iOS Game Pays Homage to Fallen Foxconn Workers

October 11, 2012 -

A new game called In a Permanent Save State is set to release on Friday (October 12) on iTunes. The makers of the game hope to bring attention to the fact that several workers at China's Foxconn plants committed suicide and that their lives were inexplicably affected negatively by the Western demand for hi-tech gadgets like iPhones and Foxconn's drive to use workers to meet quotas - at any cost. The game will be released in conjunction with a downtown art exhibition in Reno, Nevada and a live orchestrated play through of the game, according to Benjamin Poynter.

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Greek Team Creates Amnesty International Game

December 19, 2011 -

A team of 19 Greek game developers have donated their time and effort to create a videogame for international human rights group, Amnesty International. The game is part of the group's ongoing campaign to raise international awareness about human rights violations and push for the global ban of the death penalty.

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A Game About Standing in Line

September 16, 2011 -

Have you ever wanted to play a game about waiting in line at a museum? No? Well maybe you should. Video game research professor and author of the upcoming book How To Play A Video Game, Pippin Barr has made what Slate describes as "a subversively boring game" called The Artist is Present.

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Xbox Live Indie Game Pokes Fun at BP Oil Spill

June 30, 2010 -

While it might some like poor taste to even consider making a joke about the continuing British Petroleum oil spill in the gulf (which is in its 70th day as of today), and Xbox Live Indie game developer has decided to go ahead and make a video game about it called "Crisis in the Gulf."

To be fair, the game doesn't go out of its way to make light of the situation, but rather the people allegedly handling the spill. The game, available for $1 on Xbox Live, was developed by Super Boise and goes out of its way to skewer both BP and Sarah Palin. Kotaku, who took some video of this tower defense game in action, calls it "not very much fun."

I can't say that we're shocked that an Xbox Live Indie Game might suck. If you hate Sarah Palin and BP it's probably worth a look. You can download the demo for free and try it yourselves before you part with that $1..

Source: Kotaku via Energy Boom

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Suicide Game Sparks Outrage

November 19, 2008 -

An online game which parodies the struggles of a deeply depressed musician faces severe criticism in the U.K.

The Sun reports that, in particular, Billy Suicide is outraging suicide prevention advocates. In the game players attempt to get Billy through his day with doses of caffeine, alcohol and anti-depressants. The character can also engage in activities such as playing his guitar or watching T.V. to elevate his mood. If Billy gets too depressed, however, he will take his own life.

A spokesperson for advocacy group The Samaritans told The Sun:

Certain types of suicide portrayal can act as a catalyst to influence the behaviour of people who are already vulnerable — particularly young people.

Paul Kelly, a representative of Papyrus, an anti-suicide organization, added:

This game is completely irresponsible. The people who made it should realise the damage that it can cause.

GP: We should note that Billy Suicide is an amateur game, not the product of the commercial video game industry.

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In Parliament, Vaz Debates Suicide Bomber Game, Praises New Game Violence Study

November 7, 2008 -

This week, GamePolitics has been tracking public outrage over Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game, a no-budget affair created by an amateur and posted online.

While the game is admittedly in very poor taste, there's not a lot to be done about it. As a non-commercial offering, Kaboom is not subject to any content rating requirements. And, since it is hosted outside the U.K., it would seem to be beyond the reach of English law.

But such logic has never been known to stop British Labour MP Keith Vaz, who has now taken his objections to Parliament. Vaz had the following exchange yesterday with MP Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons:

Vaz: Has my right hon. and learned Friend had the opportunity to look at early-day motion 2416? (quoted):

[That this House condemns the creation of the online computer game Kaboom which asks the player to replicate the actions of suicide bombers; believes that this game is offensive to the families of those killed by suicide bombers and devalues all human life; further believes that this game depicts an unnecessary level of violence; is deeply concerned that vulnerable people under the age of 18 are able to access and play this game; calls upon the game's creator to show sensitivity and responsibility by removing it from the internet; welcomes the findings of a new study from Iowa State University which recognises the link between violent video games and aggressive behaviour; and calls on the Government to revise its regulation of violent video games.]

[The motion] refers to an online computer game called "Kaboom", which asks players to replicate the actions of a suicide bomber. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that that is offensive to the families of the victims of suicide bombings and that it devalues human life? I have raised this matter on several occasions at business questions and in other debates. What action are the Government taking to remove such material from the internet or, at the very least, to approach service providers to ensure that they take appropriate action? Children and young people will be able to have access to those games. Could we have a debate on this important matter?

Harman:
The Government are concerned about the effect on children of violent internet and video games, which is why we commissioned the Byron review. That set out how we need action from parents, from the industry itself and from the Government to ensure that there is proper control of content and clear labelling to protect young children. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend's long-standing interest in these issues, which he had even before he became Chair of the Select Committee on Home Affairs. Under his leadership, the Committee has taken a strong interest in such matters. I bring to his attention the fact that on Thursday 13 November, in Westminster Hall, there will be a debate on the question of harmful content on the internet and in video games.

GP: Vaz is referring to the game violence study published by Dr. Craig Anderson earlier this week. Anderson's work has been challenged by Dr. Chris Ferguson of Texas A&M

GamePolitics will be tracking Parliament's game violence debate on Nov. 13th.

British MP Vaz Erupts Over Suicide Bombing Game

November 6, 2008 -

A British video game industry official recently credited Labour MP Keith Vaz's public criticism of Manhunt with helping to drive sales of Rockstar's bloody game.

Vaz is seemingly at it again.

The Daily Mail reports that Vaz has expressed outrage over Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game. As GamePolitics reported recently, the amateur game is freely available online, although not from commercial video game industry sources.

In fact, we hadn't heard of the game until recent coverage by British tabloids. However, comments made by Vaz are helping to spread the word:

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the game contained an ‘unnecessary’ level of violence and offended relatives of those killed by suicide bombers...

 

He also said he was ‘deeply concerned’ that vulnerable users under the age of 18 are able to play the game...

The Israeli Embassy in London is also understood to have complained. Scores of Israeli citizens have been killed by suicide bombers in recent years.

Vaz has called for a ban on the game. However, as a non-commercial product it is not subject to the U.K.'s game rating process. In any case, because it is hosted on at least one U.S. site, it would seemingly be beyond the reach of British law.

GP: While the previously-obscure game is certainly in bad taste, we thought Conservative MP John Whittingdale took a more sensible approach:

I find this game tasteless but I don’t think it will necessarily start turning people into suicide bombers. But those whose lives have been affected by suicide bombings I imagine would find it upsetting.

UPDATE: Dvorak Uncensored notes that a website operated by racist fringe group the Aryan Nation now links to the game.

UPDATE 2: The game has come in for a mention in the Arab press.

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British MP Keeps Amateur Suicide Bombing Game in Perspective

November 4, 2008 -

British tabloid the Daily Star gets itself worked into a tizzy over an amateur online offering, The Suicide Bomber Game.

The free online game, which can easily be accessed by children, shows graphic images of body parts being splattered across the town. Yesterday, it was branded “sick, callous and upsetting” by the Bali Bombing Victims Group, who want it removed from the internet.

One member, Susanna Miller, who lost her brother Dan in the 2002 attacks which killed 202 people, said: “It’s callous, inappropriate, irresponsible and deeply offensive. I find it disturbing... I appeal to any sites featuring this game to remove it. It’s completely sick."

While Ms. Miller's sentiments are completely understandable, it's cheap journalism to call up someone who lost a relative to a suicide bomb and then ask them how they feel about a suicide bombing game. Apparently, that's how the Daily Star rolls.

Kudos to Conservative MP John Whitting­dale (left) who keeps things in perspective. It would have been very easy for Whittingdale to turn the Daily Sun's question about this obscure little title into a highly-publicized whinge encompassing video games in general. Whittingdale told the tabloid:

I find this game tasteless but I don’t think it will necessarily start turning people into suicide bombers. But those whose lives have been affected by suicide bombings I imagine would find it upsetting.

11 comments

Muslim Massacre Game Sparks Outrage

September 10, 2008 -

Muslim Massacre, an amateur PC game, has drawn sharp criticism from Britain's Islamic community.

As reported by the Telegraph, the game was programmed by Eric Vaughn aka Sigvatr, an American who currently lives in Australia. The website for the game calls it "The Game of Modern Religious Genocide," and describes it as follows:

The United States of America has declared war on Islam! Take control of the American hero and wipe out the Muslim race with an arsenal of the world's most destructive weapons! Don't be a liberal pussy!

Mohammed Shafiq, head of the Ramadhan Foundation, a U.K.-based Muslim youth organization criticized the game:

Encouraging children and young people in a game to kill Muslims is unacceptable, tasteless and deeply offensive. There is an increase in violence in this country and some of it comes from video games. When kids spend six hours a day on violent games they are more likely to go outside and commit violence.

 

If it was the other way around, with a game featuring Muslims killing Israelis or Americans, there would be uproar and rightly so. We would urge ISPs to take action against sites like this.

For his part, Sigvatr was unapologetic in posts about his game on SomethingAwful:

I think it's pretending to be legitimate commentary and I'm sure there will be lots of people who defend it on those grounds, but ultimately it's just a game where you blow the gently caress out of arabs... Anyone is free to believe whatever they won't (sic) though, because I don't even know how to interpret it myself anymore. the bottom line is that I enjoyed making it and it's fun to play...

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MechaTama31AE: Probably snarky commentary on this: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/08/29/principle-player-leland-yee-arms-trading-case-dies08/30/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenConster - Don't know. Got a link to whatever you're referring to?08/30/2014 - 7:04pm
ConsterWait, what's this about Leland Yee eliminating witnesses?08/30/2014 - 5:50pm
IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
 

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