Video Games and Propaganda 32 replies

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Miliciano

Fedayi

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27th May 2009

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#1 8 years ago

So the other day I played the campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops for the first time. I'm a big fan of the cod series and I've played every game since Cod 2.

However, the very first mission is essentially a terrorist attack on Cuba during the bay of pigs invasion. You gun down dozens of cuband as you fight your way to Castro's house to assassinate him. To top it all off, the player gets an "achievement" for killing him, thus rewarding them for their actions with virtual player credit. I understand that video-games always glorify war to an extent, but this goes beyond glorifying; its fucking celebrating murder. The game is excessively graphic, allowing players to decapitate, maim, dismember and immolate with the tap of a button. Whatever you think of Cuba and Castro (I'm not really a fan of his, but he has done some pretty cool things), it is terrifying that a mainstream american game would try to justify attacking a sovereign country and killing its leader simply because the US doesn't like him and his policies. Cuba has suffered enormously at the hands of the US embargo and regular terrorist attacks on the country and its inhabitants. The game goes beyond villainizing Cuba and Castro; it demonizes them. Even the Russians in MW2, who were laying waste to the entire East Coast and slaughtering thousands of civilians, were not portrayed as evil monsters, but rather an enraged, if misled, country seeking justice for the death of its own innocent civilians.

Later on in the game, you are fighting in Vietnam in Hue City during the Tet Offensive, and the North vietnamese Army is shown massacring civilians multiple times throughout the level. Later you are in taken hostage by Russians and vietcong and tortured. During this level, one of your allies is beaten to death by a Russian, right after he called him a "dirty communist". Such blatant twisting of history shows the Americans as "liberating heroes fighting against evil communism", when in fact the Americans displayed horrendous racism against the "gooks" and slaughtered entire villages on a regular basis, most notoriously at Mai Lai, which the US government attempted to cover up. The area of Indochina was subject to something like 5 times all the bombs dropped during the entire duration of WW2 in an area many times smaller the battlefields of Europe, Asia and Africa. The game also neglects the fact that 3 million Vietnamese died in the duration of the ten year war, many in the first 6 years, several million also died in Cambodia and Laos, with many thousands dying from the chemical affects of herbicides like agent orange. Such criminal neglect for human life shows the real nature of American interests.

One of my history teachers told us of her "evil idea". She said that if we really wanted to pacify Iraq, we she just give every teenage Iraqi an xbox and some violent fps so they wouldn't join resistance groups. Video games are much like movies in that they usually tell a story using images and emotions. However, video games are interactive, and by forcing the player to take part in its story, it can force the player to accept the intentions of the game designers. Imagine if instead of a movie, "The Triumph of the Wills" was a video game, ostensibly "harmless fun" that would also be shamelessly portraying Hitler a living god and the "superiority" of the "aryan race". Certainly teenagers living in nazi germany (supposing that video games of todays caliber existed back in the 1930's) looking for "a good time" would play the game and subliminally accept its message. Of course this game would be relentlessly advertised all across the country.

This is why video games are such ideal vehicles for brainwashing and propaganda. The casual gamer is not prepared for such forceful material and has no choice but to endure the consequences. I'm not saying that games make people violent and persuade people to kill world leaders, but these games should not be taken so likely.




jackripped

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2nd December 2009

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#2 8 years ago

Get over it, and don't play it then. Personally l find it more realistic, to me thats a good thing for games, besides it wouldn't hurt people to realize how graphically gory shooting people up really is. Games don't brainwash you unless your a total tool.Oh did l say tool, l meant fool. Every Vietnam vet l know and l go to every anzac day march every year, hate the Vietnamese, still. Its life mate you just have to live with it. And l agree with your teacher not you, she is correct and her idea will change the next generation of children, better to kill in a game than in real life, educated people can tell the difference and don't have a problem with this. Those that don't, take crap like this personally and destroy games for others with stupid restrictions, and fukass ratings, and outright bans. Should we all just play PacMan ? Would that suite you ? Games will evolve, and the graphics will get better and better, and the physic's will get better and better.Get used to the idea. Story lines will get more complex and involve the non politically correct in some cases, its up to you to support it by buying the game, which l note you have in this case, or not support it by NOT buying it......

Games have been such a great tool for brainwashing, ALL the churches are creating games to brainwash people ! omg how did you come up with that crap. Thats sarcasm....




Crazy Wolf VIP Member

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22nd March 2005

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#3 8 years ago

Dude, it's Black Ops. You know, the stuff that the US government would do or would like to do, if there weren't those pesky rules that say they shouldn't/couldn't? Also, "regular basis" should have more than one example, doncha think?

Also, Agent Orange itself wasn't the issue, rather a dioxin contaminant in many containers of Agent Orange. It still fucked up the locals, but the dioxin, the part responsible for the human defects, was unintentional.

Oh, and "Triumph of the Will" would be a boring-ass video game. Stand in formation! Sing! Listen to the Fuhrer! Heil! Heil! Stand in formation!

I like when games provide some historical information, but I have a hunch most folks playing Black Ops aren't playing it so they can learn more about the Bay of Pigs or the Indochina conflict.




crisissuit3

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#4 8 years ago

I think his point is that kids will play these games and certain things that are untrue. Kids are not educated people, recent modern warfare games have been basically telling kids that all russians are bad and will cause WWIII, of course any educated man will tell you thats a blatant lie, but to a 13 year old who doesn't even know where russia is on a map would say otherwise.

But in terms of violence, I did find it rather cringing to see some guy his entire throat get cut out, or a blade that looked like it was designed to stab the brain. and this is coming from a guy who has played his fair share of gory games.

Re-reading this, I see where people against violent video games are coming from now. But hey I still loved the bit where you're in the black bird, that was a pretty awesome set piece.




redgroupclan

is gay.

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#5 8 years ago
crisissuit3;5430098But in terms of violence, I did find it rather cringing to see some guy his entire throat get cut out

That's in COD? The stuff I've read about video games in this thread is kind of disturbing. I've never owned a game more violent than Shadow the Hedgehog in my life, so it is kind of a wake up call. What is becoming of the gaming industry?




jackripped

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2nd December 2009

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#6 8 years ago

[QUOTE=crisissuit3;5430098]I think his point is that kids will play these games and certain things that are untrue. Kids are not educated people, recent modern warfare games have been basically telling kids that all russians are bad and will cause WWIII, of course any educated man will tell you thats a blatant lie, but to a 13 year old who doesn't even know where russia is on a map would say otherwise. The entire games industry is built on this idea, things can be anything in games, you can do things in games you cannot do in life. Asteroids? Pacman? Zelda? Mario ? Commando [commodore 64 ] Rambo? Realistic history lessons are they, no, but did you care, no, games are games if you cant tell the difference you shouldn't be playing them at all and you should be getting an education. All my nephews can tell the difference and none of them consider any games to be a history lessen and there between 10 and 20 years of age.....




Emperor Benedictine

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#7 8 years ago

There is no evidence that video games have any long-term psychological effect on players whatsoever. Be that making them more aggressive, instilling in them particular opinions or prejudices, or anything else. There is also no evidence that the interactivity of video games makes them more influential than other forms of media. To talk about games like CoD: Black Ops indoctrinating their target demographic into the ways of historical revisionism and anti-communist sentiment seems to me to be getting things the wrong way around, in any case. These games are developed with the audience they're going to be sold to in mind. An audience that by and large would not shed a tear if Fidel Castro was shot in the face tomorrow.

redgroupclanThe stuff I've read about video games in this thread is kind of disturbing. I've never owned a game more violent than Shadow the Hedgehog in my life, so it is kind of a wake up call. What is becoming of the gaming industry?

The only thing that's changed is what games are technically capable of portraying. The violence you find in video games by and large is still no different than what you can find in any action movie.




crisissuit3

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#8 8 years ago
Emperor Benedictine;5430104An audience that by and large would not shed a tear if Fidel Castro was shot in the face tomorrow.

I doubt half the COD community even knows who Castro is. But, perhaps I picked the wrong side for this argument for what I said does go against my belief that games are safe for society.




Flash525

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#9 8 years ago

jackripped;5430074Personally l find it more realistic, to me thats a good thing for games, besides it wouldn't hurt people to realize how graphically gory shooting people up really is.[/quote]I think that is his point though, it isn't realistic. It's a lie.

jackripped;5430074Games don't brainwash you unless your a total tool.Oh did l say tool, l meant fool.[QUOTE=crisissuit3;5430098]I think his point is that kids will play these games and certain things that are untrue. Kids are not educated people, recent modern warfare games have been basically telling kids that all russians are bad and will cause WWIII, of course any educated man will tell you thats a blatant lie, but to a 13 year old who doesn't even know where russia is on a map would say otherwise.

That's just the thing here, whilst these games wouldn't 'brainwash' children, they could easily give them an incorrect history of events. If children start believing the story of a game they play, because it is focused on history, they're going to believe it.

Video Games are good for a number of things, maybe it's venting your anger out, using up some free time, or just casually playing side by side with a friend. I stand by what I've always said in respect to violent video games being the case for people committing violent crimes, that's rubbish. Anyone (child or otherwise) should know that it's not 'right' to kill.

What is being said here is that said games are giving a one-sided record of history, which can be changed from the designers point of view. If you're going to make a game that has a historical background, then at least get your history truthful.

As long as children don't start believing that we had Nazi Zombies back in WW2, I think we'll be okay though. ;)




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#10 8 years ago

If anyone's interested in the media shaping psychology I highly recommend :

McLuhan Marshall Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (McGraw Hill, NY, 1964)