If you’re up to date on news within the gaming world, you’re no doubt aware of a new First Person Shooter developed in China where you can kill US troops. Ironically the game was developed from the same game engine as America’s Army Online (a game I used to play). As a result of this development there has been some right wing and nationalist reaction. Of course this type of reaction is not to be unexpected.
Many are questioning the morality of creating a game where one combats the US military. However I don’t feel that this is a reasonable position to take. After all, there are plenty of US made (many of them Japanese made) where US soldiers kill non-Americans. There has been little, if any, outcry about these games. So if any reactionary actually has a problem with this game I’d be happy to remind them what they said about killing non-Americans in a game: “Its not a big deal, its just a game.”
Besides, the idea of Chinese troops fighting American troops is not new ground. If you’ll recall this was a major part of the game Command and Conquer Generals (bad ass game by the way). In that game some one could play as American, Chinese or nondescript Arab terrorist forces. When this game came out no one made a noise about Chinese troops fighting US troops. But then again Americans made the game, so its like the whole N-word issue where its okay for Black people to say it.
The conservative reactionary view of the game is obvious and really doesn’t need going into detail on. The liberal reactionary response does however require a more sophisticated analysis as they tend to be more elaborate. The usual making a criticism while appearing to be non-confrontational. It’s called passive aggressive when people do it in real life. This is what MSNBC had to say regarding the game.
“Objections don’t appear to be focused on the game’s existence. After all, the U.S. military is heavily invested in its own acclaimed military training and recruitment game, America’s Army, but it features a generic enemy, so as not to offend anyone.”
– Ed Flanagan, MSNBC
This statement by Ed Flanagan is blatantly false. I used to play that game quite a lot many years ago when it first came out. I can tell you from personal experience that while the game does not use countries names, there are clearly particular countries depicted. Not to mention the semi-obvious racist elements depicted with the physical characteristics appearance of the enemy troops.
Sometimes these liberal passive aggressive view points are humorous.
“Rather, the concern is that the game, which was ostensibly developed as a training tool for the PLA, makes American solders and equipment the enemy combatant and could lead young, impressionable trainees to believe that the United States is the enemy.”
– Ed Flanagan, MSNBC
In this statement we can see the subtle liberal nationalism. By making this statement they are stating that the United States is the world’s hero and great civilizer. Its also indirectly claiming that everyone knows this to be a fact, accusing China of indoctrinating its troops into hating America.
In the America’s Army game there is a special forces training section that you have to do to get access to newer maps. In this training you have to memorize the appearance of Soviet made vehicles and equipment. Well the Chinese use the same equipment, much of it updated since they were originally designed. This could lead kids to believe that China is the enemy. Is the US government trying to indoctrinate a generation of young boys into thinking China is the enemy? Why not? They’ve been doing it since the 1950s.
Well in reality Chinese government and the US government are enemies as they have contrasting interests. Both super powers by the law of capitalist accumulation are going to compete for access to the world’s natural resources and market access. Of course these contrasting interests would not exist if the use of resources were put towards human need in system of distribution based on that.
In the end, its just a bad ass game that I’m going to download as soon as possible.