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United States Games News Politics

Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games 186

eldavojohn writes "You might recall back in June when it was noted that North Korea was developing and exporting flash games. Now, the isolated nation state is apparently home to some game developers that are being published by a subsidiary of News Corp. (The games include Big Lebowski Bowling and Men In Black). Nosotek Joint Venture Company is treading on thin ice in the eyes of a few academics and specialists that claim the Fox News owner is 'working against US policy.' Concerns grow over the potential influx of cash, creating better programmers that are then leveraged into cyberwarfare capabilities. Nosotek said that 'training them to do games can't bring any harm.' The company asserts its innocence, though details on how much of the games were developed in North Korea are sparse. While one of the poorest nations in the world could clearly use the money, it remains to be seen if hardliner opponents like the United States will treat Nosotek (and parent company News Corp.) as if they're fostering the development of computer programmers inside the DPRK. The United Nations only stipulates that cash exchanged with companies in the DPRK cannot go to companies and businesses associated with military weaponry or the arms trade. Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"
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Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games

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  • No suprise here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:36AM (#33506776) Homepage

    Murdoch owns one of the largest media empires in the world [wikipedia.org]. Why wouldn't he work hand-in-hand with "the enemy"? Never mind the fact that Fox News has trounced the idea of speaking to dictators...but doing business with them is a-ok!

    • Re:No suprise here (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:48AM (#33506836) Journal
      Same with China.
      Rants on Fox over democracy and freedom, $ in reality.
      http://www.slate.com/id/2184197/ [slate.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )

      In all fairness, speaking to dictators and hiring some of the dictator's subjects as a labor force are somewhat different things.

      However, fox News pundits seem to be willing to bite the hand that feeds them, given that one of the major News Corp owners is also a big financial backer of the "Ground Zero Mosque".

      • In all fairness, speaking to dictators and hiring some of the dictator's subjects as a labor force are somewhat different things.

        In North Korea, the difference is not so large. It's no garden-variety dictatorship, it's a totalitarian state.

        • by DavidTC ( 10147 )


          Look, some restrictions on countries are stupid. Our Cuba restrictions are nonsensical.

          About 25% of Cubans work in the private sector. If we legalized trade with them, and only them, soon more of them would be. The private sector would grow, or, alternately, people would soon be demanding it does and the government would get less support. No trade with the Cuban government, or the government's socialized industries (Which currently means no cigars, as none of that is private.), but no trade at all

          • In Cuba, if you do not show up at work, you get fired.

            I don't know about Cuba, but many of the jokes people living in the eastern bloc made were about low work morale. I don't think they got fired that easily, unless they slacked so much they were actually seen as troublemakers :)

    • One amendment... News Corp doing business with North Korea is a-ok. They would roast any other company doing so.

      Think about how Fox News would treat a company that has significant ownership by a Muslim stockholder with that stockholder donating to the group building the Cordoba Center (the one Fox News called the "gound-zero mosque"), and deals with North Korea. My guess is that their description would hint at terrorism. If you have not guessed what corporation might fit this description, that's right,
  • Programmers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarkIye ( 875062 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:46AM (#33506822) Journal
    Having coded ActionScript, I can say that the claim their programmers will be improving their skills with the experience is bollocks.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Terrorist and AMERICA hater.

    He is a traitor and must be dealt with severely.

    I say we should find some backwards, barren, outoftheway continent with a bunch of freaky animals to send him to...but where?!? Where?!?

    Does anybody know of such a place?

  • by BiggerIsBetter ( 682164 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:51AM (#33506848)

    Frankly, I'm more concerned about News Corp than I am about North Korea.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:07AM (#33507480)
      And I'm more concerned about China than either. And the U.S. government certainly doesn't seem to have any problem with U.S. companies exporting all their computer jobs there.
      • From a national security standpoint, I'm more concerned with Pakistan than Iran, NK, or anyone else. The majority of experts agree that the most likely national security threat to the US (I'm talking about academics and foreign policy experts, not politicians) is the potential for a radical element to get its hands on Paki nukes. Iran doesn't even have the bomb yet, but we keep on focusing on them, in the meantime, Pakistan has enough material to produce 60 to 100 weapons grade nukes...

  • by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:54AM (#33506864) Journal

    Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?

    Well, considering I feel that flash games are an idiotic waste of my time, this revelation doesn't change matters much.

  • by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:57AM (#33506884)

    Is it currently illegal for a US company to trade with North Korea?

    Is it illegal for a multi-national which does business in the US to do so?

  • Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?

    well based on the name and that it's flash based, I'm inclined to think that it sucks, horribly. So the answer is No, I wouldn't feel differently knowing that it came from NK because I don't beleve that will make the game any better

  • I run a bit of a North Korean news aggregation and info site. I posted a few weeks ago about a state-run newspaper site, uriminzokkiri.com, that hosts a number of North Korean made flash games you can play in your browser. Some of them are actually pretty fun! Links to the games, writeup and game descriptions can be found here: http://www.reasonableman.net/archives/250 [reasonableman.net] The best part is, none of the corporate web blocking apps out there are restricting a North Korean website! :)
  • sounds like murdoch (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:09AM (#33506936)
    As is always the case with Rupert Murdoch, why be content just riling up people on one side of a conflict when you can just as easily be profiting from both side? He does this time and time again, yet people always seem surprised when he does it.
  • Would I buy? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 )

    Would I buy a computer game knowing it came from North Korea?

    Break the question down before you even think about answering it - how do I know if something has been programmed in, made in, assembled in, or had any other part of its production process in North Korea, or anywhere else for that matter? Where was Doom 3 programmed? Does it use code written by slave children in India who are force-fed C++ classes instead of their normal education, paid 1p a day and beaten regularly? I have *no* idea and no re

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      how do I know if something has been programmed in, made in, assembled in, or had any other part of its production process in North Korea

      In this specific case, you do know, so I don't see what your point is.

      If it is produced in North Korea, how do I *KNOW* what the funds it generates are used to support?

      If it's produced in North Korea, then it's a pretty safe bet that the money is used to support the North Korean government. Otherwise, the government would have never agreed to export it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And I take offence at the tone of the submission. Trying to make me feel guilty by association is almost entirely racism.

      Racism? Really?

      Probably a quarter of the electronics in my house are Korean. My washing machine is, the optical drives in my computers are, the stereo amp is... the list goes on. I don't think twice about buying Korean goods.

      South Korean goods. Never North.

      Is that racist? Against whom, exactly? 'North Korean' isn't a race, it's a political demarcation. I'm not aware of any major genetic differences between the two Koreas having developed since the armistice, and last time I checked, a fundamental bel

  • The dude would abide!

  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:11AM (#33506952)

    In A.D. 2010
            Flash game was beginning.

            America: What happen?
            Slashdotter: Somebody set up us the bomb.
            Operator: We get signal.
            America: What!
            Operator: Main screen turn on.
            America: It's You!!
            North Korea: How are you gentlemen!!
            North Korea: All your base are belong to us.
            North Korea: You are on the way to destruction.
            America: What you say!!
            North Korea: You have no chance to survive make your time.
            North Korea: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....
            Operator: Captain!!
            America: Take off every 'Zig'!!
            America: You know what you doing.
            America: Move 'Zig'.
            America: For great justice.

    In commie Korea, games create you!

  • by sosume ( 680416 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:12AM (#33506962) Journal

    MEMO --

    New ownership means new rules. Therefore:
    - each bug found in production code, means a month of hard labor for the responsible engineers and their entire family
    - no more internets for you!
    - each comment in your code should contain a reference to our glorious leader

    We hope these new rules will everyone more happy and more productive!

    -- K. Jong Il, VP

  • by Froomb ( 100183 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:26AM (#33506990)

    Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

    How would you feel about Pocqhontas and the Lion King? In some fields [speroforum.com], North Korea has surprising expertise.

    • Suddenly Flash gaming makes a whole lot of sense for them -- Flash isn't programming, it's animation + glue logic.

      North Korea will soon dominate the market, and Jobs will rebrand the iOS Flash ban as a blow for democratic freedom.


    • Not that surprising. Some skills are in high-demand in a totalitarian state. I know the moment it opens up, I'm going to pick up a couple of mass demonstration coreographers for cheap.

  • by DaRat ( 678130 ) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:33AM (#33507014)
    What'll be interesting to me is what, if anything, Fox News has to say about this offshoring. I suspect that if one of the other media companies would do the same thing, there would be considerable outrage. In the case of one's parent company, well...
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Depends who is selling and what
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/09/nuclear.northkorea [guardian.co.uk]
    • Nothing, really. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by panda ( 10044 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:56AM (#33507100) Homepage Journal

      Fox News is a subsidiary of News Corp., but you know that. They won't mention it.

      It would be funny if this is illegal and Murdoch and his corporations are brought up on charges of providing aid and comfort to the enemy. It would be very funny, but it won't happen.

      I think every news network should trumpet this news. That the parent corporation of Fox News is doing business with .... Communists! And not the "good" communists in China, either, but the crazy, "We want to nuke the world," "our leader is a divinity to be worshipped," communists of North Korea.

  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:55AM (#33507088)

    Please name one boycott / trade restriction that has worked. We (the USA) have been embargoing Cuba for almost 50 years, Iran for 30, North Korea for almost 60 years. We boycotted the People's Republic of China for some 25 years (and that was a real strict boycott, comparable to the current one against the North Korea). And, of course, our oil boycott of Japan in the early 1940's lead directly to Pearl Harbor.

    After literally centuries of cumulative experience running boycotts and embargoes against various bad actors, have they ever served their purpose ? These are the foreign policy equivalent of the drug war - most people know that they are doing no good, but for some reason it is impossible to act rationally and admit it.

    • This is something I have long wondered. Why do we keep doing boycotts and trade embargoes? It seems to me that, when you restrict trade between nations, (1) people on both sides lose (less competition/choice/availability of products), (2) the powerful will still be able to do and get what they want, (3) you make people angry, (4) you make yourself a target for fingerpointing, and (5) you are going against the idea that trade promotes peace (e.g. China and the USA going to war would be an economic disaster f

    • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:47AM (#33507344)

      Please name one boycott / trade restriction that has worked. [...] And, of course, our oil boycott of Japan in the early 1940's lead directly to Pearl Harbor

      Which led directly to the US/Japanese conflict during WWII, which led directly to a change of regime in Japan that eliminated and undid the imperialist/expansionist behaviour that had been the original reason for that embargo. You just killed your own thesis with a counterexample.

    • Please name one boycott / trade restriction that has worked.

      The Atlantic slave trade was ended in large part because of a sugar boycott by consumers in Britain.

      South African Apartheid ended after a very long boycott. It is arguable how much the boycott helped.

    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 )

      Is the goal regime change, or is it to avoid supporting unethical and/or immoral behavior?

      In this particular example, is the problem that News is propping up the regime, or that News is profiting off of the reprehensible treatment of North Korean workers?

    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      We banned trading luxuries with North Korea a few years ago, on the theory that it would stop the Dear Leader from keeping his generals and other senior advisers happy. It got their attention quickly and they quit doing whatever they were doing at the time.

  • New Axis of Evil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Diamon ( 13013 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:01AM (#33507120)

    FOX has now been linked with North Korea and the Ground Zero Imam. They've clearly taken over Iraq's place in the Axis of Evil. When do we invade?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomhudson ( 43916 )

      FOX has now been linked with North Korea and the Ground Zero Imam. They've clearly taken over Iraq's place in the Axis of Evil. When do we invade?

      Maybe North Korea will make a game that lets you bomb NewsCorp and Fox.

      Do you play the game or not? Some people would be *so* conflicted ...

    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

      FOX has now been linked with North Korea and the Ground Zero Imam. They've clearly taken over Iraq's place in the Axis of Evil. When do we invade?

      At the "News at 11" time?

  • a lot of ins a lot of outs... a lot of wha-have-yous... a lot of strands... a lot of strands in the old duder's head.

  • I know many media companies have ringers on /. to catch news stories and push the corporate-propaganda. This /. topic has a few Fox-NK dogma propagandist.

    The rulers of NK are very bad/evil. NK has a large border with China and a small border with Russia. IOFW+IMFO: NK is intentionally closed and oppressive, and dummy Fox-Rupert either lies or has an agenda to assert the rights of global-companies to have their own internationally recognized Fox-Rupert State Department.

    IOW: It is a fyck US and EU, because NK

  • Always taking shots at Fox News. By the way, News Corp owns the Wall Street Journal; National Geographic Channel; IGN; and part of Hulu. IGN is way more notable than Fox News, never mind WSJ.
  • Frothing Moonbats (Score:2, Insightful)

    by emh203 ( 815620 )
    Oh god, Rupert Murdoch among the moonbats at slashdot has now reached the same level of the "Illuminati" in the conspiracy nut circles.
  • rupert murdoch is basically the capitalist version of kim jong il, so why would he give a crap about any of this, as long as he gets the dollars
  • The real question is where is the Republican outrage that a US megacorp is dealing with a crazed nuke-happy communist regime?

    Right-wing media outlets would be all over any "liberal" organization (US or otherwise) that would dare deal with North Korea, or even the relatively benign Cuba, the rationale being that any business run in a communist country is majority-owned by the government itself so paying them therefore directly aids and abets that government.

    Hello? Republicans congresscritters and their suppo

    • As a Republican, I've always thought Rupert was despicable. He's a national sell-out, including his own soul if he has one. So yes, I fully expect Fox News to cover this story. Will they ever? I doubt it. Not a single mega news corp will ever bite the hand that feeds. Not one!

      And you all thought there was still journalistic integrity? Ya right, not in my lifetime. Look up "Drive by media".

  • Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?

    Not really; however, knowing that Rupert Murdoch makes money from it certainly does.

  • Microsoft is a large corporation with many divisions. Sometimes these divisions operate with competing goals. That's the way most large companies are. And when Bill Gates was CEO, there was no way he could know everything that was going on in the company. Likewise, News Corp is a company. And there's no way the Murdoch keeps up with everything that every dept is doing. Putting his name in the title of this story (instead of "News Corp" or "Nosotek") is just flamebait.

  • A-ha! So *this* is the real reason Steve Jobs won't allow Flash on the iPhone and iOS devices.

  • Murdoch supporting north korea proves it.
  • In James Bond's film "Die Another Day", the villain is a media mogul that is actually a North Korean hidden agent.

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)