July 17th, 2006

Romanian Game Design Outrages Hungarians

"Kill any non-Romanian alien prick in cold blood..."

That's the goal of a mission in Romanians in Space, a game being developed for PC by Alexandru Duta, a 21-year-old programmer from Timisoara, Romania. According to the Bucharest Daily News, word of the game has caused concern among ethnic Hungarians.

Launched at this year's Computer & Electronics Romanian Fair (CERF), the game is mash-up of history, sci-fi and Duta's offbeat political fantasies. Romanians in Space begins in 1988 as dictator Nicolae Ceausescu conquers the United States. (in reality, Ceausescu was overthrown and executed by his own people in 1989). By 1998 Ceausescu becomes the ruler of the entire Earth, leading to a century of Romanian dominance.

Flash forward a hundred years. The 22nd Century leader, Traian Basescu (in reality he's the president of Romania now) vows to conquer the entire galaxy. Basescu's plans, however, are thwarted by enemies referred to in the game as "alien pricks."

The game's "alien pricks" are not entirely of the outer space variety, however. They include ethnic Hungarians living in Romania. As the plot of Romanians in Space explains, "The remainder of former Hungary has formed a new nation and fights for their independence. But this is unacceptable, so Basescu orders the military to exterminate the separatist Hungarians."
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Youth Violence Waaaay Down - Games to Blame?

It was first published last summer, but a revealing piece by Game Revolution Editor Duke Ferris shows that youth violence is at historically low levels, even as politicians rush to enact laws targeting video game violence.

So why are we dredging this up now?

Duke's article, "The truth about violent youth and video games" turned up on Digg three days back, and has generated more than 1,500 votes, or "diggs," in that time. Numbers like those are a testament to how deeply this line of reasoning resonates with gamers.
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