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Mixing Real Life With Games... Bad Business?
October 25th 2003, 16:48 CEST by Charles

I was just linked to this article, which centres around some controversy with the new Syphon Filter game.  Apparently it was set to have a level set in Toronto, where Quebec seperatists took control of the Toronto subway system.  This raised a stink in the House of Commons, and the end result was that Sony decided to pull the level from the final game.

But should they have?  I enjoy seeing real locations in fictional media, including games and movies.  Living in Toronto, I'd find it even more entertaining to go to somewhat real locations and do the whole hero thing.  The House compared it to hate literature, but I feel that was somewhat extreme.  After all, the game is fiction.  Should fiction avoid borrowing from historical events in order to create entertaining scenarios?  After all, the FLQ was a very real part of Canadian history.  Reusing that element shouldn't cause such a stir.  Plenty of fiction set in modern day still make use of the Nazis as a convenient antagonist.  In fact, they seem to pop up everywhere!  I don't see Germany lobbying against these games or movies... perhaps they do, and we just don't hear about it?

What do you think?  Should publishers and developers be caving to the relatively minor whining of whole countries?  Or should they continue to make entertaining and somewhat believable scenarios?  Is this censorship?

On a side note, I found it interesting that Rahim Jaffer took such a moderate stance on the issue.  A few years back, when I was living in his riding in Edmonton, he circulated flyers which compared game developers to pedophiles in terms of their threat to children.  I attacked him on it in a string of emails and phonecalls, perhaps he actually learned something from the incident.
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#1 by LPMiller
2003-10-25 17:09:38
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Sounds a lot like politicians doing their best to take focus aways from real problems.  And here I thought Canada was a paradise.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#2 by BobJustBob
2003-10-25 17:12:02
People complain about everything. I'd have to say, yes, it is censorship.

Dood.
#3 by Post-It
2003-10-25 17:15:29
keithlee@speakeasy.net
From the time I spent up there it always seemed to me that everyone was really touchy about the FLQ. I can see where they would try to get it removed from a game/film/whatever. Not that I agree with that stance, but given the general sentiment (from the people I spoke with anyway) regarding those events, I'm not surprised.

Comment Signature
#4 by Hieronymus
2003-10-25 17:19:53
FLQ terrorists taking over the TTC in 2003 is sufficiently far-fetched to be laughible.   Liberal MP Liza Frulla says in the linked article that the game is bad because it portrays a completely unrealistic view of Quebec.  I would argue that it is so unrealistic that nobody should take it seriously.  On a personal side note, I am shocked that I actually agree with an Alliance MP.  

Does anybody know if the hero of this game ever says "Just watch me."?  I would buy a PS2 and this game for that alone.
#5 by Dethstryk
2003-10-25 18:22:10
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Man. I'd hate to see Ritual's version of Condition Zero be released, then.

sunny days have funny ways of quieting the roar
#6 by Charles
2003-10-25 19:08:33
www.bluh.org
Rahim Jaffer isn't really someone to agree with; he's a complete tool.  You might remember about 3 years back, the scandal he was involved in, where he had his aide pretend to be him on a vancouver radio show.  After the fallout from that, he went and hid in Ottawa for like 6 months.

How many it had cost in the amassing, what blood and sorrow, what good ships scuttled on the deep, what brave men walking the plank blindfold, what shot of cannon, what shame and lies and cruelty, perhaps no man alive could tell.
#7 by Charles
2003-10-25 19:11:34
www.bluh.org
From the time I spent up there it always seemed to me that everyone was really touchy about the FLQ.


Well, it was a pretty brutal segment of our history, they were blowing shit up right and left, and Trudean enacted the War Measures Act to deal with it.  People tend to get touchy about periods where the government has the power to arrest and imprison you without a trial or even an explanation.

How many it had cost in the amassing, what blood and sorrow, what good ships scuttled on the deep, what brave men walking the plank blindfold, what shot of cannon, what shame and lies and cruelty, perhaps no man alive could tell.
#8 by jjohnsen
2003-10-25 19:15:34
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Can you lay off the George W administration for a bit please?
#9 by G-Man
2003-10-25 19:15:43
I was annoyed that Eidos pulled the levels from Hitman 2 that were set in India. Only the console releases were affected but still, it is one thing to scrap a level when it is still in production, but removing content that is already complete is asinine. You know how films frequently have disclaimers at the end saying that "this film is a work of fiction. Any similarities to people dead or alive are coincidental." I wonder how long it will be before games will feature similar disclaimers.

Okay I'm off to the machinima festival.
#10 by Neo-Reaper
2003-10-25 19:30:26
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
From a similar article,
"I don't want to overdramatize this, but it's hard not to feel targeted when there's a game where you shoot at Quebeckers. If there was a game where people shoot at blacks or Jews there'd be an uproar," said Jean Dorion, president of the nationalist Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal.

Is this still so hard for people to understand?  You are not shooting down Quebeckers, you are shooting down terrorists who happen to be from Quebec.  Honestly, I imagine the kids that are supposed to be tainted by this probably understand it more than these politicians ever will.

Also amusing was in Charles' article was how they compared the terrorist's biological weapons to SARS, even go so far as to say they are trying to kick Toronto while they are down.  Riiiiiiight.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#11 by Bailey
2003-10-25 19:48:38
I think possibly the reason this offended some people is partially A) in regards to the recent US accusations that Canada is some kind of free entry paradise for terrorist organizations, and B) to suggest the FLQ ever accomplished anything more organized than planting pipe bombs and kidnapping a few people. In their entire glorious 40+ year history, they've killed two people by gunfire and and three by bombs, robbed some banks, detonated pipe bombs by structures, and were once found talking in a local cafe about blowing up the Statue of Liberty.

The FLQ is more of a loosely grouped gaggle of ex-cons and racist patriots than terrorists, they were never organized, as they preach anarchy. To exaggerate their capabilities and give them credibility during this particular stage of history is not only laughably inaccurate, it's inflammatory, particularly in light of the FLQ's anti-American stance.

Scorn is a virtue.
#12 by Sgt Hulka
2003-10-25 19:51:14
Sony just got bitched slapped by Canada.  To me, that's like getting beat up by a 7 year old girl.

Publishers seem to go to the extreme in both directions.  We have Take Two releasing extremely violent games where having sex with whores is a bonus in Grand Theft, and on the other side, we have a sack-less Sony cutting an entire level because a canadian government council doesn't like it.

I would say it's a slight case of censorship, but Sony could have fought it, but in the long run, would it have been worth it? I don't know, but I do know this, Sony looks like a little bitch for getting beat up by a 7 year old girl.

" Hulka - I love Videomaker. And you're one ugly mutherfucker. " - Yotsuya
#13 by Gunp01nt
2003-10-25 20:37:47
supersimon33@hotmail.com
#10 Neo-Reaper

Is this still so hard for people to understand?  You are not shooting down Quebeckers, you are shooting down terrorists who happen to be from Quebec.  Honestly, I imagine the kids that are supposed to be tainted by this probably understand it more than these politicians ever will.


exactly. I mean, you could overgeneralize even more and have the entire planet stand up because you shoot people in games. There's this Counter-Strike map that takes place in Rotterdam. I haven't heard the Rotterdam port authority complain about it yet, even though terrorism is a sensitive subject there.

Wir flashen jedes Weekend, und alles just for you
We do this cause we love it, come here und hör uns zu
#14 by Bailey
2003-10-26 00:13:07
I mean, you could overgeneralize even more and have the entire planet stand up because you shoot people in games.

Welcome to Germany.

Scorn is a virtue.
#15 by Gunp01nt
2003-10-26 00:36:11
supersimon33@hotmail.com
Danke, ich finde es zehr toll in Deutschland zu zein. Wo sind die schone Mädel?

Wir flashen jedes Weekend, und alles just for you
We do this cause we love it, come here und hör uns zu
#16 by Bailey
2003-10-26 00:55:05
To thanks, I find it live madly in Germany too zein.  Where are preserve girl?

Thanks Google!

Scorn is a virtue.
#17 by DEATH KILLER INTERNATIONAL (INTERGALACTIC DIVISION
2003-10-26 01:10:50
deathkillerint@hotmail.com
WHAT THE FUCK.

How does this piece of shit topic get voted in while my topic on blowjobs gets rejected?  Are you people fucking stupid?  I mean, what's there to discuss about dumbass frenchies whining - they do it all the time folks, this ain't out of the ordinary for Quebec.

Now, blowjobs on the other hand.. they never get old!  Sony should replace the Toronto level with a new level where you give the terrorists blowjobs.  THAT WOULD ROCK, YO!

/me high-fives <insert recently deceased celebrity here>
#18 by zimbardo_ugly
2003-10-26 01:52:30
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
Some help, if anyone knows more than the almighty Google - my Internet connection (using ISDN here) seems to be dead in the water when CPU usage is near 100%. It started happening some time ago (could be caused by VIA Hyperion 4.49, but I've rolled back to 4.46v and still no help). Quite a bummer in Battlefield 1942, because the movement is jerky now. I've checked my ports and all clear there. Anyone have any hypothesis? I suspect its a driver-related thingie. Also tried lowering the PCI latency to 32 from 192 (which I keep to prevent sound from crackling), but no help there.

"All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay." (W. B. Yeats)
#19 by Duality
2003-10-26 02:40:20
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Try a different network card?

I mean, logic would dictate ...

#20 by JMCDaveL
2003-10-26 02:50:49
What did you install (software and hardware) back when it started?

--jmc
#21 by zimbardo_ugly
2003-10-26 02:57:03
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
#19 by Duality


Try a different network card?

I mean, logic would dictate ...


It's not a network card, technically speaking, but an Asuscom ISDN Terminal Adapter. And I would have tried that already, if I had ways to get another one. But currently, I don't. For what is worth, I still connect to the Internet and still get top speed when CPU is near idle, it's just that it oscillates wildly with normal use. I tried changing the PCI slots of the TA and no help there.

#20 by JMCDaveL
  
 What did you install (software and hardware) back when it started?


Apart from VIA Hyperion 4.49 (which I removed later), actually nothing.

"All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay." (W. B. Yeats)
#22 by lwf
2003-10-26 02:03:48
Hardware advice requests are generally posted in older, deader threads. It's not even 25 yet you motherfucker.

it was worth it just to learn some slight of hand
#23 by JMCDaveL
2003-10-26 02:10:36
How long has this been happening? And if its been more than a week you really mean to tell me you've installed absolutely nothing other than the VIA drivers? Are you sure the VIA's truly rolled themselves back? VIA 4 in 1's have been known to cause strange things to happen.  ISDN is so late 90's anyway.

--jmc
#24 by Squeaky
2003-10-26 02:47:51
ignore this post

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#25 by Squeaky
2003-10-26 02:49:58
something strange is happening with both OpenCrap and PlanetCrap.

Post numbers 12, 20, 21 are not marking themselves as read. Even though I've read them in Firebird, IE, and OC. Strange.

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#26 by Squeaky
2003-10-26 02:50:56
Alright, now it's just down to 21. 19 and 20 seemed to have marked themselves read when I posted 24 & 25.

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#27 by Squeaky
2003-10-26 02:52:56
weird, the web interface & OC just said that 19-26 were all unread. Then it marked 21 as read. And then it marked 21 as unread and the rest as read. And now everything is fixed.


Morn hates me.

JUSTIN BAILEY
DVDs
#28 by yotsuya
2003-10-26 03:28:29
He's not the only one, Squeak-boy!

"YES!!  You see people, THAT'S why he's the Vice-President of A/V Services here at Respawn Games.  Yotsuya ALWAYS unleashes the fucking fury!" - Warren Marshall
#29 by lwf
2003-10-26 03:33:49
I didn't even know these posts were posted!!

it was worth it just to learn some slight of hand
#30 by yotsuya
2003-10-26 04:23:02
And the Yankees go down! Oh HELL YEAH!

"YES!!  You see people, THAT'S why he's the Vice-President of A/V Services here at Respawn Games.  Yotsuya ALWAYS unleashes the fucking fury!" - Warren Marshall
#31 by Matthew Gallant
2003-10-26 04:45:28
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Please, the Yankees are feeling lonely right now, you shouldn't dismiss their feelings.

"All I've ever wanted to be is a monkey of moderate intelligence that wears a suit. That's why I'm transferring to business school!"
#32 by Chunkstyle
2003-10-26 04:47:24
Robots have no feelings.

I put the lime in the coconut, I drank it all up.
#33 by yotsuya
2003-10-26 04:51:32
Well, the Yankees should decide if they want someone to love, or a beatiful girl to fuck.

"YES!!  You see people, THAT'S why he's the Vice-President of A/V Services here at Respawn Games.  Yotsuya ALWAYS unleashes the fucking fury!" - Warren Marshall
#34 by lwf
2003-10-26 09:08:04
I like beatiful girls, the bruises are fucking hot.

it was worth it just to learn some slight of hand
#35 by Skumzilla
2003-10-26 13:02:15
A few years ago Asuscom ISDN TA's were the card of choice for Quakeworld guys, and iirc there was that problem you describe. There IS a fix for it, driver-wise - I'll see if I can dig it up, but Google might well be your friend (not Your Friend... he's not that useful).

Rowr.
#36 by Gunp01nt
2003-10-26 15:53:08
supersimon33@hotmail.com
der Bailey:
To thanks, I find it live madly in Germany too zein.  Where are preserve girl?

Thanks Google!


that should've been 'schöne Mädel'. Mein Fehler.

Wir flashen jedes Weekend, und alles just for you
We do this cause we love it, come here und hör uns zu
#37 by DEATH KILLER INTERNATIONAL (INTERGALACTIC DIVISION
2003-10-26 20:01:19
deathkillerint@hotmail.com
I AGREED DUDES.  NAZI'S RULEZ.

/me high-fives <insert recently deceased celebrity here>
#38 by Your Friend
2003-10-26 23:45:22
Well, San Diego sure is burning down.

"Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me."
#39 by Bailey
2003-10-27 00:06:42
No harm, no foul.

Scorn is a virtue.
#40 by LPMiller
2003-10-27 00:46:36
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Well, this thread is dead, so..

I'm liking Office 2003 so far - at least, Outlook is really nice, with a built in spam filter that seems to work well enough.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#41 by Bailey
2003-10-27 00:47:40
The commercials tell me it can help me save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Scorn is a virtue.
#42 by Warren Marshall
2003-10-27 00:53:59
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
#41 Bailey
The commercials tell me it can help me save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Well, if you don't have the money, you can't spend it.  Therefore, technically, it's saved.

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#43 by Bailey
2003-10-27 01:24:21
Technically, it doesn't exist.

Scorn is a virtue.
#44 by Dethstryk
2003-10-27 01:46:06
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Game publishers are fucking idiots. Now there's a Contract J.A.C.K. demo with restrictions on how it can be installed, using a key. Apparently, the point of advertising is to limit your views to as many as possible. Gotcha.

sunny days have funny ways of quieting the roar
#45 by zimbardo_ugly
2003-10-27 01:52:17
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
#44 by Dethstryk

Game publishers are fucking idiots. Now there's a Contract J.A.C.K. demo with restrictions on how it can be installed, using a key. Apparently, the point of advertising is to limit your views to as many as possible. Gotcha.


So, I guess there is some unlockable content in the demo?

"All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay." (W. B. Yeats)
#46 by Creole Ned
2003-10-27 01:52:30
Deth, that should be in the current "Gamespy is evil" thread, since they're the ones hosting the exclusive, EZ-pad authentication-required Contract Jack demo (and no, I am not spelling out the game name in the official™ way Monolith would prefer). Agreed, it is silly to ask people to jump through hoops just to get a demo.

The game developers caving to government pressure as mentioned in #0 is not a good thing. Self-censorship is still censorship. On the other hand, if the developers really weren't committed to the scenario to begin with, no big whoop.

I am waiting for Deus Ex: Invisible War to be officially delayed till 2004, like most other major PC titles. Oh, but Counter-strike: Condition Zero is still on track for mid-November. Joy!

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#47 by Greg
2003-10-27 02:01:31
At least for the Xbox version, I don't expect Deus Ex 2 to be delayed. The PC version, maybe, but Eidos says it too is on track for a December release.

We are OK in a misguided, sadist way.
We are OK in a disabled veteran's way.
We are OK.
#48 by Charles
2003-10-27 02:22:07
www.bluh.org
PC version delay is unlikely, if they've been properly doing parallel development.  All of the critical path bugs will have been fixed for the xbox version, and all that is really left is a few PC specifics, installer, hardware compatability, interface config stuff.

How many it had cost in the amassing, what blood and sorrow, what good ships scuttled on the deep, what brave men walking the plank blindfold, what shot of cannon, what shame and lies and cruelty, perhaps no man alive could tell.
#49 by Bailey
2003-10-27 03:01:23
You know what's really silly about Contract Jack? Naming the protagonist John Jack. You know what else?

Several harrowing missions spread across 10 new single-player levels

I'm predicting a positive reaction to this.

Scorn is a virtue.
#50 by yotsuya
2003-10-27 04:07:17
You read it here first- the Arizona Cardinals have a mathematical chance to finish 11-5!

"YES!!  You see people, THAT'S why he's the Vice-President of A/V Services here at Respawn Games.  Yotsuya ALWAYS unleashes the fucking fury!" - Warren Marshall
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