The Labour Goverment of Prime Minister Gordon Brown is pushing ahead with plans to monitor all Internet usage in the U.K.
Britain's Conservative Party is against to the plan and that opposition is the basis for t-enterprise's latest online political parody, Hands Off Our Data!
In the game players assume the role of Conservative leader David Cameron. Wielding an old school raygun, players must blast data mining spiders bearing the likenesses of Gordon Brown and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith while allowing e-mail packets and search engine traffic to pass by.
It has been a whirlwind of a week for Italian provovateurs Molleindustria and Faith Fighter, their online game which parodies religious hatred.
On Monday Metro UK created a controversy where none previously existed. It appears that the tabloid solicited comment from several religious leaders whose level of familiarity with the game is unclear. Not surprisingly, the comments on Faith Fighter were negative.
By Tuesday, the powerful, Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference had waded into the Faith Fighter debate. Molleindustria, apparently bowing to OIC pressure, announced that it had taken the game offline, although it remained available at other portals.
On Wednesday, Molleindustria unveiled Faith Fighter 2, a non-violent version in which players must give love to various deities lest they fade away.
On Thursday, Molleindustria brought the original Faith Fighter back. There's no word yet on what actions the OIC or other groups may take.
Given the recent outbreak of swine flu, could an online swine flu game - perhaps several - be far behind?
Of course not.
The first to emerge is Swinefighter, a game which challenges the player to inoculate as may pigs as possible under the pressure of a time limit. The game's - ahem - viral spread is being helped along by a direct link to Twitter.
An online game released more than a year ago is suddenly causing a stir in religious circles.
Faith Fighter, launched in January of 2008 by the always-provacative Molleindustria, allows players to pit various deities against one another in Mortal Kombat-style action. The virtual combatants in the game include a depiction of Allah, a serious no-no in the Muslim faith.
Metro.co.uk reports that some Christians, Hindus and Buddhists are upset as well. Douglas Miller, pastor of Birmingham's Link Church, told Metro:
This game is going out of its way to upset people and I think it should be taken off the internet. Playing violent video games will ultimately affect your behaviour and this game is deeply offensive and provocative.
An unnamed representative of the Federation of Muslim Organisations added:
In the current climate, this game can only create fear about religion. Having images depicting Muhammad in this way is also very offensive to our faith.
However, a spokesperson for Molleindustria defended the work:
[The purpose of the game is] to push gamers to reflect on how sacred representations are often used to fuel or justify conflicts between people.
The authors of the parody children's book Goodnight Bush are back with a bit of post-presidential Dubya bashing.
While not excatly a game, The George W. Bush Presidential Librarium is an interactive parody:
Completion of the George W. Bush Presidential Library... may be stalled indefinitely, due to an apparent lack of funding, public support, and basic legality. Make no mistake, the public's desire to endlessly relive Bush's greatest achievements may go unanswered for years to come—and his legacy remain (like America) in limbo.
All hope is not lost. We at Origen & Golan Architects are proud to unveil the plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Librarium! Themed attractions provide more entertainment than a library, and more accurately represent Bush's remarkable legacy—start by exploring The Stax, Supreme Food Court, Book BBQ, and the ever-popular Golden Parachutes...
Via: Water Cooler Games
The Onion skewers the video game violence issue in this faux news report which celebrates the launch of Close Range, a new game which features an "immersive, richly-detailed world where players shoot people in the faces with guns."
To see the video, click here.
RapeLay, an obscure Japanese hentai game, sparked controversy earlier this year when an Amazon re-seller was found to be offering the PC title in the U.S. market.
Although there would seem to almost limitless room to criticize the thoroughly disgusting RapeLay, parody site Christwire added a satirical touch yesterday with some over-the-top commentary:
My friends the Japanese are at it again, this time as they prepare to rape your child’s mind and ethics with a horrifying new video game named Rapelay...
I cannot find the words to express my outrage, disgust and disbelief with this anime pornography game, especially the liberals who are trying to market it in America.
Last year studies revealed that 98% of games being marketed to teens contain violence, and after playing a violent video games teens may become 3 times more likely to commit acts of murder, drug violence and date rape...
America is a land that is being overrun with video game violence. Last year California banned the banning of violent video game sales and Barack Obama allows a Wii in the White House while not pushing for a universal anti-violent video game law.
How many more of these games are we going to allow to exist anywhere on Earth? ...
My friends, the gaming liberals and their atheistic Japanese allies are without morals when it comes to video game violence...
GP: Some around the web seem confused as to whether Christwire is a parody. But gay-oriented news site The Advocate reports that Christwire is an affiliate of The Onion.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) may have suggested that executives of public money sink AIG commit ritual suicide, but animation artist Joaqin Baldwin's approach to the new icon of corporate greed is far more diabolical. More fun, too.
AIG Exec UFO Catcher is Baldwin's AIG-themed take on those coin-op claw machines that one finds in arcades and the lobbies of greasy spoon diners. You know, maneuver the claw to grab a small stuffed animal.
In Baldwin's vision, however, players use the claw to collect AIG execs who are partying on the taxpayers' dime. Trillions of dimes, actually...
Entertainingly, things just don't work out so well with the claw feature.
Although the game is a bit NSFW, AIG hate is so rampant at the moment that even the most prudish of bosses will probably look the other way. After all, the boss is a taxpayer, too.
If you've been laid off, you'll have plenty of time on your hands to play the Layoff game - at least until your PC is repo'd.
The new, Bejeweled-like offering from tiltfactor satirizes the plight of worker bees who are paying the price for the incompetent Wall Street types behind the economic meltdown.
A company press release describes the game, which was developed by Prof. Mary Flanagan, Dartmouth’s Digital Humanities Chair in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Game Design and Development program:
Players play from the side of management needing to cut jobs, and match types of workers in groups in order to lay the workers off and increase workforce efficiency... Players eliminating many workers in a row find financiers and bankers taking the place of working class jobs. The financiers in this game cannot face layoffs.
Prof. Flanagan comments on Layoff:
The game has an unsettling feeling. It is cute and fun to play, but when you realize how frightening the situation is, the game in fact functions as a very dark portent.
It has been a rough week for frenetic financial guru Jim Cramer, host of MSNBC's Mad Money program.
Having been pilloried on several recent episodes of The Daily Show, Cramer opted to appear as a guest, apparently in an attempt to explain himself to host Jon Stewart. Bad idea: Cramer's Daily Show appearance was a disaster.
Financial site The Big Money lampoons Cramer's media woes with Crashteroids, a fun little Asteroids knock-off:
Avenge Cramer’s disgrace at the hands of Jon Stewart by blasting his smug grin into space dust. Defeat Business Insider’s Henry Blodget, a man who once called Cramer “a chair-throwing, self-aggrandizing clown.”
Protect Cramer from Fox Business, a network that sneered, “[T]he last thing you need is Jim Cramer.” Shred Barron’s magazine, a publication that has tried to prove Cramer gives crappy investment advice. And, of course, keep the grizzly hordes of bear-market economists at bay.
Via: The Business Insider
From the description:
The challenges of today's airport security make business and pleasure travel increasingly difficult. Security is there to make you feel safe and get you to your plane in one piece. However, today's regulations change frequently and are often different from airport to airport. Now, you too can stand in the shoes of a security agent trying to avert terrorism while getting everyone through a checkpoint quickly...
Play 100 different airports from around the world... Strip search travelers for fun... Confiscate dangerous travel items like pressurized cheese — all inspired by real events in airport security... Game automatically selects the airport you are in or near based on available location services
Jetset is currently available on the iTunes App Store for $3.99
The artist explains:
I kind of get the feeling this comic might appeal more to The Oregon Trail crowd... Number Munchers was another early educational PC game that a lot of us probably played in elementary school...
In any event, we’re not trying to spark a political debate here, it’s just that $787 billion is a staggering number, even for an old pro like Muncher!
Steve Nelson, who has created fascinating visualizations which combine real-world political data with the Second Life metaverse, is at it again.
On his Clear Night Sky blog, Nelson has posted a video which mashes up SL and the 2010 federal budget:
To commemorate the 2010 federal budget... I have installed a new feature at the Capitol Hill in Second Life.
Using the APIs available from USASpending.gov, the Show Me the Money! piggy bank will shower $100 bills down on the Capitol Hill legislative chamber. Each bill has the name of one of the top 50 recipients of government funding during 1Q 2009. The size of the bill is proportionate to the amount of money received, at a scale of $1billion = 1 Second Life meter.
Humor site The Onion asks whether violent games are doing enough to prepare our children for the coming Apocalypse.
Given the number of post-apocalyptic games, it may actually be a reasonable question...
A Japanese finance minister who appeared to be drunk and sleepy during a G7 press conference earlier this month is the subject a new parody game for mobile phones.
As reported by the Telegraph, Shoichi Nakagawa delivered the less-than-stellar performance at left during G7 in Rome:
Now [Nakagawa] has become the latest target of Japan's mischievous game industry. Players are invited to wake a likeness of Mr Nakagawa as he fields questions at a press conference and then let him nap to increase his energy reserves.
Players gain points in "Drowsy Presser by Drugged Minister" if they boost Mr Nakagawa's "support rating" by having him answer journalists' questions. But if the minister is caught sleeping by journalists, he falls off his chair and the game is over.
A just-released online news game allows player to try their hand at saving the economy.
With this game we're giving game players the chance to experience what it's like to make a decision about who to bailout and who not to. Games can help people experience news events by putting them in the shoes of the people in the action.
News events are something that really unite our culture, everyone experiences it together, so adding games into the mix of how people are experiencing major national events is just part of what we do. They're not just a silly pass time. It's a form social commentary.
In Trillion Dollar Bailout players are presented with cash requests from corporate executives and average homeowners. It's up to the player to decide how to dole out the bailout bucks.
GP: We initially embedded the game with this story, but - rather obnoxiously - it starts running when the GP page loads. You can, however, click the link to check the game out.
While gamers continue to debate whether or not the upcoming Resident Evil 5 contains racist imagery, the Penny Arcade crew has weighed in on the issue with a new comic (left).
Incidentally, in a recent GamePolitics poll on the topic, 83% of GP readers disagreed with the idea that there was racism in the game.
For the full PA comic, click here.
Apple, it appears, takes a rather dim view of political satire - at least where iPhone apps are concerned.
TechCrunch reports that Apple has nixed a seemingly harmless game in which depictions of President Barack Obama and other U.S. political figures jump on a virtual trampoline.
The news comes on the heels of Apple's recent rejection of another would-be iPhone game which parodies December's hurling of a shoe at then-President Bush. That well-known incident was widely satirized via online Flash games.
TechCrunch questions Apple's censorship of Obama Trampoline:
Developer Swamiware was surprised to see its latest iPhone app rejected by Apple, and so are we. The application was a harmless game that let you select a known U.S. politician (both republicans and democrats) and have him/her jump a virtual trampoline...
Does the Obama Trampoline app actually ridicule public figures? It’s not obscene or pornographic of nature, so why was it deemed either offensive or defamatory?
Kotaku reports that Japanese publisher Daletto is offering what appears to be a Barack Obama figure as downloadable content for its Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation, a PC game.
The Obama figure and other DLC characters are available as part of a Valentine's Day update.
The Illinois Senate may have given Rod Blagojevich the boot via impeachment, but game developer Yanki.JP is celebrating the disgraced ex-Guv's reign with with Pay2Play, a new iPhone app.
The game's website lets us know that this is not exactly a hardcore political sim:
Pay2Play is the game of trading and danger. How much money can YOU make selling senate seats? Head all over Illinois trading your way to success!
You have 30 days to pay back the unions, make tons of cash, and get out of town all before getting impeached! Transposing a trading game such as Dopewars with a slick interface on the iPhone.
Also a gaming first! Alcopops make it to the game scene for the first time. See what Illinois politicians have been so worried about!
The alcopops reference is a dig at a recent Illinois law prohibiting the depiction of the sweet, boozy drinks in games aimed at children - not that there has ever been an alcopop depicted in a video game.
Eager to try your hand at corrupt Illinois politics? You'll have to wait a bit longer. Pay2Play is currently on hold pending AppStore approval.
A new online game serves as both a parody and a protest of a notorious free speech case in Thailand.
You Have To Defecate Upon King Bhumibol calls attention to the Thai government's imprisonment of Harry Nicolaides. As reported by the BBC, the Australian novelist was given a three-year sentence for defaming the monarchy.
Thai prosecutors charged that a passage detailing a fictional prince in a 2005 novel defamed King Bhumibol as well as the nation's Crown Prince. Only seven copies of the novel were sold.
The Australian government has asked Thailand to pardon Nicolaides.
Via: Water Cooler Games
Shawn Recinto of HeadlineGames dropped by GamePolitics the other day to let us know that a pair of games loosely based on the misadventures of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are available.
Blago Run, a Frogger-like affair, challenges players to guide Senate hopefuls past FBI and police patrols in search of President Barack Obama's former seat.
Meanwhile, Blago Red Tape Breakout is a Breakout clone in which Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan must get her supoena past rows of red tape in order to serve Blagojevich with impeachment papers.
As George W. Bush turns over the reigns to Barack Obama today, online gamers will have their final chance to zing the 43rd president.
Goodbye, Mr. Bush is a whack-a-mole sort of affair in which players hurl objects at a cartoon version of Dubya which pops up in various locations on the White House lawn. Weapons of choice include eggs, candy and, of course, shoes.
The game, like the man it lampoons, will soon be forgotten. But there is one clever moment. Players who choose Weapons of Mass Destruction to hurl at Bush are informed that WMD can't be found.
Hmmm... Where have we heard that before?
If you'd like to give it a try, click the thumbnail image to play.
Via: Huffington Post
In honor of Barack Obama's Tuesday inaugural festivities, Atom.com has posted an inauguration speech generator.
We'd rate this one mildy entertaining.
The current Gaza conflict continues to be portrayed in game imagery.
The concept behind the game is that players insert their Mii characters into the Middle East conflict... and then choose whether to go on the offensive against the other side or help protect their own people. The game utilizes both the Wii remote and nunchuck and incorporates updates from the Wii News Channel to keep the game current...
Some, like [fictional professor] Spaulding Wang, see the game as an educational tool...
"Rather than try to explain to my daughter something I just don't get, why not have her take Israel's side and blow up some civilians in Gaza, and then take Palestine's side and do the same to Israel," Wang said. "Then she can form her own opinion about who she thinks is right, and share that with her fellow first-graders."
The mayor of Masiu City in the Philippines suddenly finds himself targeted by an online game, although apparently not without some justification.
It all began on the day after Christmas. Filipino blogger Bambee dela Paz writes that she was golfing with her 56-year-old father and 14-year-old brother when the foursome of Masiu Mayor Nasser Pangandaman, Jr. jumped ahead of them. Words were exchanged, and Bambee's dad and brother eventually suffered a beatdown at the hands of Pangandaman and his party.
Fast forward to yesterday when Kick Nasser appeared on the Web. The simple Flash game has only one object: to kick the Mayor and send him flying over golf course-like terrain.
Of course, there are two sides to every story.
Last week GamePolitics reported on Holiday Snowball Fight, an online game which lampooned, among other celebrities, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Apparently the game, created by PETA, provoked a bit of a dust-up between Palin's people and the animal rights organization. Although details are sketchy, a PETA blog claims that the group was threatened with legal action over the game:
This morning, PETA's Policy Department received a Scrooge-like phone call from someone purporting to be from Gov. Sarah Palin's office threatening legal action against us if we don't play ball...
In real life, the moose and other animals Ms. Palin blows to smithereens don't stand a chance... Though this game is just a bit of harmless payback, Palin's real-life hunting habit is no joke...
The Alaska Report has more, including transcripts of a nasty e-mail flame war between Palin spokeman Bill McAllister and PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. From the e-mail exchange, it appears that the Palin camp claims no knowledge of the alleged legal threat.
GP: Thanks to reader Raymond Martineau for the tip!
As we've found out recently, animal rights group PETA has increasingly taken to spreading its message though the use of video game parodies.
Last month, for example, PETA garnered major attention with Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals, a Flash offering parodying Majesco's light-hearted kitchen game series.
More recently, PETA launched Holiday Snowball Fight. The online game begins by having players target fur-wearers like Madonna and designer Donna Karan, and ends with Sarah Palin as the focus of PETA's ire. Palin, of course, is an avid hunter. The 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee has been criticized by some for taking part in the practice of shooting wolves from airplanes.