Shades of the 1960’s: Antiwar Protest at Ubisoft

Yesterday GamePolitics reported on a planned protest march outside Ubisoft’s San Francisco office.

Peace group Direct Action to Stop the War hoped to persuade Ubisoft to drop its support of the America’s Army franchise, which the organization claims violates U.N. protocols against recruiting children into the military.

Two representatives of the group apparently scored some face time with Ubi’s U.S. CEO Laurent Detoc. MTV Multiplayer has a response statement from Ubisoft:

Ubisoft is a leading publisher that strives to create the best entertainment experiences possible. Ubisoft worked with the U.S. Army to create America’s Army games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 in order to deliver a compelling experience for our customers. As we discussed with the Direct Action to Stop the War (DASW) organization, our games are created to meet a diverse range of interests and not to express or endorse any political view. We respect DASW’s First Amendment rights, and would hope they also respect and recognize ours.

Wired Game|Life’s Chris Kohler has a lengthy (if slightly snarky) running commentary on the protest.

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  1. j0k3r says:

    Thanks good job;

    Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing travesti or little and need to start saving costs. and dizi izle


    Now I don’t have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

    Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

    Wait… I think that sounds like a good idea.

    But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God’s Sake… least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

  2. oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  3. -Jes- ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    iPod.. Best?

    All it beats is the Zune, and that’s not saying much.


    Try a brand that isn’t mass-marketed.. You’d be surprised.

  4. Raul says:

    Right Austin, the general public just looked at Iraq and said, "Oh well, there’s a new war out, it looks like it might be cool, let’s do it."  That or they believed the unrelenting media coverage that consistently and continually stated that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and could use them against us.  I’d agree with you, though, that advertising only works well on childeren and weak-minded people.

  5. Raul says:

    Well Austin, if you actually were in Iraq, I guess I can’t accuse you of being a hypocrite, but, yeah, my reason is a hell of a lot better.  We’re not at any risk of being invaded and stopping propagandistic recruitment efforts won’t put us at any more of one.  Unfortunately, unlike you, I don’t have the luxury of being enlightened enough to trust the veracity of sources like Fox News or other network stations, so I will continue to read blogs.  Also, I don’t remember ever saying that we shouldn’t have an Army, however, I can think of at least one individual who complained to them ’till they left and I don’t think anyone can accuse him of being a coward.

  6. Paul T. Farinelli says:

    I love the name-calling in this topic. It reminds me once again why arguing about politics with others is a futile waste of time. Personally, I’m not particular fond of recruitment propaganda, but I’m not going to go protest America’s Army like some jackass and expect people to take it seriously. And even though I’m admittedly not fond of our military’s more recent exploits, they have just as much a right to advertise and recruit as the Wendy’s where I live does.

  7. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Its an irrelevant strawman because we are not talking about money now are we? 

  8. Austin_Lewis says:

    Probably because I’ve already been there, but I’m sure your reason is a lot better. 

    Apparently you want America to go down in flames, because apparently you don’t want to see people recruited.  Recruiting has been the heart and soul of our ALL VOLUNTEER ARMY since Vietnam ended.  Without an army, we have no defense against invasion (what are you gonna do, complain to them til they leave? Have fun with that you coward) and no force which can be sent to the aid of our allies across the world.

    But I’m sure you’re an expert in military matters because you read about them on your assinine blogs.

    I’m just thankful that the majority of Americans are smart enough to look past your hypocritical bullshit.

  9. Austin_Lewis says:

    Actually, everyone and their brother owns an iPod because for a long while it was the best MP3 player, to the point where iPod became synonymous with MP3 player.

    As for people bitching in Iraq, I guess I missed out on that, other than the general shit (I’m sick of cleaning sand out of my rifle, why is it so fucking hot, why do they all have to wear long robes, etc.)

    But I’m sure you know better than the rest of us. 

    By the way, the only people that advertising really works well on are children and weak-minded people. To everyone else, they might as well be infomercials along the lines of ‘oh well, there’s a new game out, it looks like it might be cool, i’ll go look it up’.

    Face it, you’re just an idiot.

  10. Raul says:

    Austin, yes I determined it’s wrong; I routinely make judgments and decisions on many matters and issues–sometimes even on a daily basis.  If only I were privileged enough to not be exposed to those that wish to see America go down in flames, ’cause as it is, I unfortunately hear their voices and opinions everyday, everywhere.  But, I try not to live my life in fear of things that go bump in the night. 

    And, the reason I haven’t joined the military and am not currently in Iraq, isn’t because I’m a chickenshit, it’s because I don’t think we should be there.  What exactly is your reason?

  11. Raul says:

    Austin, I face myself everyday and I’m confident that I’m not full of shit.  I do get mad when I see recruitment posters and those ads in the theatres are especially offensive.  And, yeah this forum is quite a convenient avenue to express my views regarding Ubisoft’s involvement with recruitment propaganda.  Further, the reason you don’t hear people in Iraq bitching about being in Iraq is because they are in Iraq–if you were there you might hear quite a bit of that; you might hear yourself bitch.  Ron Paul received the most contributions out of any of the presidential candidates in the primaries for a reason. 

    Finally, you’re right, advertising, propaganda, public relations, and media manipulation are completely ineffective and a total waste of money–that’s why billions and billions of dollars are spent on it every year and that’s why everyone and their brother owns an iPod.

  12. Austin_Lewis says:

    So YOU determine it’s wrong?  Sorry jackass, but I wouldn’t trust you to determine the temperature of my coffee or the cleanliness of my rifle, much less what is right and wrong.  If you want to pretend that recruiting for a military our country needs is wrong, then you go right on ahead, but don’t try and force your assinine views of right and wrong on the rest of us. Your views are skewed by privilege; the privilege of not knowing the things that go bump in the night, the privilege of not ever seeing the people who are out there wanting to see America go down in flame, and the privilege of never having to help anyone but yourself. 


    For everyone else, when you see a vet (if they’re in BDU’s or ACU’s, you can tell they’re a vet if they have a little badge with a rifle on it over their heart, or if they have a unit insignia on both sides of their blouse) thank them for not being as big a chickenshit as this guy.

  13. Austin_Lewis says:

    Raul, do you get mad when you see posters with Uncle Sam saying "I want you for the Army"?  Have you stopped going to theaters because they have commercials for the National Guard?  Have you stopped watching TV because they have commercials for the Marines, the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Airforce, and all their reserve branches?  Do you not play first person shooters because they glorify the role of the warrior, and the bravery and courage shown by the heroes, and often don’t show the other side, the strife, the fear, the macabre jokes, etc?

    Face it, you’re full of shit, and you’re only protesting profiting off war as long as its convenient to you. 

    If people want to join, they’ll join, and God bless them for it.  If they want to play violent games, they can do that to, and I hope they have a grand ol’ time.  A videogame won’t make someone say "hey, I should sign four years of my life away so I can maybe die in the third world!". 

    And many of my friends and loved ones have also been to Iraq, but you don’t see them bitching, maybe because they’re far more intelligent than you, and understand that games and propaganda don’t force people to do anything.

  14. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You seem to fail to understand the necessity of a military in preserving peace and justice.  Let me break things down for you.  A country needs a military.  Militaries need people.  Ergo militaries need to try and attract people to them. 

    I don’t know you well enough to call you a prancing, granola eating hippy or not.  But if you think that if army recuritment dropped to zero that in a decade or so after that we wouldn’t be invaded by some opportunistic entity you are HIGHLY naive.

    Yes, we are going to get moron Presidents who will drag us into pointless conflicts where thousands of lives will be senselessly lost.  BUT this still doesn’t negate the necessity for a military or military recruitment.


    So ergo:  We don’t give a shit.  Armies are going to recruit people, deal with it.


  15. Unique78 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Does anyone that has a problem with this game object to a adults wanting the future adults in this world to be teachers? … no?

    How about Firefighters? It’s dangerous, but they current ones today need replacing when they expire.

    How about Astronaughts? That’s also dangerous.

    Police? is that out of the questions too? We don’t want our children to be police officers when they are adults right? They could get killed trying to arrest someone breaking an unjust law!

    Jeeze you people (the ones against UBISOFT as some terrible company), WTF do you think "bring your parents to school day" is? It’s to talk about how awsome their job is and how all the kids should want a job like that.

    My son wants to be a police officer when he’s older. I’ve guided him and helped him get into that mentality of wanting to be one. Cops save people. They make sure citizens don’t break the law that polititians create, or arrest the ones that do break the laws that ‘polititians’ create. That goes for soldiers too. Soldiers fight our ‘justly’ wars because we elect people that speak for us. Adults for hundreds of thousands of years have been cultivating children into future professions.

    I can’t recall ever hearing about how a parent tried glorifying being an adult diaper tester.



  16. Raul says:

    The effectiveness of the propaganda is irrelevant (however, if that 4% figure is accurate, then the game must be considered wildly effective), the issue is that it’s immoral.  It’s wrong because it’s wrong–it has nothing to do with any U.N. resolution or how successful it is.

  17. Raul says:

    Erik, you know if enough people gave a shit, maybe your family members wouldn’t be in Iraq. 

    And, how would it make you feel if, after one of your family members were, God forbid, killed in Iraq, someone glibly said, "Darwin’s theory is fully in effect."

  18. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Worship them?  Please, get over yourself.  You seem to have it in your head that we are somehow blind to this being propoganda.  No one is stating that it isn’t propoganda.  It is quite clearly and obviously propoganda.  But what we are saying: We don’t give a shit.  A major function of armies is to recruit new people, get over it.  No one is removing these people’s free will.  This is not a draft.  If they are stupid enough to join the army because of a video game then that means that Darwin’s theory is fully in effect.


    And before you comment you should know that I have had MULTIPLE family members in Iraq.  And though the current war with Iraq is bogus, peace and justice could not exist without a military.

  19. SWAT says:

    I wouldin’t protest because of the Army game but I would protest for how shitty of a developer they are and how they killed Rainbow Six.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah, and since nobody brought it up, I bring back this quote from Dennis’ previous article, taken straight from the source:

    The game is having an effect.  An informal study showed that 4 out of 100 new recruits in Ft. Benning, Georgia credit America’s Army as the primary factor in convincing them to join the military… 

    So by their own statistics, for what they’re worth, only 4% of the people that play AA decide to join the military, or at least list it as their primary motivation to. Direct action indeed.

  21. SS says:

    Look we all know AA is propaganda.  However its naive to think people will join the Army just because of a game.  They will join for reasons such as poverty or patriotism.  Yes it glorifies war, but not very well.(metacritic score of 43 for the 360 version).  Focusing on one shitty game is stupid.  It’s a waste of resources.  Frankly nobody will be convinced to join the army because of one game.  Because the game is so shitty it probably discourages people to join the army.

    Anybody who joins the army because of this game is seriously mentally challenged.   

    Look this protesting is just giving it free publicity.  Nobody was gonna buy it anyway because nobody’s heard of it.  By doing this you’re just helping the game.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I figured Call of Duty 4 would get more people to join the military; why aren’t the Direct Action to Stop the War (for once I wish activists would come up with a clever name for their groups) protesting the developers of that game? Or say, Metal Gear Solid, since despite the anti-war message on that one, it shows military and covert ops as "cool" and "the job to have". Hell, by the logic shown, those would be worse enemies to peace and justice (what is this, DC Comics?) since they’re better quality games compared to America’s Army; the only dividing factor is the military wasn’t involved in their development, just people that did their research on the military, firearms, etc.

    But what do I know? I actually work for a living and pay taxes.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Yes Grendal, I’m really arguing that AA is a threat to peace and justice.  I don’t see myself as the one that’s wrapped up in my own privileged world.  I don’t care about the UN protocol–that’s not the issue.  The isssue is that the military is targeting teens in the hopes that they will join the military and potentially fight in lethal conflict.  I see that as a serious threat to peace and justice–specifically to the ones that enlist and the ones that they’ll be fighting.  Would you recommend your friends and loved ones to go to Iraq and fight and die, or become permanently and horribly physically and/or mentally scarred?  And, you’ll have to decide what decent values are for yourself, but I don’t have any problem pointing out that ridiculing a person or organization that’s trying to hold another organization accountable for profiting off of the very real possible injury and/or death (if Ubisoft did what they were paid to do, then this is exactly what their efforts will result in) of another individual is just plain wrong, immoral, and irresponsible and relfects a wider, general lack of values and decency in society.  War is not a video game–war is pain.  And, I really didn’t notice or think about the edit button and I don’t feel too worried about it.

  24. Grendal says:

    Really, you are arguing that AA is a threat to peace and justice? Is it physically possible to be that naive and wrapped up in your own privileged world? AA breaks no laws, specifically not the UN protocol that the protestors sited so I fail to see how it could effect justice. As for peace, well that comes down to a basic issue of how you view humanity and if we actually could be a fully peacful race, mind historical precedent bears against that but you never know. Still AA might recruit some more people into the army but that really won’t effect peace at all, especially not world peace giving the ongoing conflicts well everywhere.

    Also what exactly are decent values, other than the values you endorse?

    Also did you not notice the edit button or did you really feel that you need three posts to express your thoughts?

  25. Raul says:

    Playing GTA may not lead an individual to harm or kill another, but the designers of America’s Army are hoping you’ll do just that.

  26. Raul says:

    Though Medved’s values are completely distorted, he’s certainly right that society is sorely lacking in decent values, as the above comments plainly, and sadly, illustrate.  It’s ok to like video games, but not ok to worship them; there are many things that are far more important than entertainment, peace and justice being two of them.

  27. Raul says:

    The protestors couldn’t be more right about going after Ubisoft for being involved in such blatant and vile propaganda.  The protestors are being citizens, not just consumers, and are performing their civic duty–supporting Ubisoft in profiting off of the propagandization of America’s young (there’s a reason the game is rated T and not M) is foolish, dangerous, and naive.

  28. Austin_Lewis says:

    You can join the military at 17, but can’t be deployed until 18, and I’m fairly certain you need parental consent at 17.

  29. Kojiro ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh man, I was going to join the Navy after Top Gun.  But then, I also wanted to be a smuggler after seeing Han Solo in Star Wars.  Good thing that didn’t pan out, lol.

  30. Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "In any case, if some kid plays the game and says "I want to be a soldier when I grow up!" he isn’t recuited, yet.  No law broken.  If they actually let the kid enlist at age 13 and shipped him off to boot camp… then we’d have a problem."

    I felt the same way after I watched Top Gun, and Delta Force. And yet I see nobody lambasting those flicks for inducing kids of my age to become a soldier.

  31. Austin_Lewis says:

    Yeah, I remember people protesting when I was in college too.  Of course, I remember being spit on by protesters, so I guess i’m biased to think they’re a bunch of snobby rich-kids who don’t need to work or worry about the rest of the world because they have enough money to buy their own little military of bodyguards. 

    As for these people, they need to either fuck off or protest every war game there is, and since they won’t be doing that, they should probably just go fuck off.  It’s just as bad as PETA, throwing paint on people who own fur, demanding that you don’t eat meat, and then eating soy products that are harvested using machines that crush millions of mice, snakes, and other animals with each harvesting.  They want you to listen to what they say and make their statement, but not to the point where it inconveniences their lives.

  32. Zerodash. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yawn.  Hippies need to get a job.  They also don’t realize the UN rule in question is all about forcing children into the military.

    I remember all the wealthy hippy kids I went to college with- those "students" with their paid-in-full tuition spent all day protesting at the fur stores, while real people went to work to pay bills.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I paraprhase Boondocks when I say, "Who’d you rather have beef with?  A big, tough guy with a lot of guns, or some geek sitting in his basement?

  34. Keith K says:

    Protesting in front of Ubisoft is a decidedly INDIRECT Action to Stop the War.

    Sure beats the hell out of standing in front of tanks though, I guess.

  35. Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know, I almost joined the army. But when I took the test the told me I’d be perfect for infantry. But I remebered playing a videogame that was an Apache sim on my C64. I remebered how helpless the infantry squads were when I blasted them to ribbons. A military videogame sim actually kept out of the military.

    Oh, apparently there comments section on the DASW website is still not accepting comments from people with dissenting opinions. If they were a government, they’d be protested for human rights violations.

  36. GryphonOsiris says:

    Of course not, to them all soldiers are are baby killing, near-retard level, sociopathic, jingoistic, homicidal rapists who joined up because they are to stupid to do anything else.

    Mind you, I’ve been colored as being such by a sibling because I enlisted to the Air Force, which I find funny because both parents served, along with family on both sides, yet this sister is the tree hugging hippie. Odd, ain’t it?


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  37. Mottom22 says:

    I find it funny that they are slamming the military for this because it has a teen rating, which they don’t have much control over. so… if the army made a game rated mature, they would need to abide by the ESRB classification of mature. so it will either have to be sexual or very violent (or lots more potty mouth).

    But then the army would be slammed for making such a violent, sexual and potty mouth driven game in the first place. no one is ever happy. and no one should ever listen to this kooks. they protest, which is their right under the 1st. yet they want this game put away, which is protected by the 1st,…. so they would be happy if that speech was taken away…. but the very act they are doing to protest it is protected by the very same thing…. sooo…. stupidity.

    I agree with the topgun comments. it breaks no rules. they just need to get a life and do something else that actually makes a difference in the world

  38. Mech says:

    Every single time I read something like this, it automatically makes me think of retarded internet trolls who think everything they say is the truth. Sadly these people actually do the same thing in real life.

  39. DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Isn’t America’s Army rated M anyway? Sorry, i don’t keep up with FPS games, since they’re a dime a dozen today…

  40. Kojiro ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t understand this comment.  The military did indeed develop America’s Army to recruit (why else?), and they have proudly toted it’s success in the past.  I don’t think anyone is arguing that it is NOT for recruitment.  The argument here is whether or not it is in violation of UN law.

    Personally, I agree with Chris Kohler.  The military is not recruiting children.  You can’t actually be recruited until 17 (or 18?  not sure).  In any case, if some kid plays the game and says "I want to be a soldier when I grow up!" he isn’t recuited, yet.  No law broken.  If they actually let the kid enlist at age 13 and shipped him off to boot camp… then we’d have a problem.

  41. gs2005 says:

    If you try to deny that America’s Army was designed to be something other than a federally-funded recruiting tool, you’re an idiot.

    The USCG actually considered a video game too, about two years ago, then the funding was cancelled and the project was deep-sixed.  When I saw the prototype at a USCG innovations expo it was not very impressive. 

  42. Terry says:

    If you can’t see that Americas Army was only created to boost recruiting numbers your an idiot.

  43. thefremen says:

    The best thing I can say about these guys is that they aren’t currently trying to kill researchers who use animal testing to cure lupus.

    Oh wait, that’s not lupus it’s cancer.

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