Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blackwater: The Game

There are no words for how despicable this is. Congratulations, Japan - "Rapelay" is no longer the most vile premise ever concieved for a video game.


505 Games is developing a Kinect-enable shooter based on the real-life mercenary outfit, developed in cooperation with it's founder and bearing the group's original name - which was changed after the public-relations "setback" of the company being dragged in front of Congress to face charges that the group had pulled all kinds of shady, illegal stuff up to and including murder of civillians in Iraq.

Y'know... the "America's Army" games/recruitment-ads were borderline edgy stuff... but this is easily the most morally-bankrupt (even by MY standards!) pitch for an actual game since.. what, "Custer's Revenge," easily? Yes, they have a right to make it... but if it actually SELLS it's going to be a black eye that'll set the gaming medium back for DECADES. Seriously - games-as-art after this = Republican Party after WATERGATE.

Oh, incidentally - any of the right-wing twits who pitched a hissy-fit about "Medal of Honor's" playable-Taliban but DON'T immediately also condemn this piece of shit are hypocrites of the absolute highest order.

48 comments:

Knight The Arsonist said...

This is horrible. Allowing roidheads to live out their macho fantasies is one thing, but having them do so under the guise of war criminals is disgusting.

MovieBob said...

It's a COMMERICAL.

For an actual corporation that exclusively deals in providing MERCENARIES.

toosoo said...

maybe someone out there should start a potition or maybe get that video game lobbiest group to see if they can do something about it.

J.C. Hedges said...

Since this is going to be made and at this point there's little stopping it, let's hope it's about as well received as Rogue Warrior.

Rook in the Pumpkin said...

This is dangerous water and shit like this is why we need more support and defense for the merits of the medium. Going to be re-blogging this... maybe the gamer community is capable of mitigating the damage a title like this is capable of.

noxdescious said...

*picks up electrical tennis racket*

*facepalms with the racket*

I cannot believe this... i swear i will........

Daniel R said...

yeah, this is horrible.

Microsoft said this years E3 would show off Kinect games for the "Hardcore" audience.
If this is what they think a hardcore gamer wants then I'm a little insulted.

GoofierBrute said...

It's official: the "video games are art" discussion is official over, and we lost.

Robo said...

Don't worry, if the pitched a $h!t fit about 6 Days in Fallujah then this will not escape criticism. Ugh, why would anyone make a GAME about that!?

Nicholas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
genevainabottle12245 said...

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.290039-Game-Overthinker-and-Blackwater#11501625

ColourTheory said...

Why must we always play as the hero? If you truly do kill innocent civilians in this game, how is it different to killing civilians in GTA or Prototype?
Why can books and films portray these hard angles, the main character is a morally bankrupt criminal, but video games can't?

If this wasn't just be another "America's Army"-esque commercial and more of a "Four Lions" or "Repo men"take on the situation, I'd interested as to what sort of experience it would deliver.

While this may be being made for all the wrong reasons, I don't think we should discourage difficult stories in video games and, most of all, judge a game based on it's own merits, not the sins of it's fathers.

Robert said...

Members of Blackwater have been tortured and burned alive by extremists because they chose a job that helped protect Americas best interests, and to generalize every employee of Blackwater of being a "mercenary" is the equivalent of spitting on each of their graves.

Bob, from the bottom of my heart, go fuck yourself.

Patman_Forever_51 said...

Bob, I'm just as pissed as you about it, but it's not like there's major publisher muscle behind it. It's 505 Games. Off the top of my head, the only other thing they've got going for them is that piece of shit MMA game I've been seeing on the backs of magazines for the last four months. Really, getting this outraged about it is just going to give it free publicity. I declare we say it sucks, don't play it, and move on with our lives. Rogue Warrior, anyone?

The Karligarchy said...

I still think Rape play is worse.

Steven said...

What's Japan got to do with this game?

505 games is an Italian company.

Nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick said...

Wait, has there been an incriminating trailer for this that i never saw, cuz it seems like we're really jumping the gun on this. We have a game here that has the potential to be the next 6 Days in Fallujah, but we're treating it like that one school shooting mod.

Plz, if you see any media about this game, post a link. We need more information!

Ezenwa said...

................
How far have we gone?

The Karligarchy said...

@ Robert. Is Blackwater not a mercenary organization? A quick wiki says that at least 90% of their contracts come from U.S. Government which implies some of their contracts do not. If they provide military service beyond security consultation to any organization that is not U.S. government they are kind of mercenaries. Though Blackwater seems to rarely do that. They are a private security arm if U.S. gvt most of the time. The non governmental status allows avenues of maneuver within federal and international law that the military would not otherwise have. Oftentimes it allows us the ability to undertake operations that would normally be illegal and by using private security forces the U.S. government is able to minimize accountability and maximize deniability. For example we are not obligated to extract private security forces if a covert ops mission of theirs goes bad and can deny involvement. Robert you can´t get worked up when people lay into Blackwater. When you get right down to it they provide three services.
1.) Security consulting - fine
2.) Provide the U.S. government a way to bypass laws that would(should) prevent or obstruct military actions while also reducing its accountability and responsibility for said action.
4.) THEY KILL PEOPLE FOR MONEY!

Don´t get mad when people rail on Blackwater. What can you expect? They are in the business of dirty business.

The Karligarchy said...

...4 services... my B.

yamato-0 said...

I know it's slightly off-topic, but honestly, I think people are too hard on Rapelay. Of course, I say this as a fan of hentai, and while I'm not into Rapelay specifically (3D models? And rather bland ones at that? Yeeeeeah, no), if some people wanna get their rocks off to that kind of thing, it's there to fulfill just that purpose. And yeah, it involves rape, but as much as westerners criticize Japan's porn industry for involving such a theme (even though not ALL of it does, not even close), is it really that unheard of for fictional rape to come up in a role-play scenario or some shit? I mean, naughty schoolgirl in need of punishment, taking advantage of a drunk, slavery, S&M altogether... even if they are pretend, you can't say they aren't implying something that's at least slightly forced.

And regardless of what anyone thinks of the game, I'm sure a lot of us could at least agree that the controversy surrounding it is pure bullshit. I mean, aside from the fact that a bunch of foreigners are trying to get something banned in a foreign country (which we have no fucking right in doing, especially when said something isn't actually hurting anybody), the "problem" only arose in the first place because a bunch of teens were illegally downloading the game. In other words, banned or not, they're still gonna be downloading and playing this shit, and even if it did somehow manage to get removed from the internet entirely, what's really keeping them from finding some other sick, twisted piece of fiction to beat off to?

The Karligarchy said...

... not touch that debate...

Nickompoop said...

@GoofierBrute Actually, we won that debate. Video games are officially art, as determined by the National Endowment for the Arts. While this game won't go over well with the media, it won't change the medium's status as art.

OT: Yeah, this game had better be cancelled.

Sebastian said...

@Robert: I'm not Bob, but you know what? Yeah, I'll spit on their graves. And I'd even - and quite happily so - piss on them.
Those people ARE mercenaries. Even the Foreign Legion has more right to call itself a proper Army than fucking Blackwater has. I whish death to no one, but anybody singning up as a mercenary should be fully aware of the possible consequences. And if the US government treats so-called "unlawful combatants" like non-humans, why should America's enemies be held to any higher standard?
Oh, and one more thing: not only is Blackwater (or whatever they are called now) *not* helping America's best interest, they're actively acting *against* it, together with whomever gave them free reign.

Robert said...

@The Karligarcy
Well, since mercenaries are akin to prostitutes, a better question would be "are prostitutes who pick and choose their clients truly prostitutes?" My answer would be no, because if they pick and choose who to service on a basis that isn't first come first serve, their services wouldn't be truly up for sale. One of the founders of BlackWater insists that his men aren't mercenaries because they are only hired by Americans. That missing 10% of clients could very well be security consulting for those who share common goals with the American government in other third world countries. I know I shouldn't just take him at face-value, but I wouldn't expect a former Navy SEAL who helps build Mosques overseas and financed the awesome "The Stoning of Soraya M."movie to lie about that sort of thing. Maybe I just have too much faith in people, I don't really know.

But honestly I would have to digress because I don't want to get into the definition game with words as broad as "mercenaries, "prostitutes" and "sell."It probably comes down to personal opinion anyways.

The thing that mostly pissed me off about Bob's post is that he writes it as if he had played the game already... and yet there is not even a trailer out. And to compare rape simulation with what this game will most likely be, an average 1st person shooter, is just downright insane.

Nick said...

For the record, the "Nick" upthread isn't me. Perhaps I should switch to my more common internet name...

Anyway, my reaction to this game is basically that of noxdescious.

The Karligarchy said...

... It also depends how you feel about prostitution. There are high end classy prostitutes and then on the lower spectrum there are crack whore. I don´t think Blackwater is the crack whore equivalent of mercenaries. They are probably the highest end classiest mercenaries you can get. But at the end of the day these words are just unnecessarily emotionally charged. You can be mercenary and not be a shitty person. Hell, what if the Red Cross is trying to go in somewhere that the U.S. military won´t go? Well mercenaries might let that happen. On the other hand like I said before they are in the business of dirty business.

noxdescious said...

I felt like i had to leave another comment about this..

yes i'm annoyed about this.. and yes i believe this game will get a lot of controversy.. but in the long run. i don't think it will matter.
and the fact that it says kinect enabled?????? that literally makes me laugh at the fact they would even take this idea AND THEN USE THE KINECT.... except the idea for the game is nothing to laugh about

i will be curious to see how it works... if it even does. and for that matter. even get's developed completly if lobbyists don't get it stopped

Kindberg said...

I'm from Europe, and stuff like Blackwater never cross any of our media, atleast in my country.

I don't get why people mean this is bad for "games as art", other than it can hurt the "public" opinion on games, in other word those who don't play video games.

So many want people like Roger Ebert to "admit" that games can be art, when In my personal opinion, his opinion doesn't matter to me. Ebert is properly not that much a known figure outside of USA.

So as a young gamer from Denmark, Europe, this is just (those silly) Americans being busy protecting their gun rights and forcing anti-gay-laws.

Rapelay never got any attention where I am from and a game based on "some" private military organization that, in my eyes, only obscure governments would allow to exists in the first place, won't get any attention too. Because thats the best too treat stuff like that, ignore it and let it die. I only know about those things because I use too much time on the Internet (following Bob and all that).

Sometimes I would wish that USA wasn't such a big force in the game industry, and would love to end with a "but" to that, just can't figure out what to write after that.

If I were a game overthinker (which I have no potential in being) then I would have loved to make episodes about being a young gamer (and that can't be said without someone saying if I havn't played all the great games on the NES, how can I be a true gamer?) I wasn't even born in the NES-era, and one about how being from Europe and playing almost only games from Japan and USA.

Thanks for taking this detour with me. Have a nice summer and play some good games. Love your movies Bob, you american bastard ;)

Chris Evans said...

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/2414-Facing-Controversy

biomechanical923 said...

In the very first mission of Call of Duty 4, you execute soldiers who are sleeping in their beds.

In World At War, you kill a few Germans who are literally begging for their lives.

In Modern Warfare 2, a member of your squad is seen torturing a prisoner with a car battery. Oh yeah, let's not forget you can play a level where you literally massacre an airport full of civilians.

The point of these games is not to glamorize war crimes, but simply to say "hey, this is war, this shit happens, war is not glamorous" Jimquisition made a decent point about how war games can serve to effectively show us how fucked up war is, so that we're NOT so blindly nationalistic.

I think it's hypocritical to say it's ok that the US military commit war crimes in the name of national security, but a company that is literally the employee of the US military can not, simply because they're not flying the "AMERICA FUCK YEAH" flag.

Robert said...

^this

The Karligarchy said...

I don´t buy that one bit. Just like I don´t buy that Rapeplay is here to show us just how horrible rape is. These games are marketed to appeal to audiences by letting players do sort of shady things. "Shit gets real brah." Its marketed as soldier fantasy. The player gets to indulge in warfare fantasy, killing people, shooting things, blowing stuff up, dramatic male soldier speak, or as I call, "testoster-drama". That´s fine, it can be fun, it´s not that big of a deal. A Blackwater game isn´t that big of a deal to me either, all those other incidents just mentioned are also not a big deal to me. But, honestly, its a little pretentious and insulting to pretend these games are anything deeper than that. These games don´t convey any deep lesson about war. There is no underlying deep meaning to these games. Just some advise, telling people you learned something about the realities of war by playing CoD, Medal of Honor, or any of the other games in this genre makes you sound like an ignorant fool. I´m not trying to be insulting its simply a harsh fact. If you really want to learn something meaningful about war read a damn book. Books that just catalouge the tech and weapons of World War 2 (or any other) don´t count btw. Just don´t pretend these games serve any other purpose than to indulge soldier fantasies, FPS multi-player fixes, and play through some masculine melodrama, or as i like to call it "male-odrama". Alright thanks.

biomechanical923 said...

@Karligarchy
I was addressing Moviebob's original point, not yours.
Bob said that a game based upon Blackwater is THE most vile premise ever concieved for a video game. Those are his words, not mine.
Bob's justification for his belief is that OMG THEYRE MERCENARIES! THEY KILL PEOPLE FOR MONEY! THEY'RE WAR CRIMINALS!
I'm simply trying to point out that the US military has committed many more war crimes in its history than any military sub-contractor has, and that it's hypocritical to condemn a game about Blackwater, without also condemning a game about the military. In other words, you can't condemn either organization for the immoral actions of a few of its members.

Bob said that if you condemned Medal of Honor, but you don't condemn this, you''re a hypocrite.

I'M saying, if you condemn this, but you don't condemn Call of Duty / Battlefield, you're also a hypocrite.

The Karligarchy said...

@bio That makes sense. I get caught up in these threads when I´m working on papers especially my thesis. Guess what I´m doing today... Rereading my last comment the wording makes me sound more antagonistic and assholish than I wanted to be. Sorry if it sounded like I was going all Blackwater on you (Ha!) was not meaning to. I agree with you that Bob is over reacting to this. Definitely another example of Bob´s volatile bias against this genre of games and the perceived qualities of their audience.
@ uh, discussion? All I´m saying is there are some pretty good books that can expand your perspective on war. There are not video games that do this on a meaningful level. (Except the one I don´t know about that everyone else here probably does) Going back to the whole video games as art thing, video games could potentially do this, but they have simply chosen not to. In general, games of this genre seem content to remain settled in the valley of entertainment and dare not venture over the mountains into the duchies of art. At the end of the day a Blackwater game is just another piece of entertainment. It won´t transform our suburbs into middle class, teen, merc camps.
I´m assuming this game will be made to sell the FANTASY of being in Blackwater not as a recruiting interactive video. I say this because Blackwater recruits from a pool of seasoned military veterans not pwners on Xbox live. Sometimes playing these games might inspire the occasional wayward soul to enlist in the military but, the fact remains, that 18 year old kids can´t enlist in Blackwater. So if a Blackwater game does in fact inspire youngins to dedicate themselves to joining Blackwater, they have to join the military first. So in essence, a potential Blackwater recruitment video is actually a recruitment video for the US military. Conclusion: Blackwater game not a big deal. Congratulations Bob, I think I have officially overthought this. Your message of overthinking is spreading.
Back to thesis.

biomechanical923 said...

@Karligarchy

No hard feelings, bro.
Good luck on your thesis.

Smashmatt202 said...

Oh dear...

Clifford said...

So mercenaries kill people for money. That doesn't mean they can't be patriotic, or capable of feeling that what they are doing is for the common good. We've played many games in which we cast ourselves as mercenaries: Team Fortress 2, Far Cry 2, hell, try "Mercenaries 2". Just because we play as a real life private organization as opposed to a fictional one doesn't change the fact that gamers have long been fine with playing less scrupulous characters in games (Mafia 2, GTA etc.) I understand that Black Water have a bad reputation as war criminals and murderers, but I don't expect this to factor into the game. I doubt we'll be seeing a scene in the game in which you get points for executing Iraqi civilians.

Smashmatt202 said...

When I think of mercenaries, I think of games like Fire Emblem, where they were portrayed as either heroic and honorable if they're the good guys, or downright despicable if they were the bad guys.

Damian said...

Interesting thing about blackwater is that they are US based military. They fight for america, they defend the VIP (polititians contractors) in warzones and provide security consoltation services. All the while providing jobs to soldiers whose military has seen no extra need for service. Now the only real difference Between a blackwater mercenary and a US army soldier is that one gets paid alot more to do the exact same job. Go out perform a mission come back alive and get paid. Now lets be clear I am neither american nor am I in the forces as of yet but considering a previous point made (Blackwater only recruits veteren soldiers) isnt it a good thing that a career soldier who has only done one thing and one thing alone for his whole life be employed by a company that allows him to continue doing what he does best.

Correct me if I am wrong, I havent researched blackwater enough to have more of an opinion on it then What I posted.

Signal said...

I don't understand any of the outrage about a possible Blackwater game. In fact, I'm willing to bet that everybody who is offended over the subject matter of being a private military contractor would also be an outspoken defender of Grand Theft Auto.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Anony

You know, judging from the games that Nintendo makes, I'm actually not surprised by that statement.

Anony said...

Why was my comment deleted? I'd love to see Bob address Miyamoto's "art" quote in a future episode, maybe if he does review Super Mario Bros. 3. Something to think about.

Smashmatt202 said...

Bob deleted that comment? Really?

Well then again, Anony, are you sure that's what Mr. Miyamoto said in that article you posted?

Also, I'd like Bob to explain WHY Super Mario Bros. 3 is not just his personal favorite game but "the greatest achievement in video game history". Because honestly, I'm not seeing it.

John M Osborne said...

@imsmart

Yes, Looks Matter. Monopoly has you playing a real estate asshole, made by real assholes

http://landlordsgame.info/

John M Osborne said...

@all disgregard the last comment, it was meant for a different thread.

www.pontevedra-3d.com said...

Here, I do not actually imagine it will have effect.