The 3D animators at the company I’m working for now turned me on to EA’s Battlefield 2 video game (look for my online handle: hideyholesissyboy). I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy the general mayhem in-between the 15-second waits to revive.
So I had to laugh when I saw this story, which — to me — says a lot about the general stupidity of the people who are supposed to be keeping this country safe.
It seems that a company known as Science Applications International Corp., which has a $7 million contract to monitor online militant propaganda, screened some items for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, including a video made from the point of view of a Battlefield 2 MEC (Middle Eastern Coalition) soldier in battle with US troops, according to Reuters. Despite the article’s statement that “‘Battlefield 2’ ordinarily shows U.S. troops engaging forces from China or a united Middle East coalition,” the truth is that a player can choose to play whichever side they want, and online games are typically made up of a roughly equal number of players on either side of a conflict.
According to the story, the video “flashed between images of street-level gunfights, explosions and helicopter assaults.” A narrator intones the words: “I was just a boy when the infidels came to my village in Blackhawk helicopters.” Pretty scary, eh?
Of course it might be a more effective recruiting tool if the message wasn’t in English, but the real kicker came when a number of readers of the Game Politics blog noticed that the voice-over sounded suspiciously like a part of the audio track from Team America: World Police, an animated puppet movie by the guys who do South Park in which a character bemoans the fate of his goats (the bit about the goats is in the video). The video footage itself wasn’t a modification or “mod” of the game, either, it was just video from a straight recording of the Battlefield 2: Special Forces expansion pack.
Game Politics has an interview with the video’s creator, a Moroccan born and raised in Holland (and apparently a big Parker/Stone fan) at the link above.
I feel safer already.