Friday, 1 May 2009

Pacific Islanders iphone game protest - More Manufactured Game Controversy'?

Game Politics and the NZ herald reports that Pacific Islanders are protesting about a iphone God game that allows you to create and kill people that resemble Pacific Islanders.

As the comments in game politics points out, we have games like Populous, Sim city and the Black and White series where you can create and kill citizens and even level cities. It's much more apparent in the Black and White series where you can actually pluck and fling citizens across the maps or feed them to your creature. We also have games like Galactic Civilizations and Master of Orion which regularly feature military domination and genocide as a possible victory condition. Finally in first person shooters we have games like Blood 2 and Duke Nukem 3D which have had their fair share of controversy but ultimately no one outside of gamers really care about now.

So I think it's a bit of a manufactured game controversy. Like my previous post on Faith Fighter, I wonder who actually directed people's attention to this? Did someone buy it on the iphone and show a family member or friend? Reading the article headlines, you will also notice the strong words of murder and torture to evoke a strong emotional response.

Reading the general game reviews around the net, the game is skewed towards being an evil deity and you get funnier reactions when you do evil things like tossing them into the volcano although maybe the reviewers preferred to be evil. Perhaps it was a bit insensitive to depict 'islanders' in such a way but I'm not sure how much different it is from the other games I've already mentioned above. Maybe they should have added more benevolent actions in the game or make the islanders purple skinned aliens instead?

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