Neoreaction May Be Able To Learn From A Video Game

Yes, really.


This post may take some time to fully read\watch, but I think it’s worth it.

Before you do anything, you should watch the short film that served as the announcement of the franchise:

Seriously, watch it—you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Okay, watched it? To answer the questions that aren’t as important for this post:

– Yeah, it’s a video game. A multiplayer, 6v6 objective-based first-person shooter
– Coming out in a month or so
– No, no feature film is planned (FOR NOW. They MUST be considering it. I think they have a rocket on their hands, but that’s just me.)

Real quick, so we’re on the same page: Overwatch is set maybe 80 years in the future. AI was invented, and the resultant AI’s (“Omnics”) started some sort of war twenty years ago. A small international task force called “Overwatch” basically…saved the world (we’re not told how). They then worked as a “global peacekeeping force and innovation engine” for twenty years, ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity…but then were broken up by undetailed scandals of corruption and negligence, its former agents gone off “most of them just mercenaries now.”

And yet…here we have an armored gorilla and a time-jumping English girl making dramatic entrances into museums. They’re not there for profit (she put the gauntlet back in its case). So what are they doing? Is it possible that…there is the genesis of something new, something like the Overwatch organization, returning?

Got time for another video, as engaging as the first?

So, yes, the game features an intelligent gorilla who was raised on the moon.

So, there are a ton of things to point out in these clips from a reactionary perspective. I’m just going to list them:

  • A dissatisfaction with alienating organizations. Every character in Overwatch is exactly that, a character. I’ve come to the conclusion that a healthy caution, or at least awareness of, the power of Moloch (you MUST read that if you haven’t) in organizations is a core reactionary tenet. Decisions should be made by people, and a mass of people isn’t a person.
  • Overwatch (in its heyday) developed its own technology, managed its own defense, and wasn’t a shareholder-owned company…wait a minute, isn’t this, effectively, a state? (or more accurately, a phyle?) Part of the reason conservatives yearn for “the 50’s” isn’t just the tranquility of domestic life, but moonshots like….well, the moon. If you asked someone then “where is our society going,” they would have answered, “to space.” If you asked someone now, they would say, “Going? Wherever you want to, man. Just don’t tell me where I’m going.” And thus our atomization is revealed.
  • Grief at the modern stranglehold on organically-arisen state-like organizations (“Any Overwatch activity is punishable by prosecution.” “I know…but I do miss the old days”)


  • An implied accusation in the second film: Why don’t we have a moonbase yet?
  • The game is focused on heroes; one of the last lines of the first film is “The world could always use more heroes…” Heroism, and a worldview that accepts it, is or should be a concern of Reaction. See also here.
  • What I will here name “The Tomorrowland Ethos,” stated as, “Never accept the world as it appears to be—dare to see it, for what it could be.”
  • Of note is that although the second short has a fight scene, and a gorilla scientist in a robot suit, the central conflict is not a physical one, or a technical one (his shield gadget still doesn’t work).  The real moment of glory in the short is not when he disintegrates Reaper (the gas-ghost shotgun thingy), but when he makes the decision to recall the members of Overwatch to duty, illegal though it be.   That is what an organization on track to becoming worthy looks like.  You can see on Winston’s face when the globe lights up and the roster starts cycling through that this is going to be the best thing ever.  Is #nrx, or any nrx-affiliated group, on track to generate that sort of affection in its members?  Because I think that’s what you need.
  • Another interesting tidbit: after the original cinematic trailer was released, a composer put together an orchestral track using the theme:
  • A bunch of the Youtube comments are variants of “I cried listening to this.”  While the music is good, and beautiful, I think much of what they’re reacting to has been primed by the aforementioned trailers.  This should be a signal to us that there’s something with some punch.  The Reaction will, among other things, be beautiful, and virtuous—to the point that men will weep over it.  (Does this sound too tryhard for you?  Then you haven’t considered the full magnitude of what you’re trying to accomplish, or you’re setting your sights too low)
  • We’re diving a bit here, but in a newspaper article from within the fictional Overwatch world, its founder is described thusly:
  • …but Morrison would have a greater impact on the group in the long term. He brought out the best in the people around him and helped mold Overwatch’s diverse (and sometimes conflicting) agents into a cohesive fighting force. In unity, they found the strength to defeat the robots and end the Omnic Crisis.

  • Did you catch that?  It describes the process (or at least some of the requirements) of the creation of a society (if in miniature), out of its ingredients (people, who are not a society, yet).  And the creation of a new one is what’s necessary—there’s no previous society to which to fall back.

This has been a lot of abstract stuff, and, I mean, moon gorilla.  I certainly understand if this seems like foolishness to you.  The next post will be my thoughts on how all this can be applied practically.

In the meantime:


EDIT: the reddit comments