Falling Out of the Real-World and into Right Wing Inceldom: Redditors' (Mis)reads of Political Themes in Fallout 4

Dalton Bouzek and Andrew Wilson


This work in progress examines Reddit communities' discussion of political themes in the game Fallout 4. Successful franchises like Call of Duty, Sid Meier's Civilization and Age of Empires have each implemented political over/undertones to varying degrees of success. However, games set in alternate history or near-future settings - like Fallout 4 - may not be recognized by players as inherently political. Our work thus blends a number of converging disciplinary interests into a case study that thematically examines Fallout 4 Redditors' understandings of the game's basic political themes. Since video games may serve as a first point of contact for learning about politics, we highlight the extent to which themes and ideologies may be misunderstood, and their implications. Our research adds to and accompanies existing literature by extrapolating upon how gamers adapt, modify, and misunderstand narratives from games to express real-world attitudes.

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