Monday, October 8, 2012

And This Week's Overblown Gamer Freakout Will Be...

After recieving complaints from "Call of Duty" players of Islamic backgrounds that they were offended by a bit of background decoration in the "Favelas" multiplayer map in "Modern Warfare 2" (the offending detail: A piece of wall art including the word "Allah" was hung above a toilet stall;) Activision and Infinity Ward temporarily removed the map from availability last night (presumably the offending image will be patched out of existance.)

Hoo-boy.

After the jump, sarcasm:

There's a lot of interesting levels to be discussed here: Artistic boundaries, levels of offense, cultural sensitivities, freedom of expression, etc. And it'll be nice to HAVE those discussions - mature, dignified and reasonable versions of which I can assume will begin almost immediately! I mean, what else could happen, right?

Man, sure is a good thing this didn't happen with a game whose audience and "community" are already demonstrably predisposed to furious, paranoid hatred for minorities and/or other cultures... OR a game that doesn't already have a strong to the point of virulent strain of xenophobia in general and Islamophobia in particular running through it. I mean, can you IMAGINE what the reaction to THAT would look like?

Boy howdy, I sure am glad that this will all be self-contained in the restrained, thoughtful forum of ideas that is online gaming culture; and that I WON'T have to sit through days upon days of self-righteous twits raging through incomprehensible talking points about "P.C. FASCISM!!!," "REVERSE RACISM!!!," "FREE-SPEECH!!!," "CENSORSHIP!!!," "SHARIA LAW!!!," "DOUBLE STANDARDS!!!" or any other such nonsense.

...I mean, wouldn't that just be awful?

37 comments:

Lido said...

I was gonna say something uplifting and positive about how maybe the makers of CoD aren't really true believers in the xenophobic revenge fantasy bullshit just corporate panderers exploiting the market but then it hit me that this whole rigamarole is probably because CoD sales are low and they wanta generate some buzz and this will mean free publicity

Adrian said...

I saw the picture and saw that it was Arabic writing on a border of a painting. This brings up a difference in how some cultures treat art and religious as well as how they interact.
Some scribbles on a border might seem inconsequential to a Western audience, but this is how a lot Muslim devotional images are produced, partly influenced by that fact that the Muslim faith doesn't allow images Allah, angles and the Prophet himself, so stylized writing was a way of expressing one's devotion through a visual medium.
It's too bad many won't have to opportunity to learn this because they will write off the complaints as being too politically correct or how religion is bad, blah blah. While I am not a fan a religion, I still thought "Sheesh, that's quite an oversight" when I read that it was hung over toilets.

Megabyte said...

....I think the real issue to freak out about is "HOLY SHIT! PEOPLE ARE STILL PLAYING MODERN WARFARE 2?!?!?! WHEN 3 HAS BEEN OUT FOR ALMOST A YEAR!?!?!?!?!?!"

But that said, let be right up front... don't give a shit. Im sorry, but I don't. I might have once, but seeing everyone eager to get offended... I just don't anymore.

It's time to just offend, deal with the results in sales, and say fuck it... if people want to be offended, you can't stop them anyway. (And who is offended doesn't matter... cause you are offending someone with everything you do, it seems.)

REPTILE 0009 said...

I think by now MovieBob is just looking for any excuse to attack COD, and the community who plays them. It’s starting to make him look real pathetic and sad. Especially considering that he is the perfect embodiment of the “COD players” he portrays in all of his videos.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for stereotyping people, Bob. Way to continue to prove that you're just a worthless, biased douchebag.

Please fuck off, Bob. You're nothing but a left-wing Limbaugh now.

Sabre said...

I'm with Reptile9000 and Megabyte on this. This is actually the first place I've seen this, and on looking it up, I wasn't surprised to find this came from the trolls at Kotaku, who will feign outrage over anything to get more page views.

John said...

@anon

At least he's not you or Gary Johnson. Bunch of blowhards, they are.

Crimson said...

... no, Bob, you won't. You'll just have to sit through days of "yer a douchebag", "Bob hates CoD!", et cetera. Is it really any different?

I mean okay, this was really stoopid; not only to put that in the map, not only for people to make a fuss about it on either side, but also speaks of the separatism that major cultures are guilty of, in this worldwide age of information sharing. It's all one big clusterfuck of dumbassitude. (A new word is born!)

And it happened on a multiplayer map of a game series that, admittedly, is one of the WORST of it's particular genre, in one of the most STAGNANT genres around. I mean, really, guys... even fans of the series have to admit this; all you do in this game is kill people with realistic guns and blow shit up. And that is all that the genre has ever done. Before the rabid incline of the FPS, did we have the term "teabagging"...?

If even soldiers feel a little disgust with how the FPS community acts online, how should the rest of us feel about the genre as a whole? Answer THOSE questions first, before you label others negatively because they don't like the same as you do. Because I'm willing to answer the hard questions about the games that I enjoy; step up or ship out.

Crimson.

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree with Crimson in the stagnation of the FPS community, even if people play COD and are socially well-adjusted humans. But the fact is, wether majority or vocal minority, they aren't the ideal face of gaming. Maybe because of the fact that it's more about guns and killing than playing video games (Mario's more about playing video games, for example).

Anyway I'm willing to give Bob the permission to shit on these assholes. Not all COD players, because that's dumb and I think he should be aware of it so he specifies that he means the asshole vocal players, but he can bash the assholes for being assholes because they're assholes.

Nixou said...

"Man, sure is a good thing this didn't happen with a game whose audience and "community" are already demonstrably predisposed to furious, paranoid hatred for minorities and/or other cultures..."

And, let us not forget, seen as such by IW marketing department. It's one thing to have the occasional nutcase, it's another when the nutcases are considered numerous enough to become the intended target of expansive marketing campains.

***

"I think by now MovieBob is just looking for any excuse to attack COD, and the community who plays them"

Bob has been saying for years how he resented the FPSes and sports games for allowing douchebagy jocks to become the new standard by which hardcore gamers are defined.
He's not looking for excuses, he's just saying one more time: "See, I Told you so! Something's rotten in the State of FPSes"

***

More seriously, if there is one thing which is getting on my nerve it's the falsely commiserating idea that Muslims are such delicate, thin skinned, fragile flowers who just can't deal with someone mishandling their religious symbols.
That the contents of Islam have been used, their holy texts quote mined without rime, reason nor intellectual honesty, their history reinterpreted in a fabulist manner or even completely falsified since the colonial empires' era as fodder by white supremacists and opportunistic profiteers and race hustlers to justify genocidal fantasies, the institutionalization of existing discrimination and the strenghtening of oppression encountered by Muslims in countries where they are a minority, or the colonial and neo-colonial militaristic adventurism which did cause the death of literally millions of unarmed civilians and countless unpunished war crimes commited by westerners since the 19th century.... Nope: this most certainly does not have anything to do with Muslims often assuming the worst when they see westerners handling their religious symbols: it's just some inherent cultural incompatibility between a culture heavily influenced by an abrahamic religion and another culture also heavily influenced by an abrahamic religion /sarcasm

Flare Phoenix said...

It is forbidden to say anything about religion in the bathroom so I can completely understand how Islamic people would find it offensive. It's something that shouldn't have happened in the first place, and hopefully it can all be resolved peacefully with a quick edit. (I don't think the map should, or needs to be, removed completely).

See this is the problem I have with a lot of games. Enemies of different cultures are treated with very little importance; they're treated just disposable bodies for the player to gun down. It's a case of "we'll just throw up some stuff from their culture, and it'll all be okay" without taking the time to consider what their actions actually mean.

I wish we lived in a world where incidents like this were treated as not a big deal. Someone makes a mistake, people complain, and the problem gets fixed. It really should be that simple. Except you know this is going to get blown way out of proportion.

The Internet has kind of ruined the maturity of games, seeing how every problem is bought to our attention straight away so it looks like gaming is having far more problems than film ever had. It's kind of like how people keep declaring the end times because more natural disasters are occurring each day when all that's really happening is we have the ability to hear about them faster.

Anonymous said...

I feel that while, to some extent, cultural sensitivity is important, it's still important to show what you want. Sure most of the sects of Islam don't belive in depicting Alah, but some do, so should we shut them out entirely? Also, what if I really liked that peice of wall art? What if someone felt closer so muslims by getting a small snapshot of their culture? Part of the point of art is to push boundries. When something pushes back, you know it's working. If someone was to make a photo or painting of Mary performing a sexual act on Jesus, would people be up in arms? Yes, you bet your ass. Art is meant to make you think, even if it's just designed to make you think WTF. If Van Gogh had stopped as soon as someone said his art were offensive, we would have none of his work. --SteveKobbs

Anonymous said...

Yes, the joke is that the Call of Duty games appeal to a wide audience of dudebro gamers. What a laugh Bob, you're such a comedic genius.

Aiddon said...

I'm more perplexed that the MW series is still trying to convince us that it's possible for total warfare to happen in this day and age. And RUSSIA INVADING AMERICA. Those games might as well have been written by someone who came out of cryo-stasis after being sealed in during the Cold War

Anonymous said...

This blog post is just more evidence that Bob Chipman is a hateful, biased, egotistical, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, left-wing Limbaugh.

Anonymous said...

This blog post is just more evidence that Bob Chipman is a hateful, biased, egotistical, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, left-wing Limbaugh.

Anonymous said...

This blog post is just more evidence that Bob Chipman is a hateful, biased, egotistical, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, left-wing Limbaugh.

Anonymous said...

This blog post is just more evidence that Bob Chipman is a hateful, biased, egotistical, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, left-wing Limbaugh.

Anonymous said...

This blog post is just more evidence that Bob Chipman is a hateful, biased, egotistical, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, left-wing Limbaugh.

Hal said...

@Anon spammer

At least he isn't an obsessive creep who goes after people like the nostalgia chick and has to be blocked about half a dozen times. Go ahead, tell bob what you said to her.

Aiddon said...

@Hal

wait, he did WHAT!? This I have to see

Aiddon said...

also, PETA strikes again:

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/10/08/peta-parody-pokemon-black-and-blue-fights-for-fictional-animal/#continued

Anonymous said...

@Aiddon

As a Muslim, I would like to say that the PETA thing actually bothers me more. I'm also vegan, and PETA makes vegans and animal-lovers look like insane, human-hating idiots.

@Anonymous (guessing SteveKobbs)

The hanging of the word Allah in a bathroom stall, yeah...it's disrespectful, plain and simple. And while I personally agree with SteveKobbs about the purpose of art, historically-speaking Islamic art hasn't been about being challenging. Islamic art is simply meant to decorate stuff with the words and symbols of Allah and their culture. Me, I'm completely Western - I was raised in the US by Christian parents, though I never really was one myself - so I can greater relate to the idea that art should be challenging and though-provoking. But I also understand that it hasn't always been that way for some people.

@PETA

To go back to the PETA thing - PETA, stop. Just stop. I've been vegan for like 6 years now. I still play video games. Hell, I've taken out enough 8- and 16-bit bats to equal the entire chriopteran population of both North AND South America. Playing video games with violence against animals hasn't caused me to be "brainwashed" into believing that animal violence is cool or funny. Why not assume that omnivores have brain-stems and can make rational decisions, instead of treating them all like they're idiots?

Oh, also PETA - make better cookbooks! Microwaving tofu? Give me a break! You want to suggest that people stop eating meat, great. But I don't hear you guys offering any legitimate alternatives. - Joanna

Anonymous said...

Dear bob.

You are a CUNT.

A hypocritical, hateful, biased, self-serving cunt.

Nixou said...

Foregone conclusion:
Bob will start cleaning the comment section from the trolls' shit, will start useing/threatening to use the ban hammer and a self-righteous prick will -thankfully the later off screen- jerk off because he "proved" that Bob is against freedom of speech.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

I don't think this'll end up being that big a thing if only because Call of Duty games have a horrifically short shelf-life.

Seriously, they come out, another one comes out a year later, and everyone abandons the old one. Such is the way of annualized releases.

I mean, it's not like any of the CoD games have a story worth investing in. So why not just get the new one?

*Note: I don't play CoD. I'm a Killzone man, and there've only been 4 of those (with one being a PSP third-person actioner) since the franchise launched on the PS2 in '05).

Crimson said...

... [points upward to my first comment] Did I call that or what? Seriously. Spamming this shit, now? Welcome to the internet, I guess. Sigh.

Though, now looking through the INTELLIGENT comments, I have to revise my earlier opinion about the situation.

Yes, it was monumentally STOOPID to do this, and the overreaction was just as bad, but maybe some people were personally offended by this, and that does NOT make them assholes about this.

If this really does get under your skin, because this puts on a crapper a symbol of your personal beliefs, kudos and more power to ya. To quote Penn, "you have a right to be offended." Just don't play that map, or even get rid of the game if you want to. But this whining bitchfest about it? Yeah, that's going just a little overboard, considering that it's a multiplayer map on a videogame glorifying mass murder and war crimes without due cause.

And everyone else that wants to spam bullshit about how you hate Bob...? We got the concept a LONG TIME AGO. You don't like him, fine. You have a right to hate his guts and everything he stands for. But you don't do any good pulling crap like this; you just prove your lack of intellect and civility. And I say again to them; DUMBASS! Get a goddamn life or a brain stem. That is all, citizens. Carry on.

Crimson.

Matti Lehtinen said...

So you'd be okay with a group of Christians complaining about homosexual content in a game, and then having it removed? You'd be okay with Persona 4 just being ripped to shreds because a religious group decided homosexuality is not something you can discuss?

Nice.

Aiddon said...

no, he wouldn't be okay with that, dumbass. Persona 4 was actually discussing gender issues in a mture manner (though oddly enough, not homosexuality) while this is almost off like someone thinking it'd be funny to belittle someone's religion by putting the name of their god in a restroom. Something which Islamic habit does not do. Persona 4 was a discussion, not an insult.

Matti Lehtinen said...

@aiddon
But that's the thing, if a group of people being offended by something is enough to start censoring things, that would start a whole mess of problems. It makes SENSE that someone would draw the word "allah" in a toilet in the setting of Call of Duty. It did not say: "Hey, you, the guy who is playing this game, you are a terrible person and your religion makes me sick, you should go die in a fire.", it said "I am a character in this video game and I hate muslims, this should rile them up!".
There is a difference between reality and fantasy. The lack of this distinction in these people is shocking. Or would you prefer games from now on refrain from having characters bearing hatred towards the other side?

Aiddon said...

I direct you towards Bob's thoughts about people talking about "censorship" and "free speech."

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/5436-Not-Okay

Megabyte said...

Aiddon: I hate to tell you this, but your link has nothing to do with Matt's topic... at all. It is aimed at the gaming community... how people in certain sections treat people in "reality." It is not aimed at the "fantasy" within the game itself as Matt has explained.

And while I do agree about how we should treat each other, when it comes to events, objects, art, whatever, ect. in a game or any other piece of fiction, this goes right out the window... and trying to apply said rules to of behavior to them... well, you then invite people to compare this to things like "Piss Christ" which is what Bob decided to call out as stupid in advance when he threw out the reactions he expected... because YOU ARE DOING THE SAME THING.

No, the best answer is to say "screw it! It's there game... they can put whatever they want in there, and if it bothers me that much, guess what I'm NOT buying."

And while we are on the topic of that episode, Bob is right... the 1st amendment does not garuntee you the right to be heard or agreed with... but saying something offensive/hurtful does NOT guarantee you the inability to be heard or agreed with.

And showing a gavel for "consequences" suggests to me he wants to see people... what.. sued? Sorry, but I hope to hell not, because THAT actually IS against the 1st amendment.... you know... not consequences, but LEGAL consequences... as in legal penalties for what comes out of your mouth.

And finally... sorry, but Persona 4 DOES cover homosexuality as well as gender issues... lest you forgot Kanji and both events with his shadow and conversations later in the game... though how you could is beyond me. He was actually a really good character as much because of who he was revealed to be on the inside as the conflicts he was shown to face.

maninahat said...

The sad thing is that both the original complainer, and Activision, have been really civil about the whole thing. He complained about something that was offensive to muslim gamers, and Activision obliged him and attemped to set things right.

That's really all there should be to it; Activision made a thoughtless mistake, and are moving to rectify it. Unfortunately, the whole thing has turned into an "Activision obliges muslims = Activision gives special treatment to over-sensitive extremists". Just check the guy's youtube channel - the comment section crammed full of angry bigotry. Even more so than the usual (for youtube). I stayed just long enough to congratulate him on Activision responding to his civil request, and it would be nice to see other gamers could do the same (hint hint).

T4_was_here said...

I dont play CoD so I dont care, I want more FoC maps insteed...

Wes said...

(not going to take the time to actually read any of the other comments because I got stuff to do,

I'd also like to mention that by just scrolling down I can see why Bob mentioned sarcastically that this corner of the gamer community couldn't deal with this maturely and intelligently. Because clearly some people can't respond to cultural criticism without resorting to immature unintelligent comments. I'm not talking about everyone here, just the people that think they can be stupid and offensive and have it justified by calling it "trolling")

I don't play Call Of Duty, I'm not Islamic, I'm not religious, and I find that offensive.

I find intolerance offensive. And I don't consider this artistic expression because the level designs on multiplayer are about the multiplayer, they're not telling a story, they're not conveying a theme, they are playgrounds for visual shootouts. Any little easter egg scribbles on the wall are fan pandering, in game jokes or references, series references, ect. As a blatantly raciest pun, cheep pandering to something they think their audience will either enjoy or tolerate. It's so many levels or wrong, regardless if you care or not, Activision better get hell from this. This isn't just having something like violence or sex/sexuality in games where people happen to get offended, this is a clear visual attack against Muslim culture. Activision, I don't know why you think that's okay.

attentionconservatives said...

Calls gamer reactions overblown freakouts. Doesn't mention that Muslims get violent every time someone draws a picture of Mohammed.

Anonymous said...

I think all y'all need to man the fuck up and deal with it.

And Bob, have you ever associated with anyone other than the Nintendo loving perma-virgin throng you all fans? Because you have a warped view that being in a virtual echo chamber creates.

Not everyone who plays CoD is as you describe them, and hateful generalization like that from a so-called "cultural critic" is inexcusable.