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Old 08-07-2008, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default A bunch of hippies protesting against my work yesterday! (Article inside)

http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/08/...t-protest.html

Activists Protest America's Army Game With Songs and Stickers



Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ubisoft felt the full force of San Francisco's two dozen or so most dedicated daytime protesters Wednesday, as the mostly ruly mob descended upon the gamemaker's headquarters to have a good old-fashioned demonstration.

At issue was the company's Xbox 360 version of America's Army, the Department of Defense-funded shooter that purports to present a realistic simulation of military operations. The game, or so the logic went, is being used in violation of "international law" because its Teen rating allows children as young as 13 to play it. So, under the mantle of "Stop the Military Recruitment of Children," members of the group Bay Area Direct Action, fresh from staging a die-in at Rep. Nancy Pelosi's house, turned their attention to Ubisoft.

"They should go to Sega down the street and protest the 360 version of Sonic the Hedgehog," I said to Chris Baker, getting an early start on a running gag that I would use in various forms throughout the day.

We were standing in the middle of San Francisco's South Park, a raggedy little collection of grass, trees, dirt and the homeless that forms, if you will, the hole in the donut made up of all the cool tech companies that were still standing after the dot-com bubble burst. Besides Wired and Ubisoft, there's Secret Level and Gameloft -- both of whom were also implicated in the great America's Army child-soldier scandal, making South Park the perfect central location and a very convenient starting point for the March On Ubisoft that we were promised would follow.

Arriving on the scene, we arrived just in time to hear the first musical performance of the day, titled "The JROTC Rag." It went approximately like this:

Quote:
We don't care if you're gay anymore
Just more fodder for our war
In the JROTC
Wah wah wah
Trust me, that's not it, but it's close enough. At this point, people were passing out warning labels, stickers that they believe should be placed on any and all copies of the America's Army videogame. They go like this, exactly:


Quote:
Warning: The video game America's Army has been developed by the United States Army to recruit children under the age of 17 in violation of the U.N. Optional Protocol and international law. Combat service has been known to cause death, irreparable injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and lifelong feelings of overwhelming guilt.

Let's take a brief moment before we go on to address why this is, at least, logically bankrupt. If you actually read the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Combat, you'd see that it has exactly nothing to do with creating videogames or propaganda or anything at all aimed at convincing teenagers that a career in the military is awesome. It has everything to do with stopping the forced recruitment of children into armed conflict. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with the military's recruitment strategies, but calling America's Army a violation of the U.N. protocol is nonsense.

Back in South Park, another speaker took the microphone and said something to the effect of if America's Army is a "realistic" simulation of military life, why doesn't it include "a simulation of being raped by your superior officer"? I of course agree, and think that the people who made the Hot Coffee mod should get right on that.

At this point, more and more protesters were showing up in South Park, and I was sorely disappointed by the lack of clever signs. This was my first San Francisco protest, and all of the signs bore generic slogans that looked like they'd been to a dozen other protests just that week alone: "Shut Down the War Machine," "Troops Home Now," "Iran, Too, W?"

Where were the clever gaming puns? "CTRL-ALT-Delete This Game!" would be gold. And I only came up with that with like five seconds of thinking about it.

As another round of speakers, including San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, spoke about why they don't like JROTC, a man wearing a red South Park athletic shirt and a cigarette behind his ear walked up to the front of the crowd, raising his hand to speak. I don't know about anybody else, but I really, really wanted to hear what he had to say. But since the protest had not yet gotten to the Q&A portion, he was ignored. After a few minutes of standing with his hand in the air trying to get someone's attention, he walked away from South Park, his hands thrown up in the air in frustration.

I also would have left at this point, except for the promised March on Ubisoft. I started thinking about the march itself, which would be a lengthy, trying trek of almost two city blocks. The protesters had utterly failed me on the sign front. Would they at least have some good chants?

Quote:
Cancer, AIDS, lupus, rabies!
Not as bad as Imagine: Babyz
I tried to write some for them, but I couldn't muster their level of indignation about America's Army. I could, however, think of some other Ubisoft games that needed to be protested.

Cliff Notes: DIAF



There's more in the article, I didn't quote all of it
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:14 PM   #2
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Can we get free copies of Far Cry 2?
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:15 PM   #3
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It's a video game for chris's sake!

Aren't there more important issues to protest? seriously?
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:15 PM   #4
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we know where u work now
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:16 PM   #5
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It's great that you can't see the problem with a war being fought, in which seven Americans have died this month alone, and a company making a product that mimics this war, that is distributed as a recruitment tool for it.

I had this conversation with Cassie Vogel at Ubi in LA the other week. It's not like it's a secret that it's in very bad taste.

Last edited by St3fan; 08-07-2008 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:16 PM   #6
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Back in South Park, another speaker took the microphone and said something to the effect of if America's Army is a "realistic" simulation of military life, why doesn't it include "a simulation of being raped by your superior officer"? I of course agree, and think that the people who made the Hot Coffee mod should get right on that.
What's this about South Park?
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:16 PM   #8
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well, they're spot on about the game being used as a recruitment tool.

If you don't think it is, then you need to open your eyes a bit.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:17 PM   #9
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Have you been in the service? I don't recall reading that you have. You should have gone out there and said, "I LOVE GUNS. I LOVE SHOOT 'EM UP GAMES. I DIDN'T JOIN TEH ARMIEZ!!11!"
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satan View Post
well, they're spot on about the game being used as a recruitment tool.

If you don't think it is, then you need to open your eyes a bit.
Uh, why do you think we make the game? Of course we know that... There's a reason its the most realistic shooter game that exists... (Not in terms of graphics, but in terms of physics, health, controls, etc). They try to make it as realistic as possible which takes some of the fun factor out of it, but they want people to know that its not going to be some fake war game where you can get shot 40 times and have unrealistic weapons, etc...


But how is this different than recruiters recruiting people all the time? Those recruiters lie their mouths off, at least in the game its pretty realistic. Also, it's just a game... no where in the game do they tell you to join the army, etc... It's just a realistic simulation game... Yeah, thats a good way to put it, its a war simulator more than it is a game.

But yeah, I don't work for that product directly, more so indirectly, Im involved in many projects.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:22 PM   #11
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Oh, another thing thats funny is that Americas Army has NOTHING to do with Ubisoft... so those hippies just went to whatever video game place they could find and started protesting.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee View Post
Uh, why do you think we make the game? Of course we know that... There's a reason its the most realistic shooter game that exists... (Not in terms of graphics, but in terms of physics, health, controls, etc). They try to make it as realistic as possible which takes some of the fun factor out of it, but they want people to know that its not going to be some fake war game where you can get shot 40 times and have unrealistic weapons, etc...


But how is this different than recruiters recruiting people all the time? Those recruiters lie their mouths off, at least in the game its pretty realistic. Also, it's just a game... no where in the game do they tell you to join the army, etc... It's just a realistic simulation game... Yeah, thats a good way to put it, its a war simulator more than it is a game.

But yeah, I don't work for that product directly, more so indirectly, Im involved in many projects.

So then do you think that its ethical to give the game a Teen rating?
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
Have you been in the service? I don't recall reading that you have. You should have gone out there and said, "I LOVE GUNS. I LOVE SHOOT 'EM UP GAMES. I DIDN'T JOIN TEH ARMIEZ!!11!"
hahha, seriously. I HIGHLY doubt this game would make ANYONE join the army... People who join already want to join in some way. A recruiter has WAY more pull than this game does... This game is only like a reference took to get a better understanding of what you're getting into.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:25 PM   #14
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yvan eht nioj
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:25 PM   #15
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So then do you think that its ethical to give the game a Teen rating?
Do you play these types of games?
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by brucelee View Post
Oh, another thing thats funny is that Americas Army has NOTHING to do with Ubisoft... so those hippies just went to whatever video game place they could find and started protesting.
1. Ubisoft has published three America's Army games and co-developed all of them

2. The last one released was about six months ago

3. You are literally incapable of telling the truth
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:27 PM   #17
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I waiting for the tree hugging weed smoking simulator.

In the mean time I'll just have to keep playing:

http://mike.jamroll.net/heroinhero.swf
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
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So then do you think that its ethical to give the game a Teen rating?
Why wouldn't they? They were rated by the rating society, its not like AA assigned it to the teen rating. The game isn't really bloody or gory, there are MANY other FPS that are MUCH worse... Hitman being one of them.

Is it wrong for recruiters to go to high schools to recruit kids? When do you think people join the military? Typically when they are 18, its always been like this and you can argue about how bad our military system is, how morally wrong it is, but if it wasn't for that morally wrong military/gov't, you probably wouldn't be where you are right now.

War sucks, simple as that... If you don't want to join the military, then don't! There are a lot of people that want to serve this county, and who are you to tell them that its wrong? Basically thats what youre implying
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:28 PM   #19
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^ Fight time!
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleric View Post
Do you play these types of games?
I only ask not because of the level of violence, but because its a recruitment tool.

Its like making a cigarette game and giving it a Teen rating.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:30 PM   #21
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Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait.

Wait.



You work at Ubisoft?
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee View Post
Why wouldn't they? They were rated by the rating society, its not like AA assigned it to the teen rating. The game isn't really bloody or gory, there are MANY other FPS that are MUCH worse... Hitman being one of them.

Is it wrong for recruiters to go to high schools to recruit kids? When do you think people join the military? Typically when they are 18, its always been like this and you can argue about how bad our military system is, how morally wrong it is, but if it wasn't for that morally wrong military/gov't, you probably wouldn't be where you are right now.

War sucks, simple as that... If you don't want to join the military, then don't! There are a lot of people that want to serve this county, and who are you to tell them that its wrong? Basically thats what youre implying
did I blame the Gubment for giving it a Teen rating? I know that the ratings boards do that. But, if a recruitment tool is openly marketed towards minors, that's going against their own policy.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee View Post
Uh, why do you think we make the game?
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee View Post
Oh, another thing thats funny is that Americas Army has NOTHING to do with Ubisoft...


EDIT: Oh, nevermind. I thought you worked for Ubisoft. But now I know who your work for.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:31 PM   #24
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1. Ubisoft has published three America's Army games and co-developed all of them

2. The last one released was about six months ago

3. You are literally incapable of telling the truth
They dont make any of our stuff, all they do is distribution and such... we make the game for PC only, they are the ones that do it for X-box and such... We make it, and they sell it basically... So they have nothing to do with production. Make sense?
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:32 PM   #25
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You think?
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