Malik  (12/3/04)

So, some of this should've been up and posted last week, but the Thanksgiving holiday ruined those plans.  So, let's just ignore any old references and consider this new, ok?  Ok.  So, as always, I'm Malik, the bitchy one.

Now, as it should've been...

I was thinking that this week would be different than usual with DS related stuff. I mean it is rare when a new system arrives and doesn't have a bitchable trail behind it of all it's short-comings. Well, as you've seen from my posts this week, there is nothing to bitch about with the DS. It is gold. So, I found a different direction to head towards; I'm Malik, and here come the Bitchings. 

How to Make a F$#@ed Up Game 

I was checking out's technology section on Monday and came across this mess. Read the link. Go ahead. Done? Ok, you should know where this is going, but let me say it anyways since I'm so pissed off that morality could've sunk this low in the geek world. 

Basically, Traffic Games, a Scottish game publisher, is releasing as a $10 download, a game called "JFK: Reloaded". In this travesty of an excuse for a game, we are put into the role of Lee Harvey Oswald. 

Here's a quick history lesson for you all. We have had 3 or 4 presidents who have been assassinated in American history. One of the most memorable is the assassination of John F. Kennedy, due to the recent and highly controversial theories behind his unfortunate and grizzly demise. Basically, the facts (when you throw out the conspiracies) point to Lee Harvey Oswald climbing to the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository with a blot-action riffle. Then he proceeded to assassinate JFK as his motorcade drove through downtown Dallas. However, many conspiracy nuts have decided to take a unique look at events over the years to include theories of a second gunman on a nearby grassy knoll (hillish type place), magic bullets (bullets made out of ice that would melt and vanish once fired into a body...which doesn't work, and was covered brilliantly on the Discover Channel's Mythbusters, last season), time travel, aliens, and all of that illogical bullshit. 

So, in JFK: Reloaded, you are given the assignment to...I can't believe this shit...playing the role of Oswald, aiming, firing, having to deal with the bolt-action slowness of his riffle, and all other surrounding circumstances. Those who are able to recreate the assassination with the most realism, are also being...sigh...rewarded. Traffic Games is actually giving away a prize of $10,000 to the virtual assassin who can best recreate the assassination as it actually took place. 

Not only is this game trying to use realism, which is a lightning rod to those hippies who say that games can train people to become killers. This game is even having you recreate such a brutal and dark era in American history that involves you trying to get entertainment from virtually killing an American icon and leader. 

It's hard to even put to words what this type of immoral bullshit makes me feel. Plus, this is not just some long forgotten even in the past. This is an event that people still look back at and remember..."Where was I when JFK died? I was...". This is not a subject matter to be used for entertainment. Definitely, having you play the role of the bad guy is going beyond the realm of reason and into pure sadistic moneymaking for Traffic Games. 


Some people say there is a time and a place for everything. That is partially true. The right time for a game dealing with the death of such an influential and idolized individual as JFK is not while anyone of that generation is still alive. The time is also not a time when a controversial presidential election just took place. I guarantee that is someone decides to attempt an assassination of Bush, this game will, along with GTA, face a lot of the blame and pointless finger-pointing. Also, the place is definitely not the country that saw the game's victim as their leader. 

In fact, something like JFK: Reloaded is not morally good from the day JFK was elected until...forever more. 

Is there no sense of morality left in the game industry? To push the envelope, as has been done for the last 5 or so year, with virtual people in real conflicts was bad enough. But to have one person play the role of a brutal assassin in a real assassination is beyond the realm of what is's delving into the realm of what is insane for a developer to make. 

So, the solution, plain and simple, is for Traffic Games to pull their heads out of their asses, to go f$%# themselves, and to leave us all alone. If you can't play nice, then get the f%$# off of my playground (the playground being games). 

Just The Facts...No, The Fiction 

So, once again, as reported by, a game watchdog group, or as I call them, a group of out of touch with reality hippy bastards who would rather censor than learn, met Tuesday in Washington DC. This group, which consisted of everyone's' favorite (sarcasm a-plenty), Joe Lieberman, took particular aim at some important and good points; these included how parents need to be educated about the game ratings system and they need to watch their children...all I can say to that is, "no shit". However, at the same time, the same old set of misconceptions is being carried out that are causing harm to the geek lifestyle. 

First off, you don't really vow to avenge your mother's death. In fact, you sorta tap-dance around that whole subject for the entire game. You never find out (sorry, this is a slight spoiler) the detail of her death beyond some circumstantial evidence. For the most part, the closest you get to this "vow" is to say that you don't stand for this and that you want (key word being "want") revenge. 

As for the important part, however. You don't get points for killing cops. In fact, the game penalizes you for killing cops, in a sense. When you commit a crime, you will have the cops on you, which means the game just got harder. There are no damned points in any GTA game, beyond money, which is never carried by police officers. In fact, all you get from killing a cop, besides a wanted level increase, is a pistol and a night stick (which are both quite useless early on in any GTA game...also, VC was the first with night sticks). 

By killing a cop and thus raising your wanted level, all you are actually doing is making the game harder (which is called a punishment, not a reward, by almost any line of thinking, including actual would be a positive punishment; you "gain" difficulty, which would "deter" you from doing said action again...positive for the gain and punishment for being a deterrent). This, in turn, only makes it harder to accomplish your actual goal; which doesn't include points, but is actually as simple as progressing the story. While it is true that there are a couple of cops in SA that you are supposed to kill to gain progress in the plot, their actions are outside what would be legal and therefore these cops cannot be viewed as "cops" anymore and should be viewed as criminals. 

Also, beyond there being no points in a GTA game, it should be noted that carjacking is not something that you get either rewarded or punished for. It is simply part of GTA:SA. In fact, there are only a couple of cars that you are actually told to steal to progress the game and the majority of vehicles you take are not officially defined as being owned by anyone. You could play most of a GTA game without stealing a single car that has an obvious owner. You could get by, for the most part, with only using cars parked on the side of the road, and since ownership is not stated, you could always assume that CJ, Tommy Vercetti, or GTA3 Guy own said vehicles and have just parked them around the city. 

See, while the watchdog groups can make assumptions, so could I. I prefer, however, to not assume anything (assuming makes an ass out of doesn't do anything bad for me since I don't assume and I don't fall for these half-assed assumptions). However, these assumptions are what leads people to the stupid conclusions that GTA trains children to kill, it teaches us to frequent hookers (I can't believe that article didn't touch the whole taboo subject of hookers in GTA). 


Well, like I stated, assumptions are the main problem. However, first off, I would like to say that this watchdog group at least made the right conclusion on one area of this subject; parents do need to watch their children. Of course to say otherwise (which has been done by some really stupid people) to contrary to the meaning of what a parent is in our society...or at least what a parent should be. A parent is a guardian who is supposed to raise their children, not just pop them out and let them run wild and free. 

However, when assumptions are made about games that show them in a more negative light than they deserve, the line is being crossed. However, games require such a large investment in time and patience, as opposed to other forms of entertainment, that this could be hard to solve. With moves, for example, that deal with "bad" behavior (like any Mafia based movie, like The Godfather, Goodfellas, etc), it only takes 2-3 hours to watch the move and see the actual entertainment and quality of the film. A game like GTA:SA requires a good 30 or more hours of some rather frustrating game play to fully understand. So, these idiots who say that killing police is rewarded may be excused as not as much stupid and illogical as just being ignorant asses who refuse to investigate the matter they are trying to police. 

In reality, a game is something that is equal in entertainment value to any other media and thus it should be treated in the same way when investigating if it has any merits. Which makes this incredibly ironic since SA actually has some rather upright messages (such as a strong anti-drug theme, how many of CJ's friends stick with him, how CJ is trying to raise his family out of the ghetto and get them into a more respectable life free from thug crimes, how racial barriers can be broken down as CJ and Zero, a very white geek, and Wu Zi Mu, a very Chinese triad leader, become good friends despite the obvious racial tensions that surround the world of San Andreas, etc). 

So, with this all in mind, I feel the actual solution is two-fold. The first part was said by both this watchdog group and by the game industry; Parents need to watch and raise their children. 

The second part is that these overly conservative groups that like to assume and be ignorant should simply f$#% off. Until they are ready to investigate the real nature of what they are trying to police and censor, their opinions are no more valid than those of anyone fact, their opinions are less valid than those of us geeks who have played the game and understand what it's about. You don't hear me saying that Lieberman is an immoral ass even though so many politicians end up involved in scandals and so many old white guys in suits partake in overlooked crimes (like corporate crime) every day. I won't say that because I feel people should be free from judgment for things they have not done and that assuming and forming baseless conclusions will only hurt relations between races, genders, ages, and social classes. 


So, this is late and all that, but that's why today's post is filled with my own little extra bit of bitchiness.  Anyway, lack of sleep and stress is telling me to sign off.  So, feel free to write me or put it on the forums, if you think you've got something to say about all of these f%$#ed up games.