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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Feb 06, 2015
Headline for Sonic the Freedom Fighter: 10 Interesting Ways to Look at the Sonic the Hedgehog Games.
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Sonic the Freedom Fighter: 10 Interesting Ways to Look at the Sonic the Hedgehog Games.

In his book, Persuasive Games,Ian Bogost describes Sonic the Hedgehog as always being a "good character, portrayed to stand up for the right and just.". Sonic has a pretty specific mission, and as the game unfolds, so does Sonic's fight for the environment. He saves animals from the technology created by a human, weaves his way through man-made structures, and fights for a world being destroyed by industry.
Animals
In the Sonic games, Dr. Eggman (Dr. Ivo Robotnik) used cute, innocent animals as "organic batteries" in his machines. Many philosophers in the past have argued that animals don't have "souls" and are just complex machines. This is an assumption we still struggle with today, and is often used to justify our use of animals. Sonic is having none of it. He is taking on this human-animal intruder and freeing the animals from their exploitation.
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Humans

Humans
Dr. Eggman excels because of his high I.Q.He is a product of the enlightenment, which brought on the need to dominate nature, to fool it, to be better than it. To Eggman, nature is only in the way of the world he wants to construct and he either must tame it, or do away with it. His only obstacle? A very fast animal.
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Chaos Emeralds

Chaos Emeralds
Sonic fights not only to save the animals and the environment, but also to keep the Emeralds out of Dr. Eggmans hands. The power in the chaos emeralds have put the gems at the centre of many conflicts in the past (according to the history of the Sonic world). They contain an energy Dr. Eggman is looking for, and he is willing to research and colonize in order to obtain these resources.
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Landscapes

Landscapes
The levels in Sonic the Hedgehog rely on the landscapes to elaborate on the narrative.Each level has nature intertwined with the creations of man. Sometimes it is subtle and nature has taken over like in Aquatic Ruin as portrayed in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Other times it is apparent that the landscape has been crafted and dominated by the hands of man, like Metropolis Zone. Each level reminds us of the drives and goals of Dr. Eggman, and his never ending search for power through technology.
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Pollution

Pollution
Oil Ocean Zone is one of the later levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. By looking at the landscape and theme of this level, one can easily pull out the social criticism. Sonic moves his way through an oil rig on the ocean, as it is actively polluting the water, while the sky in the background burns a dirty orange film. Dr. Eggman is a master of gathering resources through the abuse of the environment. He is not only searching for the emeralds, he plans on taking every thing, no matter what the cost is.
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Technology

Technology
Cracked.com did an excellent little discussion about the social criticisms hidden in the Sonic games. It seems to be a case of technology vs. nature in the fight between Sonic and Eggman.
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Video Monitors

Video Monitors
Sonic must break open video monitors in order to obtain items that will help him on his journey. The gamer is using a screen in order to destroy a fictional screen for points. The monitors have changed over the generations of games, but it is still interesting how Sonic must both use the technology, and destroy it, to get ahead in the game.
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Levels

Levels
The player is introduced to Sonic's world (during the early games at least) in the Green Hill Zone(or Emerald Hill Zone), is a place near untouched by the industrial dreams of Dr. Eggman. The grass is green, and the water sparkles. As he moves further into the game, and the scenery becomes more artificial, and places such as chemical plants and casinos become the new scenery. This is much like our own world.

16 Greatest Levels in Sonic the Hedgehog History.
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Dr. Eggman and Us

Dr. Eggman and Us
Dr. Eggman is an intruder. He feels entitled to the bodies and homes of these animals, including Sonic. His vision of a new world is one carved by the use and abuse of the planets resources in order to make new technologies.

Dr. Eggman is uncomfortably familiar. He is our anxiety in the story, and the reflection we'd rather not see.

Is Sonic our potential? He is a being with both the features of a human and non-human animal, breaking down the animal/human binaries just in his own existence.
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Other Sonic Stories

Other Sonic Stories
The popularity of the game has produced many shows and a film. Some of the shows were light, and others were more on the revolutionary side, with characters referred to as "freedom fighters". Maybe Sonic is the environmental revolutionary of the video game world.