Hatred, a game announced by the Polish developer Destructive Creations, is in my opinion the apex of art. The game is simple: it revolves around the player character slaughtering as many people as humanly possible. There is nothing light-hearted or ironic about Hatred: the violence is all sickeningly realistic, as is your victim’s pleas for mercy as you heartlessly execute them. The game makes no attempt at hiding the fact that you are not gunning down cartoonish caricatures, but rather real people with real lives. Everything is seen through a dismal, depressing grayscale, with only explosions, sirens, and muzzle flashes sticking out. Everything is rendered in the generic ugliness that only the Unreal Engine can provide. I’m actually very proud to say that the gameplay trailer made me genuinely uncomfortable. This is a game with no redeeming qualities.
One of the things that stood out to me is that one of the developers in the Destructive Creations photo is wearing a Black Witchery T-shirt. From what I’ve gathered, Black Witchery is a black metal band from Florida. Black metal as a genre has always been interesting to me. There’s a great documentary called Until the Light Takes Us which covers the origins of the genre and its eventual development. Most people will agree that the second wave of black metal began with the Norwegian band Mayhem. Mayhem was, from 1989 to 1995, the apex of cool in the same way I see Hatred as being. It was the brainchild of guitarist Euronymous, who, much like Destructive Creations is doing, set out to create a band with no redeeming qualities. He had been disgusted with how death metal had developed a sort of ironic acceptance and was no longer considered truly dangerous. Under Euronymous’s direction, Mayhem strove to reject all that was good and acceptable in the world. He deliberately strove for horrible, low-fi recording, poorly tuned instruments, and painfully harsh vocals.
Mayhem’s stage act was beyond unacceptable, thanks to the work of mentally deranged frontmen who would perform grotesque acts of ritual self-mutilation. People were used to seeing this from punk stars like Iggy Pop and GG Allin, but those had become acceptable under the guise of random chaos. The self-harm that Maniac and his more famous successor Dead brought to the table were deliberate and thus far more messy. To add onto the mix, they would surround the stage in barbed wire to prevent fan interaction and mount severed animal heads fresh from the slaughterhouse onto the mic stands. It was a grotesque, repulsive display. And yet, unlike the punks of England and America, Mayhem was entirely sincere in their transgressions. Indeed, Euronymous reveled in the blatant immorality of Mayhem. He celebrated the burning of churches, and when Dead fatally shot himself, Euronymous took pictures and sent pieces of his skull and brains to other bands he deemed worthy. Before Euronymous’s murder in 1993, Mayhem was easily the most evil band in the world, considered so foul that no media outlet would reach out to them.
This made Mayhem cool. It was cutting-edge, LITERALLY. There was nothing like it at the time. It was the most extreme, most insane band in existence. If you wanted to be the most hardcore metalhead, you listened to Mayhem. It didn’t even matter if you liked the music, liking the spectacle was enough. It was aggressive and transgressive, and it showed that you were willing to put up with what others couldn’t.
I see the same thing in Hatred. It’s a vile, disgusting game that does nothing but celebrate the very real murder of innocents. The developers even outright say that Hatred is a rebuttal to the modern, safe, consumer-friendly indie games. It’s a direct assault on the intelligentsia as much as it is an assault on consumerism. And that’s what makes it genuinely cool. To endorse Hatred with sincerity is to brand yourself a supporter of sincere violence, especially violence against women and minorities. It’s a rejection of all that is good in our culture.
Certainly to the average reactionary, Hatred would seem to be a degenerate sort of game that contributes nothing to a healthy society. And yet, that is why it should be endorsed. See, in Until the Light Takes Us, Varg Vikernes says that his peers were less excited about death and destruction that would come with a possible third world war and more about what would come afterwards: the rebuilding of Nordic society this time based on the old, pre-Christian Nordic ways. However, that meant celebrating the collapse of civilization and the sort of destruction that came with it. In that sense, I would argue that Vikernes is right on the money for neoreaction. Our goal, as Moldbug even reminds us in his Gentle Introduction, is to let things take their course and then step in when democracy, Americanism and the modern world ultimately fails. Thus, much like Mayhem was before us, Hatred is the next step towards the inevitable collapse of the modern world. It is intensely nihlist, rejecting all the modern world has to offer. Indeed, the growing popularity of it despite it being public enemy number one for sites like Polygon, is a sign of growing disenfranchisement with the modern world. At present, the game has already been greenlit by Steam users, and will likely be a best-seller (by indie standards).
And certainly, raising dissent is a noble goal- this piece from Henry Dampier on Socialmatter regarding the recent “Black Brunch” protests summarizes what I’m trying to say. The more people are upset, hurt, and miserable, the more that they will begin to feel disenfranchised and frustrated with the modern world. And of course, as I’ve said before, this will push them into the “despair” phase of rampancy. The worse the world gets, the more and more people will realize that progressivism does not work. Even if they endorse classical liberalism or some other alternative to neoreaction, it still undermines the overall social control of the cathedral. The Chinese mandate of heaven makes it very clear that the consent of the people is derived from their happiness. When we take away that happiness, the consent of the people and thus the legitimacy of their ruler vanishes. Certainly, real-world violence is unacceptable. Yet despair? Outrage? Frustration? Those are all important to spread.
Therefore, we can do nothing but praise Hatred, for further rejecting the modern world. While the game most definitely rejects us, what difference does it make? It is only another step to oblivion for our broken, miserable society. It’s certainly a step in the right direction.