Friday, April 01, 2005

GTA: Mesopotamia - Suicide bombing is fun!

GTA - Mesopotamia
Cute baby - Suicide bombing Jr, now available from Mothercare

Grand Theft Auto: Mesopotamia, is a new chapter in the long line of games from developer, Rockstar, based on the theme of ‘sandbox play’. A concept whereby video game players, or ‘gamers’ can virtually do anything they like.

Devan Michaels, head of PR at Rockstar put it more simply. “If the player wants to nick cars, fuck whores, run down children and deal drugs, they can. The only limit is their imagination”.

Michaels went on to claim that GTA: Mesopotamia was an exciting advance for the game. “For the first time players can control a whole invading army, suppress indigenous people and play with a brand new political angle”.

The political angle that Michael has alluded to is the suggestion that this latest entry in the GTA franchise is ‘loosely’ based on the recent conflict in the Middle East. Indeed Mesopotamia is in fact an ancient region of southwest Asia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern-day Iraq.

Within the game, players are able to force a new political regime on the people of Mesopotamia, or not, as Michaels describes, “We don’t make gamers do anything if they don’t want to. If the gamer just wants to pick up the game, kill a bunch of insurgents, cause a bit of friendly fire or even rape and torture innocent women and kids, they can. Alternatively they can play story mode which allows them to either steal a load of oil with one hand, and with the other claim it’s in the cause of world peace. Or play as a Mesopotamia defender or ‘insurgent’ and organise ambushes on GI’s and take civvies contractors who earn a ton of cash out of the misery of war, hostage. It’s all innocent fun”

Margaret Truss, senior lecturer in Video Games at Hereford HE believes that GTA is far from innocent fun. “This game in particular is deeply worrying, depicting suicide bombers, hostage taking, televised beheading style executions and terrorist attacks as fun.”

Truss went onto explain that the game even allows players to strap explosive charges to ‘NPCC’ or Non Playing Children Characters and send them ‘toddling’ up to US roadblocks, or even into busy shopping centres.

“There is something deeply wrong with a society that can find entertainment in mass murder”, Truss said.

Michael’s view on Truss’s acquisition is predictably commercially minded. “The fact is we can’t put a gun to heads and make people do stuff they don’t want to, like buy our game.” he said, before adding, “Although ironically in the game that’s exactly what you can do”.

1 comment:

Sniffy said...

I agree, suicide bombing is great fun. I often engage in this past-time when I'm bored. Oh, hang on, I was confused there for a moment, I was actually thinking of drive-by shootings. My mistake!