Shinra: The Face of Colonialism

Use Cases

Final Fantasy VII provided us with one of popular culture’s most devastating caricatures of capitalism, colonialism and greed.

Final Fantasy VII mobilized a whole generation of young gamers against the senseless exploitation carried out by the fictional Shinra Electric Power Company, without ever mentioning the word “oil”. The remake takes this even further by delving deep into Shinra’s propaganda arm – here, the energy monopoly successfully paints any activism against it as false flag operations by foreign players, covers up any and all knowledge of the dire consequences that their business cause both locally (monsters spawn from pollution) and globally (the planet is dying), and finds itself defended by hordes of complacent suburbanites that just want to go about their convenient lives. Over the course of the adventure, the board of Shinra end up personifying many of the injustices that stem from European colonialism, not just pollution but warmongering, oppression and deep economic inequality. It works so well that players young and old embrace the violent, disruptive tactics of the game’s heroes without blinking.