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Do you think it was a smart move of "Gentoo Games, Inc." to support the propaganda game "America's army"?
Yes
34%
 34%  [ 162 ]
No
37%
 37%  [ 180 ]
Indifferent
27%
 27%  [ 132 ]
Total Votes : 474

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martinc
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 1:42 pm    Post subject: America's Army: politically sensitive? Reply with quote

disclaimer: I'm not much of a gamer, and haven't looked at AA: this post is to ask your opinion about the principle, not the details, of the recent Gentoo release.

Just wondered what people thought about military simulations, given the current political context? Please note I'm not trying to start a flame war (FWIW I'm British, and if in your opinion the "current political context" implicates the US, it implicates us too); I'm genuinely interested in, and hope to read, people's considered opinions. Or perhaps I'm wrong and this isn't an "issue" at all?


MOD Edit: added the poll posted in another thread. There's no need to vote on a separate thread IMHO. - bsolar
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's just a game - it's not like playing it will make us want to invade a middleeastern country.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I play Tactical Ops whenever I get an urge to 'FPS binge', and its just that, a game.

I saw an interesting snippet about violent games on CNN yesterday. One man they were interviewing(I don't remember his exact credentials) said there were studies that suggested that children tended to process content of violent games more with emotional portions of their brains, which made them more suceptible to having their actions influenced by such activities. More mature young people and adults tended to process such games more with their frontal cerebral cortex, which is more cognitive and logical, which perhaps indicates a more fully developed capacity to distinguish between fantasy and reality. The idea seems plausible, to me, but again, I'm not a psychologist.

I know that's a little different from the political issues that might be involved in some of those games, it just reminded me of that, and perhaps there is some bearing, I could very much see such simulation type games having an effect on someone's political views if they are exposed to such content very early or possibly even later. It hasn't really affected me, again its just a game.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my personal belief, I'm not telling anyone else what to think or do.
But since you asked:

I object to any kind of violence, except for personal self-defense.
I strongly object to "join the army" propaganda, or childish political simplicity.
I feel I have to do constructive things with my life.
Therefore, I will not touch the game, and I will not comment any more in this thread.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2 cents :

I find nothing bad in a military simulation, killing virtual people and doing nasty virtual stuff.

It becomes bad when the fictitous situations described are very close to the truth (the enemy is Iraqi or Afghan for example) because there is more to the eye than a military sim : there is at best a message, at worse a propaganda effort.

So I prefer QIII with totally fictitious situations to America's Army. I haven't tried it yet, but I heard it was officially supported by the US Army and part of a recent "we need you for US Army" effort...

-K
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate violence (except for self-defence), but I have ZERO problems shooting a bunch of pixels on my screen.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know what the hell everyone is complaining about. I've seen this all over Slashdot and now here. Who cares who developed it, its a *game*. Its as violent as every other FPS game out there. If you have no problem with seeing bodies disintegrate when hit with a Rail Gun, then America's Army shouldn't be a problem. If your complaint is simply about violent video games, then your out of luck because if you haven't noticed, that war was lost many years ago. If your complaint is political, then I think you need to relax and enjoy a GAME.

God. Gentoo develops what seems to be a promising gaming venture and all you people are doing is complaining. Get a grip.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am shocked and dismayed by the close association between Gentoo and "America's Army". People have said in other threads that we should "keep the politics out of it" and I fully agree. Associating Gentoo with "America's Army" is political even if it was done with the best of apolitical intentions. Letting this happen without comment is a political statement.

I believe that everyone is entitled to have their own beliefs and to be able to express them without being harassed for doing so. I believe there is a rising tide of fascism in mainstream America these days. People in news organizations are fired for expressing anti-administration views, they are fired for telling the truth. All in the name of "keeping politics out of it" while at the same time the news media is flooded with lies from the whitehouse. Media outlets refuse to run paid anti-war ads while at the same time sponsor pro-war demonstrations. All in the name of "keeping politics out of it".

For me, Gentoo was a break from all of this. It gave me a way to interact with fellow humans peacefully and constructively amid the turmoil of lies and war and corruption.

Perhaps if the political climate were different I would not be bothered so much by an association between Gentoo and "America's Army". But I can't quickly forget that America's army was recently used in a war of aggression against the will of the UN and the vast majority of human beings on this earth. Nor can I quickly forget that most (if not all) of the reasons given for this war were a pack of lies. Nor can I forget that almost half of all America's were brainwashed (there is no better word for it) by the corporate american media into thinking that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the Sept 11th attacks on the US.

This new association with "America's Army" transforms Gentoo out of being (for me) an apolitical refuge. It no longer serves as an escape from the harsh political realities of life. It has suddenly become unfun.

I am going to take a break from Gentoo for a while. It was great fun while it lasted. Thank you all and good bye.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimbow wrote:
I am going to take a break from Gentoo for a while. It was great fun while it lasted. Thank you all and good bye.


Oh for crying out loud! It's a GAME! You can play it just fine without turning in to a pro-army flag-waving ultraconservative! To be honest, to stop using an OS just because the organisation behind it is involved in a release of certain game is... well, stupid.

In the end, America's Army is no different from the likes of Counterstrike. Ghost Recon or Operation: Flashpoint. Would you complain if they had shipped one of those games instead?

They will propably release more games in the future, should all those games be politically correct happy-go-lucky games? Will we be having this same discussion every time they release a game that is controversial? What's funny, I think no-one would have had any problems if they had released Grand Theft Auto: Vice City instead (where they kill innocents and steal cars)
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't agree with the motives behind the game... but hey, its free and I know I'm never going to join the American army... unless ofcourse I'm in America when they call everyone up for service.. :(
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is insane. Americas Army quickly became THE most hyped game in the Linux community the SECOND the screenshots hit Slashdot. Gentoo simply brought this game to you. If you don't like the game, if you hate the US, if you think an "Army Game" is bad: DON'T PLAY IT. Good freaking god, man. Are people ditching Microsoft because it was developed for their OS? I can't believe this. What would you say if, god forbid, the US Military decided to use *gasp* Linux, or even Gentoo specifically, in their operations? Would we all be happy about more Linux promotion or would we start bitching about unjustified wars? Gentoogames has potentional. They've brought us a very hyped game. *I* am happy about that. I could give a rats ass about who developed it.

I didn't like the war, I don't condone the US governments latest actions and I think Bush has caused some major major damage to not only our country (economy, etc) but to the international community (basically rendering the UN obsolete). This, however, IS A GAME. I will play it, and I will enjoy it. Just like I enjoy CS, UT, and Q3. You say everyone has the freedom to say what they like? Consider that right envoked: You're being stupid. :)

EDIT: Btw, I'm currently getting about 5k/sec on my download, so evidently a whole hell of a lot of people agree with me.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: America's Army: politically sensitive? Reply with quote

martinc wrote:
disclaimer: I'm not much of a gamer, and haven't looked at AA: this post is to ask your opinion about the principle, not the details, of the recent Gentoo release.

Just wondered what people thought about military simulations, given the current political context? Please note I'm not trying to start a flame war (FWIW I'm British, and if in your opinion the "current political context" implicates the US, it implicates us too); I'm genuinely interested in, and hope to read, people's considered opinions. Or perhaps I'm wrong and this isn't an "issue" at all?


Principle: Whatever pays the gentoo developers and their servers, will talk. Bringing a professional game to Linux users is all that is at work here (and we should be grateful for all software we get). I see this more as a game, not as a politically motivated alliance (there are far too many free minds working on gentoo for this to have any direct relation--unless we somehow see unanimous support for the army among all developers and owners..).
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am always a bit hot headed when it comes to that kind of situation. Especially since a few years of studies taught me how hypocrit and disgusting that world is. Anyway, I will try to keep it as flameproof as possible. Otherwise, I will moderate myself when I cool down!

The principle of that game is totally outrageous in my opinion. I have no problem playing violent games... Counter-Strike, QuakeIII and whatever else there can be. It is virtual. We all know it is. Those games hold no symbol, they hold no value but the entertainment we get out of it.

On the other hand, AA is another object. That purpose of that game is to be a symbol. That's when it gets really dangerous. It summarizes the american way of life in its worst, most dangerous, and most hypocritical aspects. I will not go further on this point because that's when I will start flaming.
To make it short, the principle of that game is just another stone for a dangerous and disgusting propaganda. I don't know where we are heading but... may someone save us.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. Hate that game. Thats cool, everyones entitled to an opinion. If you dislike the game, no one forces you to play it. Just like all the people that dislike the other violent games for various reaons. What I'm arguing here is the attacks on Gentoo for releasing this game. Gentoo supplied a game that was in demand. Thats all they did. If you dislike the game, cool, but the attacks on Gentoo are uncalled for.. and frankly, a bit childish.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody working on a "Taleban Army" MOD? :roll:
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm, how often do I see linux-users bitch at microsoft, because of their monopol and how they use it to say what we have to do.

Isn't it what, let's say some army did: use there dominant position, to render UNO useless, to do what was not legitim, to tell people lies by the way of the medias.
Of course the irakan boss was not a good man, he did really bad things with his people and others.
But the way how some army/governement proceded was in my opinion not right.
Think about some koreans (I think they have an atom-bomb?). There some army, doesn't just walk in and shoot, but in these case they use the diplomatic way.

I don't think it correct to support such a game in the opensource domain, where you want to share freely ideas, take the time to listen to constructive oppinions of other people, work together to build something great.
This is what some army does not do, in fact they do the opposite.
Don't listen to your ennemy, simply destroy it.

Why not simple provide the platform, etc. and let the users decide which games they want to play.
One users wants to play fps-games, the other roleplaying, ... , so be it.

I don't really like that the people behind gentoo support such a propaganda-game.

Well, you will say, that it is just a game.

Well, I don't think so.
I think it is important what we are doing, and why we are doing it.
You could say it are just pixels you shoot at.
But is it really right to shoot at other men, even if they are virtual?

Would be better to leave the choice at the users what they want to use.

Right now, I think I will a look at alternatives to gentoo, because it don't like the political way they take right now.

But I must say that I like the way of gentoo, would hate to leave its community because of political reaons.

On the other hand, I can't remember debian to have taken such negative politcal steps?

Political reasons are important for me, I want to choose with things I use and promote, because I want to live in a better world.
A world without war, where people use their time not to think about a thousand ways how they can shoot somebody, be it virtually or real, but in which they use their energy to bring the humanity forward, to increase our knowledge of the universe, to improve the community.

At last I want to say that I like to promote things which are constructive and not destructive.

In the case of gentoo, I would to see it evolve as a platform for games, the desktop, servers, etc.

Hey I think I won't leave gentoo so quickly, do like its way of customizing, etc. ;)
But I wouldn't like it to take too much of a patriot-touch.

Why not bring out as a next game for gentoo games a constructive game like Sim-city ;)
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bsolar wrote:
Anybody working on a "Taleban Army" MOD? :roll:


Now there's a game I would play..... taking a walk in beautiful Kabul, looking for Osama and his minions...

Can we get a suicide bomber booster pack maybe?
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bsolar
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

soulwarrior wrote:
I don't think it correct to support such a game in the opensource domain, where you want to share freely ideas, take the time to listen to constructive oppinions of other people, work together to build something great.

Matter of points of view, I'm sure the soldiers that went to invade Iraq believed to "work together to build something great" (it might be arguable but with this I don't imply they have not).

Personally I don't like the propaganda around that game (that I played and didn't find so impressive after all). I mean, look the site, particulary this section...
Said that, I don't "hate" the game for sure nor I hate the players that like it, hoping they would not hate an eventual "Taleban's Army" (that of course was a provocation...).
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, and the soilders that "invaded" Iraq did it because they're all bad people, right? The people that "invaded" Iraq did so under orders. In fact, a good majority of the people in the military right now are there for training and schooling.. not to fight wars. They do what they're told, thats all there is to it. They rely on teamwork, communication and respect. Without these, they become dead.

There is a VERY important distiction to be made between military and government. I disagree with the *government* that sent in the troops, but I *respect* the troops that went in there. Saying this game is bad because of a *government decision* does an injustice to the families of dead soldiers. Hate the government who issues the orders, not the soldiers who have no choice.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!!!!

GEEEZ, FOLKS, GET A LIFE!

Several have commented that this is an "association with the US Army" blah blah blah. Yeah, they contacted the US Army. Guess who developed the best FREE FPS game thus far? Yup, the grunts in the US.

The US Army heard of a cry from the Linux crowd for a Linux-based version of the client. With Gentoo being an optimized, source-based distribution to get the most out of a Linux environment, I say, "What a pair!"

No one complained when Gentoo was able to snag and redistribute the UT2003 demo with their 1.4 LiveCD. THAT is one hecka bloody game with certain settings.

Having played AA: Operations myself, on the Windows platform, I must say that any "recruiting" effort is not direct. There are explanations of the Rangers, Airborne, Snipers, etc that could contain propaganda or "US Army Doctrine," whatever. Most of the time that is skipped through just to get to the game.

Personally, I don't like the game. The whole getting killed and having to wait until the end of the round and having to qualify for the sniper rifle (even for practicing with it), combined with high system requirements, has driven me away from it. I am happier with Day of Defeat and Counter Strike for my FPS gaming needs.

Kudos for Gentoo for snagging the release!!!

I am sticking with Gentoo/Wine running Half-Life DoD and CS.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to quote something from the Parents FAQ
Quote:
Q: Why are you doing the game?

A: … it is part of the Army's communications strategy…

The Army's game is an entertaining way for young adults to explore the Army and its adventures and opportunities as a virtual Soldier. As such, it is part of the Army's communications strategy designed to leverage the power of the Internet as a portal through which young adults can get a first hand look at what it is like to be a Soldier. The game introduces players to different Army schools, Army training, and life in the Army. Given the popularity of computer games and the ability of the Internet to deliver great content, a game was the perfect venue for highlighting different aspects of the Army. Firms such as Toyota have used games for this educational purpose with considerable success.

and
Quote:
Q: Is this a recruiting tool?

A:… it provides young adults and their influencers with virtual insights about the Army…

The game is designed to provide young adults and their influencers with virtual insights into entry level Soldier training, training in units and Army operations so as to provide insights into what the Army is like. As in the past, the Army's success in attracting high-potential young adults is essential to building the world's premier land force. With the passage of time, elimination of the draft and reductions in the size of the Army have resulted in a marked decrease in the number of Americans who have served in the Army and from whom young adults can gain vicarious insights into the challenges and rewards of Soldiering and national service. Therefore, the game is designed to substitute virtual experiences for vicarious insights. It does this in an engaging format that takes advantage of young adults' broad use of the Internet for research and communication and their interest in games for entertainment and exploration.

So it's not "just a game" just like the Olympic Games of 1936 have not been "just games" (talking about the concept of course).
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurid wrote:
Yeah, and the soilders that "invaded" Iraq did it because they're all bad people, right?

No, and I clearly stated that:
bsolar wrote:
I'm sure the soldiers that went to invade Iraq believed to "work together to build something great" (it might be arguable but with this I don't imply they have not)

Sorry if it was not clear enough. Punctualized this I agree with the mayority of the things you say after.


PS: another thing. I'm sorry maybe "invaded" was not the right word, but after all it's what they did, the point is that you assume that "invaded" is a "bad" thing. IMHO even if they "invaded" it's possible that they did the right thing.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bsolar wrote:

Matter of points of view, I'm sure the soldiers that went to invade Iraq believed to "work together to build something great" (it might be arguable but with this I don't imply they have not).


True, the world how we see it, depends of our culture, of our point of view.
One thing, I thought of right now: would a normal person be capable to simply kill another man. I don't think so.
Soldiers have to be trained to kill, be telling them, by learning them, that it is a good thing to kill the ennemy to protect their country.
A game is a way of teaching you this principle: you take the role of the good one, who has to kill the bad one.
But is the bad one, really the bad one.
Because the bad one, does think, that he is right, and that you are bad.
Who then is the bad one? You, he or you two?

bsolar wrote:

Personally I don't like the propaganda around that game (that I played and didn't find so impressive after all). I mean, look the site, particulary this section...
Said that, I don't "hate" the game for sure nor I hate the players that like it, hoping they would not hate an eventual "Taleban's Army" (that of course was a provocation...).


But you have to take in account, that the army did pay the development of this game, so it is quit normal that the games is a proganda for the army.
So it only displays one side of an opinion, the other one is missing.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurid wrote:
There is a VERY important distiction to be made between military and government. I disagree with the *government* that sent in the troops, but I *respect* the troops that went in there. Saying this game is bad because of a *government decision* does an injustice to the families of dead soldiers. Hate the government who issues the orders, not the soldiers who have no choice.


I agree with you.
Sometimes we are pushed in directions we don't like, which are not sensible.
The decission-makers have great responsibility, which they sometimes forget.

I am happy to live in a country, where I am not forced to go into the army, where I am not forced to kill other men.
Where parents don't have to fear that their children won't come back from war.
If I want, I can go into the army, lets say for one ore more years, but it is a choice which I make and not some law or government.
Personally, I want/ try to help society in other ways than taking up a rifle.
We are beings with a conscience, we have a choice, it is up to us which one we take. We don't have to blindly follow a way like animals. They are guided by there instincts, but we have the possibility to create ourself our environment.
And personally I would like to live in a world of peace than in war.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:08 pm    Post subject: Gentoo: the gamers' distro? Reply with quote

I'll reserve judgement on the actual game until I've played it.

My concern is more general - does this announcement mean that Gentoo is shifting more towards a 'G' is for gaming mentality and away from a 'G'-ood, 'G'-eneral, 'G'eek-friendly distro?
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