February 5th, 2006

War on Terror RTS Plans April Release

The so-called "war on terror" is no game. Or is it?

Eurogamer alerts us that German developer Deep Silver plans to release War on Terror: Modern Combat RTS on April 28th.

Set in 2008, the PC title postulates the battle against a unified global terrorist organization which has targeted major cities around the world. Players can assume leadership of one of three factions: the NATO-esque World Forces, the Chinese and the terrorist Order.

We're not sure how much realism to expect from War on Terror. Developers who employ the fight against terrorism as a thematic element generally tend to avoid addressing genuine political issues or naming real-life organization such as Al-Qaeda.

"Outbloking the Blokes" - Shrink Blames Games, TV for Girl Crime Wave

A rising trend of violent crimes committed by teenage girls has officials in New South Wales, Australia looking for causes - and solutions

As reported in the Daily Telegraph, girls are increasingly committing assaults and robberies and bringing weapons to school.

Premier Morris Iemma urged parents to take responsibility for their children, saying "The need to teach respect to young people is not gender specific... it is no longer a case of needing to focus on angry young males. We need strong role models and direction for boys and girls and it needs to start in the home."

Michael Carr-Gregg, a psychologist, claims the girls are trying to "outbloke the blokes" in an effort to win attention from boys.

"If she believes she's in competition with another chick for a guy's affections, she'll resort to violence for male attention by adopting more overtly aggressive behaviour," Carr-Gregg said. He also blamed violent video games, reality TV and rock videos.

"Young people, if they don't have good role models, will allow Hollywood educate them about what it means to be male or female," he told the newspaper. "Many of our kids are growing in a psychological wasteland... it's teaching kids the only way to solve problems is through violence."

The report notes that there is little actual research into the extent and nature of the female violence issue in Australia.

New Game Designed Around Jack Thompson's "Modest Proposal"

Last year's so-called "modest proposal" by Jack Thompson sparked a firestorm of controversy that culminated in the Miami attorney filing a complaint against Penny Arcade with the Seattle Field Office of the F.B.I. (that complaint went into the circular file, by the way).

Now comes an entirely new PC game based on the Modest Propospal fiasco. Published by a team calling itself Thompsonsoft (we're pretty sure Jack isn't involved), the game is I'm O.K. - A Murder Simulator.

"I'm O.K." features SNES-style graphics and gameplay. There's even a judge who looks a little like Mario.

So who are the designers? The website says, "Consisting of 3 alcoholics and a foreign exchange student, Thompsonsoft is a new game company formed around the singular idea that Jack Thompson is the most brilliant game designer in the universe... Our first title, "I'm OK", is based on Jack's masterful design from "A Modest Video Game Proposal" and it's a murder simulator so cruel, so bloodthirsty, so horrifyingly violent that it makes Grand Theft Auto seem like Sunday Funday."

"How does one explain why, in a world overflowing with disease, war, and other horrifying realities, a man would spend 18 years crusading against video games? Easy. You say that it's the most extensive, ingenious marketing campaign for a video game in the history of MAN.
"

Features of "I'm O.K." include: 7 unique weapons including uzis, shotguns, rocket launchers, and a baseball bat and something called the Realistic Urine Engine (R.U.E.).

It's all tongue-in-cheek of course. Thompson's reaction will be interesting, since the game closely follows the design he laid down in his Modest Proposal. Can he complain about his own script?

Probably.

UPDATE: Read the full text of Jack Thompson's Modest Proposal in MS Word format.

UPDATE, II: Jack posted his thoughts about the game here in GP's comments section.

UPDATE, III: "I'm O.K." is now officially an international sensation, being reported on a Swedish game site.

UPDATE, IV: It seems that the Thompsonsoft site listed above is now down, with a mention that some pressure may have been applied to the hosting company.