Wednesday, November 24, 2004
war, asia, and video games
I like playing video games... call it juvenile, call it a modern male compulsion, but I just really dig play video games.
In recent years, "real war" has been a popular theme in video games - everything from modern anti-terrorist / special ops games (Rainbow Six, Counterstrike, Ghost Recon) to historical wars (Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Vietnam, Call of Duty.)
But since a number of wars in the past century have involved Asian countries, how does that make me and a large number of Asian Americans feel?
For the most part, I don't think the Asian American community has been offended because many video game companies have so far responsibly handled the content in their games - that is, they haven't resorted to campy, "yellow peril" exploitation that was infamous in games like Shadow Warrior. But the pendulum may be swinging back... witness the recent wave of offensive Vietnam games.
So if Japan and Vietnam have already been featured in several games, what's the next Asian country to be the popular "enemy" in video games? You heard this prediction here first: North Korea.
The new Ghost Recon 2 (site requires Flash) features an imaginary war in 2011 in a failed, but nuclear capable, North Korea. I'm a fan of Red Storm and Tom Clancy's work, so I'm crossing my fingers that the subject matter is handled tastefully.
The game even features a sniper character who is a Asian American from Oregon named "Mike Kim"... at least some token representation, eh?
...from Popeye's. This looks good, don't it?
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