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Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Applewood, Nov 23, 2004.
Talk about auto-publicity.....
Not very tasteful. Of course, bad taste and publicity often go together... Hmmm... naaah.
Yeah. This made the CBS evening news tonight. The developers claim its a historical aid. They are offering a prize for the person that can peform the most historically accurate shot (similar to Ozwalds). The Kennedy family and even conservative groups seem pretty upset about it. I'm interested to see how it plays out. I'm usually OK with bad taste in games, since I believe in free speech, however this may be over the top, even for me.
I'm not necessarily buying the "historical aid" angle, but I don't have a problem with what they're doing. I've often thought of creating a fun game centered around a disturbing or upsetting topic (to some) just for the publicity it would generate. Everybody has their own idea of what is "over the line" and that line is usually not very objective. God knows not many people in the U.S. would have a problem with a game about assassinating leaders from several other countries but the U.S. President is off limits.
I guess for me the line is the intent of the developer and the gamers that are likely to play the game. I'm interested in the JFK game from a scientific and historical perspective. I would never actually want to be in that position in real life and do what you do in the game, and I don't believe the developer promotes that kind of activity. On the other hand, I've read about white supremacist games where the objective is racially-motivated slaughter, and I find it deeply disturbing. Mowing down Nazis in WWII, ok. Mowing down innocent people out of racial hatred, absolutely abhorrent. Mowing down pedestrians in a equal-opportunity fashion in GTA, ok. The difference between all of those? Intent and meaning.
I find this topic very interesting but I'll just quit there and see what everybody else has to say.
Completely doesn't bother me, but while I'm american I'm too young to have actually been around at the time, so people with memories of the event might be more upset.
Of course, I'm hard to offend. And find GTA *more* disturbing than insane racewar white supremacist games... nobody takes them seriously, they're just stupid.
I don't have any surveys to back this up or anything, but I believe most people that play GTA do not promote or practice that type of behaviour, while a lot of people playing the race war games DO promote or practice racial hatred and violence. Those games suck from what I've seen so they're hard to take too seriously, but I'm disturbed by the thought of the type of people who might play them and think seriously about doing it for real.
Don't worry, he's already dead. Nobody's going to try and shoot him again.
Hey, you never know. There are some real sickos out there.
It's distasteful to me. The "historical value" of trying to shoot as well as Lee Harvey Oswald is rather miniscule.
To some extent, the passage of time can lessen the impact of these things. In 2040, few would care. In 1964 -- if computer games existed -- they would probably have arrested these developers.
But... this stuff is just pandering. I could do a shuttle explosion simulator and put a view camera plus audio on the astronauts as they burn up... claim that it's historic or scientific or whatever. But the truth is that the only motivation is to make money from a bunch of young men who dig shock value.
*Shrug* maybe I'm the weird one. I don't care for GTA either because it turns thug street violence into fantasy escapism. If you put the same game engine -- including the violence and sexuality -- behind a gaslight, roaring 20's, or medieval fantasy, I wouldn't object to it. Why? Because it's a big lie of glorifying a terrible urban problem with no consequences of note.
Not saying these game players are going to turn into gangsters. I'm saying GTA is trivializing an important urban problem and desensitizing youth to it.
I let my 11 year old son watch the Sopranos for this very reason. On straight up violence and sexuality, that show goes beyond GTA. But it also shows the consequences for these actions... Tony Soprano is depressed. His actions bring on problems to everyone around him, it's a whole web of dysfunctional deceit and fear. People simply use one another and it slowly kills their souls.
I guess in the end it takes judgement that cannot be written into law. They try, and you get crap like "Bugs Bunny cartoons have 37 acts of violence every 5 minutes!" Uh, yeah, thanks for the tip.
what offends me is the free publicity this game gets. it just encourages people to shock rather than entertain. Im dissapointed in all the news sites and websites giving this nonsense coverage. Plenty of great games people COULD be covering.
Damn it, there goes my Hamsterball John Lennon expansion.
Someone always beats me to the punch.
A local radio station had a segment on other tasteless idea's for computer games. Some examples were:
* Control the paparatzi as you race through the city streets chasing Princess Di's Limo. Then run from the cops after she crashes.
* Control a hand and try and knock away as much food as possible as it falls into Mary Kate Olsen's mouth. Get bonus points if you can knock it into the other sisters mouth.
Unfortunatly games like this will always get lots of publicty, anyone remember the huge uproar about dope wars a while ago ? It's a bit different, but it was basicly a maths game given a semi-tasteless spin.
We are 40 years reserved from this event. There have been movies, documentaries, books, websites and organizations profiting from JFK's death and still doing so today. Oliver Stone should be just as guilty of exploitation. A $10 game puts you in the middle of that historic event isnt something over the top. Americans get uptight about certain things ... oh well.
Over the top may be a game about the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal. Was there a second shooter...?
Off topic, but, just curious:
Is game to assassinate previous US president legal in US?
Is game to assassinate current US president legal in US?
As I understand it, the Secret Service would barge into your office in the middle of the night and give you a right hassling if they thought you were threatening the current president. However, once it was eventually determined that you weren't ACTUALLY trying to kill him, they wouldn't lock you up or kill you or anything.
(Based on my understanding of the Illuminati and Exploding Heads raids of the past - that would be the RPG company and the guy who had a website full of java applets that would make pictures of people's heads blow up, including whoever was president at the time, Clinton I assume.)
There was this dumb online game about the guy who sued McDonald's because they made him fat.
I figured that a tasteful sequel to JFK Reloaded would be a Frogger clone wherein you have to maneuver all the gunmen through lanes and lanes of presidential motorcade over to the grassy knoll. Special bonuses for collecting umbrella man powerups.
Come on, guys. You are game developers! You, more than anyone, should understand that games are fantasy. Read the book Killing Monsters. I don't see how any harm can come to anyone just for thinking about something.
Not sure who you're responding to because I don't think anyone is arguing about how harmful it is. This is more about poor taste and using the media.
If you want to create an assassination simulator, no one is stopping you. In general, a lack of conscience (or scruples, or a distaste for societal ethics, or whatever you want to call it) can make you a lot of money. Go for it.
Of course, if you're looking for a pat on the back from anyone for pandering, including the game development community, you're simply confusing your goals.
Putting aside the question of whether or not this game does anyone harm, I just think it's in bad taste and disrespectful. It's a sad day for the video game industry when a developer stoops to this level.