In an attempt to shame players excited for the upcoming release of the PlayStation 5, Kotaku concluded their review of the new console by asserting that “there’s an irrefutable level of privilege attached to the ability to simply tune out the world as it burns around you.”
Published on November 6th, Kotaku’s review of the PlayStation 5, written by staff writer Ian Walker, is mostly a standard review of the console’s new technological and functional offerings, such as its “imposing figure, with a bulbous shell protecting its hefty bulk,” “how smooth the PlayStation 5’s user interface is,” and “the benefits of the SSD’s quick loading.”
“In many ways, the PlayStation 5 feels like a more significant upgrade from the PlayStation 4 than the PlayStation 4 did coming from the PlayStation 3, especially for someone like me who never splurged on a PlayStation 4 Pro,” Walker said as he began his review.
However, Walker’s review soon takes a turn to bizarre, as Walker concluded his piece with a lengthy diatribe arguing that various real-world political and social conflicts were “all the reasons not to be excited for the PlayStation 5.”
Issues cited by Walker as reasons why players should not be excited for the next-generation system include “the weight of the covid-19 pandemic,” how “more Americans out of work right now than at any point in the country’s history,” and the “inherently evil institution” that is the United States health care system.
It appears that Walker’s biggest gripe is with the recent presidential election, which media outlets have begun to call in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden despite an outstanding number of counts, questions, and issues regarding voter totals.
Walker argued that “it’s clear that the worst people aren’t going away just because a new old white man is sitting behind the Resolute desk—well, at least not this old white man.”
He opined that “our government is fundamentally broken in a way that necessitates radical change rather than incremental electorialism.”
Walker then opted to shame and criticize those excited for the PS5, stating that “the harsh truth is that, for the reasons listed above and more, a lot of people simply won’t be able to buy a PlayStation 5, regardless of supply.”
He also dismissively warned that “concerns over increasing austerity in the United States and the growing threat of widespread political violence supersede any enthusiasm about the console’s SSD or how ray tracing makes reflections more realistic.”
“That’s not to say you can’t be excited for those things—I certainly am, on some level—but there’s an irrefutable level of privilege attached to the ability to simply tune out the world as it burns around you,” said Walker.
As Walker continues, it becomes apparent that many of his criticisms are a form of projection, as he acknowledges that “video games can be an escape” and how “it feels great to lose yourself in a fictional world where you can fix everything.”
However, he also asserts that he has “found it increasingly difficult to focus on video games amid our current situation.”
As proof, Walker shares a personal anecdote and recalls how “,any nights, it’s all I can do to play a couple runs of Spelunky before collapsing into bed for a few hours of doomscrolling and restless sleep.”
“I think the PlayStation 5 is a great machine, but it’s tough to recommend when folks are literally fighting for their lives while residing in the richest country in the world,” Walker wrote in conclusion of his review.
He added, “I’m looking forward to a time when we can all chat about next-generation gaming on equal footing, without a dozen daily crises looming over our heads. Until then, let’s focus on what’s truly important, even if that means dipping out of the next-gen hype machine for a bit.”
For players looking to separate the fictional world from the real world in the hopes of a bit of escapism, the PlayStation 5 will be available worldwide on November 12th, 2020.
What do you make of Walker’s claims? Do you think real-world issues should prevent