (as much as that can mean anything in a broad term.

Not really, there are plenty of people who are anti-authoritarian at a local level but don’t care about oligarchies (my favourite being Sovereign Citizens, who will generally argue they should be excluded from accountability while enjoying all the benefits) and people who are opposed to oligarchies but want to deal with them within a framework of authority (fair trade and anti-monopoly activists).

He does but it implies they were all “hired” by “The Boss”, a man so charismatic he can get all these different types “You got your ex-military, your hacker types, your bombers…” etc to cooperate together despite their obvious differences.

Not really - they full accept Parvati for who she is because of what she does.

They do not like Rose because of what he does (specifically that he has no problem with children as collateral damage) and are unnerved by what Berg does (the mask and the drugs) but ultimately warm to him (“I had a cigarette with him… nice guy…”).

That is a particular political approach as opposed to say, one that values people based off their position in a heirarchy (white supremacy, patriarchy, etc) or inherited position (autocracies) or even first-come, highest rank. It’s a political stance.

In this case it is because it helps set up who Providence is by who are their enemies - freedom fighters and outcasts from all over the globe: Sri Lanka, Australia, Israel, the USA from backgrounds in military, law enforcement, rebels and lone wolves.

Compare that with who sits at the boardroom table of Providence: Three white men and an older white woman, all from industrialised backgrounds with European surnames. Providence is “the establishment”, The Shadow Client’s army are those who will not fall into line and will not “accept their lot in life” or join the big machine in hopes of becoming a bigger cog.


#489

That is an unfair comparison you are using information learned LATER in the series and you are referring to one particular subsection of the organisation. The Fox Mulder wall in Colorado shows that Providence has members from various ethnic backgrounds and those people might be the tip of the iceberg. The Partners are simply banking or fiscal management people who keep things in line. It is also implied that this role is ancestral and passed down on a generational basis.


#492

Honestly we might as well cosign this thread to Purgatory we will not have any significant discussions or rational arguments here no matter how hard we try. Without the norms or context usually involved in human interaction such endeavours are pointless.


#493

I woke up to a notification stating that Jarbinger quoted me. Out of 300+ posts you had to prune you singled out my comment on how Hitman politics is restricted to the cloning agenda in order to tell me “not to continue” this kind of anti-intellectual behavior. I hope you can appreciate how that felt personal. Not only personal, but also uncalled for.

I don’t know what “pointing to the overall outcome of a common claim” means, so I’m not sure if I’m replying to this correctly, but that post you quoted had no outcome. It was a stand-alone comment that received no replies and had no impact on the discussion between alt-right and progressive voices, and was in no way intended as such. It was also abundantly on-topic: it discussed politics within the realm of Hitman. Your replying to it with lists and arguments in order to show that my statement was false shows there was at least some value in my remark, if only as a stable launching pad for your message that Hitman is more political than some anti-intellectuals dare to imply.

Also, when an argument is called “sexist” or “anti-intellectual” in order to void it of any intellectual worth, I think I’m entitled to claiming I am neither of these things and that motives for such an argument may lie elsewhere. This with the intended effect of reintroducing the intellectual merit of said argument which was cast aside by cheap blanket statements.

That’s an impressive list. I stand corrected in saying that Hitman politics was only about cloning.

Tongue-in-cheek is not exactly the same as a joke. There was a joking tone to it because my utterance lacked research (as you so clearly exhibited), but it was aimed at bringing back the political discussion to the realm of Hitman. It was an effort in the same vein as you pruning those posts. You deleted those posts for a reason.

Why didn’t you prune it if you really believe it was such a derail? Why did you go out of your way to publicly denounce my behavior as anti-intellectual and back that notion with arguments on how Hitman is very political? Can it be that it was not a derail, but in fact that it proved to be the tool to employ to set the discussion back on track?

I haven’t been on the forum since quite a few years and I’m unfamiliar with the game Hatred. I asked about it because I genuinely did not understand how violence towards innocents could be squarely put in the camp of alt-right.

I’d like to add that the road IO is taking by uniquely going for clear-cut criminals is more slippery than my suggestion. We’re currently talking under the notion that most of 47s targets deserved to die. I live in a country where the death penatly has been abolished, so even that notion is already politically disagreeable. But this choice of IO has actively invited us to think that way. The world is divided between “targets”, those narcissistic, lying and drinking bastards, and the dear innocent civilian. In doing that they created a frame of logic and morals that stifles story-telling and turned the ICA in some hardcore version of the Blue Helmets.

I’m saying slippery road because, of course, now that they are in that logic of “every target deserves to die”, they can’t simply introduce a civilian anymore saying you need to kill him, without adressing any criminal habits he may have. Depending on certain attributes of said civilian some people might feel offended, as they could think that attribute is the reason for the kill contract. Or as if that attribute made the target inherently bad. But in the Hitman universe and the work of an international assassin bureau, the logic of the lore, this should not be the case. That’s why 47 should also be getting contracts to kill good people. Bad stuffen does happen to them.

I’m sure you’ve had a nuanced view of it during your pruning activities, but the observation is indeed very funny, though not for the reason you may think.

Any amount of nuance or context will not change the fact that telling someone to fuck off is never an invitation to the discussion you claim your forum, as you so revealingly called it, is a platform for. I understand you need to uphold rules of civility and that certain opinions may endanger that, but a “fuck off” never helped to de-escalate a situation either, regardless of the words you use in your personally enriching exchanges and friendly banter.


#494

Whenever someone complains about “politics in muh videogames”, it pretty much tells me to ignore whatever the hell else they’re going to say, like anyone who says “SJW” without a hint of irony.


#496

That’s what I mean by “helps set up who Providence is by who are their enemies”. Before we see Providence, we see who is willing to risk everything to fight them and thus that informs our view of them when we do see first the layout - then finally The Partners.

And the keybearer who is killed in the parking lot is an Asian man in his prime, but he answers to Constant who attends the vault with Mr Fannin (a past his prime white man) and there is a definite trend with the Providence operatives - they’re the people who are generally untouchable due to wealth and position.

The Partners are the “board” who get to see the whole network and make the plans, the others do what they’re told when they’re told or get removed. The Constant says that The Partners were “three dynasties pooling their resources in secret for generations” so yes, they do inherit it - again setting them apart from The Shadow Client’s army (where only the Delgados inherit and… only if they stick their necks out)

I can see that. I hope you’ll also appreciate that it was the most succinct post to quote and cover a broader issue and use it for the betterment of the thread.

That in itself is also (get ready for it) a form of anti-intellectualism.

The classic “don’t think about anything” type of anti-intellectualism doesn’t really happen, however people will regularly announce that “once you say someone is x then…” because it essentially advocates a derail rather than exploration. If someone says a thing is sexist - don’t look at why a thing could be but instead argue about their motivation for saying so. If they say it’s anti-intellectual, don’t look into it but instead make it about their motivation for saying so.

Then the whole conversation turns into how do you feel and what is the other person allowed to think about rather than going into how politics is a rather all encompassing topic since it relates to individuals rights and responsibilities in society they live in, and how people influence that.

Because:

  1. It is anti-intellectual and you did choose to post it in the thread
  2. Many, many years of moderating this forum has told me if I just delete all the derail then invariably it occurs again - so I need to respond to some of it and issue broad statements.
  3. This appears to be have been the right choice since you chose to double and triple down on it

If it was then you should be overjoyed because your post is one of the ones cited in the kicking off the thread back on track! Unless you were hoping it’d have the opposite effect and people would all just join in agreeing there was not anything to discuss because of it - in which case that was a derail.

Again this is all trying to drag it back to the motivations and all about you - rather than the thread.

Yes that is an inherent risk of making a video game about a Hitman - that it will be interpreted as advocating that certain types of violence and murder are beneficial to society (even when not sanctioned by society). That’s probably part of why 47’s targets are generally over the top super-criminals or an unlikely combination of traits (Jordan Cross being a billionaire’s son who’s also rock star and a murderer) - and why Diana’s briefings always contain so much information.

Yes I’ve pointed out in discussions of Blood Money that some of these were baffling in that game, such as where the opera singer and the diplomat were allegedly running a child sex trafficking ring as justification for taking them out - because if you skip the briefing it’s just literally go kill these two people because I say so. Juxtapose that with say, The Meat King where you must go in and confirm a child was murdered in a horrific manner before taking action.

This doesn’t really make any sense since:

  1. The only game where the ICA was very “we kill anyone” was Absolution, where they were the villain and it created a weird, unnatural juxtaposition where 47 was allegedly working for the same institution that The “we fucking love collateral damage and a high profile” Saints were.
  2. The games already cover that bad things happen to good people, sometimes it happens in the game while you’re playing it and sometimes it’s the reason why you’re on the job (the inciting incidents of Silent Assassin, The Meat King, Beldingford Manor, The Swing King, the Mississippi missions, the core plot of Absolution, Showstopper, Silvio Curuso’s backstory, the whole premise of the Markesh level, the plague outbreak in the DLC level, Diana’s family, etc)
  3. Arguably you’ve killed a few “good” people in missions like Colorado, they were after all united together in a campaign to destroy the puppeteers who control the world - just none of them were “innocent” (in the same way 47 and Diana are not innocent)
  4. If you think it’s a slippery slop for 47 to be killing super-criminals because in your nation they still wouldn’t be given the death penalty, how could it be less of a slippery slope for 47 to be killing people who get death threats in real life for doing nothing wrong? That’s essentially expanding the slippery slope and compounding the suffering of those people.
  5. How would this even work in the existing lore where Diana’s primary motivation is that “nobody is untouchable”, the ICA remains “neutral”, “the contract is just” and 47 has his own code that he made for himself after the events of Silent Assassin?

This is what I mean when I say there’s a lot of discussion to have on these topics - not just throwaway statements like “bad stuff happens”.


#499

This is actually a really interesting point you’ve raised. One one hand the decision by IOI to stage their targets as objectively deplorable reprobates seems sensible, because the killing of innocents is (quite obviously) immoral in a normal society. But now you have a situation where 47’s actions, and thereby the players actions, are made to seem righteous, in that the targets deserve death. Is that what the Hitman series wants to promote? At the end of the day it’s only a game, and what are games for if not to allow us to operate outside the boundaries of reality? But I do think that the Hitman games pre-Absolution were more morally ambiguous. The targets were less overtly evil and more driven by the motivations of the client. We weren’t expected to root for 47, only to carry out the job. In this way you can design targets that are effectively innocent without compromising the moral fibre of the game, since 47 is an anti-hero.

I also think that by having targets of questionable innocence IOI could open up some more interesting story paths. At the moment they’re kinda stuck in a loop of “47 kills bad man, yay” for all their missions.


#500

You could have criminals with a sympathetic side, a man from the slums who rose up to protect his family through crime, and now lives with them and can be seen interacting with his family in a nice way, before he goes and kneecaps someone or whatever criminals do day to day!


#501

Honestly it baffles me as to how this thread is still running. I really would have burnt this thread to the ground, collected the insurance money and run off the Switzerland or somewhere cold and mountainous. That was a bad metaphor.


#502

The targets in Codename 47 are:

  • The most ruthless crimelord in Hong Kong who tortures people in his basement and is funding a cloning program to make him an army of soldiers he can use to expand his power
  • The most ruthless drug lord in Columbia who is exploiting the natives and funding a cloning program to make him an army of soldiers he can use to expand his power
  • A for-hire terrorist who is planning on using a biological weapon on a UN convention being held in a hotel in the middle of a city, and is funding a cloning program to make him an army of soldiers so he can expand his power
  • A gun runner who uses a nuclear bomb as a failsafe to protect himself, effectively holding the entire city of Rotterdam hostage, and is funding a cloning program to make him an army of soldiers so he can expand his power
  • The mad scientist who ran the cloning program and turned on his conspirators, sending 47 to kill his “fathers” before drawing 47 into a trap to try to kill him because he finds his free will inconvenient.

In Silent Assassin they’re all pawns of a Russian crime lord so powerful and dangerous he can bully around Russian generals, a yakuza crime lord who is so notorious he lives in an isolated castle rather than in society, and a cult leader commanding a literal city. He literally kicks this off by kidnapping a priest.

In Contracts you are sent after a guy who protects his brother’s tendency to kidnap and torture children to death, a biker gang who torture people, a pair of guys who want to hunt a kid for sport.

Then in Blood Money you have a political assassins trying to facilitate giving one secret society absolute control over cloning and then through that - the world, you guys who are running a child sex trafficking ring, war criminals running a cocaine empire, a guy who’s mostly labeled as a white supremecist and a guy who facilitates the abuse of women for political leverage (along with the abuser).

How are these not bad guys?

How?

Like the Hawkes Bay level?


#503

There were a few exceptions. Like the private detective in Contracts who you have to kill just because he failed his client.


#504

This sums up the targets of the previous games pretty well. Almost every target in the first three games was an evil bastard with no redeeming qualities. Ok Hayamoto was shown to be a grieving father, but it’s still hard to feel sorry for him when we know absolutely nothing about him or his son. Hitman: Silent Assassin didn’t really bother giving the targets fleshed-out personalities.

Contracts was the first time actually had to kill an innocent. The private investigator hired by the client who got captured. Sure he hadn’t much personality, either. But the fact that we saw him getting tortured and that the only reason he had to die, was because he failed, made me feel sorry for him. The other targets, however, were still evil dicks.

Blood Money finally started to give the targets more personality. With the Swing King being the most obvious example of a target you could geniunely feel sorry for. But the pedophile ambassadors gets humanized when we saw him crying over the dead body of his friend/lover.

Then came Absolution, which was a step backward. Many targets returned back to the formula of one-dimensional mustache-twirling villains. till, there were also characters like Lenny and – as much as I hate to say it- Dexter, himself. Sure he was a rather cartoonish villain who decided to stab a maid on a whim, but we also saw him grieving about his death son. Yes, even Blake Dexter was portrayed in a more human way that every single target from the first three games.

HITMAN 1 and HITMAN 2 actually a huge improvement. More targets have likeable side. Janus is a ruthless spy, but he also founded the Ark Society to leave a positive legacy and give humanity a change to survive extinction. Jordan Cross is a murderer, but he really regrets what he has done. Sean Ross is a terrorist who killed a bunch of children, but it was an accident and the fact that he grow up in a cult gave him a crap load of mental issues. And while there are still plenty of irredeemable targets, at least most of them have interesting personalities.

Even bad targets like Marco Abiatti are leagues abvoe someone like Abdul Bismillah Malik or Deewana Ji.


#505

You also have an amusement park owner who, while incompetent, is killed simply out of vengeance. A former-gangster in witness protection assassinated because he was going to give evidence. Then a whole array of assassins in the same line of work as 47, just on the opposing team. Not to mention the priest and the journalist (attending 47’s funeral) and the cutscene courier guy who were all killed by 47 to cover his tracks.

Hell in Contracts you have a private investigator being tortured by a biker gang who is assassinated in order to save the clients ass. Always felt sorry for that guy…

Also a surprising number of the targets in Blood Money are just low-level drug smugglers. Hardly the supervillians of HITMAN and HITMAN 2. Even if they were evil douchebags the game was subtle about it - whereas in every briefing nowadays Diana practically spells out why they need a bullet. It makes me miss the understated briefings of the first four Hitman games, which were brief and more focused on “getting the job done” as per the clients request.


#506

Who was also a psychopath who murdered multiple people

But they weren’t planned targets.


#507

So? They were planned by the developers.

Aren’t these morally ambiguous targets far more interesting than objectively evil caricatures?
I will say that there have been plenty of great targets in the recent Hitman games, but it’s also pretty clear from listening to interviews that the studio is committed to making their targets deplorable.


#508

The problem is a non-evil target or an innocent target is not interesting from any stand point other than morally. A character like this would most likely be a normal well adjusted person and if they aren’t they would be you cliche typical paranoid wreck or in WPP to justify a guard presence in the level.

I prefer the newer targets they feel more like actual real people than the godawful cliche or stereotypical targets of the old games. I don’t want to run around killing pimps, smugglers and drug dealers or exacting revenge fantasies. He is the world’s greatest assassin not some gangland triggerman. He has a hefty price for his services and his targets should reflect that.


#509

My point exactly. 47 wouldn’t just do run-of-the-mill “My wife is cheating on me, 47” contracts unless the husband was a multi-millionaire (and he could just hire a much cheaper ICA Agent), so it makes more sense that the clients have some kind of major personal agenda that requires only the best or are properly bad in some way.


#510

He should 47 goes in for the hard contracts I am pretty sure some EU materials give him a complexity addiction of some sort to hand wave accidental kills he decides to do or his impossible missions. 47 wouldn’t even bother with the wife unless she lived in a fortress or she could only be accessed at a public event.


#511

A pubic event? My my, 47 :laughing:

But yeah, it seems so. In Paris’s briefing, Diana even says that he loves a challenge. Life would be boring if all he had to do was open a door, grab a guy or gal and throw them out of the window to make it an “accident”.


#512

Dammit the L key stucj. God this laptop has the shittiest keyboard in the world.

Yep several other briefings for ETs and such allude to that as well. Diana also applauds his more crafty methods of killing like Jordan defenstrating Morgan or helping The Kashmirian. Not to mention meeting a target while disguised.