Friday, May 28, 2010

In which I scrape the bottom of the Rockstar Games-related controversy barrel

Red Dead Redemption has drawn a bit of criticism in Ireland for the character of “Irish,” a drunk, which the Irish news site Herald has criticized for invoking “the stereotype of the drunken Paddy.” Sadly, negative portrayals of the Irish have a long and unfortunate history in the world of gaming, dating back to the release of Hibernian Blaster for the ColecoVision in 1983 and arguably reaching their apex in 2007 with the release of Activision's Call of Duty: Black and Tan and the ill-received God of War clone To Hell or Connacht: The Adventures of Oliver Cromwell.

Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar Games is no stranger to controversy over its portrayals of various ethnic groups, of course, having previously come under fire for it's portrayal of Haitians in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and for alleged white supremacist themes in the controversial 2008 PlayStation Portable release Grand Theft Auto: Aryan Brotherhood Prison Assassination Stories. Rockstar has not made any public comment specifically referencing the issue, but is reportedly unfazed by the criticism from Ireland and has announced that it's forthcoming entry into the city-building/strategy genre, SimGreedy Land-Owning English Bastard, will be coming out as in early 2011.

(I'm somewhat troubled to realize that this is the second time in less than a year that both Oliver Cromwell and the Aryan Brotherhood have somehow come up in the same post. What the hell am I doing with my life?)

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