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Kilgore Trout's blog

3:17 AM on 07.10.2009

Controversial Blog Ahoy! (What's Not Allowed In Games?)

An article on Kotaku caught my eye tonight, it's about a possible video game based on the events of the Underground Railroad. I'm not sure if the writer was being PC to keep his job or if he's just blatantly hypocritical.

I then read a good chunk of the comments left on the article, and oh boy, get this, people are actually outraged. Can you believe it? There's a lot of questions to ask, and guess what, here's a few.

1. Whatever happened to respecting the medium? Most media based on African slavery in America is generally received warmly. They depict a rough patch in human existence, which we all somehow find entertaining. We like to be moved. What makes a video game adaptation any different? I'd imagine they are offended because you'd be controlling the action, or maybe it's because video games are too trivial to draw out any emotions other than joy, rage, and chills? Whatever the reason, by being offended not by the finished product, but the concept itself all you're doing is kicking interactive media into a lower tier of entertainment.

2. Where do we draw the line? My first thought was the line was drawn at fact and fiction. All those games that depict bloodshed in a casual manner are alright because the isolated events never actually happened in reality, despite the fact that near identical events happen on a daily basis, right? Then I realized that no, that's not the division, because every week a game is released based on one of the various wars of human history. The problem is, we justify it because either the war has been glorified to death, or it took place too long ago for anyone to give an ass. What makes war more acceptable over other unpleasant historical events?

The point is, nobody would make a game based off slavery for the exciting gameplay. If treated with the proper respect for the target audience, any subject or event is grounds for game adaptation. So please, please, <i>please</i> don't be outraged, because if you are, you should have been a long time ago.   read

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