Video games are an art form like no other. We boot up our favourite consoles, and lose ourselves in the lore of some truly encompassing settings and worlds.
Although we sometimes just want to decompress by blowing an alien creature to bits with our technologically-wondrous weapons, a game's narrative may offer much more. Instead of traversing from point A to B with our principal protagonist, a new character, antagonist, or rival may challenge us on more than just an adversarial level. The morals and values our hero takes with them on their journey are then tested, as a result of the insight and critical thought that these characters, who aren't so inextricably evil as initially believed, put into the spotlight.
As for where these characters have received their nuanced awareness from, just take a look at the pervading issues of our world today. Video game characters who reflect our contemporary societal frameworks can be the basis for some truly compelling storytelling. Sometimes, these characters may have even predicted these issues, before they manifested in our world today.
Our real world isn't black-and-white. These characters truly demonstrated that the shade of grey was always prevalent, especially in the way they were positioned to challenge our protagonist...
6. Senator Steven Armstrong
For all its hack-and-slash glory, the narrative of 2013's Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was just as deeply layered as its series counterparts.
As Raiden battles Senator Steven Armstrong, and his Metal Gear EXCELSUS, the latter explains his true motivations. Armstrong wanted to upset the current balance of power in America by killing military personnel stationed at the Shabhazabad Air Base in Pakistan. This action would consolidate support for him in the upcoming election, enabling him to fulfill his vision for a true survival of the fittest-based world.
The sociopathic Senator used a real-world slogan that would be the basis of discussion in the years since. His intentions to 'make America great again' by capitalizing on the failings of current systems, in order to rejuvenate the American spirit can be attributed to the real-world rise of the Donald Trump presidency. Armstrong aimed to use war to build his version of America, while President Trump used the shortcomings of various media and political entities to ensure his victory. Although the means were vastly different, Armstrong can literally and figuratively be seen as a mirror to Donald Trump's rise in American politics, and the intentions of recreating America for a new age.
The fact that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was released years before the American 2016 presidential election makes one wonder if President Trump played the game first, before using Armstrong's message as his maintstay campaign slogan.