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Giancarlo Esposito: It's 'important' games reflect real-world politics – BBC News

By Steffan Powell and Vikki Blake
Newsbeat gaming reporters

He's played the villains in huge TV shows such as Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian – but Giancarlo Esposito has now turned his attention to gaming.
The recognisable actor is in Far Cry 6, and yes, he's playing another bad guy.
Though he didn't know much about the gaming world when he signed up two years ago, Giancarlo says he was impressed by the game's vision.
It's set in the "changing, tumultuous" regime of Yara, a fictional Caribbean island (it looks very similar to Cuba) ruled by an unelected "El Presidente".
He is Anton Castillo, a ruthless dictator wrestling to suppress a civil uprising.
Talking to BBC Sounds Press X to Continue podcast, Giancarlo says he "loved how [Far Cry 6] reflected the mirror of our world politically, personally, and in such a human way".
"I think it's really all a part of the tapestry of what's going on in the world," Giancarlo explains.
"And if you're not making a game that doesn't reflect some of what the world is going through right now, then there's no real relationship to you."
Giancarlo believes that while games can provide escapism for people, that doesn't mean they can't reflect reality too.
Anchoring fictional worlds in real-life issues is "very important", Giancarlo adds, and "makes [games] current and contemporary, expressive, and relatable to an audience".
"It's not a political tool – it's entertainment, but it allows you to see glimpses of the world."
It's the duality of Castillo's nature that appealed to Giancarlo, who believes even "villains are human beings".
"They don't wake up one morning and go: 'I'm a dictator, I'm going to rule people, I'm going to hurt people'," he explains.
"Some people do in our world, but they're affected by their environment, by how they were raised, by all of the information that they've taken in from the world that they grew up in."
Acknowledging the difference between playing a character in traditional entertainment and in video games, Giancarlo says the latter can be a more compelling storytelling device given players interact directly with the fictional world.
"You're not just sitting there, watching entertainment," he explains. "You're able to be that leader of [guerilla army] Libertade, who has to make decisions to be able to take back the country.
"That interaction is placing you in that first-person situation where you have to take responsibility for others.
"That's different than just you know, surfing on the couch, watching a film that's very exciting, but doesn't have you do much other than be a viewer."
As for which of his fan-favourite characters Giancarlo would like to explore further in a video game?
"It would be Gustavo Fring," he says. "Because we don't know so much about him.
"In Far Cry we learn a lot about Anton [… but] with Gustavo Fring, he's a bit of an enigma."
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