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US War Propaganda in Video Games [War in Video games]
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Tue May 30, 2006 2:13 pm Reply and quote this post

Venezuelan anger at computer game

Venezuelan politicians have complained about a forthcoming "shoot-em-up" computer game that simulates an invasion of the South American nation.

In production by Los Angeles-based Pandemic Studios, Mercenaries 2: World In Flames is based around the overthrow of an imaginary Venezuelan "tyrant".

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has long accused the US of planning to invade, something Washington denies.

His supporters say the game aims to drum up support for a real invasion.
Pandemic has insisted that the title - due to be released next year - is solely about entertainment.

"Pandemic has no ties to the US government," Greg Richardson, the firm's vice president of commercial operations, told the Associated Press.

"Pandemic Studios is a private company, focusing solely on the development of interactive entertainment."
No 'ties' to the US government, he says, yet a quick search will show that the Pentagon and CIA have sub-contracted work to them.

The Video Game Connection

"Full Spectrum Warrior" was created through the Institute for Creative Technologies in Marina Del Ray, Calif., a $45 million endeavor formed by the Army five years ago to connect academics with local entertainment and video game industries.

The institute subcontracted game development work to Los Angeles-based Pandemic Studios.

The institute’s other training program, "Full Spectrum Command," was released for military use in February.

An oil-rich country diverting its oil-wealth to the poor instead of corporate America, its democratically elected leader repeatedly painted as a tyrant.

Is it time we covered the role of propaganda in video games?

How many times have we been able to deploy napalm against civilians in a video game? When do we get to play the part of an invading force seeking to overthrow an extreme religious nutcase who thinks his own nation has received 'a calling from beyond the stars'?

Last edited by Editorial Team on Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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Tue May 30, 2006 11:29 pm Reply and quote this post
Chavez is a Communist - he supports Castro (the worlds longest serving leader - because he is a dictator) - of course he wants to stir trouble up with the USA.  i mean, come on! who the hell wants to quarrell over some damn computer game!  The fact that Chavez wants to stir up trouble with the USA over the computer game only makes the game seem more realistic - perhaps there is a tyrant in Venezuela. If the USA really wanted to invade Venezuela, I think that they would just put posters up in the streets.

Communists have killed the most people on the planet - around 100 million. By showing support for people like Castro, Chavez is showing that he supports the warmongering, bloodthirsty and corrupt attitude demonstrated by every Communist power that has ever existed on the planet.

Contributed by Andy, Editorial, Marketing & Services Team
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Wed May 31, 2006 12:29 pm Reply and quote this post
I think thats true, yeah, nicely demonstrated after the USSR after "liberating" then taking over in effect the easter block.
I'm just curious as to what is going to happen rapidly developing china; someone will have to step in i guess, technologically there not our friends, with the Great Firewall of China...

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Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:41 am Reply and quote this post
yeh, it will probably take some time for China to become fully capitalist - although major cities like Shanghai are already as developed as most cities in fully developed capitalist countries. And loads of people are making money there - Ferrari actually has its own showroom there - since when are Communist countries supposed to allow its people to have enough money to buy a Ferrari?! And in terms of China being an enemy, there is next to no chance of them going to war with 'us' - if the US and China were to have a war, it would wreck the world economy (not to mention both the US and China would be wiped out).
Contributed by Andy, Editorial, Marketing & Services Team
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Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:04 pm Reply and quote this post
Yeh, without a doubt, there could never be a war with china, with so much western globaliation presence (commercially) but Im just thinking, the more they become capitalist orientated, I think maybe their morals will change, then maybe their knowlege of the outside world, I mean, how long can it be before the chep-labour workers want more money, there also contributing more to the greenhouse effect, i mean, here we are building the odd pathetic wind turbine, and theres china building, oh, just a few hundred coal power stations (they have massive coal reserves), and mind, they have no measures to cut down on emmisions, a growing number of cars, poulation, nearly every home now has an air conditioner when a few years ago they lived fine without.

Just take a look at this from the BBC:
Coal built China - and fuels its relentless growth today. Eighty per cent of China's electricity comes from coal, and there are plans for 544 new coal-fired power stations to meet an insatiable demand for energy.
Yet coal is a prime source of carbon dioxide - the global warming gas. If the power plants go ahead, it will be all but impossible to avoid dangerous climate change.

Market forces
Traffic jams were unheard of in Beijing just a few years ago. Now, one in four families in China owns a car. Since China let in market forces, its politicians know they must keep delivering economic prosperity to stay in power.
The whole city hopes to get rich when the Olympics come to Beijing in three years' time.

Traffic jams in Beijing were unheard of a few years ago
China wants to be seen as a vibrant, go-ahead nation. It's tearing down the Hutong courtyard homes of Beijing's poorest, eager to banish their "Dickensian" alleyways.

In their place come modern flats and all the energy-guzzling domestic appliances that go in them.

Also, read this:
In this brief interview with the Dutch magazine Grenzeloos, Gilbert Achcar discusses whether China will achieve the kind of global superpower status that would enable it to challenge the United States.

Oh, and one more thing, US invading China? Or China invasing the US... I wouldn't take these links too seriously If i were you, but hey,

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Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:44 am Reply and quote this post
I didn't know 100 million was that a lot compared to the men USSR lost in the second World War II, which was the only reason that Allies even won the damn thing. Or that US single handedly has killed millions or caused the death of millions with the use of Atom bombs, "pre-emptive wars", the whole middle-east campaigns and in general, being such a good role model for the rest of the world.

Communism has its faults, and it has been severely abused. And I'm thinking Chavez, as are most of the world dictators by the way, a nationalist more than a communist, aiming to promote Venezuela and fight off against US influence. And abuse the poor people of his country in the process.

And propaganda in video games is ages old thing, just look at America's Army and all the FPS games.

Contributed by Jim9137, iVirtua Expressed Contributor
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Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:26 am Reply and quote this post
The USSR lost 28 million during WWII. Stalin killed off an extra 25 million through his ridiculous campaigns (before and after the war), and the USA have killed nowhere near as many people as the Communists - the USA, where it to wipe out the entire populations of Afghanistan and Iraq, would still fall short of the Communists' record. And i do agree that many of these dictators - particularly in smaller nations are Nationalists. Nationalism over the years has not always been a good thing, however. I'm not particularly patriotic, and I sometimes find it hard to understand why people can be so patriotic - I do not care much for my 'nation' - although I do care about its culture and society.

Nationalism and pride for one's nation should be becoming less and less common as globalisation - the unity of nations, culture and societies (and indeed, economies) - becomes more of a factor. People are becoming more 'international' nowadays, sometimes associating themselves with more than one 'nation'. The idea of a 'nation' is what may lead to racism. There should not be such a thing as a 'white' nation or a 'black' nation etc... people of all races exist in all nations, so each nation should not represent a single race - they should only represent a political, economic and social unity.

For more info on Commie killings check out the site below (my stats differ from the below site's):

Contributed by Andy, Editorial, Marketing & Services Team
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Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:26 am Reply and quote this post
Yes, well, times change. Sometimes people don't.

The exact number of deaths that have died under communist regimes isn't exactly known either, wikipedia asserts that estimates range from 23 to 109 millions, while European Union holds that 91 millions is the correct number.

Really, in my point of view, it's a bad habit to label communism as the source of all evil, just like it's bad habit to label Islam as the source of all evil in the current day. It echos from Reagan's "Good (us) vs Bad (them)" propaganda which has gotten popular in the Bush regimen, which is just load of bullshit. Not that I'm defending USSR and its actions, I'm merely trying to point out that yes, there are monsters on both sides.

There's real wars, massacres and genocides going on Africa and how much Bush is willing to devote time there... none! Because they aren't any direct threat or use to US of A. And that's it.

Contributed by Jim9137, iVirtua Expressed Contributor
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Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:20 am Reply and quote this post
First-off, in reference to what Sam said, China has a population over 4 times larger than the US (yet the US is still the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses). This means that anyone, who agrees with the USA's consumption of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gasses, should be willing to allow China to do every 4 times bigger (as they have 1.3 billion people). The Chinese government, however, is taking some measures to slow fossil fuel depletion - they are using biomass technology (not just a little bit - this is a major undertaking) to recycle human waste. Furthermore, another reason for China not going to war is that its population, as the government gives it more power, has no dislike for the US - on the contrary, it has a great liking.

I agree that labelling Communism as 'evil' should not be done - and in that sense I should rephrase what i have said (although Communism is an extreme political view - Socialism is more realistic). When i refer to 'the Communists', i do not, of course, refer to individuals with Communist beliefs - i refer to the Communist leaders (the general population in each Communist nation is generally victimised by Communism anyway, and should therefore be seen as non-Communist).

I do not label Communists as evil - I simply state that they have killed the most people on the planet. Communism is an extreme view, after all - it is not the same as Socialism (which is the humane, non-corrupt, version of Communism). Incidently, did you know that in China, the modern world's least Communist Communist-nation, it is illegal to search for 'democracy' on a search engine?! I have met few people from mainland China, but I have always perceived them as being very pleasant people - nothing like the Communist governments. My view on Communism is that, due to its nature of being un-democratic (there are a few exceptions to this, but i do not have the time to explain these), if one were to call a Communist nation 'bad', then they are only calling the government bad - it is not elected by people. Essentially, were I to call the Cuban Communist government bad, I would not be calling Cuba, or the Cuban people, bad.

I do not label Islam as evil or bad - I live amongst and adjacent to nations that are Muslim and therefore have a much greater understanding - that they are not evil or bad in any way - than most others. There is a vast difference in comparing labelling Communism to labelling Islam - all Communist nations have been killers/caused trouble to the world, whereas not all Islamic nations have - many Islamic nations are perfectly peaceful e.g. Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman etc. Islamic countries like Iran, which are troublemakers, are in the state they are today partly because of Communism. Furthermore, bad people always have extreme views. The people that have made Islam (a religion which is not extreme) look bad are extremists. Communism, as an extreme view, cannot do anything mildly - because then it becomes, by definition, Socialism. What I am saying is that, were we to label Communism as 'good', we may as well call it Socialism.

Lastly, I do agree with your statement that there are monsters on both sides - there almost always is. This is officially the longest post that I have ever written - 577 words.

Contributed by Andy, Editorial, Marketing & Services Team
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Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:17 pm Reply and quote this post
I've made a post 926 words long (do you think we could do a A* university philosiphy theisis on this site?) we have pretty amazing debates for a gaming forum!

Anyway, to summarise, I really don't believe Islam is the root of evil, It has good teachings and no religion is bad theoretically, its what Religion has turned in to (to justiify conflict/control people/profit from) refer to my last post in the Religion Root of All Evil Post.

As for Communisim, and Socialism, all attempts really fail or fall apart. there all dictatorships really, and the dictator becomes to but it simply, mad and over-excited, and has to "enforce" communism, usually with violence, anyway, don't quote me on that its a figure of speech, all I'm saying is, lets face it, we live in a capitalist world and its human instinct to make money, you can't change the people in a nation (buddha  ideologies are different) so they always end up corrupt or falling apart., to put it simply.

China has great prospects, but  with so much western globaliation presence (commercially) but Im just thinking, the more they become capitalist orientated, I think maybe their morals will change, then maybe their knowlege of the outside world, I mean, how long can it be before the chep-labour workers want more money, and before they don't want any more censorship, after all, they are human beings like us, capitalist at heart?

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Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:07 am Reply and quote this post
Yeh, I think that money can be a real problem - some people will do anything for it. Capitalism is not always a good thing in that it may cause some morality to be lost - although not in all cases. Hong Kong and Singapore are considerably more Capitalist (ranked 1 and 2 on the rankings for Economic Freedom) than the US (which is supposed to be the land of the free), yet have stronger, better enforced moral 'laws'. So although some may see Capitalism as more 'immoral', it still presents itself as being more humane than Communism (which shouldn't be the case). Communist, almost by definition, is corrupted Socialism. There are very few 'Socialist' (i.e. non corrupt) states in existance - I have been to some states in India that are 'Communist', but are not corrupt and are functional.
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Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:25 pm Reply and quote this post
I have been to some states in India that are 'Communist', but are not corrupt and are functional.

They are states, I said it works if you choose to be communist (minority), but when say Russia tries to make a whole nation communist, it goes against the human nature to do that, and it inevitably fails.

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Sun Jun 04, 2006 2:19 am Reply and quote this post
That's very true what you say about choice - Kerala in India is the first place on the planet to elect Communism democratically - and even then, the state continues to alternate between a Communism party and a Capitalist party every election. This is effectively Socialism and Capitalism - the 'Communist' laws/views there are not extreme because they are decided upon by the people. Choice by the population really makes a big difference - if a workforce is not given incentive to work, then the state/nation will fail. Thankfully Russia is no longer Communist - thanks to Gorbachev - although people still have less economic freedom than in Communist China!
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Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:34 am Reply and quote this post
elect Communism democratically

I agree with this, and I think it is he only way communism can succeed.
Read this...

Hasn’t it been proven that Communism isn’t sustainable? What keeps the Chinese dictatorship in power more than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

No. Communism is sustainable if—unlike the Soviets—the economic support from abroad can be sustained. Communism isn’t the ideology that propels China. Though the party leaders are dedicated communists, the rise of Chinese nationalism is what keeps their population going despite the ills that communism inflicts.

[Quote From]

Speaking of Gorbachev, there were many factors that ended communism, i've studied these in great depth.
Now this is likely to be a long post.

The ending of communism in Russia was down to many factors,
When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1885 in the USSR, he had inherited many problems in the USSR.
The first was the “Nomenklatura”, which was the very large number of officials who ran the communist party, another was government spending on the military, this had in turn caused a weak economy, and consequently, there were food shortages. The Communist Rule was strongly enforced upon the people of Russia, with there being no religion, and the KGB (Secret police), of whom witch defended the USSR from within. Because there was no opposition, there was no improvement.

The impact of communism upon the lives of the people of the Soviet Union presented many problems when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985. For decades, the communist party government control over agriculture and industry had let to stagnation, and inefficiency. Political Prisoners, such as those who opposed communist rule were placed in gulags (psychiatric hospitals), and the communist party officials enjoyed luxuries and privileges, they were corrupt. Different nationalities in the republics of the USSR resented Russian Domination of the USSR, and Russian presence in Afghanistan meant that valuable resources were being used up. USSR’s relations with the USA were also extremely poor, in 1980, Reagan calls USSR “an evil empire” and warns USSR of a nuclear arms race. The USSR then continued to direct very large amounts of resources and money on nuclear and conventional forms of defence.
These problems caused economic decline in Russia, and solutions would need to be found.

Gorbachevs aim would be to reform the USSR’s economy and the communist party. He had two major reforming policies, Glasnost and
Perestroika. Gorbachev felt that the lives of the people of the USSR were damaged by the secrecy of the GMT, he was convinced that power should be handed back to the people (ending the Communist government), and they should be able to criticise the communist government, which would mean the central communist leaders would never feel the need to change the party or government. The truth that the “Nomenklatura” had tried to hide would be revealed, and people could hear what the country was really like. If people could hear, what the country was like, through Glasnost, this should lead to the restructuring or reform of the USSR. This was known as Perestroika.

The USSR’s economy would have to be modernised and restructured, to be similar to how the Capitalist West ran their countries, industries, and economies. Private enterprise would be encouraged, the party would loosen their grip on the economy, and people could begin to work for trade and profit, this would result in a more modernised country with a stronger economy, and help end Communism.

There were many factors in ending communism in the Soviet Union, including the actions of Mikhail Gorbachev.
There were many smaller, longer-term problems wit the USSR in the time of Communism, and wh8ch would have cased opposition from the Soviet Union. Military Occupation in Afghanistan had become a major place where money was lost, and Russia could not afford the arms race with the US. The Soviet economy was backwards (factories and mines were decrepit and out-of-date). Backward industry was also causing increasing environmental problems like the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion of 1986, and the Aral Sea drying up. Many people were much poorer than the poorest people were in the capitalist west - unrest about shortages was growing. Crime, alcoholism and drugs were running out-of-control in Soviet towns. The Soviet system had become corrupt and out-of-date - instead of dealing with problems, the government just covered them up. Many people were dissatisfied with the Soviet police state and censorship.

Gorbachev's goal in undertaking glasnost was to pressure conservatives within the Party who opposed his policies of economic restructuring, or perestroika. Gorbachev hoped that through different ranges of openness and debate, the Soviet people would support and participate in perestroika.
Relaxation of censorship resulted in the Communist Party losing its grip on the media. To the embarrassment of the authorities, the media began to expose severe social and economic problems which the Soviet government had denied and covered up, such as poor housing, food shortages, alcoholism, widespread pollution, bad mortality rates were now receiving increasing attention. He also caused the Iron Curtain to come down in Hungary first, as they had become confident around Gorbachevs Policies.

Boris Yeltsin was also a  key factor, Yeltsin used his role as president to announce Russian power and patriotism, and his authority as president was a major cause of the collapse of the coup by hard-line government and party officials against Gorbachev in August 1991 Soviet Coup of 1991. The coup leaders had attempted to overthrow Gorbachev in order to halt his plan to sign a confederation treaty that they believed would end the Soviet Union. Yeltsin defiantly opposed the coup plotters and called for Gorbachev's restoration, gathering the support of the Russian public. Most important, Yeltsin's opposition led elements in the "power ministries" that controlled the military, the police, and the KGB to refuse to obey the orders of the coup plotters. The opposition led by Yeltsin, combined with the indecisiveness of the plotters, caused the coup to collapse after three days.

Following the failed coup, Gorbachev found a different arrangement of power, with Yeltsin in effect, in control of much of the Soviet administrative system. Although Gorbachev returned to his position as Soviet president, events began to bypass him, as the USSR began to collapse. Communist party activities were suspended. Most of the union republics quickly declared their independence, although many appeared willing to sign Gorbachev's vaguely outlined confederation treaty. The Eastern Block Communist countries gained full independence, and they quickly received diplomatic appreciation from many nations. Gorbachev's remnant government recognized the independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in August and September 1991. The Soviet Union was falling apart, as was Communist Rule and Order.

Yeltsin and the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus met to form the Commonwealth of Independent States. At that meeting, all parties that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. Gorbachev announced the decision officially 25 December. Russia gained international recognition as the successor to the Soviet Union, receiving its positions in international and regional organizations.

In October 1991, after his resistance to the Soviet coup, Yeltsin convinced the government to grant him important special executive powers for one year so that he might put into practice his economic reforms. In November 1991, he appointed a new government, with himself as acting prime minister.

Gorbachevs role, ideas and concepts of Glasnost and Perestroika played a large part in the reform of the USSR, and the collapse of Communism, Gorbachev policies were a catalyst in speeding up the end of the corrupt and repressive Communist Rule. However, it may not have been possible without the actions of Boris Yeltsin and his supporters, he also speeded up the ending pf Communist USSR, as he had the people of Russia behind him.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:04 am Reply and quote this post
Yeah war and video games as a subject has been around along time. There could never be a war with China as there is like a baby born there every second. that is why they keep getting so big they never stop having babies. I don't know what else to say enough said.
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