Now E3 has come and gone and it's all good in finding out what your average man child will be spending his socializing with people time indoors on a hopefully working Playstation Network. And while I would love to make fun of how god awful the WiiU is named, I think there's a more important issue I would like to touch on.
Specifically the war porn that is currently being represented in today's video games. Say for example a game based on the exploits of mercenary piece of shit group Blackwater/Xe
Infamous Real-Life Mercenaries To Star In Blackwater, The Video Game
Blackwater Worldwide, the real-life mercenary team linked to the killing of civilians and noncombatants in Iraq during US operations there, will be the subject of a Kinect-supported video game coming to the Xbox 360 later this year.
Published by 505 Games and titled, simply, Blackwater, the game is being produced in consultation with the private security contractor’s founder, the former Navy SEAL Erik Prince (pictured above, from 2007 Congressional testimony).
A news release called it “an intense, cinematic shooter experience”, set in a fictional North African town, in which players, as Blackwater operatives, battle two warlords’ factions to protect the city.
“This game and its immersive Kinect-based approach will give players the chance to experience what it is like to be on a Blackwater team on a mission without being dropped into a real combat situation,” Prince said in a statement issued by 505. The game was developed with in conjunction with former Blackwater members “to ensure accuracy of moves, gestures and gameplay,” the 505 release said. “The game also features a selection of officially-licensed weapons for your soldier to choose from.”
The game may also be played using a standard controller.
Blackwater, renamed to Xe Services llc, was contracted by the US government to provide training and diplomatic security, most notably in the Middle East, for much of the last decade. Its presence alongside US diplomatic and military personnel came under scrutiny after several incidents resulting in the deaths either of civilians or Blackwater employees themselves.
Its involvement in Iraq became enough of a controversy that the company renamed itself to Xe in the aftermath. Its employees were involved in shootings later found to be unjustified, including one in which 17 Iraqis were slain, prompting the government there to revoke Blackwater’s licence to operate in the country. Both the U.S. State Department and the FBI called that incident a reckless use of force that killed innocents, but an FBI investigation could not conclusively prove Blackwater was responsible for all 1 deaths. In another 2006 incident, a Blackwater employee was fired after he, allegedly drunk, shot and killed a security guard of the Iraqi vice president.
Though none of its employees have faced prosecution, Blackwater/Xe has been heavily criticised in Congressional hearings as a cost-ineffective private contractor whose uses of force have embarrassed and compromised US diplomatic interests. Additionally, the leak of diplomatic documents by Wikileaks in October 2010 alleged Blackwater committed serious abuses while in Iraq, including killing civilians. The State Department dropped Blackwater as its main private security contractor in 2009.
Prince, who founded Blackwater in 1997, is no longer involved in Xe’s management or operations.
The only thing that could slightly redeem this game is if in some unexpected twist, the protagonist realizes all the awful things he has done under the banner of Blackwater/Xe and your final mission is to murder Erik Prince before killing yourself.
Oh, who am I kidding, this will only appeal to those who want to kill some foreigners. Make sure you go out and pre-order your limited liability edition.
Apparently the plot of this game is to "Stroll in your white horse of vengeance to save those Africans from themselves" type of game. So it's a given that this will have a huge racism component going on on top of the already obvious fact that you're playing as a war criminal in the aspect of being a hero. Not that this is much different than the much recent Call of Duty games, or anything, but at least in those you can play as the perceived enemy.
I recall playing Medal of Honor or Battlefield 1942 and being able to play as Nazi's. You try to make a video game where you play the role of a Taliban or insurgence warrior... or shit, just someone protecting their home, and you'll get a major shit storm from it due to the fact that you're playing as "the enemy of the state".
We should just face the facts that all video games that attempt to recreate real life conflicts by turning them into some form of fun are morally objectionable. Maybe in a more mature culture, these sorts of games might not be a problem. But I have a hard time believing that the US counts as a mature culture in any way, shape or form. Especially when companies like Blackwater/Xe and the U.S. Military for that matter are basically cheered on by a selection of our populace whenever they flagrantly abuse the rights of non-American countries.
As someone who used to work at a computer cafe that ended up playing endless hours of video games, namely counter strike and Battlefield 1942, I still find this wave of making modern combat games to be pretty despicable. I think that it's way too soon to even make these sort of "Kill Brown" type of games.
Especially when the body of the war is still warm and alive. It just makes me wonder how long it will take for a game to come out where you can play as a Klan member during the Civil Rights movement and with the help of your Kinect Controls, plant bombs in Sunday schools and shoot water hose as darkies.
I just wonder why it's so much of an insult to properly portray both sides on this. It's as if in games like this and America's Army, in the multiplayer aspects, you can't play as the "bad guy". Then again, maybe I'm looking at it all wrong. I'm pretty sure that in this game you will play as Blackwater/Xe and in CoD, you play as the Military.....
So there we go, all these games suddenly with a different perspective actually do let you play as the bad guy.
Though that's not how the vast majority of people view it. They see it as if you can play as a terrorist then it must mean that they better be very concerned about what the video game is teaching their children... You know, besides "Fuck yeah, I'm gonna kill myself some brown people!"
Maybe they should make a game where you play as a civilian trying to live your life plain and simply. Then 5 minutes into the game you get gunned down in your home by a predator drone and the screen just shows your mangled corpse for the rest of the game. Oh, don't try to turn off the console, that sucker is stuck forever in that REALITY FUCKING SUCKS mode.
Or maybe 505 can break even more new ground by making the game have a cutscene showing the player character's charred naked corpse hanging from a lamp post in Sadr City and having that act as the ending to the game.
I'm curious as if they will have any ending to this? Maybe when you get brought into court for your war crimes and easy trigger finger in your part of the killing of civilians, the game will turn into a Phoenix Wright-esque court simulation where you forge evidence to get a "Not Guilty" verdict.
No wait, that would imply that at some point or another you actually are held accountable for your crimes and somehow get arrested. My bad.
So what exactly is it about the difference between this game and GTA when it comes to the violence? For one thing, in GTA there's consequences for your acts of violence. When you kill someone you should expect the police to show up. Yeah, they may forget about you, but at least you don't get to shoot randomly on an open road at innocents and get away with it completely...
And while GTA has the user doing things that are considered unquestionably wrong by all cultures, No family believes that shooting prostitutes is a fun way to get a refund, but there's a lot of people really believe that Blackwater mercenaries are heroes and should be given praise for their crimes against humanity as well as their war crimes.
This game, sadly enough, has the effect to actually sell future generations on being okay with war. In fact it desensitizes the whole thing to them making it far more easier to kill another human being and slowly turning them into a tool for the state.
If you are on the fence about the moral nature of these games at all, just remember that a game based on various first person views of the Manson family, Jeffery Dahmer and many other sent away for life murderers would still lead to less murders in the world than anything that inspires the joining of the US military complex. Let alone working for them as a private contractor.
Maybe next time I'll write about what Nintendo revealed.