is the Key
games are innocent, fun and entertaining but could these simple
games not spark a global war at an instance? It certainly
could. Though this gaming world may be fascinating to some,
others simply look on in awe and wonder what hidden thrills
it has to offer to those 'some'. There is obviously no net
social benefit, not much educational value, but what is that
drive, that addiction that keeps a person glued to ones' screens
we will never know. I happen to be hooked on to another screen,
the television. As I was flickering through the sports channel
two weeks back, I happened upon a certain programme called
'Gamer TV'. It features the latest games that are out in the
market; something like a what's-hot-and-what's-not countdown.
I was fascinated to hear the name of Bangladesh being mentioned
in one of the games but my fascination was short-lived.
Entertainment Developer, under the electronic giant Sony,
has been in the gaming industry for a long time and one of
their latest game is SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy Seals. Here you would
do what any Navy Seal would do, go to the point of a terrorist
threat and neutralise the danger…hereby killing the
enemy in many unique ways. What was interesting was that Sony
had branded Bangladesh to be one of the terrorist nations,
and the soldiers would go to liberate…I mean 'neutralise'
the threat before it grew chronic. The soldiers would apparently
be dropped over our nation and we would be the 'terrorists'.
Now where have I heard that before?
most games of this genre, you take command of a group of Seals
(nope not those loveable sea mammals) and you basically go
about killing things. Kill them while swimming up from behind,
being careful not to raise any alarm. Finally, you can also
drive various armed Humvees, SOC-R Assault Boats and machineguns
mounted on pickups and, yes you guessed it, kill some more
people. Funny thing is, back here in Bangladesh, a knife has
the same 'weight' as a Humvee (tactically speaking of course)
because you have to be really close to your target if you
want to take a good whack at it for maximum effect! Plus a
knife saves fuel.
started to wonder a little about the game. If it did come
out, how would (us) the bad-guys
be projected? Would we be little dark figured people, running
around in sando genjis and lungis, with (probably) AK 47s
and Rocket Propelled Grenades in our hands? Or rather the
noble approach would be … the noble approach where the
bad guys (we) would be wearing our Friday attire, complete
to the top with the tupi?
we could have a butcher's knife in one hand and some blood
smeared here and there. Getting gory? I'll stop.
Sony had us marked as a 'threat'. Now interestingly, the government
of Bangladesh cannot have anyone (else) tarnish its name.
Bangladesh Government has threatened to sue Sony if the latter
did not have its name removed from the game. This statement
was sent from The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka, after
having notified the American Chamber of Commerce and the US
embassy. One item that I found to be really amusing is a comment
from Akteruzzaman Manju, the president of the Internet Service
Providers' Association of Bangladesh. It went: "Sony
should [give an] apology as it will never be able to prove
that Bangladesh is, or was, a terrorist country." The
word that caught my attention was 'will never'.
next week at Gamer TV, the latest update was that Sony had
dropped our name from SOCOM 3. I cannot imagine why our country
would make such a fuss about a game? Does Germany always start
to beat-about-the-bush (excuse the pun) anytime America comes
up with a war game with the Nazis as villains? Maybe it's
our inept reaction at having the finger point at on us. We
certainly do not want to be the bad guys. But I mean, I for
one was looking forward to battling those insurgents say maybe
in Gulshan Lake (I wonder if SOCOM 3 has bio-gear options).
Nonetheless, I was a little upset to know that the facts of
this piece would never materialise and it would simply blow
away. I really feel that it would have made a really entertaining
game and it would definitely be one game where I would love
to lose over and over again.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005