March 2, 2011
Nothing beats strapping on that AK-47, getting in the Kevlar-lined car, and driving down the street while gunning down a few dozen people for points, right?
Of course, it changes when it’s actual people gunning down innocent bystanders in one of the most violent cities in the world. And it becomes very personal for me when said city is in my home country and is, in many ways, the best evidence in the world against drug prohibition.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel is already drawing sharp criticism in Mexico and here in the US. Very few details have been released regarding the game. All we know is that the city of Juarez will play a central role and cartels will be involved, but that alone is so offensive that Mexican legislators are looking to ban the game.
Why the outburst, you ask? After all, the Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and other franchises have used glorified violence before right? Sex and violence sells, and this will be just another entry into a market filled with genocidal aliens, mobsters, and terrorists.
So what exactly is Ciudad Juarez?
Well, it’s one of the most violent cities in the world if you don’t count official war zones. Last month, the city averaged eight homicides a day. In 2010, the city had more than 3,000 homicides, more than double what it had two years before. A series of female disappearances and sexual murders totaling between 400 and 5,000 have rocked the city for years. The Juarez Cartel, also known as the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, is brutal to the point that it makes the deaths in Saw look like a Disney Channel movie of the week.
Short version? Ciudad Juarez and the cartel wars are a bloody, constant nightmare for millions of people.
I know people who have been kidnapped, not necessarily by the Juarez Cartel, but kidnapped nonetheless. I’ve walked the streets of Mexico as soldiers patrol in jeeps armed with fifty-cal machine guns. I’ve seen my beautiful Mexico reduced to a police state just to maintain some semblance of stability…
And I’m fine with this game getting released.
Don’t get me wrong. No one knows as of this writing whether or not the players will play as cops, cartel members, or just unaligned badasses on the warpath. The very idea that someone thinks the violence in Ciudad Juarez is appropriate for a video game frankly sickens me.
But I’m all for Ubisoft releasing this game.
Will it influence people to join gangs? No more than Grand Theft Auto increased the stealing of cars or Mortal Kombat increased fights to the death. Medal of Honor didn’t make people join the military in waves. The only people who would be swayed to join the drug war on the side of the cartels because of this game are the people who are already sure they want to do it and are looking for a flimsy excuse.
I’ll tell people who play the game just what it’s based on. I’ll make sure they know that real people die those situations in the game. I’ll make sure people understand the drug trade is responsible for hundreds of thousands of ruined lives.
But I won’t call to ban it.
Let’s face it. What is one video game going to do that decades of the Drug War and heavily armed paramilitary cartels who decapitate their victims can’t do?
- Watson may have won Jeopardy, but Congressman Rush Holt beat Watson in an untelevised match. Go scientists!
- I’m not sure how I feel about Nickelodeon making new episodes of shows like Doug, Rugrats, and other classics. Maybe they’ll be good, but I doubt it. They’ll have to fit them to today’s audience. and, let’s face it, my generation has different tastes. Speaking of which, when are they going to release Pete and Pete on DVD?
- Scientists have created a plant that literally excretes fuel. The real problem, though, is making enough of the stuff to be viable and then finding a way to gather the fuel.
- I knew we were running out of tequila, but did Cracked have to remind me?!
- Scientifically, beauty is determined by symmetry. Someone took Natalie Portman’s face and mirrored it. Thoughts? I think the one on the right looks like a lizard?
- If you’ve been using the internet for all your porn needs, what would happen if the internet went away and left you high and dry?
- Star Wars is awesome. Westerns are awesome. Why not mix Star Wars and Westerns? Brilliant!
- Next time you go into this shop, make sure you order the Glenn Beck Sandwich.
- Looks like Star Trek and the Twilight Zone are coming to Netflix Instant. Score!
- And finally, I hope this is a real movie, or at least a short film. Imagine every meme you ever watched on Youtube… in one movie.