NEWS

Racist Web Game Muslim Massacre Taken Down By Developer

September 14, 2008
Aaman Lamba

The limits of free speech are tested more sorely on the Internet. While protecting the space where wrongs can be criticized freely, and truth can be spoken to power is essential, there are obvious limits to what is appropriate and what needs to be held to account.

Freelance developer Sigvatr found this out the hard way when he released an online game Muslim Massacre in which the protagonist is an "American hero" who lands in the Middle East with the mission of 'wiping out the entire Muslim race', training his guns on Muslim civilians and terrorists, "the Muslim leader Osama bin Laden, their radical cult leader Muhammad and finally Allah" . He went on to defend his actions, saying,

"Ultimately it's just a game where you blow the gently caress out of Arabs...I don't even know how to interpret it myself any more. The bottom line is that I enjoyed making it and it's fun to play.

The Muslims represented in the game aren't meant to be based on actual Muslims. If I was to try and come up with a meaning for the game at this moment, it would probably be something along the lines of metaphorically destroying the stereotypical depiction of a Muslim.

The initial reaction of gamers ranged from "love the audio" and "can you fix the spawn points" to "why would you do this?". Other quarters were less forgiving, calling for the game to be taken down. The developer finally took the game down and cleared the website, posting an apology.

I would like to make a public apology for any offense that I might have caused through releasing this game, and to Muslims in particular. My intentions when releasing this project were to mock the foreign policy of the United States and the commonly held belief in the United States that Muslims are a hostile people to be held with suspicion. I would like to make it clear that I have never shared such a belief and my intention was to mock those who actually do believe these things.

It quickly became obvious to me that releasing this game did not achieve its intended effect and instead only caused hurt to hospitable, innocent people. I believe removing this game and website will do much more to attain my desired effect than leaving it on the internet, so I am doing just that.

I would like to ask for the forgiveness of Muslims around the world and to make it clear that I did not release this game with ill intent. So without further ado, I would like to say that I am truly apologetic for what I have done and will take full responsibility for all offense that has been caused. I can only hope that any further misgivings can be laid to rest.

While there can be no doubt as to the offensive nature of the game, and self-censorship was the right step in this case, it is likely there will be renewed calls for blanket censorship on games and the like, a policy which is difficult to enforce, and which prefers to err on the side of caution, and thereby limiting potentially important creative efforts.

Aaman Lamba is the Publisher of Desicritics.org, a Blogcritics network site. He also blogs, more infrequently nowadays, at Audit Trails Of Self
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#1
smallsquirrel
September 14, 2008
09:14 AM

WTF????

and again we can see that when someone acts like a complete asshole they simply fob their stupidity off on the US? Oh come on. First he says he enjoyed making it and it's fun (and uses really bad english to do it.. what's a gently caress?)THEN when he is caught with his proverbial pants down he blames US foreign policy?

what an assmaster.

#2
kerty
September 14, 2008
12:57 PM

Offensive game? Offensive art? How can they be offensive? After all, its is just a game, only a piece of art - why don't people look the other way, close their eyes if they do not like them, and let other people enjoy them? It looks like offensive art is an alien concept, legitimate only when Moslem or 'Humanist' sensitivities are involved. I do not think our elites would blink even for a second if something is deemed offensive to Hindus and hindus were to complain. Haven't they legitimized cultural terrorism and iconoclasm into an art form, and a political sport? We just had a thread here on 'M F Hussain Cleared of Obscenity Charges - A Question of Dignity'. What happened to dignity of Sigvatr?

#3
commonsense
September 14, 2008
02:25 PM

""what an assmaster.""

funny term! what's an assmaster??

#4
smallsquirrel
September 14, 2008
02:41 PM

oh just a term I use... like asshat or assmonkey or assmeister....

just a fuckwit, basically

#5
JustSomeone
September 14, 2008
07:38 PM

Those who complain about these games the loudest are also silent when it comes to HAMAS broadcasting so called 'children's' programs into Palestinian homes glorifying the death and destruction of real Jews and Israel and praising the suicide bombers who carry out this destruction.

I would never play a game like this one as it goes far from teaching tolerance in today's climate. The sooner everyone accepts each others beliefs and lifestyles the sooner we can all live with each other.

To blame US foreign policy, though, is simply a massive copout.

#6
Ravi Kulkarni
September 14, 2008
08:50 PM

Dear Aaman,

It is a deplorable exploitation of extreme sentiments. Just look at the conservative pandering by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. This pattern is also seen in the media presentations such as reality shows that try to appeal to our increasingly jaded sensibilities by vulgar reality shows. There is no point in blaming the perpetrators as they are just dispensing what is in demand.

I don't support any kind of limits on freedom of speech (save shouting FIRE in a cinema hall). The public dialog can only improve when the public as a whole rejects such crass materialism. We have evolved from savage beasts to social beings and I am hopeful that we will progress to the next level as well.

Regards,

Ravi

#7
kerty
September 14, 2008
09:38 PM

#5

"To blame US foreign policy, though, is simply a massive copout"

He seems to be in damage control mode, trying to placate the critiques by saying things they like to hear. Had it been in India, he would have gotten away by hiding behind freedom of art and freedom of speech to deflect the protests. But such arguments do not work against critiques he is facing. So preferred tactics of gaining their acceptance is to clothe it as blame-America blame-American-foreign-policy. His product appeals to the hardcore Right but his apologetics is trying to appeal to the Liberal elites. He is trying to play both sides of the gallery, and might end up pleasing none.

#8
me
September 15, 2008
12:22 AM

Gently Caress shows up on somethingawful.com in place of the F word if you dont have an account...

#9
BeastUK
URL
September 15, 2008
05:07 AM

"I'm going to come out now and say that almost everything I've said anywhere is a huge pile of bullshit, including the apology and retrospect article I wrote. I put the apology up as a ruse to get my host to give me my account back (because I was sucking the shit out of their server).

That being said:

I am an enormous troll.

I just trolled more than one billion people.

I consider this a monumental success."

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