Greek Island Angry at Portrayal in Videogames

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Greek Island Angry at Portrayal in Videogames

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Arma III includes an accurate map of Lemnos, and the Lemnians don't like it.

Bohemia Interactive Studio's Arma series has always prided itself on realism. The weapons wielded by the armed forces in the game are based on what they would use on operations, with accurate bullet drop-off and penetration. The latest game, Arma III, is no different and the plot focuses on NATO operations against forces operating on the small Greek island of Lemnos. Unfortunately, the present population of Lemnos is upset that Arma III will show the countryside in such detail in a game featuring war when the island has a peaceful place in Greek culture and myth.

"We cannot fathom that our island, a place of peace and creation, will be turned into a scene for violence and battle," said Antonis Hatzidiamantis, the mayor of Lemnos. "We reserve our legal rights to defend our island's reputation."

Lemnos is important to the Greek god of metalwork and crafting, Hephaestus, and the volcanic island was home to the deity's forge. According to myth, Hephaestus fell on Lemnos when Zeus threw him out of Olympus.

Perhaps more importantly, the Lemnians have concerns over the very fidelity that Bohemia Interactive instills in the Arma series, especially with the island's proximity to the Turkish mainland. "There are national reasons to keep certain areas on the island secure but [in the game] they are shown in high-definition," said the head of the town council. "There could possibly be problems with national security."

In contrast, there is no word whether the Lemnians have a problem with Hephaestus' portrayal by Rip Torn in God of War III or the general mangling of Greek myths committed by Sony's series.

Source: AFP

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"We cannot fathom that our island, a place of peace and creation, will be turned into a scene for violence and battle," said Antonis Hatzidiamantis, the mayor of Lemnos. "We reserve our legal rights to defend our island's reputation."

Perhaps more importantly, the Lemnians have concerns over the very fidelity that Bohemia Interactive instills in the Arma series, especially with the island's proximity to the Turkish mainland. "There are national reasons to keep certain areas on the island secure but [in the game] they are shown in high-definition," said the head of the town council. "There could possibly be problems with national security."

Contradicting yourselves much Lemnians?

Huh. Surprising. Why didn't the inhabitants of Malden, Everon, Kolgujew, Chernarus and Sahrani do so before? Oh, right, it's because those places don't exist (at least not in the way or place they were shown to be in).

And they couldn't just go the same route as before and change the name of the island while just using it anyway because.....? I mean, after all, you have to expect some over-sensitive local population to get up in arms about your game, after all, computer games are the root of all evil.

PS: I would love to have an ARMA game set in my home town. And that's not because I want to see destruction and gore among places and people I know and love, but because that would be a pretty chilling war game experience.

I get that they're trying to keep out their island of a violent videogame, as it could very well hurt tourism. I wonder who gave Bohemia the permission to recreate an actual island instead of a fictional...

Well see now they've pre-empted my use of the game to as a tool for training my minions to conquer the island. Fuck you Bohemia Interactive Studios.

In all seriousness... that a really good tourist bet. Seeing theyr island in such detail in a videogame could only bring more tourists

So, their first complaint is that they think it is disrespectful to show this island under attack (which is just fuckin wacky)

And their second is that this could be a matter of national security? How? Are they saying that the ARMA 3 team has the ability to gather more intel about this island than the Turkish government? They're either trying to insult Turkey, imply that Bohemia Interactive has a covert spy department, or they are absolutely nuts.

Couldn't a Google Maps satellite image give a pretty good, slightly more accurate view of the map. I mean, I can even get street view in a couple locations. I'm pretty sure that Turkey could get live satellite coverage if they REALLY wanted to.

Edit: Besides, there looks to be around 40 people on the island. If Turkey wanted to take over the island I doubt they would even do any recon seeing as there are probably less than a dozen guns.

Braedan:
So, their first complaint is that they think it is disrespectful to show this island under attack (which is just fuckin wacky)

And their second is that this could be a matter of national security? How? Are they saying that the ARMA 3 team has the ability to gather more intel about this island than the Turkish government? They're either trying to insult Turkey, imply that Bohemia Interactive has a covert spy department, or they are absolutely nuts.

Couldn't a Google Maps satellite image give a pretty good, slightly more accurate view of the map. I mean, I can even get street view in a couple locations. I'm pretty sure that Turkey could get live satellite coverage if they REALLY wanted to.

Exactly this. I mean, if Bohemia can get all this "sensitive data", then it should be no problem for the Turks (if they even consider it).

Instead, they should use this as a gift and a training tool for the day the Turks come invading their beaches. If the the Turks can, so can the Greeks.

I hate it when people complain about games with accurate map of their neighborhood. All it can really do is get some tourists over there, nothing more - what they should do is thank ARMA developer instead of getting angry.

Braedan:
or they are absolutely nuts.

This one.

vehystrix:
I get that they're trying to keep out their island of a violent videogame, as it could very well hurt tourism.

Or it could help tourism. The people who play the game presumably like it and might think it's cool to visit the island for real. Whereas the people who wouldn't like it, would only even hear about it if they made a fuss about it.

vehystrix:
I wonder who gave Bohemia the permission to recreate an actual island instead of a fictional...

But do you need permission? Surely they haven't copyrighted or trademarked their landscape.

It seems to me that the Lemnians are just milking this for the publicity in the hopes that it might increase tourism.

Nah! They can't be offended because of the god connection, at least a million islands where directly by the gods. Wasn't part of Japan made by ejaculating into the sea?

And tourism...I would love to go to an island I fought on in a game. Woo! Makes the LARPing a lot more realistic.

Wait how could the makers of a video game obtain geographical information that could pose a threat to their national security?

It wasn't very secure to start with if Bohemia interactive could turn with some cameras and reproduce it in video game form.

This politician needs to stfu, it's fiction, no-ones going to think Lemnos is really war-torn.

Perhaps more importantly, the Lemnians have concerns over the very fidelity that Bohemia Interactive instills in the Arma series, especially with the island's proximity to the Turkish mainland. "There are national reasons to keep certain areas on the island secure but [in the game] they are shown in high-definition," said the head of the town council. "There could possibly be problems with national security."

What?
If some video game ultra-realistic war simulator developer has access to those top-secret landscape details you can bet your ass that the Turkish secret service knows them too. As well as everyone who can use google earth, I'd wager.

You do realize that it's not the Lemnians that have a problem, but just one guy? I bet that over 90% of the island's population have never heard of ARMA (should I do this 99%? I probably should).

Generalizations like that are dangerous and show ignorance bigger than the Lemnians' (who, actually, do not even feature in the story, except for one guy).

Other than that, yes, that guy is probably nuts or too conservative or just ignorant. The island's population is a whole other story, though, isn't it?

carpenter20m:
You do realize that it's not the Lemnians that have a problem, but just one guy? I bet that over 90% of the island's population have never heard of ARMA (should I do this 99%? I probably should).

Generalizations like that are dangerous and show ignorance bigger than the Lemnians' (who, actually, do not even feature in the story, except for one guy).

Other than that, yes, that guy is probably nuts or too conservative or just ignorant. The island's population is a whole other story, though, isn't it?

Sorry, but who are you to question AFP? If AFP said so, it must be right.
Journalism rule no.1: Do not question the agencies. Blindly copy everything they report for the agencies never fail.
If you don't like it, go back to your pathetic, "media-critical" blogs, this is how the professional journalists do things.

Staskala:

carpenter20m:
You do realize that it's not the Lemnians that have a problem, but just one guy? I bet that over 90% of the island's population have never heard of ARMA (should I do this 99%? I probably should).

Generalizations like that are dangerous and show ignorance bigger than the Lemnians' (who, actually, do not even feature in the story, except for one guy).

Other than that, yes, that guy is probably nuts or too conservative or just ignorant. The island's population is a whole other story, though, isn't it?

Sorry, but who are you to question AFP? If AFP said so, it must be right.
Journalism rule no.1: Do not question the agencies. Blindly copy everything they report for the agencies never fail.
If you don't like it, go back to your pathetic, "media-critical" blogs, this is how the professional journalists do things.

uhm... /sarcasm?

I actually read the source. It still says that one guy was complaining to one paper about the game. It's not that there are protests around Lemnos wanting to ban the game.

And to be honest, I am distrustful of newsblogs as much as I am of traditional media.

Well it is not exactly like Google Maps. As far as I can tell, it's not only the geography but also the buildings, that are modeled after the real ones pretty closely.

I am Greek and I can see what's happening here. Just the mayor getting all technophobic with no real reason. A lot of time people get irrationally upset about things (it's not only Americans that do it excessively, it seems to be a common problem among human populations around the world), they get emotional because it just doesn't feel right even if it is rationally OK and justifiable.

I thought it was quite funny, Lemnos is a completely non-touristic island (it's one of the most remote in the Aegean Sea), with only a little population, I find it amusing that it was randomly chosen by the game studio. Perhaps they were expecting no-one would react precisely because it's such a small place? I also think it's funny that they're worrying about these things at this time, but then again Turkey has been very aggressive the past weeks.

I love that it almost seems they're treating Greek Mythology with the seriousness involved in legitimate religion.
Oh, and I guess I should say...
Inb4 legitimacy of religion flamewar

The real problem the Island has is that there are sensitive military installations on the island so much so, it is currently illegal to take photos near those military installations. You can be arrested for doing so today. Does any one remember those English tourists who were jailed some years ago now for taking photos of planes at a Greek military airport base? However the game appears to have high resolution images of the entire island including military installations. Security issues between Turkey and Greece are still live issues today and are no laughing matter despite what many of the posters may think. Their are many unreported engagements occurring between the two sides and I believe the game manufacturers know it and it is no coincidence they chose the island. The mayor seems to be placing a different spin on the reasons why the island featured on the video game is of concern to it. The real reason I suspect are different. The Greek government does not encourage tourism on the island due to security reasons which is why it is not a popular destination for tourism. I wonder if the game manufacturers would have gotten away with making a similar game of say the Gaza strip or West Bank?

To the people of Lemnos, deal with it.

That is all.

Possibly if your areas of national security have been penetrated and accurately modelled by a game developer, intelligence services might not find it particularly difficult to do the same if they so wish

More likely some lawyer tipped off the Mayor that these foreigners used his islands natural resources and didnt pay him for the privilage... I mean, either Bohemia used a google satelite image or went to the island and took a lot of photos, in either case neither method is clandestine and neither method could be even remotely construed as snooping on sensitive material.

I would bet the devs were on site providing a nice little boost in profits for the local economy and took photos all over the place, and now only theres a complaint...

... some lowlife politician ( which is worse, being a lowlife or being a politician ? ) figures he can cash in by threatening to delay the launch of the title, a few dracha ( ok they use Euros now ) will make the noise go away ...yes.

Wow, I am from lemnos an I just heard of it. I think it is great that I can get a game that lets me walk outside my house (even better, can I bomb my previous school?). I know the mayor I voted for him and I think he is a really reasonable guy, but I don't think that these are his opinions. He was probably forced to make a statement because there are certain people in the island (and all the world for that matter) that get offended really easily and sometimes for the wrong reasons. The only concern that I can see being logical is the security one, because unfortunately Lemnos is the only greek island in the again that is allowed to have army (other island are prohibited by the, i think, Treaty of Lausanne). But still I think that it is great that the island is going to be featured in a game.

Greg Tito:
OP

Why the Xbox 360 tag? Last I heard, Bohemia has yet to make a multiplatform game (other than the upcoming Carrier Command title), and especially not ArmA 3... right?

Just curious.

Braedan:
Couldn't a Google Maps satellite image give a pretty good, slightly more accurate view of the map. I mean, I can even get street view in a couple locations. I'm pretty sure that Turkey could get live satellite coverage if they REALLY wanted to.

Google doesn't show sensitive areas, or places people have asked them not to show cause someone thinks they are sensitive (Australia's Lucas Heights research institute/mutant warrior training facility, for example). Also, it's just from above.

vehystrix:
I get that they're trying to keep out their island of a violent videogame, as it could very well hurt tourism. I wonder who gave Bohemia the permission to recreate an actual island instead of a fictional...

The International Island Image Authority?

Seriously though, why would you need someones permission for a fictional depiction of a geographical place? If I want to set a novel in New York, should I ask the Mayor of NY for permission? More to the point, let's say I make a painting of the White House in ruins after a nuclear holocaust. Should I ask the president first?

What ever happened to freedom of expression, why is this even an issue -- oh yeah: it's a computer game.

Hmmmm, well it sounds to me like an attention grab more than anything. As someone who has minimal interest in shooters, I had no idea where this game was set. Also Arma isn't as famous and popular as other series.

My immediate guess is this is an advertising gimmick, the people of Lemmnos get mentioned in the media, and the guys making ARMA get more exposure for their game, including the perception that their game is so realistic it has real people concerned about it... which is saying something in a genere that makes pretentions of realism.

If I had to guess the leaders of Lemmnos and the producers of ARMA are probably high fiving each other over the simple fact that this is being covered.

That said if this is serious, all I can say is "meh", I have no issue with using places from the real world, and realism is the point. It's not like Lemmnos is being singled out, I mean look at how many times the US and other countries have been leveled in games and movies. Reality (real locations) aren't exactly an intellectual property.

As far as national security goes, that's kind of a joke. Their national security is pretty much to yell "Help America! Help United Nations! people are being mean to us", which is presumably what ARMA is all about to begin with. It's not exactly flattering, but we're not exactly talking about a relevent military force here. Besides if a group of video game developers could get enough information to be a threat that easily it says something. It's not like Lemnos apparently has the kind of policing you see around US military bases and construction facilities apparently which should tell you something. Here in the US people have gotten shaken down for acting suspiciously around EB and the like (EB = General Dynamics, Electric Boat division. They manufacture nuclear submarines even if they are well past their prime nowadays).

A half-empty Airbus A380 could probably takeover Lemnos. I'm pretty sure the Trukish won't have any problems.

EDIT: Also, I didn't freak out when Infinity Ward decided to send in Russians in my backyard (Manassa--in that suburb mission). If anything, a Russian invasion might do something about the traffic problem here.

raankh:
I make a painting of the White House in ruins after a nuclear holocaust. Should I ask the president first?

Might actually be a good idea, otherwise, Homeland Security and the SS might thing you are up to some funny business.

vehystrix:
I get that they're trying to keep out their island of a violent videogame, as it could very well hurt tourism. I wonder who gave Bohemia the permission to recreate an actual island instead of a fictional...

I never heard of anyone needing 'permission' to model a work of art on a real place.

Greek economy in the shitter, massive corruption in government and civil service, and violence in the streets of Athens; but nevermind that, Limnos is slightly upset that they're featured in a video game.

/engage 'world's smallest violin'

Giest4life:
A half-empty Airbus A380 could probably takeover Lemnos. I'm pretty sure the Trukish won't have any problems.

Actually an A380 wouldn't even have a chance to land there. Lemnos is one of the most heavily guarded islands in the Aegean and has always at least 5 F-16 at it's military airport that operate almost daily in order to stop turkish military airplanes that enter the FIR-Athens. Also there are about 1500 soldiers always on the island and usually there is also frigate operating there. So that's where the concern comes from, but I think that the mayor's reaction is stupid and does not depict the opinions of the majority of the population.

Raiyan 1.0:
Why the Xbox 360 tag? Last I heard, Bohemia has yet to make a multiplatform game (other than the upcoming Carrier Command title), and especially not ArmA 3... right?

Just curious.

Someone's been at the copypasta for tag code would be my guess.

The ArmA titles use the same tech that Bohemia Interactive use for their professional military simulators so it's doubtful they'll show up on any console until someone decides to release one that isn't RAMtarded. Also, if you look at the provisional sysreqs for ArmA 3, they're enough to make many mid-range gaming PCs cry.

What you're telling me is that not a single person working on ArmA III spoke to even the Lemnian(?) tourism board or anything? You're saying that nobody ever even mentioned it to them until after the launch?

I can see why they would be offended or, indeed, worried about their safety since the simulation got out.

RhombusHatesYou:

Raiyan 1.0:
Why the Xbox 360 tag? Last I heard, Bohemia has yet to make a multiplatform game (other than the upcoming Carrier Command title), and especially not ArmA 3... right?

Just curious.

Someone's been at the copypasta for tag code would be my guess.

The ArmA titles use the same tech that Bohemia Interactive use for their professional military simulators so it's doubtful they'll show up on any console until someone decides to release one that isn't RAMtarded. Also, if you look at the provisional sysreqs for ArmA 3, they're enough to make many mid-range gaming PCs cry.

Well to be fair, Bohemia did just pick up the Flashpoint series back from CodeMasters and renamed it ArmA. Not sure that affects any of the titles released on 360, though (that is, whether BI holds the 360 specific publishing license).

I have to agree with other posters about how they are complaining now, yet surely had to know about the photographers on the ground. Border security at the airport would have asked them the nature of their business et al.

I also now wonder if thanassik has compromised their security with the post he made on the forums. I hope any potential war games going on over there die down, so that our ignorant joshing is justified in the future.

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