One of my favorite forums is Political Compass Memes, which has some incredibly funny content and jokes (although they often require a lot of previous knowledge and context to understand-, as well as surprisingly pertinent political commentary. And my favorite game is Wargame: Red Dragon, which is great fun to me, and with a thriving meme community on its own subreddit. This gave me the idea: what about combining the two? Wargame has a huge list of units (around 2,000 if I remember correctly), and it would be neat to apply stereotypes to them from political compass memes. And on the subreddit, people really liked them - over 800 upvotes combined from two posts! But unfortunately, the moderators decided that it was likely to draw attention from the more... disreputable crowd of Wargamers, the users of the infamous Warchat global conservation chat function of Wargame, filled with huge amounts of racism, ethnic slurs, homophobia, trolling, and other undesirable activities. So no more were allowed: instead, what about a compilation of all of them online elsewhere? What sort of memes can be made about Wargame: Red Dragon, and what are the stereotypes and context that make them work?
The key component of a political compass meme is a stereotype, a pun, or a wacky political belief which is ascribed to a quadrant on the compass. In of itself, the political compass doesn't say anything about culture, only one's preference for state vs. libertarian leanings, and right wing vs. left wing economic orientation. And yet the political compass has decisively settled on the "Libertarian Left" quadrant meaning the culturally progressive/liberal group, the "Libertarian Right" quadrant being capitalists and gun-happy LIbertarians with the exception of a small group of pedophiles, the "Authoritarian Left" group meaning Communists, and the "Authoritarian Right" group including Monarchists, Authoritarians, Conservatives, and sometimes Fascists - who generally are the exact opposite of Libertarian Left. Occasional other groupings include Authoritarian Center who are the other category Fascists are put into, and LIbertarian Center which is perhaps the least well-defined part of the compass, viewed as rejecting society as a whole, with a massive focus on freedom and esoteric political beliefs such as an interest in Max Sterner. Centrists are stereotyped as not holding any strong political beliefs and just wanting to grill.
How to apply these stereotypes to a video game?
- Libertarian Left is arguably the most difficult quadrant, since few of their traits apply to a game about military combat. The stereotypes for Libleft are that they are fiercely progressive, most often gay, have an obsession with sex, include many Social Justice Warriors, committed to diversity, they are libertines, and that they lead revolutions but are promptly couped and betrayed by their Authoritarian Left counterparts.
- Libertarian center is definitely the most difficult individual part of the quadrant, since they have essentially only one joke "Return to monke" about rejecting modern civilization and returning to the times before agriculture.
- Libertarian Right's stereotypes are easy to work in. They love money, they love making money, they love weapons, they hate Communism, they love drugs, and they are fiercely individualist. All of these are easy to apply in a military game.
- Authoritarian Right is similarly easy, although sometimes too obvious. Authoritarian, kingly, focused on combat, war, highly religious, conservative, almost as devoted as Libleft to hatred of Communism, and focused on tradition, they match many stereotypes of military units exactly.
- Authoritarian Center is a hazy and ill defined quadrant, but in general the stereotype of them might be power for power's sake. Nazi Germany, Oceania in 1984 with INGSOC, arguably China of today, National Bolshevism - power, power, the iron will to power which crushes their opposition and dominates their foes. To a certain extent they are the ones who are the mirror opposites of Libleft: Libleft and Authcenter might both say, use state power for racial policies, abortion, diversity quotas, but while Libleft uses it for progressive goals, Authcenter uses it for exterminating racial minorities, crushing opposition, and enforcing their rule,
- Authoritarian Left are Communists, and their stereotypes revolve around them starving, massive numbers of human wave attacks, an obsession with WW2 (which Authoritarian Right has to some extent as well), fierce loyalty to the Motherland, GULAG, and tanks - after the name of "tankies," for the Soviet usage of heavy armored forces to crush attempted anti-Communist uprisings in East Germany in 1953 or Budapest in 1956.
- Centrists have the stereotypes of being indecisive, and above all else "Just wanting to grill for god's sake!" This makes them very easy to simply apply to flamethrower units in Wargame: Red Dragon.
Also vital to political compass memes are the concepts of the drawn figures of "Wojak" and "Chad" which are really difficult to understand: my advice is reading the entries on them on sites such as Know Your Meme.