Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Cruisin' To The USA

With the expansion of toolkits, computer games are being made by everyone for everything.  Most people learning to hack code, the first thing they do is reprogram Duck Hunt so you can shoot that goddamn dog.  Hippie haiku, brother trucker.  (That joke was stolen from SCUD:  The Disposable Assassin.)

Since then, enterprising computer types have come up with either modifications to existing games or made their own.  There are Doom and Quake mods that let you blow the living shit out of whatever you hate, from political figures (D's and R's are available) to Hello Kitty (I hate that little punk.  Guess what mod I have?).  There are games about helping Paris Hilton escape from jail (probably soon to be rebranded as Lindsay Lohan).  There was the infamous game where you were Lee Harvey Oswald trying to assassinate JFK.  Some mods are useful and you wonder why the original designers didn't incorporate something like them, like the infamous Duct Tape mod for Quake 3.  Others are completely silly, like the Nude Raider code for the original Tomb Raider so Lara Croft was running around in the buff.  Come on, given how she was designed, did they REALLY think nobody would try that?  Even I, sarcastic jackass that I am, get in on the act.  I followed my brother in law around with a hidden tape recorder.  Later, I made a whack-a-mole game with a picture of him for the mole and each time you smacked him, he'd say something that I recorded.  He doesn't know I made it, that waits for the right time to be revealed, hee hee.

A few years ago, some programmers came up with a computer game.  It was a 3D open terrain game where you played the role of an illegal immigrant.  It was to teach people about the troubles and dangers illegal immigrants faced (for example, not reporting crimes because that could get them deported).

Now, we have the flip side.  Owlchemy Labs is based in Boston and decided to satirize the whole border patrol debate.  So they came up with a game for the iPhone and iPad called Smuggle Truck.  Based on the description (it won't be released until next month), you are driving a truck across the desert with a bunch of migrant workers in the back.  Hitting bumps and other obstacles make you lose passengers.  You have to get as many of them across the border into the US as possible.  Owlchemy posted to their web site, "Smuggle Truck was inspired by the frustration our friends have experienced in trying to immigrate to the United States.  With such a troublesome issue being largely avoided in popular media, especially video games, we felt the best way to criticize it was with an interactive satire."  "Being largely avoided in popular media?"  What news network is he watching?

Naturally, activists are not amused by this.  They are forgetting something, though.  The more they complain, the worse it's going to get.  Remember Draw Mohammed Day?  All it will take is one person on the chans to realize games like this will make people upset and they will get together with the other trolls and program a game that will make this look like My Little Pony.

I'm not saying people don't have the right to find this offensive, nor do they not have the right to support it if they so choose.  I'm saying watch out, there's a whole culture that exists just to be offensive.  There's an old Polish proverb that says, "When waking the tiger, use a long stick."
Tags: art, computers, important life lessons, technology is a beautiful thing, video games
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