So I was watching a little video roundup of some of the worst video games ever the other day and I came across some footage from a justifiably obscure little first-person-shooter called Operation Matriarchy.
The premise of this 2005 PC game, made in Russia, may as well have emerged from the fevered imagination of some Men’s Rights activist. Here’s how the promo blurb at MobyGames explains it, with the especially MRA-ish bits in bold:
In the mid-24th century, a virus of unknown origin wiped through the Velian civilization. It affected only the women, twisting them into brutal killing machines. They modified their bodies, enhancing them with cybernetic and bio-engineered parts. The male population was enslaved, used for genetic experiments and food. The previously democratic society became a matriarchal ant-colony; a hive-mind focused on one thing only – Domination. All-out war erupted between the Velians and their former allies, the Federation of Earth.
But fear not! For a brave
Men’s Rights Activist space solider, Senior Sergeant Paul Armstrong of the Federation, stands up against these evil matriarchs and their robot friends when they attack his ship. Also, there are monsters.
So, basically, this game offers dudes an excuse to shoot scantily clad women for hours on end. Granted, some of these women are trying to shoot at the bold defenders of all things male, but others are unarmed, and are shot down long before they get close enough to do any harm, making the game ideal for anyone who fantasizes about shooting down wave after wave of women in fetishy gear.
You can see what I’m talking about in the gameplay video below.
This is all very reminiscent of the fantasies of “restorative, retaliatory” violence that seem to drive so many in the Men’s Rights movement, as I noted in my review of Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men on the American Prospect.
And some men are very dedicated to these fantasies indeed. One odd little side-note to the history of Operation Matriarchy that seems to underscore that point. You see, the game was so incompetently made that when it first shipped it was basically broken. As Wikipedia explains:
Operation: Matriarchy, was released with what appeared to be damaged music files and incomplete sound files; all of the music files, except for the main menu track, simply play static, while several of the sound files are simply silence.
Also, it was ugly as shit.
But some enterprising fans were evidently so taken by the premise of the game that they decided to step up and fix the game themselves — so they could have the opportunity to, well, shoot down wave after wave of scantily clad women while listening to music at the same time, and without the graphics and the story being quite so completely awful.
A pair of fan made mods that replace these files and made other enhancements to the game were released:
In August 2007, a fan-made music and sound enhancement mod was released, which added a complete in-game music score and enhanced sound effects. In addition, the story was rewritten.
In September 2009, a second fan-made mod appeared. This offered a complete (optional) translation to German and further changes to the sound effects and music. However, the largest changes were to the visuals, with enhanced lighting and improved versions of many textures and bump maps.
I don’t know if the video above is one made using the visually “enhanced” version of the game or not. All of the videos of the game I’ve seen — and there are many, many more on YouTube — look awful to me.
If you want to buy this monstrosity, you can get it on Amazon.