Joystiq posted a timely opinion piece today (Remembrance Day for the Commonwealth) by a writer of Japanese descent can’t bring himself to play Call of Duty: World At War because of the portayal of the game’s Japanese villains (or “virrans”).
The comment thread that follows is surprisingly civil (perhaps due to the author’s threat of banning racist participants.) It’s really interesting that some readers refuse to play the game because it contains footage of actual WWII executions, while titles like Gears of War 2 are okay because the carnage is fictional. i was very surprised to see some folks suggesting that excessive violence is, by definition, excessive, real or otherwise.
Not long ago, i anointed myself the game industry’s lone Jiminy Cricket. But the comment discussion following this article gives me hope that the game industry’s insiders – players, critics and commentators – aren’t afraid to call foul when the medium they love lets them down.