298: Ghosts of Juarez

Robert Rath

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Ghosts of Juarez

First person shooter games like Ghost Recon and the upcoming Call of Juarez: The Cartel are becoming uncomfortably indistinguishable from real life events. Or vice versa.

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Robert Rath

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Chihuahua's Interior Department? Um, why do they have a department for small dog organs? I liked the article, but I can't get over that.
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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My thoughts on the subject are complicated. To be honest I'm a big believer in free speech, and have defended things like sex and violence to an extreme degree. Albiet in most cases I am defending it in the context of pure fantasy, like the horror genere.

Recent political trends, and a desire to deal with real world incidents happening right now, have however caused me to reconsider this stance to an extent. Kudos to the game industry, it has managed to get one of the staunched defenders of free speech to reconsider his position, and not because they pushed the envelope in the direction they should have been.

To be entirely honest I don't think video games should be dealing with real world conflicts that are currently going on, at least not to the point that allows one to play the "bad guys" as defined by the US (more on this dual standard in a second). Playing as terrorists and anti-US insurgents, even labeled "Opposing Force", or using a game to do what amounts to pass gang propaganda is a problem. Things like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Saint's Row" haven't been a problem because everything is not only exagerrated beyond belief, but it's pure fiction, none of these cities, gangs, or incidents actually exist in the real world. On the other hand the drug wars in Juarez is real, and a game like this is tantamount to how gangs distribute propaganda in real life, they are more advanced than a lot of people think. Gangs like The Latin Kings and The Aryan Brotherhood very much do distribute propaganda.

Now as an important point, I think historical incidents are something else entirely. Decades after the smoke has cleared, I think real life becomes fair fodder for video games. The Cold War, World War II, Vietnam, they are all a relatively distant memory, while things like "The War On Terror" and the cartel wars in Mexico are still ongoing.

The reason why the US is an exception is because I think we're in a league of our own as a nation to be honest. As arrogant as it sounds, it's important to note that the US is it's own worst critic, and the US goverment is pretty much a stock villain in American fiction to begin with... to the point of being an almost painful stereotype (oh noes, it was the goverment conspiricy!). When dealing with other nations nowadays, I think the problem is largely one of context. Like it or not, Mexico isn't in great shape as a country for example, while the US has a lot of problems, the military publically turning against the goverment isn't one of them, and hasn't been for a long time (and The American Civil war is fair game for video games anyway). With all the problems Mexico has keeping it's own people on it's own side of the border and everything else, not to mention how that violence spills over into US cities like El Paso, I think it's not entirely unfair to portray rogue Mexican military units as bad guys, assuming you do it totally in the context of fantasy.

See, the differance is that in general when people want to make games where they shoot at US troops and such, it's typically active duty military and such operating for the goverment, because your looking at a situation where they want to make an Anti-US statement, and there are usually some pretty borked politics involved. On the other hand when your dealing with rogue elements of the US goverment, that's typically fair game. Look at say "Metal Gear" for example, it was made in Japan, it's pure fantasy, and it generally comes down to the US military against the US military. It was done in such a way that unlike "playable Taliban" or a hypothetical game where you say played Mexicans invading the US or whatever, it didn't offend many people, and actually became a big success.

The dual standard ironically being a matter of maturity, that only a very nations, games and game companies/developers seem to be capable of.
 

Blue Musician

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Thanks for making this article.
I'm from Chihuahua, the same state of Ciudad Juárez, and I'm leaving the country the 8th of April because of the constant fear of being hurt. Things are not going to get better in Mexico.

Everyday I see at least 12 different trucks full of federales and the army...
 

JakobBloch

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Very good article, and not the least because now that I have read it I have no idea where you stand in the debate (ok I have an incling but no more).

Now for my views:

We can't hide and flee from controversy. Honor the troops, respect the families, patriotism and more I am sure. These are reasons we give when we say "don't tell us what is going on." We apparently don't want to know and the people who are suppose to tell does not want to. Journalists do not inform of the horrors of war so war becomes something where soldiers go to get glory.

I am gonna go out on a tangent here but this is the reason wikileaks is out there. Wikileaks is doing what repporters were suppose to do. Investigate if something fishy is going on and if something is report it. So instead we have wikileaks. Now don't get me wrong I support wikileaks and their ambitions but there are somethings that are the business of the public and there are some things that are not. What one ambassador really thinks of another is not something we need to know. An american helicopter opening fire on civilians, killing among others 2 journalists and wounding 2 children? That is very much our business. We need to know because we bear some of the blame for that.

Now back on topic. we can not just sit back and ignore what is happening. We need to know what we are supporting when we snort a line of coke. We need to see the cost of our actions or else we just won't care. We may not care anyway but we MUST know. Getting this information out is hard enough as it is. Controversy helps. Hopefully a game about the horrors will help to. Hopefullywe will see and feel the horrific events. Hopefully it will make us understand. Hopefully it will make us care.
 

5-0

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I'm not gonna chime in with a response to events here; I am not American, and as such do not have sufficient knowledge about the situation in Mexico.
I would just like to say what a really well written and researched article that was. I enjoyed reading it.
 

auronvi

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I don't watch a lot of news. I never knew how much trouble there is in Mexico. I liked the article and it was very well balanced discussion about the situation there and the way the games portray it. I think that it is a bit insensitive to make a game about current affairs but at the same time am all for free speech.

What I don't like about the idea about making games is that games are meant to be fun. Games are meant as a form of entertainment. If you fire into Mexican soldiers in the game, it represents firing at a real person somewhere that I don't know. This is easy to deal with in pure fictional games or games about established enemies of the state (i.e. Taliban) but in a situation that is so complicated as it is in Mexico, I don't know if I would be ok with shooting these targets. Damnit, shooting games are getting too complicated to think about. lol... now I see why Halo is so popular. No thinking, just kill the alien scum!
 

archabaddon

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When I play games, it's usually to escape some of the harsh realities of our world. I've never been a fan of FPS games based in modern day; in fact, when I play an FPS, it's usually a historical theme (BF1942, CoD) or sci-fi (Resistance, Bulletstorm).

Although I believe ardently in the 1st Amendment, there is a modicum of not doing something taboo. I'm not sure if the events in Juarez blatantly cross that line, but they certainly smudge it a bit, IMPO. The thinsg happening just on the other side of the US border is a human tragedy, and it's bad enough today without making fictional depictions of those events.

It's like the old adage: "... Too soon?" In this case, in my opinion, yes, definitely too soon.
 

Adventurer2626

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Wow. I was not aware that things were that bad. 15,273?!?!? I checked that statistic a couple times because I could not believe it. I hope the Mex. gov't can get a handle on things soon. My heart goes out to my Mexican brothers and sisters.
 

Robert Rath

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I watched a movie called "Traffic," recently. It's about the drug flow from Mexico to the U.S. and to some extent, the drug wars. It's a great movie, and portrayed the war and drug problems realistically, with no clear cut good guys or bad guys, in the traditional sense. It won Oscars, including Best Director.

Why the fuck do you guys, forum posters above me, think a game shouldn't be allowed to do this? Portray it realistically and intelligently. They might fail, but they have to try first, and you don't even want them to try. Fuck that and fuck your delicate little sensibilities. Maybe these games can bring people to the light about the drug wars. Traffic did for me.
 

Albino Boo

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Psychotic-ishSOB said:
I watched a movie called "Traffic," recently. It's about the drug flow from Mexico to the U.S. and to some extent, the drug wars. It's a great movie, and portrayed the war and drug problems realistically, with no clear cut good guys or bad guys, in the traditional sense. It won Oscars, including Best Director.

Why the fuck do you guys, forum posters above me, think a game shouldn't be allowed to do this? Portray it realistically and intelligently. They might fail, but they have to try first, and you don't even want them to try. Fuck that and fuck your delicate little sensibilities. Maybe these games can bring people to the light about the drug wars. Traffic did for me.
The simple reason is that a film is passive, you just sit there and watch it. The script, actors and director already have made the choices as to the outcome of the picture and it never changes. A game is active, you press the fire button and kill the cop or execute the hostage. Try explaining to this woman http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/mexico/8077251/Mexican-student-takes-over-police-in-drug-war-town.html why a large American corporation should make an entertainment out of her attempt to bring basic law and order to where she lives. Lets face it, the game is going to sell to 15 year old middle class white boys who like fantasise about being drug barons. In the real world they wouldn't last 5 seconds in the environment the game purports to show. All the victims of cartels are just going to look and see some making money out of their misery.
 

Robert Rath

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albino boo said:
Psychotic-ishSOB said:
I watched a movie called "Traffic," recently. It's about the drug flow from Mexico to the U.S. and to some extent, the drug wars. It's a great movie, and portrayed the war and drug problems realistically, with no clear cut good guys or bad guys, in the traditional sense. It won Oscars, including Best Director.

Why the fuck do you guys, forum posters above me, think a game shouldn't be allowed to do this? Portray it realistically and intelligently. They might fail, but they have to try first, and you don't even want them to try. Fuck that and fuck your delicate little sensibilities. Maybe these games can bring people to the light about the drug wars. Traffic did for me.
The simple reason is that a film is passive, you just sit there and watch it. The script, actors and director already have made the choices as to the outcome of the picture and it never changes. A game is active, you press the fire button and kill the cop or execute the hostage. Try explaining to this woman http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/mexico/8077251/Mexican-student-takes-over-police-in-drug-war-town.html why a large American corporation should make an entertainment out of her attempt to bring basic law and order to where she lives. Lets face it, the game is going to sell to 15 year old middle class white boys who like fantasise about being drug barons. In the real world they wouldn't last 5 seconds in the environment the game purports to show. All the victims of cartels are just going to look and see some making money out of their misery.
And how does the movie not also appeal to their sick ass tastes? Those people exist not because of games, but because of shitty parents. They're not gonna grow up to be assholes becuase of games, but because of shitty ass parents. The mature people will be able to tell if its legitimate art, or exploitative crap, same with movies, but the only people who have problems with that are Fox News and CNN, and apparently you, who think games are held back from being a legitimate art form because they're interactive, whereas I think they can strike nerves stimulate thought better because of that.

I never heard about middle class white boys fantasizing about being drug barons; they just like drugs. Or maybe, like I was, they hate them, and would sympathize with this woman. I read that article before. I also know she ran away because the threat of violence became too much for her to handle. She shouldn't have had to handle it, but she tried, and that makes her a better person than either of us.

You also ignored my desire for the conflict to be portrayed well. If done well, it could be fun, in a cathartic kind of way, like Traffic was entertaining because it was partly a thriller. But the game could transcend simple fun; Traffic was so good because it built up characters that the audience could connect with and feel for. the game should at least try.
 

octafish

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I just can't fathom taking the Call of Juarez franchise out of the setting that gave it its identity. What a strange move to take a game series out of a sparsely populated area, westerns (Red Dead, Gun and Call of Juarez are the only IPs I can think of), and move it into the overcrowded modern shooter market. Typical Ubisoft thinking, take a game franchise with a sense of individual identity, (Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon) and turn it into a samey shooter.

I understand the Mexican stance, and would expect the game to be banned.

The freakiest thing of all was the timing of the Russian incursion into Georgia over a Georgian break with South Ossetia in 2008 exactly as predicted by Ghost Recon in 2001.
 

Albino Boo

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Psychotic-ishSOB said:
albino boo said:
Psychotic-ishSOB said:
I watched a movie called "Traffic," recently. It's about the drug flow from Mexico to the U.S. and to some extent, the drug wars. It's a great movie, and portrayed the war and drug problems realistically, with no clear cut good guys or bad guys, in the traditional sense. It won Oscars, including Best Director.

Why the fuck do you guys, forum posters above me, think a game shouldn't be allowed to do this? Portray it realistically and intelligently. They might fail, but they have to try first, and you don't even want them to try. Fuck that and fuck your delicate little sensibilities. Maybe these games can bring people to the light about the drug wars. Traffic did for me.
The simple reason is that a film is passive, you just sit there and watch it. The script, actors and director already have made the choices as to the outcome of the picture and it never changes. A game is active, you press the fire button and kill the cop or execute the hostage. Try explaining to this woman http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/mexico/8077251/Mexican-student-takes-over-police-in-drug-war-town.html why a large American corporation should make an entertainment out of her attempt to bring basic law and order to where she lives. Lets face it, the game is going to sell to 15 year old middle class white boys who like fantasise about being drug barons. In the real world they wouldn't last 5 seconds in the environment the game purports to show. All the victims of cartels are just going to look and see some making money out of their misery.
And how does the movie not also appeal to their sick ass tastes? Those people exist not because of games, but because of shitty parents. They're not gonna grow up to be assholes becuase of games, but because of shitty ass parents. The mature people will be able to tell if its legitimate art, or exploitative crap, same with movies, but the only people who have problems with that are Fox News and CNN, and apparently you, who think games are held back from being a legitimate art form because they're interactive, whereas I think they can strike nerves stimulate thought better because of that.

I never heard about middle class white boys fantasizing about being drug barons; they just like drugs. Or maybe, like I was, they hate them, and would sympathize with this woman. I read that article before. I also know she ran away because the threat of violence became too much for her to handle. She shouldn't have had to handle it, but she tried, and that makes her a better person than either of us.

You also ignored my desire for the conflict to be portrayed well. If done well, it could be fun, in a cathartic kind of way, like Traffic was entertaining because it was partly a thriller. But the game could transcend simple fun; Traffic was so good because it built up characters that the audience could connect with and feel for. the game should at least try.
Don't be naive, they are going after the same market as GTA or Saints Row but set in Mexico. Do you think those games are sensitive treatments or just adolescent wish fulfilment? You are talking about an industry that uses sex to sell a game about tennis for god sake.Do you think that Dante's inferno was aimed at the over 18s or the 15 year year kid? Have you seen the your mom wouldn't like it campaign for dead space 2. The companies know precisely who they are marketing the game at and I can tell you for free they are not going after the art house cinema market.
 

XavierAmaru

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The story in the game has yet to be told for this game. It could be that the game is told from the perspective of the residents of the city, trying to fight off the cartel, or something else noble, but this is unlikely, because this kind of stuff doesn't sell in video games. Instead, it will likely be in the perspective of a cartel agent, trying to his increase his influence in the cartel, and the cartel influence in the country. This appeals to the larger audience, and contrary to what most people think, some white boys from the states actually do manage to do exactly this.

http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/reputed-mexican-drug-lord-was-once-a-texan/1118865

The fact is that Americans have a huge role in the turmoil going on in the Mexico, from supplying the guns, financing, and buying the drugs, some might argue that this war is primarily America's doing. Which makes it all the more sad to see that so many Americans are ignoring the problems in Mexico, to an almost pathological degree. How often does anyone hear about the atrocities that occur there, unless it has to do with a foreign national? Instead, what we hear is that a Canadian party-goer is killed while vacationing in Mexico, and that areas are unsafe to visit; not about the 35,000 killed since it began in in December 2006, as well as the 12 mayors in 2010 alone.

This is not going to be a post that just "blames America". Instead I would rather give context while recognizing the major role that America has a leader in the international community, and how they are majorly failing their next door neighbour. I actually have been following news of the drug war a lot because I have some friends in Mexico, who luckily aren't nearly as affected as those in Juarez in the capital.

I also noticed this controversy about the game a while back, and was always struck by how people seemed to just take it as an attack on their freedom of speech rights. Yes, sure you have freedom of speech and expression, but sometimes there are more important things than simply exercising it because you can. Thank you Robert, for trying to examine why it meant so much more than freedom of expression to the people of Juarez.

Imagine you were a member of the Columbine community when the shooting happened, or lost someone in the Virginia Tech shooting, wouldn't you be upset to see that there was a game being released about shooting students and teachers in school? For those of us that experienced this through television and media coverage, wouldn't you at least think it is in horrible taste?

Well, there is, its a mod for Half life 2.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108065-Inside-the-Sick-Mind-of-a-School-Shooter-Mod

Just because you have the freedom to express things, doesn't always mean you should.

Or is there something else I'm missing?
 

Iskander_Estel

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OK, the thing is this, Mexico it's not on his knees as most of you americans whant to belive.
I'm from Mexicali which is in the border with Calexico California,
what it's happening is a horrible wave of advertising from the govberment, who want's everybody craying about violence and crime, so we all forget other problems in the country,

I played GRAW 2 just a few weeks ago, and i can tell it's nothing like what is happening in Mexico.

I found it to be purely fantasy, silly, bad writen but somehow fun.

I dont understand what's the problem with this games, ok, for mexicans it's that we have to kill our people in the game... well nobody is forcing us to play it.
And if it's for the kids, i don't think Call of Juarez it's going to be less than Mature rating.
 

Robert Rath

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albino boo said:
Psychotic-ishSOB said:
albino boo said:
Psychotic-ishSOB said:
I watched a movie called "Traffic," recently. It's about the drug flow from Mexico to the U.S. and to some extent, the drug wars. It's a great movie, and portrayed the war and drug problems realistically, with no clear cut good guys or bad guys, in the traditional sense. It won Oscars, including Best Director.

Why the fuck do you guys, forum posters above me, think a game shouldn't be allowed to do this? Portray it realistically and intelligently. They might fail, but they have to try first, and you don't even want them to try. Fuck that and fuck your delicate little sensibilities. Maybe these games can bring people to the light about the drug wars. Traffic did for me.
The simple reason is that a film is passive, you just sit there and watch it. The script, actors and director already have made the choices as to the outcome of the picture and it never changes. A game is active, you press the fire button and kill the cop or execute the hostage. Try explaining to this woman http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/mexico/8077251/Mexican-student-takes-over-police-in-drug-war-town.html why a large American corporation should make an entertainment out of her attempt to bring basic law and order to where she lives. Lets face it, the game is going to sell to 15 year old middle class white boys who like fantasise about being drug barons. In the real world they wouldn't last 5 seconds in the environment the game purports to show. All the victims of cartels are just going to look and see some making money out of their misery.
And how does the movie not also appeal to their sick ass tastes? Those people exist not because of games, but because of shitty parents. They're not gonna grow up to be assholes becuase of games, but because of shitty ass parents. The mature people will be able to tell if its legitimate art, or exploitative crap, same with movies, but the only people who have problems with that are Fox News and CNN, and apparently you, who think games are held back from being a legitimate art form because they're interactive, whereas I think they can strike nerves stimulate thought better because of that.

I never heard about middle class white boys fantasizing about being drug barons; they just like drugs. Or maybe, like I was, they hate them, and would sympathize with this woman. I read that article before. I also know she ran away because the threat of violence became too much for her to handle. She shouldn't have had to handle it, but she tried, and that makes her a better person than either of us.

You also ignored my desire for the conflict to be portrayed well. If done well, it could be fun, in a cathartic kind of way, like Traffic was entertaining because it was partly a thriller. But the game could transcend simple fun; Traffic was so good because it built up characters that the audience could connect with and feel for. the game should at least try.
Don't be naive, they are going after the same market as GTA or Saints Row but set in Mexico. Do you think those games are sensitive treatments or just adolescent wish fulfilment? You are talking about an industry that uses sex to sell a game about tennis for god sake.Do you think that Dante's inferno was aimed at the over 18s or the 15 year year kid? Have you seen the your mom wouldn't like it campaign for dead space 2. The companies know precisely who they are marketing the game at and I can tell you for free they are not going after the art house cinema market.
That was EA who did that shit with Dante's Inferno and Dead Space, and they're jackasses. THis is Ubisoft. They shouldn't market the gamme towards children, they shouldn't make an insensitive game, and I'm not saying it will be a masterpiece, I'm just saying it's ok to try. It could be good, it probably won't. It's not like that HL2 mod where you're murdering people in Columbine; this is about a war, and its cops vs criminals. Some of the cops are also criminals, though.

What pisses me off is that you're too goddamn sensitive to let a game try. Just because little ***** ass children won't understand any possible nuances it might have doesn't mean you should fucking write it off!

They made hundreds of games out of WWII; nobody got pissed. "it's a long time ago," they said. That doesn't fucking changed what happened. People just like to forget history as well as current events, and this is gonna make them think. "oh I don't wanna." You gotta be fucking kidding me. If you're so upset, read a fuckin book about the drug wars and educate yourself.
 

Valanthe

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It's interesting that the Half Life mod has been brought up, I was actually just discussing this with my roomate.

When the mod was announced, almost universally, everyone rose up and condemned it. Personally, I'm in agreement, I don't think the mod should be made, because the people making it have expressed, quite profoundly, that they lack the maturity to handle the subject matter with any amount of respect.

But to get back to the topic at hand, I'm very torn when it comes to this game, and mostly because I don't know enough about it. It very well could be a well done, thoughtful piece that handles the subject matter with maturity and respect as it tells a tale about the hardships people face, or it could just be another Grand Theft Auto or School Shooter National Tour mod. If the latter, then I will stand alongside those who condemn the piece as the insensitive trash it would be. But if the former, then wouldn't the greater crime be in judging the game before it is even made?

Look at Six Days in Fallejuh, it was supposed to be a game made under the direction of the men who were actually there, if that wasn't a guarantee of material being handled responsibly I don't know what is, and yet, because of people jumping on it and calling it tasteless and vile before it ever reached completion, we'll never know what it might have been.

My point in all this is an old bit of advice I'm admittedly guilty of ignoring far more often than I'd like to admit, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Or in this case, "Don't judge a game by a screenshot and a press release." Let Ubisoft exercise it's freedom of expression, and if they exercise it poorly, then we can exercise ours and condemn it.
 

Blue Musician

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auronvi said:
I don't watch a lot of news. I never knew how much trouble there is in Mexico.
You are not Mexican, right? The current situation isn't really exposed by the foreign media outlets. Mexico is in hell right now, and that's why we are leaving to Australia in 2 weeks.
Adventurer2626 said:
Wow. I was not aware that things were that bad. 15,273?!?!? I checked that statistic a couple times because I could not believe it. I hope the Mex. gov't can get a handle on things soon. My heart goes out to my Mexican brothers and sisters.
Since this war (2006) there are already 35,000+ dead people, and an unknown number of assaults and disappearances. The first 72 hours of March (in other words: the first three days) 52 people were executed in Ciudad Juarez alone. And I live in the same state. The Government won't get things any better, and according to some of the WikiLeaks cables the war could extend 10 years. Even the USA offered support, but they said that even with their support the war would take at least another 12 years. Right now there is a chance of a Social Revolt, and we fear that there is going to be a probable overthrow in the 2012 elections, in consideration the 2006 election fraud.
Me and my family are leaving Mexico for good. Several teachers at the Conservatory are thinking on to going back to Armenia. Some might think we are paranoid, but we rather be wary and safe than sorry.
Iskander_Estel said:
OK, the thing is this, Mexico it's not on his knees as most of you americans whant to belive.
I'm from Mexicali which is in the border with Calexico California,
what it's happening is a horrible wave of advertising from the govberment, who want's everybody craying about violence and crime, so we all forget other problems in the country,

I played GRAW 2 just a few weeks ago, and i can tell it's nothing like what is happening in Mexico.

I found it to be purely fantasy, silly, bad writen but somehow fun.

I dont understand what's the problem with this games, ok, for mexicans it's that we have to kill our people in the game... well nobody is forcing us to play it.
And if it's for the kids, i don't think Call of Juarez it's going to be less than Mature rating.
Mexicali eh? En realidad Baja California está mucho mejor que en Chihuahua, creeme. Claro, en ninguna parte de México se está exento de violencia, pero Chihuahua es simplemente una pesadilla. A mí casi me asaltan el 31 de Enero (persiguido por 300 metros), y desde entonces tengo un cierto pánico en las calles. Varios camaradas de mi padre han sido ejecutados y secuestrados. En mi opinión la violencia no es para crear una distracción de los demás problemas en el tema socio-económico. Pero bueno, el resultado siempre será el mismo.
 

honeybakedham

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I'll never stand on the wrong side of the First Amendment... It outlines the five core freedoms essential to a free society and its centerpiece is the coveted freedom of speech, which translates into expression, which covers everything from art to journalism to political commentary and so on...

Ubisoft has every right to make and release this game.

And Mexico has every reason to take serious offense, and censor it in their own country where the standard of the 1st Amendment is not the supreme law of the land. Ubisoft, as far as I know from the story, missed a very important opportunity to define their game and their reasoning for making the game, and to make a case for games as a legitimate form of expression. But then, Ubisoft seems to handle most issues badly.

Another comment mentioned Traffic, which is exactly the movie I was thinking of as I read the article. Filmmakers have always been attracted to stories like these, sometimes thoughtfully, and other times in a more exploitative way. Books cover this ground. The news dwells on these stories. Politicians make speeches on this topic. There is nothing so fundamentally different about gaming that game makers shouldn't enjoy the same freedom to explore and comment on these issues.