How Sierra On-Line and a Disgraced Cop Made the Most Reactionary Game of the 90s (
from to on 15 Jun 2024 03:43


threaded - newest on 15 Jun 2024 08:10 next collapse

Police Quest was the most reactionary game? on 15 Jun 2024 08:20 next collapse

The article’s a good read. It’s not about the first game from 1987. on 15 Jun 2024 09:38 collapse

Yeah,the first games were quite good. I actually know someone who got into policing because of these games - and was a full detective by the time Open Season released - who was appalled by this Open Season and the following games.

It’s a shame,really,because after that there weren’t any good “beat cop” games to this day anymore, at least I am not aware of any. (Police Simulator is well… not having any story and so PG-washed that it’s basically parking enforcement…) on 15 Jun 2024 14:31 collapse

Disco Elysium comes to mind. on 15 Jun 2024 08:34 collapse

Specifically, Open Season. Gross game, but not this big scary glowing radioactive thing and probably not the actual most reactionary game of the nineties. Article’s kinda crap, really; the whole point is “a prick hired a prick to be involved in a prickish game.” on 15 Jun 2024 16:23 next collapse

A good game,yes,but not really a classical beat cop/police work game. on 15 Jun 2024 18:24 collapse

Article’s kinda crap, really; the whole point is “a prick hired a prick to be involved in a prickish game.”

Ken Williams has generally been pretty well regarded, especially by Sierra fans. He was even included in the old Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy, so I think it comes as somewhat surprising that he was so easily swayed by Rush Limbaugh back then, and shifted so far right wing to the point of purposefully working with a cop so heavily associated with systemic racism and the Rodney King beating.

It certainly was news to me, as someone who grew up with those games. on 15 Jun 2024 20:23 collapse

Maybe it could’ve been clearer about that, then? I felt like it was really pushing the “Guy’s a fuckin’ cop-lover!” angle really hard to the point of skewing the facts a bit just to stress it. on 16 Jun 2024 01:55 collapse

The article is pretty well laid out, IMO. It sets up the story with background information of who Ken Williams is, the history of the Police Quest series and the Sierra hacker/stoner culture, then goes into Daryl Gates and his background, and finally how Ken hobnobbed with him and pushed hard for him to be involved despite the resistance of the game devs. It then goes into how the game that Daryl advised on was deeply influenced by his racist views, which Ken had no trouble publishing, and even hoped would generate controversy for profit.

It gives all the context needed for non-sierra fans and for people not familiar with Daryl Gates, and doesn’t really have any fluff or repeating points.

Not sure what you mean by skewing the facts? Could you give an example? on 16 Jun 2024 04:26 collapse


The article states that Sonny “grooms” Marie to be a housewife but she’s clearly written to want to be. There’s a difference between “look, these games are gross because you the player/player character coerce some poor girl into slaving away at home cooking and cleaning and raising kids for you” and “look, these games are gross because the writers made a character wanna be a tradwife with a job.”

I had other stuff written but apparently didn’t post any of that. Bleh. Tired now, not gonna agree (nor stop getting silently downvoted, gotta love that) anyway. Off I go ö/ on 15 Jun 2024 16:34 next collapse

What in the bucket (autocorrected from fuck, lol)! As a fan of Sierra games, this is bizarre to read, I never expected them to embrace cop culture, after growing from a pot smoking and drinking origin. on 15 Jun 2024 17:07 collapse

A lot of people succumbed to fear after 1992, especially the types like Ken Williams that were newly rich.

There’s a excellent, recent OJ Simpson documentary called Made in America that does a dive into 1990’s Los Angeles police culture and the riots. Highly recommended. on 15 Jun 2024 17:10 next collapse

This is unreadable on 15 Jun 2024 17:30 next collapse

Considering the routine fake heroics ascribed to pig both in games and in movies, you’d really have to go out of your fascist bootlicking way to get your game called “most reactionary.” on 16 Jun 2024 01:33 collapse

Story A: He was made a Sierra employee, and then later they found out he was disgraced and forced to quit as police chief.

Nope, the reverse of that… :| on 16 Jun 2024 09:02 collapse

English is weird but this is right. It might read better if it was “and then later they found out he had been disgraced and forced to quit as police chief.”