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T O P I C
A Game with a Bald Man Made Me Cry
November 12th 2002, 06:00 CET by Dethstryk

Thanks to ShackNews, I was made aware of the Sikh community’s disapproval of the recent hired killer game, Hitman 2. According to one paragraph on this page:

Hitman portrays Dalits as followers of an evil cult leader, according to a vivid description in the game. The game also glorifies violent altercations of turbaned Sikh game characters inside a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship. Hitman 2 specifically constructs a location in the game that closely replicates Harmander Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple. Harmander Sahib is a holy Sikh place of worship that serves as the religious and a political center for Sikhs worldwide and is held in reverence by Sikhs, just as the Vatican by Catholics.

It may just be me, but I think this is a case of being over-sensitive. I played through Hitman 2, and the situations they describe never occurred to me. For some reason, I viewed the characters in the game as being Arabs or Indians. It is a bit of a leap to begin attaching phrases such as “Video Game by Edios Interactive Depicts Racist Violence,” when the game was about the agent you controlled, not a Sikh or Dalit.

Of course, Eidos caved. You can read the “corporate statement” for yourself at Hitman’s official site. In summary, they are removing all “relevant images and content” from the website, “taking steps” to change the game on the platforms it has already been released for, and censoring the upcoming version that is coming out for the GameCube.

Is this an over-reaction by the Sikh Coalition? I’d say so, and they probably just wanted to get some kind of media attention. I think Eidos made quite the mistake in being toppled by this petty crap.

As was said in IRC:

<bishop> By the flame!
<bishop> I'd better buy it soon, then. I don't want a gimped version of hitman 2.
<stral> Good thing I already have my full, racist copy

Comments?
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Home » Topic: A Game with a Bald Man Made Me Cry

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#1 by chris
2002-11-12 06:05:18
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Members of ethnic groups need to find better shit to do...

-chris
#2 by Russ
2002-11-12 06:07:09
They should have just compensated by making a game where the Sikhs get to kill the race they hate the most.

He's clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.
#3 by jafd
2002-11-12 06:07:25
I am offended that there is no game where I can go to The Vatican and start popping caps. Equal time, come on.

"My fu is my strongest feature."
#4 by Squeaky
2002-11-12 06:07:47
Boo. Fucking. Hoo.

That being said, I'll be on my way to EB and hopefully pick up an uncensored copy sometime soon. If they haven't already been pulled.

I Want All the Goddamn Guns Right Goddamn Now.
Pitiful DVD Collection
#5 by Squeaky
2002-11-12 06:08:22
I am offended that there is no game where I can go to The Vatican and start popping caps. Equal time, come on.

I'd buy that for a dollar.

I Want All the Goddamn Guns Right Goddamn Now.
Pitiful DVD Collection
#6 by Bailey
2002-11-12 06:12:55
A turban is not a target! Portrayal of any villian as any designation other than white teenage males is racist! Anything and everything is offensive! *WHACK* Oh god *BONK* You're really working my skull over with that sock full of pennies!!

I'm not required be coherent or logical.
#7 by Russ
2002-11-12 06:14:00
What's Eidos' financial situation like? Can't they afford to go to court? Maybe I'll sue if they offend me by releasing another Tombraider game.

He's clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.
#8 by Warren Marshall
2002-11-12 06:14:10
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Glad I bought it last week then.  Fucking whiners ...

"Quit whining you haven't done anything wrong because, frankly, you haven't done much of anything."
#9 by Whisp
2002-11-12 06:15:13
A link to the petition.  It goes into much more detail about their objections to the game than the other links provided in the topic.  I was a bit more cynical about their indignation until I read it.  I'd suggest you at least glance at it.  Aparently the correlation is more than superficial... to adapt their example, if these were Christians you were after instead, there'd be no doubt you were in midst of raiding the Vatican to kill the Pope.  

I'm still not sure the level of outrage makes sense, but this isn't just political correctness.  I'm beginning to lean toward the position that this game is fairly insulting to a large group of people.

Googlism: whisp is de expert in zwerkbal
#10 by Timdog
2002-11-12 06:15:33
thetimdog@hotmail.com
A turban is not a target!


If you shoot the turban, there is a very good chance the bullet will only hit cloth.  Its best to aim a bit lower.

:)

Tim

You are all worthless and weak.
#11 by Greg
2002-11-12 06:17:21
The topic doesn't mention that the leader of the Sikhs in the game is a crazy psychopath. So not only would it be like having a bloodbath level in the Vatican, but also that the Pope was a child-molester.

Wait a second...

#12 by LesJarvis
2002-11-12 06:18:13
hey, let's see if we can all jerk our knees simultaneously!

************************
#13 by chris
2002-11-12 06:32:40
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
It's a fucking game called HITMAN... what are people expecting?

I don't care if you're raiding a Sikh temple to kill their holy man, the vatican to kill the pope, or the temple of agnosticism to kill captain-wishy-washy... you've already decided that, yes, you're going to play a game in which you are paid money for murder. Splitting hairs over who you're murdering is a joke.

If the whole GAME were that, and it were called "Kill the guy with the turban" then yes, I'd have some issue with it. I'd still feel that the decision to buy or not buy it rested with the individual, but I certainly wouldn't.

Course, I'm not buying the game either way, because I'm not terribly interested in it.

-chris
#14 by VeeSPIKE
2002-11-12 06:38:51
I am betting that someone at Eidos is giggling madly at the prospect of increased revenues as gamers flock to the stores to get their copy before it is sanitized for our viewing pleasure.

This is not to say that I do not think they have a point. I just think they made someone's job at Eidos a little easier by being overly sensitive.

The media doesn't educate, it sensationalizes. That's why there's no learning curve, just repeated bouts of gross stupidity. Bailey
#15 by yotsuya
2002-11-12 06:39:11
I think Whisp hit it head on in #9. I think the issue is not so much who gets it, but where it happens. Sure, we can say "STFU", but none of us are Sikh. We Westerners don't seem to take our faith as seriously as others do.

Reed Rothchild: Have you seen that Star Wars movie?
Eddie Adams: Yeah, I've seen it four times.
Reed Rothchild: You know, people tell me I kind of look like Han Solo.
#16 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 06:51:17
Would you still agree they were a bunch of whiners if the game had you killing Bishops in the Vatican?...

I'd guess most here would be OK with that (though there would obviously be a large outcry from other groups).

How about moving it out of religion and looking at other clearly definable groups of people you might want to assassinate...  What if the game made it a goal to kill black people in Harlem, or gays in the Castro district?

It’s a pretty slippery slope once you start down it, and it’s real easy to dismiss complaints as whining when you don't have immediate contact with the group who feels wronged.

In any case, these people have every right to complain... free speech and all that.  If you think there's something wrong with changing the game at this point, blame Eidos.
#17 by yotsuya
2002-11-12 06:51:56
Go Nutty! Power to the people.

Reed Rothchild: Have you seen that Star Wars movie?
Eddie Adams: Yeah, I've seen it four times.
Reed Rothchild: You know, people tell me I kind of look like Han Solo.
#18 by Russ
2002-11-12 06:59:05
Thanks to this topic and its link to Sikhcoalition.org, I have now learned more than I ever thought I would about Sikhs. That particular site seems to showcase their victim status a bit too prominently(check under the bias incidents menu), but other parts had some interesting history and culture info. Now I just need to find some dissenting opinion to balance things out. Who hates the Sikhs so I can check out their website?

He's clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.
#19 by HiredGoons
2002-11-12 07:08:14
I don't get it.

In GTA3, killing unarmed civilians in the streets is OK.  

But in Hitman 2, killing Sikhs isn't.
#20 by chris
2002-11-12 07:09:04
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
The smartest, most admirable person I have ever been exposed to was a young Sikh man I went to high school with.

I don't think he'd give a flying fuck about this game.

And I will again point out that the game is not "Kill the guy with the turban" (that'd be SOF2, at least if you judge by their movies). It's one or two levels in the game, in which your mission is to assasinate a religious leader.

-chris
#21 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 07:10:56
That Sikhcoalition site seems to serve about the same purpose as this site, just for a different set of people.  I don't think the existence of either is proof that those involved whine about victimization too much.  

I don't know any Sikhs and I'm quite athiest myself, but I do think anyone who immediately dismisses this as whining should consider how they would feel if it was a group they COULD identify with (whether religious, racial, socioeconomical or whatever) that seems outwardly very peaceful...if a bit strange.
#22 by LesJarvis
2002-11-12 07:11:53
HiredGoons

let's not glaze over the shitstorm of controversy that GTA3 has raised, and continues to raise.

************************
#23 by HiredGoons
2002-11-12 07:13:53
LesJarvis

I'm not -- but, correct if I'm wrong, Rockstar or anyone else, isn't changing the "offensive" content.
#24 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 07:17:09

In GTA3, killing unarmed civilians in the streets is OK.  

But in Hitman 2, killing Sikhs isn't.


Specificity.  Don't you think GTA3 would have raised a stir if all the civilians or mission targets were black, asian or even italian?


And I will again point out that the game is not "Kill the guy with the turban" (that'd be SOF2, at least if you judge by their movies). It's one or two levels in the game, in which your mission is to assasinate a religious leader.


So you'd have no problem if Hitman 3 had one or two levels in a black neighborhood in Chicago where you had to assassinate a political leader that was obviously Jesse Jackson?
#25 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 07:17:41
Erm, "raised MORE of a stir..."
#26 by HiredGoons
2002-11-12 07:22:13
That's what I (and chris too, I think) are saying:

This is just caving to political correctness.

Of course, GTA3 would have raised a stir if most of the civilians were black.  But, the outrage is animated by politically correctness.

If GTA3 is "bad", then it is bad because it is a game where civilians are killed.  

Not because the civilians' skin color.
#27 by chris
2002-11-12 07:22:57
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
YF - Err, several of the missions in GTA3 were targetted to a specific ethnic group. Even the random rampages found around the city are race-targetted. "Kill 20 triads in a minute and a half."

-chris
#28 by HiredGoons
2002-11-12 07:23:01
For the record, I work with both Sikhs and Sunnis everyday.
#29 by Foodbunny
2002-11-12 07:24:41
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Any other serious religious group (and more than a few other groups) would object to a game that targeted them with this level of specificity, even if it's just a few levels.  Eidos has the option of ignoring them and they are choosing not to do so.  I don't really see what the problem is.

It won't have any impact on DNF.  Nothing really does.
#30 by HiredGoons
2002-11-12 07:25:45
Fuck.  Hit post too quick.  Don't both correcting the above gaffe (re: Sikh, Sunni, Shiite).
#31 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 07:28:19
"Kill 20 Triads" is quite different than "Kill 20 Chinese", or "Kill 20 Buddhist Monks".  

The Triads as a specific group have a known history of violence that is inseparable from their existence and as such are fair game, the Sikh do not have such a history.
#32 by chris
2002-11-12 07:29:19
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
How fine can we split this hair?

-chris
#33 by HiredGoons
2002-11-12 07:38:54
The Triads as a specific group have a known history of violence that is inseparable from their existence and as such are fair game, the Sikh do not have such a history.


Oh, c'mon.

The measuring stick is historical accuracy?  

For a video game that does not purport in the slightest degree to be a work of non-fiction?
#34 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 07:41:36
It is real easy to say


Members of ethnic groups need to find better shit to do...


and suggest that this whole issue is splitting hairs when you're a whiteboy living in whiteboy world.  As a whiteboy myself, I know.  

We're given every benefit of the doubt.  When the majority of people see you walking down the street they don't immediately assume you're probably a criminal or a terrorist.  Not everyone has it so good.
#35 by Bailey
2002-11-12 07:42:33
Regarding Eidos' statement:

"taking steps” to change the game on the platforms it has already been released for

Anyone who knows how Eidos works can imagine this will be an optional patch that dresses up the turban-wearing NPCs in clown hats or yarmalkes or something. I doubt very much any copies will be recalled from the shelf unless the stores decide to take a hand in this.

Personally, I view this portrayal of a cult in a game being compared to the sikhs on par with comparing the Branch-Davidian Compound to the Vatican. A desperate cry for attention and faux self-empowerment more than anything else, and likely playing right into the hands of Eidos marketing division.

I'm not required be coherent or logical.
#36 by Bailey
2002-11-12 07:47:29
YF

Specificity.  Don't you think GTA3 would have raised a stir if all the civilians or mission targets were black, asian or even italian?

He's on a mission in the middle east, what do you expect, aryans around every corner? Durr, context. Also note that the point of the game is not to "kill everyone of a certain color" but to "kill a single target that is more often white than not". Note that the "sikh leader" in these missions was the gene source for the Hitman's clones. He's as whitebread as the player's avatar, and the only person in the temple you're actually required to kill.

I'm not required be coherent or logical.
#37 by Squeaky
2002-11-12 07:50:01
We're given every benefit of the doubt.  When the majority of people see you walking down the street they don't immediately assume you're probably a criminal or a terrorist.  Not everyone has it so good.

I agree with you on that point.

It is because of this stereotyping that we have shit like making it easier for "visible minorities" to get into medical school. I'm not sure if the resolution was actually passed, but a few years ago the University of British Columbia decided that they needed more blacks, native americans, etc. in their medical program. So they were going to lower the requirements just for them. As I said though, I'm not sure they implemented this.

And heaven forbid if you are an 18-40 year old white male trying to get a job with the government. One of the requirements for working for the Canadian government is you MUST speak either English or French. however, the last few times I've delt with people in the government (DMV, Passport Office), it was quite obvious that the person I was dealing with spoke neither French nor English. In fact, the only white people in the building were the ones waiting in line for their passports.

"Like a Virgin is all about a girl who digs a guy with a big dick. The whole song is a metaphor for big dicks."
Pitiful DVD Collection
#38 by BabiG
2002-11-12 07:52:21
bitter much?
#39 by Squeaky
2002-11-12 07:53:42
nah.

"Like a Virgin is all about a girl who digs a guy with a big dick. The whole song is a metaphor for big dicks."
Pitiful DVD Collection
#40 by chris
2002-11-12 07:55:45
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
YF -

Yes, I'm a whiteboy, living in a whiteboy world, who's aware of the fact that there are much more serious concerns for non-whiteboys, in their non-whiteboy worlds, that need immediate addressing, than a mediocre video game.

-chris
#41 by mrbloo
2002-11-12 07:56:42
mrbloo2000@hotmail.com
I have to agree with Eidos's decision.  It wouldn't take too much to file the serial numbers off the bad guys (remove their real-world religious identity and turn them into generic evil-cult bad guys).  At least it's not like SOF which penalised you for killing American civilians and when you got to Iraq, it was open-season on rags.

I'm playing it now and it's fairly good fun.  The only annoying thing is the game is the chloroform they give you to incapacitate innocents.  Fecking stuff only lasts about five minutes.  There I was, entering the Mafia mansion, dressed as a postman and carrying a bunch of flowers, when this naked fat man runs up and tells the guards that some bald-headed assassin stole his clothes.  Surely if they didn't want you to top innocents as a matter of expediency, they would have made the knock-out drops last the mission?

Bottom line is, you're a hired killer.  How many people here gave a flying fuck about the policemen's wives and kids during the big shootout at the end of Leon?
#42 by Bailey
2002-11-12 07:58:46
BC is full of left-wing yuppies who can't wait to jump on the "equality through prejudice (against young white lads)" movement. And yeah, they brought that bill around to the police and penitentary system, last I heard. Probably some in the beaurocrat dept as well, but there's still a healthy supply of old white men in the upper management who'll keep that from being universally applied, and then the minorities can freak out over being prejudiced against and get even harsher anti-white male bills passed.

I'm not required be coherent or logical.
#43 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 08:00:18
I didn't realize the neo-nazi movement was so strong in Canada.
#44 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 08:01:45
...In my experience anyone who complains about "Affirmative Action" and the like are just losers who can't compete on a more even playing field and as such would rather just go with the status quo.
#45 by Russ
2002-11-12 08:06:47
Troll

He's clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.
#46 by Bailey
2002-11-12 08:07:59
What?! No!!

I'm not required be coherent or logical.
#47 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 08:09:12
No, I'm quite serious.  

I'm good at what I do.  I don't put much thought into my "losing a job" to someone regardless of the circumstances.  If you're essential to getting things done, no amount of reverse-discrimination is going to uproot you.  If you're just a busy-worker, then maybe it is something to worry about, I wouldn't know.
#48 by Bailey
2002-11-12 08:12:02
Whoa there, only one lure in the water at a time, chief.

I'm not required be coherent or logical.
#49 by HiredGoons
2002-11-12 08:14:09
All of my colleagues who are "under-represented" minorities (read: black, hispanic, Native American) believe affirmative action hurts them.  They continually have to prove themselves as deserving of the positions they have earned.  As one friend of mine puts it, "I have to work twice as hard just to show I didn't get in because I'm black."

My other colleagues who are minorities but aren't "under-represented" (read: Asian or Jewish) are convinced that affirmative action makes it tougher for them to make progress.
#50 by Your Friend
2002-11-12 08:15:26
I'm starting to get it now...any stance on an issue that makes someone uncomfortable but can't be easily dismissed with a grammar flame or a bag of dicks comment is marked TROLL and is thus surrounded by a troll field (similar to the SEP fields in Douglas Adams' books) where nobody has to deal with it.
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