Virtual Jihadi

You got your politics in my game..

So the questions I guess I would have are
- is a video game a suitable medium to use for propaganda/political discussion?(or will they inevitably lead to being trivialised)

- is the message in this video game appropriate and should it be ok to ban it from release (or is this censorship?)

- does the fact that the game itself looks really really not fun/badly implemented effect the message. i.e. if there was a "bioshock" of anti-american games released would that change peoples views of it...

I was going to post this in games but then I realised it'd get booted in here so fast...

If it sucks as badly as Left Behind did, it may end up doing more damage to their cause than any propaganda value it may have had.

Eoin wrote:

You got your politics in my game..

So the questions I guess I would have are
- is a video game a suitable medium to use for propaganda/political discussion?(or will they inevitably lead to being trivialised)

- is the message in this video game appropriate and should it be ok to ban it from release (or is this censorship?)

- does the fact that the game itself looks really really not fun/badly implemented effect the message. i.e. if there was a "bioshock" of anti-american games released would that change peoples views of it...

I was going to post this in games but then I realised it'd get booted in here so fast...

I don't know avout the efficacy of the medium when it comes to propaganda yet, people quite often ignore the surface trappings and just reduce the game to its core mechanics, so maybe the most subversive stuff is going to be in game mechanics, which aren't necessarily value neutral either. But the political content is already there. Just look at all the Tom Clancy's Celebration of American Militarism and whatnot. Or Blackwater Genocide Xtreme Army of Two. Just because it's reinforcing the dominant view (and/or {ableist slur}) doesn't mean it has no political content.

Clamping down on that exhibition is censorcism. I can see how "The Night of Bush Capturing" could possibly be considered some sort of death threat/call to assassination or something, but he just used that as a base for his own mod to make points about how US and UK foreign policy affects Iraqi civilians, and highlight racial stereotyping in games. That the city closed it down is pretty pathetic.

And as paleo rightly points out, being rubbish always removes your chance of anyone but true believers taking you seriously.

We can't call people morons for thinking violent games make people violent and then turn around and say this kind of BS makes people into Jihadists. It's offensive, yeah, but it shouldn't be banned or censored. If it turns out to be a good game, then let the market and people decide if they want it.

Nobody really bats an eye at playing as a terrorist in Counterstrike, or a Nazi in Day of Defeat, or a communist in Red Alert. The only reason this game is particularly offensive is that Muslim Terrorists (Islamofascists?) are the threat du jour. In a decade or two no one will think twice about it, but recoil in horror at a game where you play a Frenchman.

I know for a fact that some people read Atlas Shrugged because of Bioshock, but I don't know how many of them became hardcore objectivists because of it... or became more wary of objectivism, if that's the message they took from it.

This is your politics in game

I thought that was strange because the only thing Al-Qaeda did is to replace the Iraqi skins with American soldiers' skins and Saddam's skin with Bush's skin. What exactly made it propaganda where it wasn't before?"

I think this comment nails it. The Night of Bush Capturing is just a re-skinned Quest for Sadaam. Both are pretty clear examples of propaganda. I'm not a huge South Park fan, but this reminds me of Stone and Parker's take on the invasion of Afghanistan. It's all propaganda, but what kind of arsehole doesn't root for the home team? "Go Broncos!"

I don't know if I can really fault our government/culture or any other for that kind of double standard.

We're at war. Saddam was the bad guy. It is propaganda but since when did the US become too good to propagandize its own wars?

The part that caught my eye is that the game depicts ALL Arabs/Muslims as terrorists or hostiles and nobody was too upset about that.

Great article from Eurogamer on this subject. Well worth a read to. There is a link to a game in there that I found very interesting. Perhaps, as gamers, we should embrace these developments as proof that the media can inspire debate on a subject?