When Games Get Used (By Actual Countries) For Propaganda
Here’s an interesting story which was shared with me earlier today by a certain Executive Editor, who felt that I had just the right amount of political incorrectness to talk about such a thing and make it interesting enough for the world to care. Am I allowed to talk about that here, Dean? Fuck it.
I sometimes jokingly claim that something is ‘communist propaganda’ because I heard something once (I quote: “The Smurfs is communist propaganda!” It is, by the way.) that made me laugh so I decided to use it as a sort of running joke. As an example, I would say that ironing clothes is communist propaganda, to justify my not wanting to do so. In gaming, I would perhaps claim that a certain game is communist propaganda, for no apparent reason whatsoever.
Well for once, I might actually be able to call something communist propaganda and have it mean something. Squee, etc.
Let’s get to the reason for this article, which is a propaganda video that was removed from the official North Korean YouTube channel at the request of publisher Activision. Apparently the enemy of my enemy, is not my friend. Or did I miss the part where both parties don’t actually hate humanity?
The video was created by the North Korean government and showed a sleeping man imagining the formation of a new world under a unified Korea (fat chance), dreaming up a New York city that is under missile bombardment. You know, like the picture above but with more haziness because it’s a dream.
Quick gamer test. Where is that picture above from? Yup, that’s right. You didn’t even have to think that long about it, did you? The picture above, as well as the footage depicted in the propaganda video, was ripped straight out of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. You know, that Activision published, Infinity Ward developed, title about World War 3 and most of the first world under attack, while an old man with handlebars smokes a cigar and says something with a British accent to sound cool.
“Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing,” reads a caption which is emblazoned over the scenes of destruction. “It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze with the fire started by itself.”
Sure thing, bro. Next you’ll be telling us New York is home to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who are really mutants probably related to the X-Men and so that justifies a nuclear invasion because who really likes pizza, anyway?
illest video, which was published on Saturday, was subsequently blocked on Tuesday after Activision’s successful complaint, which was all that you could see upon attempting to visit the link. The video was removed from the YouTube servers altogether, yesterday.
So now you know. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is communist propaganda.