imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

LA Based Pandemic Studios Creates Videogame with Venezuela Invasion Theme

by Venezuela Solidarity Network Sunday, Jul. 16, 2006 at 12:44 PM

"Mercenaries 2: World in Flames," created by Los Angeles based Pandemic/Bioware Studios, simulates a mercenary invasion of Venezuela in the year 2007. Pandemic is a subcontractor for the US Army and CIA funded Institute for Creative Technologies, which uses Hollywood techniques to mount war simulations in California's high desert in order to conduct military training. "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames" simulates destruction in downtown Caracas, and promises to leave no part of Venezuela untouched.

download PDF (201.3 kibibytes)

U2's Bono Backs Videogame with Venezuela Invasion Theme
Thursday, Jul 06, 2006

By: Venezuela Solidarity Network

WASHINGTON D.C. - U2's Bono, well recognized for his campaigns to reduce poverty and treat AIDS in Africa is backing a videogame which promotes the invasion and destruction of Venezuela in order to check "a power hungry tyrant" who has "seized control of Venezuela and her oil supply." Bono has failed to respond to concerns raised by the Venezuelan Solidarity Network about his funding of this project.

"Mercenaries 2: World in Flames," created by Los Angeles based Pandemic/Bioware Studios, simulates a mercenary invasion of Venezuela in the year 2007. Pandemic is a subcontractor for the US Army and CIA funded Institute for Creative Technologies, which uses Hollywood techniques to mount war simulations in California's high desert in order to conduct military training. "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames" simulates destruction in downtown Caracas, and promises to leave no part of Venezuela untouched.

Elevation Partners is an investment firm that Bono helped create in order to exploit marketing opportunities between U2 and its fans, including projects from Pandemic/Bioware Studios. Pandemic states that as a partner in Elevation Partners, Bono "has visibility into all projects at Pandemic and Bioware."

Pandemic's target market is young men of military recruitment age and indeed this is not Pandemic's first military adventure. MSNBC reported that the videogame “’Full Spectrum Warrior’ was created through the Institute for Creative Technologies in Marina Del Rey, Calif., a $45 million endeavor formed by the Army five years ago to connect academics with local entertainment and video game industries. The institute subcontracted work to Los Angeles based Pandemic Studios." (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3131181#storyContinued)

One cannot escape the irony that today, July 5, Venezuela celebrates its independence -- just one day after the US celebrated its own. The most enduring aspect of an independent country is assertion of its sovereignty and demand that the world recognize international laws protecting that sovereignty. Yet, amid relentless US threats against Venezuela, a US-based company, Pandemic, which collaborates with the US Army to promote war, plans to market a videogame which advocates a most violent violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty.

Although Bono remains silent on the matter and Pandemic insists that "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames" is "a work of fictional entertainment" and "Venezuela was chosen for the setting of Mercenaries 2 (because it) is a fascinating and colorful country full of wonderful architecture, geography and culture," members of the Venezuela Solidarity Network are appalled by the game's openly racist, interventionist attitude. Says Chuck Kaufman, of Alliance for Global Justice, "if it's 'just a game' and it's all about selecting fascinating and colorful locales, why didn't Pandemic select Dublin or Washington, D.C.? Because people would be outraged, that's why. Pandemic is simply capitalizing on negative and inaccurate U.S. press stories about Venezuela and its leader, Hugo Chavez, in order to make a quick buck. It's another piece of anti-Venezuelan propaganda that serves only the U.S. military, pure and simple."

Gunnar Gundersen of the Oregon Bolivarian Circle says, "We have family and friends in Venezuela and many of us have walked and stayed in the places featured in the war game. To us, these are not just clever abstract pictures. They are scenes of a place we consider our second home. Please try to imagine how Venezuelans must feel viewing a bulky, blonde, military man laying waste to their country, a country that is finally rising above a 500-year history of oppression and exploitation by foreign powers."

The Venezuelan Solidarity Network calls for Bono, who has appealed to the world on many occasions for peace and poverty reduction, to apply those same values to block the manufacture and distribution of this videogame.

For more information contact: Shirley Pate at +1-202-277-8252

-----

Letter from Chuck Kaufman, Actions/Emergency Response Committee:

Bono (of U2)
c/o Principle Management
250 West 57th Street
New York, New York 10019

Dear Bono,

On the “Hearts & Minds” page of your website, you open with an appeal to others with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “We must become the change we want to see in the world.” Your appeal goes on to highlight the many philanthropic efforts of U2 over the years. These have included benefit concerts and other worldwide campaigns for issues such as human rights, sustainability, debt reduction, AIDS, poverty, disease, militarism, and political oppression.

Given this background, many people around the world have been shocked to find out that you are a part owner, through Elevation Partners, of Pandemic/Bioware, producers of “Mercenaries 2”.

As you must know, “Mercenaries 2” is a war game that simulates the invasion of Venezuela in the year 2007. Of course, at this point, we have only been able to see the web-based sample of the game. However, even this is enough to see that the game is designed to demean the Venezuelan people, to undermine the democratically elected government of Venezuela, and to strike fear in the hearts of ordinary Venezuelan citizens who, through this game, can witness their very neighborhoods, villages, and capital being blown up and their virtual selves being massacred by a band of marauding mercenaries, who are clearly working for foreign interests who want to take control of the country’s oil industry. Please note that in one of the scenes in downtown Caracas one of the buildings being blown up belongs to the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela. This building is amongst a group of easily recognizable residential buildings, in which it is presumed thousands of innocent people are being burned alive. You may also want to note that this oil company (PDVSA), which owns CITGO, is the only oil company to offer discounted heating oil to residents of poor neighborhoods in the United States.

We have family and friends in Venezuela and many of us have walked and stayed in the places featured in the war game. To us, these are not just clever abstract pictures. They are scenes of a place we consider our second home. Please try to imagine how Venezuelans must feel viewing a bulky, blonde, military man laying waste to their country, a country that is finally rising above a 500-year history of oppression and exploitation by foreign powers. To them, this game is simply another sign of the racist, interventionist, arrogant, and uncaring attitude of the United States and Europe toward Venezuela.

Clearly, this issue goes beyond Venezuela. As you know, your company, Pandemic, has developed video games with military applications for the Pentagon and the CIA. “Full Spectrum Warrior” is one example of this. “Mercenaries 2” is obviously an offshoot of this Pentagon/CIA funded development. Here is a web reference about this: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3131181#storyContinued.

In addition to the concerns we have expressed, it seems that you would want to give some consideration to how this “game” will be received by people in Venezuela, Latin America, and throughout the world. We can only imagine that the general impression will be very negative and this negativity will reflect on you and on U2. Is there any “upside” to the release of this game, other than some shortterm profits in the U.S. and European markets?

Potentially, all of the work you have done for the causes mentioned on your “Hearts & Minds” page could suffer because of your association and ownership of this game. One would think that you might also give consideration to how this video game, like many others, may be used as a recruiting tool. The game is targeted to teenage and 20-something males, the same target market for military recruiting. Bono, are you now joining the recruiting efforts of the U.S. military?

In addition to impressionable young people who may be stimulated by this to join the military or become mercenaries, it is clear that another side effect of such a game is that it contributes to the process of desensitizing people to the horrific violence of war. In the case of “Mercenaries 2,” it also could help people rationalize the invasion of countries by the United States and its allies for the sake of controlling natural resources. Given your “public persona,” it is hard to imagine that you think this is a good thing.

We realize that for you this may seem like a smart investment and you may not even be aware of the nature of this video game. That said, on behalf of reasonable people everywhere, we appeal to you to re-think your association with this game and your ownership of this company. Please take steps to stop the release of this game.

Our hope, and that of many, is that you will do the right thing and stop the release of this virtual rape and devastation of a small, developing country. Would you see fit to release a version of this game set in South Africa, Haiti, or Ireland?

If that would be objectionable to you, then why are you singling out Venezuela? One can only conclude that there are motives beyond the immediate profit that may be gained by selling the game. Thank you for your attention to this matter and we would appreciate a response.

Sincerely,
Chuck Kaufman
Actions/Emergency Response Committee
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Anti-Racist Video Game Blog johnk Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 at 8:01 AM
Link to EP and Pandemic johnk Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 at 8:22 AM
Glorify War T.Rios Saturday, Jul. 22, 2006 at 11:48 AM
Peace Games googlie Saturday, Jul. 22, 2006 at 12:49 PM

Local News

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus S07 5:57PM

Nuclear Shudown News Aufust 2016 A30 3:46PM

WIKIpedia is not what we readers Thought nor is it even current about Pacifica or KPFK A24 3:10PM

"KPFK has a $500,000 deficit “ !! Can this be true? A19 6:10AM

Nuclear Shutdown News July 2016 A01 1:36PM

A 99-page report "Election fraud" from Election Justice USA A01 4:14AM

INDY's KPFK radio program being eliminated ? too ? J10 4:57PM

Bertolt Brecht Testifies Before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947) 2 min J02 3:04PM

Pacifica-KPFK Archives, director resignation J18 4:50PM

SAVE KPFK & PACIFICA: VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION! J18 3:39PM

KPFK radio elections for LSB coming Quick ! J18 1:05PM

KPFK Local Station Board Elections In-Progress J13 11:31AM

Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Abdullah Sentenced Three Months in Jail on Attempted Lynching Charge J09 2:08AM

Why are the Park Rangers making it even more difficult for the homeless in Los Angeles? J04 3:11PM

Bernie Sanders in Lincoln Heights M23 8:23PM

Los Angeles Sit-In to Fight Voter Suppression M18 4:28AM

War Within California's 46th CD M13 11:42AM

NPR's David Greene & Alison Aubrey along with David Ludwig Shill For Factory Farm Eggs M13 7:55AM

2016 AT&T Shareholders engaged by Communications Workers of America D9 Activists M12 11:43PM

Communications Workers of America District 9 Action at AT&T Shareholders M12 9:38PM

Voter Registration at ELAC M10 3:31PM

LA Times Fails to Cover Protest Against Clinton M07 9:15PM

Violence Against Poor In Venice A29 12:59PM

California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall A25 2:25PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Cuba Liberates „Miss Burqa“ From Guantanamo S26 7:10AM

Dennis Mahon and Auntie Racist S26 6:58AM

This is your country, your people, not mine S25 7:46PM

Castle Clash Tips & Tricks S25 8:45AM

Datologie S25 12:47AM

Counterintelligence Operations Against A Target Are Global S24 8:15AM

Star Wars Battlefront Death Star DLC S23 3:18PM

Paraphysique de l'aplasie S23 2:37AM

The Shortwave Report 09/23/16 Listen Globally! S22 5:34PM

Philippines: The Punisher's dirty war on drugs S21 11:50PM

Final Shot Astuce Gem Tricks S21 3:58PM

How to get rid of fleas by Robert George Tronge S21 11:52AM

SB Game Hacker is ready to work S21 10:06AM

Joanna Lumley slams CITES’ rhino horn proposal S21 9:24AM

KPFK :must VOTE by 9/30 to local board. S21 9:02AM

NBA 2K17 Prelude Download Australia/New Zealand on PS4 and Xbox One S21 5:29AM

Power Elites: On the Great Illusion of Pluralist Liberalism S21 5:05AM

Chronicité intempestive S21 2:04AM

USA: Inhumane S20 5:49PM

Joanna Lumley slams CITES’ rhino horn proposal as ADI make a stand for the African elephan S20 5:22PM

Joanna Lumley slams CITES’ rhino horn proposal as ADI make a stand for the African elephan S20 5:20PM

Dorothy Willetts Designs a Chair for Event to Benefit Illumination Foundation S19 4:26PM

KPFK & Pacifica's Archives seem oddly silent about transitions. Any ? S19 1:09PM

Modern Strike Online Hack - Get Unlimited Gold S19 4:34AM

Growth Criticism and Reduced Working Hours S18 9:54AM

Algorithmes de l'isolement généralisé S18 12:24AM

Homo homini lupus S17 8:53PM

Fbi illegal methods and criminal agenda exposed S16 11:05PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy