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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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ben Kingsley in video game-related role that DOESN'T inspire profound dismay

Some rather neat news about another well-known actor whose voice will be appearing in a video game: Ben Kingsley will be providing the voice of the King of Mist Peak in Peter Moleyneux's forthcoming Fable III. It's Fable, so based on past precedent there's a good chance that by the time the game actually comes out “Oscar winner Ben Kingsley as the King of Mist Peak” will have been scaled back to “Guy who watches the Oscar awards ceremony on TV every year as the Viceroy of Mist Peak,” but let's stay positive.

I hope this goes well for Kingsley, a talented man whose career has followed a Hindenbergesque trajectory that somehow took him from winning the 1983 Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Gandhi to a recent supporting role in Uwe Boll's BloodRayne. Though not, sadly, Bloodrayne II: Deliverance. He's not listed in the cast for the forthcoming BloodRayne: The Third Reich, either. I can only hope he'll return for the inevitable BloodRayne IV: Bleed Harder so that his fans will finally get to see him reprise his role as whoever the hell he played in the first movie.

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