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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 @06:36AM (#33506776) Homepage

    Murdoch owns one of the largest media empires in the world []. 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!

  • by odies ( 1869886 ) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:38AM (#33506790)

    Exactly. What about just letting North Korea develop their country without interference from US again like with everything else? Just stop the stupid cyberwar bullshit and let them make freaking flash games. US is only making the cituation worse.

    It's also just the usual bullshit and propaganda how bad North Korea supposedly is for wanting to defend their own country. North Korea says US is bad and wants to destroy their country, US says North Korea is bad and wants to destroy their country. It's all just stupid propaganda, and because the other side does it the other has to do. It's like stupid kids playing.

    Truth is North Korea isn't even as bad as US and all news outlets try to draw it as. Take a travel there and see yourself [] - it's possible, you just have to book your trip maybe a month before and it most likely opens up your eyes. I'm not saying theres nothing wrong with North Korea, but it isn't like US paints it.

  • by migla ( 1099771 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:43AM (#33506816)

    Funny how there are two distinct ways of handling un-democratic countries. Either you trade with them to make them more democratic or you boycott them for not being democratic. You (A government + business) can't be wrong, either way. Very clever.

  • by odies ( 1869886 ) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:46AM (#33506824)

    A little more about traveling to North Korea. I'm living in Asia currently and as it's close to me, I plan to take a trip there this winter. During my life living in many countries I've learnt that prejudices are just those - prejudices. People always give a shittier picture about something, and when you see it yourself it's just different. That's why it's like sitting on your computer all day long and commenting on things you have absolutely no idea about - most news are onesided, and most people tell you onesided stories with extra things that might not even be true. That's why you have to see and do it yourself to actually know anything.

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

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:48AM (#33506836) Journal
    Same with China.
    Rants on Fox over democracy and freedom, $ in reality. []
  • by BiggerIsBetter ( 682164 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:51AM (#33506848)

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

  • Would I buy? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:09AM (#33506938) Homepage

    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 real way to prove either way. Thus singling out North Korea makes no sense.

    If it is produced in North Korea, how do I *KNOW* what the funds it generates are used to support? Do you know what ID Software spent your $29.99 on? Maybe they sent it to a Gay & Lesbian support group, or funded investment in an African orange grove, or maybe they actually did use it to buy one of their employees a hand gun - you have NO idea. Thus singling out a particular company in North Korea based on accusations and vague connections makes no sense.

    If it comes to my attention that a game is produced by a company who has other actions I disapprove of, will I stop buying the game? Well, I hate Sony. I disagree with most of their actions. Their involvement on a project might well kill it off in my mind. But it very much depends on their involvement and precisely which actions we're talking about, whether they affect my morals and whether or not that should be related to some other product they are producing. I disagree with Afghanistan growing opium, but does that mean I can't buy fruit from Afghanistan IN CASE some of the drug-money was used to sow the field in the first place? Or, surely, giving them an increased trade in other, more legitimate, goods will provide them an incentive to move away from growing opium? I have no idea. Thus singling out a particular game because of tenuous links to things I may not approve it by a single company in its production chain makes no sense.

    Assuming we KNOW that this software was written in North Korea. Assume that we KNOW that every company along the line knew this. Assume that we KNOW that the North Korean's are then taking those "trained" programmers and using them to program nuclear missiles. Does that mean I'd not buy the game? Still unlikely. The production of the game didn't make them program nuclear missiles (or whatever), someone else did. At some point someone clearly crossed the boundary between making a flash game and funding cyberwarfare. That's the person who is the problem, that's the person who should be asked probing questions. That's the part that the government needs to step in and stop ALL trade with that country, not half-assed this company is "good", this company is "bad" because it employs "X" crap.

    And I take offence at the tone of the submission. Trying to make me feel guilty by association is almost entirely racism. The article is trying to paint *all* North Korean activity (including programming a video game) as somehow evil. Would I buy it? If it was a good game that I was interested in, yes. Sadly I don't have an infinite lifetime in which to research every individual, company, funding source and country involved in the production of even a minor flash game. If you have a problem with North Korea, lobby for a blanket trade ban. Otherwise, please stop spreading such rampant discrimination because a newspaper company has a flash game on its website.

  • by sosume ( 680416 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:12AM (#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

  • Re:Would I buy? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:23AM (#33506982)

    You are not responsible for things you do not, or cannot, know. You are responsible for the things you do know. When possible, I prefer to not buy things made in North Korea (not hard to do given the dearth of NK exports) because their government oppresses my fellow Christians. Given the nature of their government, exported products provide serious support to their government. You could support trade with NK for exactly the same reason, and we'd both be right.

    Conscious reasoned actions are better than blind brain dead actions.

  • by DaRat ( 678130 ) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:33AM (#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...
  • Re:No suprise here (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @07:45AM (#33507058)

    Fox News specifically and News Corp in general exist to serve the agenda of their master, Rupert Murdoch and nothing else. It amazes me how many hate-spewing, pseudo intellectual, know-it-alls Fox news has generated in the US. Sensationalization and Fear mongering (Hannity & Beck) make for great ratings and revenue, but are they good for us as a society and do they improve humanity? If the state of discourse in the United States as any indication, the emphatic answer is "NO".

    Imagine the extent of damage of these so-called flash games on the Internet and networks connected to the Internet if they had a malicious intent, which is very sobering if you consider that Nosotek is supported by elements of the DPRK regime! I hear the sound of sucking machines diverting funds from online banking accounts to DPRK quickly changing their status from destitute to cash-rich nation. Brought to you by the not-so-good folks at News Corp.

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

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

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:15AM (#33507172) Journal

    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 longhairedgnome ( 610579 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:36AM (#33507282)
    The colonies?
  • Frothing Moonbats (Score:2, Insightful)

    by emh203 ( 815620 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:46AM (#33507336)
    Oh god, Rupert Murdoch among the moonbats at slashdot has now reached the same level of the "Illuminati" in the conspiracy nut circles.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:07AM (#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.
  • Republican outrage (Score:2, Insightful)

    by quacking duck ( 607555 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:33AM (#33507666)

    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 supporters? Can I get some outrage here? Just a little bit?

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:39AM (#33507728)

    First thing is food, health, education, a future; once you have all that, you can go with lesser important details like democracy.

    History strongly suggests that you can only have the former when you have the last. Dictatorships have a tendency to channel all resources for the benefit of the dictator, leading to ordinary people starving. It happened in France, it's happening in North Korea now.

    If you lack freedom, chances are that you'll soon lack everything else too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:51AM (#33508422)

    I doubt it - when I went to Florida they didn't take us on a trip across the water to see the American concentration camp - so if they don't do it in the free world, they're not going to do it in DRPK.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:55AM (#33508504)

    Alright, I'll call your bluff on that. What are some historical examples of democracy finding its way when the people are fed, healthy, and working and why would it have been different if the people were not fed, healthy, and working?

    Taiwan and South Korea are recent examples. This is happening today in places like Thailand and Iran. The recent riots in Bangkok and Tehran were not bread riots, they were about elections.

  • by sourcerror ( 1718066 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:04AM (#33508622)

    As a Hungarian I approve your post :)
    (no mod point yet, sorry)

Truth is free, but information costs.