Muslim Should Not Equal Villain

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BloodSquirrel:

Saladin Ahmed:

3) A number of comments seem to basically start 'Well, until muslims stand up and refute the extremists...' So let me ask you: if you're white, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the actions of the KKK? If you're Christian, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the nutjobs that bomb abortion clinics? If you're American, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the actions of a few soldiers at Abu Ghraib? Probably not. (See http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2010/08/please-forgive-me-for-the-actions-of-extremists-i-have-never-met-who-commit-acts-of-violence-that-i-.html)

We didn't just write an article complaining about how the KKK is always portrayed as villains instead of being shown as sympathetic, nuanced human beings.

You're asking for it both ways. You don't want to disown muslim extremists and admit that they are the bad guys, but you don't want to be assocaited with them either.

No, that's not at all what's going on here. The analogous situation would be if we wrote an article complaining about how all Christians are always portrayed as KKK members who bomb abortion clinics instead of being portrayed as sympathetic nuanced human beings. At no point did he say a game should be made showing the Taliban or Al-Qaeda as sympathetic. He said Muslims. Those are not synonymous.

He has disowned Muslim extremists, his article is about the fact that there are tons of Muslims who are not extremists, they just are never represented in media. He just doesn't want to begin every sentence with the statement "I'm a Muslim, but I'm not a terrorist and I don't support terrorism and I don't think those people really are Muslims, so with that in mind, here is my point" just like Christians don't want to start every sentence with "I'm a Christian, but I'm not a member of the KKK, I don't think the world is only 6,000 years old, I don't think Harry Potter is devil worship and intrinsically evil, or that gays, disobedient wives, and pagans should be killed."

Please try to think through how the analogy works, you're coming across as a bigot that can't separate "Muslim" from "Terrorist," when those terms are not inherently connected. Most Muslims are not terrorists and most terrorists are not Muslim.

While I think that Orientalist (in the Saidian sense) tendencies are at work in videogames (because, let's face it, you can't expect western culture to escape 2500 years of cultural tradition), you are being unfair towards America's Army.

The OPFOR (note how they are called 'Opposing Forces' and not 'Muslim Terrorists') are indeed armed with AK-47's and rocket launchers, but they are as faceless and backgroundless as the American soldier you control. The assumption that they are muslim might be correct, but the suggestion that this inherently portrays islam as the enemy is ridiculous.

Also, you can play as a "muslim" in quite a number of maps.

Fr33Kye:

KKK isnt a religion with quite a bit of people belonging to it.

The KKK is a religious organization, just as the Taliban and various islamic terrorist groups. Also, it's Saladin's analogy.

Fr33Kye:

Also there would be an issue of the only depiction of white people where in white sheets getting shot at.

White people are the villians just as often as any other race.

I agree that Aladdin is terribly racist.

Making a realistic game means casting an enemy that is/has been fought in a real war, IE russians/germans/japanese/arabs and a popular war that people of heard of, think about or whatever. None of the games you have mentioned defame muslims in any way they merely depict fact, Western forces are fighting Middle Eastern forces.

It just so happens that most modern games are made in America so you play from their viewpoint.

Again this article tries to fit an extremely complex issue of the islamophobic tendencies of a minority of dicks into the context of videogames and it doesn't work because gamers aren't logging on going "yeah im going to shoot me some muslims" they are logging on saying "yeah I'm going to kick some ass"

Islamophobia does exist and is terrible, I hate it, there was a rumour in England that England flags were banned during the world cup incase it offended muslims, A complete fabrication by a tabloid newspaper, I was infuriated at the ignorance and hate speech that ensued by ignorant xenophobic uneducated zealots raging against the Political Correctness camp over something made up, even after it was confirmed to be a hoax.

This does not mean that the game devs are thinking "mwahahaha now to convince the american people that muslims are evil! mwahahaha!"

They are simply a plausible opponent. Trying to cram the race debacle into videogames without first thinking about context is silly.

GothmogII:
You know, I'm currently reading The Arabian Nights as translated by Husain Haddawy, while the morals on display are certainly a little...outdated, (see: King Shayrayar and King Shahzaman killing their wives for cheating on them, and then being forced to have sex with the wife of a demon...yeah, which of course is only the prologue, and starts off Shayrayar's subsequent new wife killings and meeting Shahrazad. Fun stuff though.) it'd certainly be something fascinating to tap into and make a videogame out of, maybe a RPG?

Okay..maybe not the best source to get a 'good' Arab character out of

Yeah, Haddaway's translation is top-notch. And I would freaking LOVE a good Bioware or Bethesda-ish Arabian Nights RPG. One where you had the option to act heroically or villainously or a mix of both.

BloodSquirrel:

Saladin Ahmed:

3) A number of comments seem to basically start 'Well, until muslims stand up and refute the extremists...' So let me ask you: if you're white, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the actions of the KKK? If you're Christian, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the nutjobs that bomb abortion clinics? If you're American, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the actions of a few soldiers at Abu Ghraib? Probably not. (See http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2010/08/please-forgive-me-for-the-actions-of-extremists-i-have-never-met-who-commit-acts-of-violence-that-i-.html)

We didn't just write an article complaining about how the KKK is always portrayed as villains instead of being shown as sympathetic, nuanced human beings.

You're asking for it both ways. You don't want to disown muslim extremists and admit that they are the bad guys, but you don't want to be assocaited with them either.

No, but you did just comment on it. Thus you might have well have written an article complaining about how minorities are always complaining about being oppressed or misrepresented.

OT: While I do think that there is a lot of stereotyping in video games, hell, media in general, but I also believe that this is the nature of the beast. For good or ill, we humans seem to derive entertainment from such scenarios as blowing terrorists to hell. It seems radical middle eastern men are just the current flavor of the day. I don't think this is intended to insult. Because quite frankly, you can find racism EVERYWHERE if you try. Even when there isn't any. You make an excellent point, but personally, I do not believe that the stereotyping is an attack on Muslims, I think it is filling the eternal "bad guy" role for this current iteration of games. For good or ill.

BloodSquirrel:

Fr33Kye:

KKK isnt a religion with quite a bit of people belonging to it.

The KKK is a religious organization, just as the Taliban and various islamic terrorist groups. Also, it's Saladin's analogy.

Fr33Kye:

Also there would be an issue of the only depiction of white people where in white sheets getting shot at.

White people are the villians just as often as any other race.

Sorry i erased what i posted once someone else had already responded to it. The last thing i said was a hypothetical. Obviously thats not how things are, but there would be a problem if that was the only depiction of white people. Yea the KKK is a religious organization you're right about that but its still not a religion. Yes its true that in most video games you are not being told to shoot at Muslims you are being to shoot at terrorist that are clearly Arab. The author is both muslim and arab so if thats the main depiction of arab people, that bothers him as well. What i'm saying is that the article is about race as well.

There are just as many whites as bad guys as any other race, so please get more offended from nothing.

This guy makes a very good point. But it is also true that Americans do the exact same thing with russians, germans, japanese, chinese, south americans, africans, etc. Infact they constantly use racial stereotypes in games and movies for pretty much every single country. It always has to be the American that is the good guy.

Thats just how the american culture is and how they like their entertainment. Its because alot of them are an ignorant people and actually believe that all middle easterers are terrorists and all the other stereotypes.

I agree that it has to change and it actually is slowly changing. Although the vast majority of games/movies give in to the stereo types more and more are going against the trend. Im actually dissapointed you didnt mention Kingdom of Heaven. Its a great movie that doesnt depict the arabs as the bad guys at all.

That was an interesting article. Thanks.

...

Also, Saladin is an awesome name.

bojac6:

No, that's not at all what's going on here. The analogous situation would be if we wrote an article complaining about how all Christians are always portrayed as KKK members who bomb abortion clinics instead of being portrayed as sympathetic nuanced human beings. At no point did he say a game should be made showing the Taliban or Al-Qaeda as sympathetic. He said Muslims. Those are not synonymous.

The games he's complaing about are explicitly about fighting organizations like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. They're not about going up to a bunch of random muslims and starting a fight. If anyone here is treating them as synonymous, it's him.

Moreover, think about your own analogy a little bit: If somebody made a game about fighting the KKK, would it be reasonable for me to write an article about how it portrays all Christians as KKK members?

bojac6:

He has disowned Muslim extremists, his article is about the fact that there are tons of Muslims who are not extremists, they just are never represented in media. He just doesn't want to begin every sentence with the statement "I'm a Muslim, but I'm not a terrorist and I don't support terrorism and I don't think those people really are Muslims, so with that in mind, here is my point" just like Christians don't want to start every sentence with "I'm a Christian, but I'm not a member of the KKK, I don't think the world is only 6,000 years old, I don't think Harry Potter is devil worship and intrinsically evil, or that gays, disobedient wives, and pagans should be killed."

The problem is that he's claiming to disown them in one breath then complain about them being portrayed as villians in the next. Is it ok for the Taliban to be villians or not? If not, why not?

bojac6:

Please try to think through how the analogy works, you're coming across as a bigot that can't separate "Muslim" from "Terrorist," when those terms are not inherently connected. Most Muslims are not terrorists and most terrorists are not Muslim.

I've put more thought into this than you have. Please refrain from namecalling.

JourneyThroughHell:

As a Russian, I can only give you the following advice. Those are games. They depict bad guys. Every community has bad guys. If you know that your community has the same percentage of them as other ones, why should fiction bother you?

And this type of media is primarily for entertainment. Not to get some kind of message across.

BloodSquirrel:

Moreover, think about your own analogy a little bit: If somebody made a game about fighting the KKK, would it be reasonable for me to write an article about how it portrays all Christians as KKK members?

Dude once again if it was one game there would be no point in the article. The point is that its the main depiction of Arab people in video games.

BloodSquirrel:

The problem is that he's claiming to disown them in one breath then complain about them being portrayed as villians in the next. Is it ok for the Taliban to be villians or not? If not, why not?

He's not complaining about taliban being portrayed as villains he's talking about arabs only being portrayed as taliban.

yes i know you werent responding to me.
It doesnt bother me that the taliban is the bad guy of the current games, thats just the way it is but the reason for the article is because when you see an arab in a video game he is most likely shooting at you in a turban.

Le Tueur:
There are just as many whites as bad guys as any other race, so please get more offended from nothing.

But how many not-white (or, more to the point here, Arab or Muslim) HEROES are there in games?
Having lots of white villains isn't an issue if you've got lots of white heroes balancing things out...

Seventh Actuality:
Sorry, but this kind of one-sided examination of an issue never helps anything. A long list of games that depict Muslims unfairly (and you're probably right to say most of them do) can't hope to get people really thinking.

I'm loathe to say you've got to look at the whole issue, since the whole issue here goes way beyond just videogames, but this needs balance - a word from the developers of those games, a non-Muslim perspective - to be in any way meaningful.

I find it interesting that, while this is the only article in today's issue I actually found any merit in, it's also the only one receiving significant criticism for being "too one-sided". Perhaps he has more of a point about vilification of Islam in the west than you yourself realise?. Frankly, I don't give a crap what a middle class white guy like me has to say about race, I can get that perspective anywhere; I'm interested in what the people actually affected think.

OP: Bravo, well thought-out article, and I enjoyed Assassin's Creed for the very same reasons; it was nice to see a nuanced presentation of the period.

While I get that there hasn't been a whole lot (any?) of current titles with Muslim people defined as anything other then "the bad guy" I don't think many if any titles have gone out of their way to make a compareson such as the OP is alluding to.

[shrug] when it comes down to it you pander to your audience. If the IT outsourcing surge ever dies down in India (as an example) the people there might start up some game studios where we have Indian people as the protagonists. Same with the Muslim community, in the end it all falls down to who is making the game, and who their target audience is.

Saladin Ahmed:

I think you're going pretty far afield of my actual words here. As others seem to have picked up on, I'm not saying we shouldn't ever have Muslim villains in videogames. I didn't sya a thing about real-world terrorism in the article.

You're bringing up games that are about real-world terrorism.

Saladin Ahmed:

But if ALL we have is 2-dimensional portrayals of what is, in real life, a complex conflict, then we end up ignoring the context you're supposedly interested in. There's room for more nuance in games, and saying so isn't the same as saying "it's the evil American pig-dogs that are the real monsters!" In a recent interview with actual US military guys about the 'play as the Taliban' multiplayer option in the new Medal of Honor title, one soldier said:

"Games such as MW2 teach the player that it is heroic to play as a nearly invincible shooting machine mowing down brown-skinned people who spout off culturally stereotypical platitudes and die in droves before the player's corporately licensed wrath (i.e. the weapons actually having the correct names such as M4A1, Spectre Gunships, and wearing copywritten ACU patterns). Portraying the conflicts in such a manner cheapens the deaths of all those who have died on both sides of the conflicts."

You are completely ignoring my actual post.

Full Spectrum Warrior is a game about military tactics. It doesn't have story. It doesn't characterize any of the actors involve. It is, in fact, a realistic look at warfare: you don't know the guys who are shooting at you, and they don't know you.

Now, ansnwer my quetions from before: What do you want the badguys to do? Stop and spout out their life story?

Your haphazard characterization of games that it doesn't sound like you've even played in your rush to demand 'nuance' is representative of a 'push my personal politics into your game, regardless of whether or not they fit' attitude.

BloodSquirrel:

The games he's complaing about are explicitly about fighting organizations like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. They're not about going up to a bunch of random muslims and starting a fight. If anyone here is treating them as synonymous, it's him.

That is exactly his point, most games with Muslims portray them as members of the Taliban. There is no helpful Arab in MW2, just people to shoot. Games like Assassin's Creed portray a broad spectrum of people from both sides of the war, and Saladin compliments the game for it. Here, they are not just generic bad guys. But AC is a exception, not the rule.

Moreover, think about your own analogy a little bit: If somebody made a game about fighting the KKK, would it be reasonable for me to write an article about how it portrays all Christians as KKK members?

If, in almost every game, the only way Christians were ever portrayed were as KKK members, it would be entirely reasonable. He's not pointing to one example, he's pointing to many.

BloodSquirrel:

The problem is that he's claiming to disown them in one breath then complain about them being portrayed as villians in the next. Is it ok for the Taliban to be villians or not? If not, why not?

He's not complaining about Taliban being portrayed as villains, he's complaining about all Muslims being portrayed as members and supporters of the Taliban. He's not asking for a game about a heroic Muslim terrorist, he's asking for a game about a heroic Muslim. You're confusing the terms again, he wants there to be "good guy" Muslims, that does not necessitate "good guy" Taliban members.

I'm not name calling, your argument is based on the premise that for a Muslim to be a good guy, you would have to be portraying a Muslim extremist as a good guy.

Scrumpmonkey:

Saladin Ahmed:

Scrumpmonkey:
It dosen't help that most of the muslim world considers music unsuitable for muslims nevermind videogames.

This just plain isn't true. I think claims like these are part of the problem that crops up when the US media basically resorts to a fundamentalists = most Muslims equation. Type in "Arabic music" in google and you get literally millions of hits. "Pakistani music" gives you hundreds of thousands. Yes, like with every religion, there are a handful of jerkoffs who try to tell people not to have a good time, but they're not anything like 'most' of the Muslim world -- they're not even a sizable minority.

"Music is Haraam

References within the context of the Holy Qur`aan along with the Hadith of the Prophet Sallalahu alihi wa sallam (Peace be upon him) confirm that music is haraam.
Interpreters of the Qur`aan have defined the term `lahwal hadith` which is mentioned in the Qur`aan as:

1) Singing and listening to songs.
2) Purchasing of male and female singers.
3) Purchase of instruments of fun and amusement. "

A LOT of muslims even here in the UK consider this to be the case. Saying that it "simply isn't ture" ....Simply isn't true.

Hoo boy.
Are you ever so annoying.
A majority of muslims don't really buy that translation because it doesn't make sense. Readings of the Quran are often done with a singing voice. So what, now the word of God is going to send us straight to hell?

The thing is, hadiths are never, ever able to tell you what is haram (explicitly forbidden) or halal (allowed). Only the Quran itself is, and lahwal hadith means idle tales, not music, songs, etc.
Now I don't want to get deeper into it, because you obviously didn't want to search more than the first page of google (yes, that thing is copy pasted into so many things it's ridiculous), but suffice to say there are hadiths where music is encouraged, or at least allowed.

Now, on to the article itself: I believe all these knee-jerk responses are because of the fact, that people just don't want to realize what effects media have.

The point of the article (if I understood correctly) isn't that enemies are often muslim. It's that muslims are (almost) always enemies. They are your foes. It doesn't matter if there are worse things than muslims, it doesn't matter if they're not that dangerous, you just have to remember they are your foe.

Why are people trying to get muslims like me (oh, I'd love it if people would stop calling us "moderates") to apologize for the Taliban? Fuck those guys, they're the real heretics. The true blasphemers. Those who twist the word of God to serve their own agenda. I don't even want to remember them.
If you at any point think I am associated to them or think I need to answer to you because I happen to follow the religion they corrupt, then I have nothing to discuss with you.

Apologies for the harsh tone, by the way. I really liked the article and I'm tired of uninformed (googling "bad things about Islam for use on the internet" is not being knowledgeable) people thinking they're superior to any religious man or woman.
Also, I'm really, really hungry. Why does the Earth have to face the other way from the sun for so long? :(

EDIT: I just realized I didn't comment much on the article. I really have a short temper :/

An easy way MoH could get rid of all that controversy is to rename the Taliban something like Nabilat, but the controversy is what will make it sell so they won't.

Anyone else notice Disney heroes tend to have American accents and the villians have foreign ones?

Saladin Ahmed:

3) A number of comments seem to basically start 'Well, until muslims stand up and refute the extremists...' So let me ask you: if you're white, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the actions of the KKK? If you're Christian, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the nutjobs that bomb abortion clinics? If you're American, do you feel the need to constantly apologize for the actions of a few soldiers at Abu Ghraib? Probably not. (See http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2010/08/please-forgive-me-for-the-actions-of-extremists-i-have-never-met-who-commit-acts-of-violence-that-i-.html)

Christianity has its share of extremists, but generally speaking they aren't the ones running major countries claiming to represent Christianity, which is more than can be said for nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, etc.

As for why there aren't more games featuring Muslim heroes, it might have something to do with Muslims making up just 0.6% of the US population.

Saladin Ahmed:

Le Tueur:
There are just as many whites as bad guys as any other race, so please get more offended from nothing.

But how many not-white (or, more to the point here, Arab or Muslim) HEROES are there in games?
Having lots of white villains isn't an issue if you've got lots of white heroes balancing things out...

How many Indians do you see in videogames? Not a lot huh? Yet there are 1 BILLION of them walking this earth.

Seriously. The arabs and "muslims" have been seen as the bad guys for several years now. Especially after 9/11. It's no surprise though. Can you look at the news and see anything positive being said about the middle east or the muslim world in general? All you can see is crazy politicians, car bombs and people waving flaggs while yelling "Death to America", "Death to Jews/Israel" or taliban forces fighting NATO troops. There's no way the West can sympathize with a religion/culture if all they see/hear about it is all bad and anti-western.

The only ones who can change that view is the Muslim world itself. And last time I checked, the Muslim world isn't exactly one big happy family either.

bojac6:

That is exactly his point, most games with Muslims portray them as members of the Taliban. There is no helpful Arab in MW2, just people to shoot. Games like Assassin's Creed portray a broad spectrum of people from both sides of the war, and Saladin compliments the game for it. Here, they are not just generic bad guys. But AC is a exception, not the rule.

If, in almost every game, the only way Christians were ever portrayed were as KKK members, it would be entirely reasonable. He's not pointing to one example, he's pointing to many.

Almost every game? Please knock of the ridiculous hyperbole. Modern, realistic military shooters use islamic extremists about half the time, and they do it because it's a real-world conflict currently going on. If the KKK was a comparable real-world problem, we'd see just as many games about that.

bojac6:

He's not complaining about Taliban being portrayed as villains,

They why does he keep bringing it up?

bojac6:

I'm not name calling, your argument is based on the premise that for a Muslim to be a good guy, you would have to be portraying a Muslim extremist as a good guy.

That is an absurd strawman. My argument is that muslims are fair game for being used as villians.

A point about the 'realism' that so many seem to be defending in FPS games:

These games aren't remotely realistic.

War sucks and -- on both sides of any conflict -- it's a miserable business where the vast majority of participants toggle back and forth between jarring adrenaline and deep despair, all the while feeling like their lives are in the hands of generals who don't give two shits about their lives or happiness. Lots of guys come out of the experience screwed up psychologically or physically maimed and scarred. A more 'realistic' game might entail enlisting partially out of naivete, partly out of good intentions, and partly out of economic desperation, then getting ripped away from your family and friends back home because some jerkoff politician decides its wartime, then going back and forth between a sense of dread over IEDs and ambushes, a crushing sense of loss as you don't get to be with your kids, some small celebrations here and there with your fellow soldiers, a rush-then-crash of combat, watching the new friends you've made get blown to bits, then -- if you don't get 'stop lossed' coming home and fighting for your due re: health benefits and trying to somehow find a job, all the while feeling like no one at home understands what you've been through.*

Sounds like an awesome game, huh? My point is, no one really wants 'realism' in these games, so the idea that having two-dimensional terrorists as the villains is for a a sense of 'realism' doesn't quite hold up.

Again, I'd suggest people read what ACTUAL military guys have to say about shooters.

http://gamrfeed.vgchartz.com/story/81560/exclusive-military-personnel-comment-on-being-the-taliban-in-moh/

*No, this isn't EVERY soldier's experience, but NO soldier's experience is 'realistically' captured by videogames

Saladin Ahmed:
Muslims in My Monitor

From Prince of Persia to the recent Medal of Honor news of playable Taliban, the depiction of Muslims in videogames hasn't been any more even-handed than American TV or movies. Saladin Ahmed is one Muslim gamer who'd like to see that change.

Read Full Article

I find this article somewhat a -1 for the Escapist. I find it onesided and not thought through. That's regular stereotyping and has happend to many culture before the Arabs, and will happen to many cultures after them. Thats human nature.

Saladin Ahmed:
A point about the 'realism' that so many seem to be defending in FPS games:

These games aren't remotely realistic.

The game that is bascially a modified Army training simulator isn't remotely realistic?

WaffleGod:

Saladin Ahmed:

Le Tueur:
There are just as many whites as bad guys as any other race, so please get more offended from nothing.

But how many not-white (or, more to the point here, Arab or Muslim) HEROES are there in games?
Having lots of white villains isn't an issue if you've got lots of white heroes balancing things out...

How many Indians do you see in videogames? Not a lot huh? Yet there are 1 BILLION of them walking this earth.

Seriously. The arabs and "muslims" have been seen as the bad guys for several years now. Especially after 9/11. It's no surprise though. Can you look at the news and see anything positive being said about the middle east or the muslim world in general? All you can see is crazy politicians, car bombs and people waving flaggs while yelling "Death to America", "Death to Jews/Israel" or taliban forces fighting NATO troops. There's no way the West can sympathize with a religion/culture if all they see/hear about it is all bad and anti-western.

The only ones who can change that view is the Muslim world itself. And last time I checked, the Muslim world isn't exactly one big happy family either.

Umm, of course, it is possible that the us tv news suffers from the same narrow views. The idea that 'all we see on the news is bad stuff' has more to do with how dumb most corporate news outlets are than the fact that 'ZOMG everything in the muslim world is bad and you good muslims JUST AREN'T DOING ENOUGH to give yourselves a positive image!!!'

Le Tueur:
There are just as many whites as bad guys as any other race, so please get more offended from nothing.

That however is nicely counteracted by the amount of white heroes out there, which are oh about 99% of the heroes portrayed out there. Stupid argument is stupid.

I don't really have an answer to this, other than it's hard to have a binary answer to complicated question. It doesn't help that America has become a 30 second news bite them or us divided society.

Edit:Sorry, got a little too off topic there.

BloodSquirrel:

bojac6:

That is exactly his point, most games with Muslims portray them as members of the Taliban. There is no helpful Arab in MW2, just people to shoot. Games like Assassin's Creed portray a broad spectrum of people from both sides of the war, and Saladin compliments the game for it. Here, they are not just generic bad guys. But AC is a exception, not the rule.

If, in almost every game, the only way Christians were ever portrayed were as KKK members, it would be entirely reasonable. He's not pointing to one example, he's pointing to many.

Almost every game? Please knock of the ridiculous hyperbole. Modern, realistic military shooters use islamic extremists about half the time, and they do it because it's a real-world conflict currently going on. If the KKK was a comparable real-world problem, we'd see just as many games about that.

bojac6:

He's not complaining about Taliban being portrayed as villains,

They why does he keep bringing it up?

bojac6:

I'm not name calling, your argument is based on the premise that for a Muslim to be a good guy, you would have to be portraying a Muslim extremist as a good guy.

That is an absurd strawman. My argument is that muslims are fair game for being used as villians.

I dont think the author is saying that muslims and arabs aren't fair game, i don't think anyone is. But once again, if the only arabs you see are shooting at you, then he has a point. Even if its half of modern shooters, its still 99% of the arabs in video games. Yes if the KKK was real world problem we probably would see games about them, but once again, that wouldn't be a problem unless that was the only white people you saw in video games. You ignored the point of his article btw.

daftnoize:

JourneyThroughHell:

daftnoize:

Puddle Jumper:
Following people would like to have a word with you on stopping to complain and get over it: Russians, Germans.

Not funny, certainly not smart!

I'm sorry, what?
Umm... World In Conflict, Modern Warfare 2, Bad Company 2, hell, pretty much every modern war game for the Russians, every WW2 game for the Germans.
Can he has his "smart" card back now?

Yeah fair enough, However I do think its slightly different with the inasane amount of Islamiphobia going on at the moment in America. Ground zero mosque is just a prime example of this. Most steriotypes of muslims portray them as terroists, not all german or russian sterotypes do (and even IF they do they are hiccups from the past not opinions which are being formed in the present). Please read this article guys though so funny and a great piece of satire. http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-already-knows-everything-he-needs-to-know-abou,17990/

"I almost gave in and listened to that guy defend Islam with words I didn't want to hear," Gentries said. "But then I remembered how much easier it is to live in a world of black-and-white in which I can assign the label of 'other' to someone and use him as a vessel for all my fears and insecurities."

While I do sympathize with the fact that Muslims have gotten a raw deal in popular culture, it seems to me that every culture is painted with an extremist brush in video games.
As an American, I actually appreciate it when games like GTA and Fallout characterize America based on the extremist xenophobic loudmouths everyone seems to associate this country with. Believe it or not we're not all like that.

And about the "ground zero mosque," I think everyone should know that real NYers who lived in this city our whole life don't care if they decide to put a mosque ON ground zero much less 4 blocks away. We live, work, and play with Muslims (and people from every other religion in the world) in this city and we resent being used as political pawns during election season which has been happening since 2001. We're not pussies and we're starting to resent the rest of the country treating us as such. Same thing when they were talking about trying the 911 "mastermind" in NYC. Every retarded politician in the country had to have a say about how insensitive and dangerous it was while NYers were welcoming the trial. Most of the NYers I discussed it with were more worried about what an angry mob might do to the suspect rather than what would happen to us. Sure we got hit hard but we bounced back, now I just feel like the rest of the country (who frankly don't have as much to complain about) has to suck it up and catch up with us.

I just wonder if any Christian churches near the site of the Oklahoma city bombing caught any flack after McVeigh was caught.

My point is that everyone from every culture looks like a dick in the media from textbooks to video games. Maybe the trick is for a Muslim to start a game company of his own, then they can characterize us for being the xenophobic, loudmouth d-bags fox news wants the world to think we are. I don't care what background a game protagonist has, if the game is interesting, fun, and compelling, I will dig it.

I believe there was a supporting character in one of the "The Suffering" games who was Muslim. Supposedly, he was one of the best contemporary depictions of a Muslim man in a video game ever, in terms of him being something other than a terrorist.

I think there is an argument to be made about heroes in video games tending to be of non-descript white heritage, or at least looking like it(which probably has more to do with market triangulations than racism), going after other video games for portraying a specific group as bad doesn't make sense to me. Every group has their turn up as the bad guy(probably because every group has a subsect among them that are bad people). Russians and Germans have already been mentioned. Christians are used outright or as a template in games like Assassin's Creed and Thief 2. Asians are used in WW2 pacific games or anything set in the pacific. Blacks when it comes to settings in Africa. Corporations and secret government agencies are used all the time. Muslims and Arabs? Modern Warfare implemented Arabs, with the Muslim part left out and irrelevant in favor of them being revolutionaries against a corrupt government. As the article pointed out, Assassin's Creed used Muslims, but the religion of both Islam and Christianity were not even the focal points, but rather a back drop against which a third religious sect is unveiled as the enemy. Muslims and Arabs have not received different treatment from the gaming industry than any other group when it comes to villification. (Is that even a word? >.>) If we don't treat Germans, Asians, Christians, Corporations, or government agencies with kid gloves, we should we do so with Muslims and Arabs? In fact, isn't that kind of insulting, since it implies that Muslims and Arabs are some how more emotionally fragile than those other groups?

Now, if the author's point was about how Muslims and Arabs aren't present as heroes, which has been put forth here, perhaps he should have spent more time talking about that instead of using the vast majority of the article to discuss about how Muslims and Arabs are unfairly portrayed as villains.

Fr33Kye:

I dont think the author is saying that muslims and arabs aren't fair game, i don't think anyone is. But once again, if the only arabs you see are shooting at you, then he has a point. Even if its half of modern shooters, its still 99% of the arabs in video games. Yes if the KKK was real world problem we probably would see games about them, but once again, that wouldn't be a problem unless that was the only white people you saw in video games. You ignored the point of his article btw.

It's not even half of modern shooters: it's half of realistic military shooters. In other words, it's the games which are modeled after current real-world military conflicts. Muslims aren't popping up to kill me in Bioshock. It's one sub-genre of a sub-genre, the one which makes perfect sense to have them as villians.

Otherwise, they don't show up much because they are an extreme minority in the countries that make games, and most games take place in settings where an explicitly Muslim character doesn't make too much sense in the first place. How many Christian characters are there in video games?

I'm not ignoring the point of this article- in fact, I'm refusing to ignore a large portion of it that you want to gloss over.

I would encourage the muslims who are rich and despite what you think, there are many. To make their own video games. That is all.

If you want somthing done, do it yourself. Words to live by. If you don't like how your people are depicted in video games, well stop playing them and hup to it boy.

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