Skip

Congress Woman requests Flash game removal
May 7, 2002 7:43 AM   Subscribe

Congress Woman requests Flash game removal on NewGrounds.com. The game is not being removed for its violent content, or depection of blood and gore. Instead it is the subject matter of the game that has raised the spectre of censorship.
The game in question, Kaboom!, is about suicide bombers, the object being to blow up as many people as possible.
Do you think that a game about a Palestinian captured by the Israeli army to act as a human shield would warrant the same type fo request?
posted by DragonBoy (34 comments total)

 
Ya gotta love the responses telling her to shove a foot in her ass. That's free expression, yo.
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:52 AM on May 7, 2002


I think the game is a terrible, horrible joke thought up by a person with a warped, desensitized sense of humor. I think he's a jerk.

It is not, however, the government's job to decide whose humor is warped and desensitized and should be censored.
posted by tomorama at 7:52 AM on May 7, 2002


I forgot...
Link via Flazoom.com
posted by DragonBoy at 7:53 AM on May 7, 2002


Requesting that something distasteful be removed isn't censorship. The Congresswoman's letter is in itself free expression. Now if she attempted to force the removal, that would be censorship. I actually agree with Congresswoman on this issue, but just because I find something distasteful I can't expect a request that it removed be honored. The tone of the commentary on the board demonstrates that the locals at newgrounds.com have exactly zero sense of what is and isn't civil discourse.
posted by shagoth at 7:58 AM on May 7, 2002


I think the game is a nice piece of provocative art. As sick as the premise is, real people are playing that game.
posted by rcade at 8:08 AM on May 7, 2002


Hey tomorama; The individual who made the game was not the one who thought of it.
Does art imitate life, or life imitate art?
Soon they will be able to use remote control rats to do the job.
Pilotless planes, rats laden with bombs, the days of the suicide bomber are drawing down I think.
Nintendo warfare, all from the comfort of your cubicle.
posted by a3matrix at 8:12 AM on May 7, 2002


My guess is that there would not be much interest in a game in which Israelis used Arabs as shields. Why not a game where you give the name of your home town--or the place where your folks live, and then the terror guys bopmb the crap out of it?
But this is no real issue so why make it once again an Israel/Arab issue?
posted by Postroad at 8:17 AM on May 7, 2002


I originally posted the game on MeFi last week. Now that I think about and talked about with friends. The game is truly tasteless.
posted by sahrens428 at 8:32 AM on May 7, 2002


And people thought McKinney was "out there" with her request to have 9/11 investigated.

How about a game where some KKK neonazi places pipe bombs in mailboxes and blows up abortion clinics or burns down balck churches or sends anthrax to Democratic congress critters? Would that be too "out there?"
posted by nofundy at 8:47 AM on May 7, 2002


Oops..."black" churches..
posted by nofundy at 8:49 AM on May 7, 2002


I still find the game amusing. I guess I'm an insensitive clod.
posted by jammer at 9:17 AM on May 7, 2002


In a true democratic society, nothing is sacred and untouchable. The same right that allows me to, say, make a game where some KKK neonazi places pipe bombs in mailboxes and blows up abortion clinics, burns down black churches or sends anthrax to Democratic congress critters, gives you the right to complain about it.

It's the way the system works, so if you don't like it, just try and ignore it. It can't hurt you that way.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:04 AM on May 7, 2002


In itself, the game is as good/bad as any other shoot 'em up game out there. As a parallel to current events, however, it does require a person to think about the situation in the East. I don't believe there is any question about its good or bad taste. It does what many other games do: dehumanizes and desensitizes the value of human life.

As to your question, dragonboy, I would hope so. It's a sick idea that you have, but then again, it's a sick world.

Regarding the Congresswoman, she has every right to ask that the site be taken down. I'm probably wrong about this, but I suspect that she feels that her position and status will prove to be more effective than that of the average person. Hopefully the powers-that-be won't pay any attention to who she is.
posted by ashbury at 10:12 AM on May 7, 2002


There are a great number of PC and console games that allow one to kill people and aliens and just about anything else in just about any sort of setting. You can be a hitman, soldier, fighter pilot, Alien, or Predator. You can hit people with cars, bludgeon them with a baseball bat, carve them up with a chainsaw, cut them down with endless varieties of automatic weapons, blow them up with rockets, and just about everything else. If Kaboom! is morally questionable, then so is Unreal, Quake, Hitman, Doom, Half-Life, DeusEx, and Jedi 2.
posted by tranquileye at 10:17 AM on May 7, 2002


Weee... Moral or not that game sure is fun :P

Well, okay for a few minutes anyway. I don't think it would hold much intrest for long though. Moraly not any worse then GTA3, maybe a little better since you're doing it for a 'cause' rather then just for money.
posted by delmoi at 10:50 AM on May 7, 2002


add to that list: Medal of Honor (world war II fps), Return to Castle Worlfenstein, Urban Terror, the list can go on an on.

Is it offensive in nature? No doubt it is. But how many games parody life, or history in some way.

Would it have been less offensive if it were a stream with fish swimming back and forth and a guy tossing in a stick of dynamite? Absolutely, but then no one would have been interested.
posted by a3matrix at 10:50 AM on May 7, 2002


Hmmm, not to be a wet blanket, but are we sure that a congresswoman actually sent that "email"?

Some suspicious things about the posting:

* it's an email, not a scan of a letter. This type of request would come via snail mail on official letterhead (in this case, from the House of Representatives). And an email return address is, of course, extremely easy to fake. See www.manicmail.net

* the email is signed "Member of Congress." She would almost certainly refer to herself as Representative Lowey, Congresswoman Lowey or Rep. Lowey (D-Westchester/Queens/Bronx) as she does on her website.

* her website makes no mention of this alleged email. If you're a member of Congress and you take the time to send out an email or letter, you'd probably take the time to get whatever political mileage you can out of it while you're at it. It'd be on your website or you'd be decrying the site openly as a example of what's wrong with video games/violence/kids today/the Internet etc.

I'm just throwing this out there so other mefiers can do the real investigative work.
posted by lawtalkinguy at 11:20 AM on May 7, 2002


hmmmm...good use of of your critical thinking skills lawtalkinguy. Perhaps it wasn't she who wrote the email. I just love a pessimist!!

Another related aside...
Did you hear that the parents of the German kid who did the recent killings said their son was obsessed with violent video games? Looks like another Columbine thread on that one, eh?
posted by nofundy at 12:03 PM on May 7, 2002


Requesting that something distasteful be removed isn't censorship.
amen. for example, i personally have requested the removal of hillary rosen, jack valenti, and numerous congresswhores from the public landscape.
posted by quonsar at 12:09 PM on May 7, 2002


Well, I called her office, and she did, indeed, write the email. It doesn't look like her website has been updated in quite some time, which is probably why it wasnt mentioned there.
posted by Doug at 12:11 PM on May 7, 2002


In itself, the game is as good/bad as any other shoot 'em up game out there.

Think of how that game would make you feel if you were a Israeli or Palestinian personally affected by the violence over there. There's a big difference between a shooter game set in some hypothetical reality and a game that uses real-life unimaginable human suffering for the sake of a few cheap laughs.

I vote we send the makers of this game over to the West Bank for a few months. If Israelis and Palestinians getting blown up is funny in a game, I'm sure it would be much more funny if you were right there in person.

I suppose its only a matter of time before the "suicide airplane hijackers" game comes out.
posted by boltman at 12:14 PM on May 7, 2002


Doug - which office did you call? There are several listed on her website and I'd like to call there myself. This has got me really intrigued.

Also, her website was recently updated - there's a press release (which I linked to above) dated 2-22-02
posted by lawtalkinguy at 1:39 PM on May 7, 2002


boltman, if the "suicide airplane hijackers" game was nothing more than crude cartoon drawings and simplistic gameplay of trying to time your descent for the maxmimum body count... I'd play it a couple times, chuckle at the cynical creativeness, and then let it go, maybe to pull it out to mess with every now and then when I get bored.

There's a distinct difference between abstracted violence, and real-world violence. The people who are declaring this game horrible because it makes light of the mideast situation are divorcing fantasy from reality as strongly as those who blame Columbine on Doom.

I happen to *enjoy* relieving stress by taking part in simulated acts of mayhem from time to time. Hell, usually the more irreverant and "politicall incorrect" the better. It may not be very PC, but its a stress relief, in my mind its sure a damn sight better than doing it IRL. Who the hell am I harming?

My animated schadenfreude is no more or less ideologically correct than your uptight bleeding-heartism. Both sides of this issue should get over themselves. It's a stupid little video game that's fun for a few minutes at a time. It's not a valiant attempt to stand up for free speech, nor is it an insipid mockery of peoples tragedy.

All the world is not a political statement, dammit.
posted by jammer at 1:43 PM on May 7, 2002


"Think of how that game would make you feel if you were a Israeli or Palestinian personally affected by the violence over there."

as long as i'm playing it, i can't do it for real.
posted by jcterminal at 2:08 PM on May 7, 2002


The people who are declaring this game horrible because it makes light of the mideast situation are divorcing fantasy from reality as strongly as those who blame Columbine on Doom.

That's absurd. Nobody's blaming this game for causing violence. It's just offensive to anyone with a reasonable level of empathy for those affected by the real violence. Racist jokes by themselves probably don't cause racism, but I assume most people would agree that doesn't make them okay. How is this any different?
posted by boltman at 2:32 PM on May 7, 2002


I killed 5 and injured 3. Wopee!
posted by MaddCutty at 3:09 PM on May 7, 2002


boltman: I feel sorry for those affected by the real violence. I also found the game amusing. It's the abstraction versus reality thing again. Or maybe you would just consider me to have a sub-standard level of empathy. Wouldn't be the first.
posted by jammer at 3:31 PM on May 7, 2002


Did somebody say... suicide airplane hijackers game? (As Seen on MeFi.)

But yeah, what shagoth said. Whether I personally find the game distasteful or not seems kind of irrelevant. Representative Lowey is as free as you or I am to implore that the game be removed; Tom Fulp is free to roundly ignore the requests. "Censorship" doesn't seem to factor into it.
posted by youhas at 3:35 PM on May 7, 2002


The people who are declaring this game horrible because it makes light of the mideast situation are divorcing fantasy from reality as strongly as those who blame Columbine on Doom.

It's just offensive to anyone with a reasonable level of empathy for those affected by the real violence.

A Shoot Up Colombine would be the equivalent of this; boltman's right.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:53 PM on May 7, 2002


Whoops, I meant a Shoot Up Colombine Game.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:55 PM on May 7, 2002


There's a big difference between a shooter game set in some hypothetical reality and a game that uses real-life unimaginable human suffering for the sake of a few cheap laughs.

How about grand theft auto or any game about crime? Crime we fear and hope never happens, but not to the point where we believe that expression equals realization. Or worse, drawing an arbitrary line because x amount of people you identify with or believe are important are offended.

How about games about war? I wonder what some vets might think if they caught me playing a Nazi soldier.

Personally, I think these kind of offensive weird-ass games let us break taboos by letting us play with scenarios that are emotionally charged. Its actually pretty exciting. At least for a while.
posted by skallas at 5:20 PM on May 7, 2002


Think of how that game would make you feel if you were a Israeli or Palestinian personally affected by the violence over there. boltman

I appreciate what you're saying here. In a nicer world, most people would use their empathy bone and realize that this is completely inappropriate. It isn't a nicer world.

What gets me about this game is that it would probably just drop out of site if people didn't talk about it. This is the third (that I know of) mention of it on MeFi, and a Congresswoman is making a big deal of it, which means that millions of people who wouldn't normally look at the darn thing will now at least click thru it. It's a sad world.
posted by ashbury at 6:14 PM on May 7, 2002


I called the 718 #. The guy on the other end probably thought I was an idiot, because I completely forgot the woman's name, and had shut down the webpage when he picked up. I blathered for a while, and basically just said, "Did she write that email?" He told me she did, and started telling me about the game, to which I responded, "yeah, it's pretty sick," and we parted ways.

And since her last web update was 2 months ago, it didn't seem odd to me that she hasn't mentioned an email she wrote just a few days ago. I'm on internet time here, man. Recently updated is, like, in the last half hour.
posted by Doug at 11:14 PM on May 7, 2002


Ashbury: The game would get less attention without the help of the publicity-whoring Congresswoman, but I don't think it would be unknown without her. Every politically incorrect Flash game on a hot-button news topic runs the circuit of bad-taste and dark-humored web sites.
posted by rcade at 6:58 AM on May 8, 2002


« Older Take the tabasco challenge.   |   I think he liked the new Spider Man movie. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post