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Censorship First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Pakistan Boycotting Call of Duty, Medal of Honor Games 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-be-rude-to-your-host dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As first-person shooters have evolved, they've transitioned from using Nazis as the bad guys to more modern organizations, such as the Taliban. Two recent games, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Medal of Honor: Warfighter, have both shown the country of Pakistan in a very negative light, and now shopkeepers in the country are beginning to boycott the games. 'Saleem Memon, president of the All Pakistan CD, DVD, Audio Casette Traders and Manufacturers Association, said he had written to members ordering them not to stock the controversial games after receiving dozens of complaints. ... The latest installment of the Medal of Honor series opens with American Navy Seals coming ashore in Karachi docks on a mission to destroy a black market arms shipment. But when their detonation sets off a second, bigger explosion they realize they have stumbled on a much bigger terrorist plot, sparking a global manhunt. A chaotic car chase through the city follows amid warnings that the ISI — Pakistan's intelligence agency — is on the way. Mr. Memon added there was a danger children would be brainwashed into thinking foreign agents were at war inside Karachi, possibly leading them into the arms of militants. "These games show a misleading idea of what is happening in the city. You don't get the CIA all the way through Grand Theft Auto," he said.'"
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Pakistan Boycotting Call of Duty, Medal of Honor Games

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  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:22AM (#42666627)

    It'd probably be a bigger statement if he were selling legal copies

  • Humm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:23AM (#42666633) Homepage Journal

    Where was the most wanted terrorist hiding out again?

    • Re:Humm. (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:29AM (#42666669)

      Where was the most wanted terrorist hiding out again?

      Washington? Ohh that's right, Bush was a "Politician"

      • I love this moral equivalence bullshit. Can you elaborate ?

    • by kokoko1 (833247)
      London, DC
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:30AM (#42666677)

    Would shops in the US sell a video game showing the glorious jihadis blowing up Americans get sold in the US? The "sandn****r" guy above would probably blow a gasket.

    • by Apothem (1921856) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @05:18AM (#42667117)
      As a matter of fact, I bet they would. They'd probably try to market it for the shock factor and make millions!
      • by 1u3hr (530656)

        As a matter of fact, I bet they would.

        Get back to me when it actually is "a matter of fact".

        • by SvnLyrBrto (62138)

          There are plenty of games in which you can play as the Nazis, Imperial Japan, the Soviet Union in a hypothetical WW3, or even the confederacy during the civil war. And all of those are fairly universally considered to be the "bad guys". And Hitler and Stalin, in particular had body counts that OBL only matched in his wildest wet dreams.

          So do you really imagine that there's something special about "the terrorists" that it would be too controversial or in such poor taste that no game maker will ever go the

          • by 1u3hr (530656)

            There are plenty of games in which you can play as the Nazis, Imperial Japan, the Soviet Union in a hypothetical WW3

            All historic enemies, none current threats. All safely in the past.

            So do you really imagine that there's something special about "the terrorists"

            Apparently so, since no one has done it.

            I'm surprised that those games aren't here already.

            So, it is not a "matter of fact", it's just something you think might happen.

      • by flimflammer (956759) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @08:34AM (#42667975)

        Except for the issue that no game company would do something so controversial, and even if one had the balls, no publisher would touch it with a hundred foot pole. We can't even let kids die in video games. You really think a game about being a terrorist would actually get publishing deals?

        Shit would be all over the news how we're training kids to be terrorists and there would be all sorts of lobbying for it to get banned.

        It would be a goddamn nightmare.

        • by JTsyo (1338447)

          Except for the issue that no game company would do something so controversial, and even if one had the balls, no publisher would touch it with a hundred foot pole. We can't even let kids die in video games. You really think a game about being a terrorist would actually get publishing deals?

          Shit would be all over the news how we're training kids to be terrorists and there would be all sorts of lobbying for it to get banned.

          It would be a goddamn nightmare.

          Tell that to Commander Shepard. He was having nightmares through out ME3 after watching a kid die.

          • by Psyborgue (699890)
            He means that the main character can't kill kids (although there are exceptions -- if you've ever played Heavy Rain to the end, you'll know what I mean). The last game I remember you could do that (because I did it accidentally once) was Fallout (the original), and I think in the sequel you could as well. If you did, you got labeled a "child killer" and people would shun you. It's also possible in the turn based strategy game, Jagged Alliance 2, but again, if you do, the whole village you're trying to lib
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And they whined and bitched about "The Two Towers", especially since the two towers were towers held by the Forces of Evil.

    • by Hentes (2461350) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @08:35AM (#42667977)

      America gets destroyed in every other movie and nobody gets worked up because of it.

    • by asylumx (881307)
      Agreed, I was wondering why the game would even be distributed in Pakistan if Pakistan is the aggressor in the game. The distributor has to be out of their mind!
  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:35AM (#42666683) Journal

    Anybody have any info on the All Pakistan CD, DVD, Audio Casette Traders and Manufacturers Association? If I google it, all I get are links to different versions of this story. If a shopkeeper or group of shopkeepers decide they don't want to stock particular titles, that's a commercial decision they are perfectly entitled to take and - if they are part of a competitive marketplace and have competition who might decide differently - it doesn't really raise any freedom or censorship issues. Certainly, supermarkets in the US/UK have decided at times not to stock games which have the highest age-ratings, because they don't fit with their brand image or perceived clientelle. It doesn't matter, because you can still get the games from Amazon or another high-street retailer.

    If, on the other hand, this Association is some kind of Government standards-body, or if it's a trade-association which you have to be a member of if you want to sell games (giving it genuine market-control) then that's more serious.

    And as an aside, I'd note that plenty of games have sold well in the US despite having the Americans as either morally ambiguous or outright baddies (indeed, not to defend Call of Duty, but most of its games fall into the first of those categories) - and that here in the UK, being made into the baddies in games and films is pretty much standard fare.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I can assure you that if a game that showed american soldiers raping children and killing innocent people in Irak for fun were developed, nobody would ever publish or stock it. The download site would get DDOSed constantly too.

      Hell, even 100% proven, documented stuff like showing warrantless arrests with no trial in gitmo and torture would be a major no-no.

      You can't so thick you think otherwise.

      • Hell, even 100% proven, documented stuff like showing warrantless arrests with no trial in gitmo and torture would be a major no-no.

        You can't so thick you think otherwise.

        You've just given me a new game idea, Extraordinary Rendition: Vice City - Guantanamo edition.

      • by Bomazi (1875554) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @05:53AM (#42667253)

        Given that a simple comment from the Dixie Chicks along the line of "We are disappointed that Bush is from Texas" resulted in CD crushings (apparently they don't burn) and radio bans, you are probably right.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        You can "assure" all you like, but if it offered interesting gameplay and were hosted offshore, plenty of Americans would get if for the lulz.

        Americans LIKE lulz and frequently don't give a fuck who that offends.

        So long as the "raping" wasn't explicit (sex is evil, violence is not. I didn't make theat US cultural rule!) the violence would be fine.

    • by mjwx (966435)
      It's not a ban, it's a boycott.

      Anybody have any info on the All Pakistan CD, DVD, Audio Casette Traders and Manufacturers Association?

      Something tells me that this is an "Industry Association", as the summary suggests, of shopkeepers. I imagine them to be much like the RIAA with less lawyers and more AK47's.

      So the headline should really be "Pakistani shop keepers refuse to stock latest crappy COD game".

      The British comedian in my says they've chucked them in the curry.

      • I imagine them to be much like the RIAA with less lawyers and more AK47's.

        I don't know how many AKs MAFiAA have, but I doubt these guys have any. Contrary to popular perception, the average Pakistani probably hasn't even *seen* a gun.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Contrary to popular perception, the average Pakistani probably hasn't even *seen* a gun.

          Based on what? Their constitution [wikipedia.org] allows for gun ownership, and "There are an estimated 20 million firearms in public ownership, of which 7 million are registered among the country's population of 180 million.[8] The rate of private gun ownership is 11.6 firearms per 100 people".

          How could they have possible not at least seen a gun? The military tends to keep them on display from what I can tell from any news footage I'

      • So the headline should really be "Pakistani shop keepers refuse to stock latest crappy Codblops game".

        There. That's a lot more fun to say.

    • Stupid association of like ten shops in some god forsaken hood; I didn't even know it existed.

      Not related to govt at all. Ignore him, I assure you will get this shit in pirated in any damn place.

      I mean if his "ban" meant anything, you wouldn't be able to get risque stuff now, would you? Yet at 30 rupees a pop, you can get them quite easily.

  • To be fair... (Score:5, Informative)

    by matunos (1587263) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:42AM (#42666715)

    I don't see a lot of games released here in which you get to play a Pakistani agent conducting ops in the states.

    • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:52AM (#42666773)

      To be fair, we're not hiding bin laden at west point.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Because the United States is a (relatively) peaceful nation by comparison?
      Aren't these military simulation games supposed to be aiming at realism? And their target market has a lot of people who served in "military actions" in that part of the world.

      Maybe as soon as there's another war actually on the soil of the lower 48 states we'll get that Pakistani agent game.

      • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:49AM (#42666989)

        The United States has been at war, shooting and dropping bombs, for the better part of the last twenty years. Relatively peaceful?

        • The United States (geographical area) is relatively peaceful. The politicians who control the United States (political entity) are far from peaceful. GP was referring to the former as evidenced by his "war actually on the soil".

          • by 1u3hr (530656)

            The United States (geographical area) is relatively peaceful.

            Except for drug crime, gun murders, yes.

            • by Rockoon (1252108)

              Except for drug crime, gun murders, yes.

              One of the most popular game franchises in the history of the country is based precisely on crime and murder in the United States...

              ...proving the point that Americans will consume anything, so long as its a simulation curiously similar to real life.

              We just don't give a shit what others think that we should think. The main character in War Games, David L. Lightman, chose to play the Russians and nuke the fuck out of America. Nobody protested the movie, and none of you thought about this fact until just

        • It is akin to a boxer and a pugilist street fighter. Whilst damage is caused to the opponent, it is fine as long as there are rules.

          The US is the boxer and their opponent is the pugilist which is why the US will always get support.

          The UN plays the part of the referee but the referee doesn't always see the low blows...

          • by bikin (1113139)
            Actually, the referee sees the low blows, but then the boxer can veto any decision from the referee and all the referee can do is make some annoyed noises. I still have to figure a way to insert Don King in this analogy.
        • Re:To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by WGFCrafty (1062506) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @05:03AM (#42667069)
          Yes, relative to Pakistan, we are quite peaceful.

          They have an active insurgency in their tribal region as well as a cease-fire in place with India which is currently being violated on both sides, while covertly supporting an insurgency in Afghanistan. Oh, and supporting education for girls will get you shot in the head, even if you are an eleven year old girl!

          Are we peaceful?
          No.

          Relative to Pakistan?
          Uh, yes.
    • Probably because most game developers are Americans, catering to a primarily-American audience. Their aren't many games with Pakistani protagonists because Pakistanis don't write many games, and any they do write probably aren't localized for English.

  • Surely some of them have a taste for and can afford these games.

    Even if India's censorship is just as asinine sometimes, I can totally see them giving any game that paints Pakistan in a bad light a pass.

  • best approach (Score:4, Interesting)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposerNO@SPAMalum.mit.edu> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:52AM (#42666769) Homepage
    If Pakistanis want their country to cease to be viewed as a hotbed of terrorism, the best approach would be for them to stop supporting terrorism.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Their crap. Sheer and utter crap. I refuse to buy crap.

    Take that multi-billion dollar game franchises!

  • Big deal? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:15AM (#42666875)
    I remember playing "raid over Moscow" when I was a kid, which was a C64 game where you had to fly a bomber to the Kremlin, kill its guards, and blow it up. I suspect that it wouldn't sell well in the USSR, and that if somebody published the very same game today as "raid over Washington" replacing the Kremlin with the White House then it wouldn't sell well in the USA. People don't enjoy being offended, especially by propaganda, especially when it touches open wounds.
  • by Leo Sasquatch (977162) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:51AM (#42667005)
    If the games were set in fictitious countries, they'd get dinged for it. An interesting writing challenge for these games would be to anonymise the locations - in effect, to amplify the murky nature of the operations concerned. "We were down in South America somewhere, some rathole of a banana republic..." or "We'd been travelling upriver for a couple of days, heading deep into African jungle..." The original Bond books did it quite well - the idea that the top echelons of the various intelligence agencies had realised that they were all on the same side (i.e. the side that likes money and power in quite huge quantities) and were running their own organisation that wasn't based on or in any particular country. And they weren't going to let any grubby little politicians mess it up.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:55AM (#42667033)
    They follow the example of Muhammad impeccably, kidnapping and raping non-Muslim girls [dailymail.co.uk], terrorising non-Muslim countries [indiatimes.com], and even who oppose laws used to suppress non-Muslims. [jurist.org]
  • by ryzvonusef (1151717) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @05:22AM (#42667133) Journal

    I am from Pakistan, and all I can say is "LOL, a ban, haha, how cute"

    This is just a storm in a teacup situation; For one, now one gives a flying fuck, and secondly, pirates CDs for 30 rupees (~30 cents) each man, if one shop doesn't, you don't think there are 100 other shops in the same damn plaza who will provide it?Besides they haven't been able to stop outright *porn*, they will do something like this? Yeah right.

    Go back people, noting to see here, no one cares except some bourgeois who like to #TweetLikeABurger . Mr "Association President" just wanted the world to know that (a) He exists; and (b) Vote for me at the next association election!

    This isn't even news here, I didn't even know this was an issue (For once, Slashdot provides news on time!). We are more concerned over CNG (no fuel for cars, winter heaters or stoves), or the fact that the investigator who was investigating corruption charges against our PM conveniently committed suicide (The fact that there were signs of torture, or that he had sent SMS to pals regarding him being pressurised to change evidence is obviously unrelated.)

    Come on people, we are people of, what, 180 million? Most of whom can't even afford to feed them self, much less buy games. We are Hungry, cold, freezing and Immobile, not to mention without work. We have better thing to worry about, besides, no one can outdo us in cursing our nation, I am sure your games pale in comparison.

    • by andydread (758754)
      This is awesome thanks for this dose of reality.
    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      Be happy with the leaders you currently have. It could be much worse. As they say, the devil you know is better than the one you don't.
      • What sort of arrogant patronising bullshit is this? Be happy it's only rabidly corrupt people, other wise it could be *GASP* the mullahs! What difference does it make for us? One of our harshest laws was made not by a mullah but by the Prime-Minister elected from a Secular party, he sold out for some votes, does it make any difference?

        We are *actually* regressing backwards! We used to have plentiful electricity due to our big dams, plenty of fuel from our gas fields, people were poor, but damn, at least you

        • by Psyborgue (699890)
          We cooperate with the corrupt administrations only because you have them. Is it our fault Pakistan is corrupt? We're just playing into your system and it's in our interests to do so. We'll play ball with whoever is willing. We're not supporting so much as we're paying a tax to make sure your leaders aren't overtly hostile.

          If you want to roll the dice with a revolution and see what pops up, that's your concern, but if it results in overtly hostile actions against the US or our allies, I guarantee things
  • by shentino (1139071) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:19AM (#42667589)

    How would the US feel if a pakistani company was using the same sort of creative license to lampoon the NSA and the CIA?

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:00AM (#42668577) Journal

    I mean geez, it's not like helicopters of commandos are landing to storm armed compounds in the middle of cities, to kill the most wanted terrorist ever (who's been 'hiding' there in plain sight for years).

    Oh, wait...

  • by LifesABeach (234436) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:59PM (#42670673)
    "You don't get the CIA all the way through Grand Theft Auto," he said."

    Thanks for the game, and moive idea!

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