Ubisoft Apologises For Tom Clancy Game Imagery That Suggests Black Lives Matter Is Part Of A Terrorist Plot

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Screenshot: Ubisoft
Screenshot: Ubisoft

Today Ubisoft announced it will remove raised fist imagery from the opening cinematic of its new mobile game, Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad, following widespread criticism that the game’s intro plays on right-wing conspiracies about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Elite Squad, which came out on iOS and Android earlier this week, begins with a narrated video laying out the game’s premise, which paints protest movements as fronts for an organisation called UMBRA, a global terrorist network trying to take over the world. Protestors “claim to promote an egalitarian utopia to gain popular support; while behind the scenes UMBRA organises deadly terrorist attacks to generate even more chaos and weaken governments,” the narrator says at one point, as a series of black raised fists appear on screen.

The raised fist has a long history, including in anti-racism movements, and has been one of the central symbols of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against police violence, most recently since the killing of George Floyd in May. According to a description of the game’s campaign, players “Recruit elite soldiers from every corner of the world, including [the] criminal underworld, to put an end to UMBRA’s campaign of chaos.” This opening leans into alt-right conspiracies around the Black Lives Matter protests and other justice movements, which cast them as fronts for a shadow organisation trying to destabilise world governments.

“Imagery that appeared in the opening video sequence of Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad featuring a ‘raised fist’ was insensitive and harmful in both its inclusion and how it was portrayed,” Ubisoft wrote on Twitter earlier today. “We have listened to and appreciate the players and the broader community who have pointed it out and we apologise.” The publisher says the imagery will be removed in the game’s next update on September 1 on Android and “as soon as possible” on iOS. Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request by Kotaku for comment about whether the rest of the opening will remain intact or why it was created for the game in the first place.

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Elite Squad’s release comes less than three months after Ubisoft called the systemic racism faced by Black people “deeply disturbing” and donated $US100,000 ($135,730) to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter. It also arrives amid renewed protests against police violence in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Black, and as supporters of the president try to defend a 17-year-old accused of killing two people during one of the nights of those protests.

Elite Squad was developed by French studio Owlient, which is based in Paris and focuses on mobile gaming. Acquired by Ubisoft in 2011, its biggest previous game was a horse breeding simulator called Howrse. The studio is now co-managed by Remi Pellerin and Charlie Guillemot, the latter of whom is Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot’s son, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Screenshot: Ubisoft

When Elite Squad was shown off last month at Ubisoft’s big Forward press conference, it looked like a cartoony free-to-play tactics game. A narrative designer who said he did contract work on the game tweeted out earlier today that UMBRA had been presented to him as a James Bond-esque villain, not something that sounds straight out of a QAnon conspiracy post.

On YouTube, a representative of Elite Squad’s development team called any resemblance to the Black Lives Matter movement in the game’s opening “coincidental.” “Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is a work of fiction and does not portray any real world events,” the game’s YouTube account wrote in a comment. “However, we have listened to players who have pointed out similarities, and to avoid any confusion we have decided to modify the trailer in the next update.”

Comments

  • I know it happened slowly, but can anyone pinpoint exactly when Kotaku au became entirely full of racist garbage losers who lick police boots and defend racism and murder?

    • I didn’t see anyone defending murder. pretty sure everyone here agrees that, for example, the George Floyd incident, was indeed a gross miscarriage of justice and should not have happened, and those officers, including the ones that stood by, should be held accountable for their action/inaction.

      Just the same as, I’m sure you would agree that, “peaceful protesters” trying to lock police inside a building while trying to set it on fire, is also, not a good thing to do and those people should be held accountable for their actions.

      Just the same as, I’m sure you would agree, that a “peaceful protester” shooting and killing an 8 yr old girl, because her mum drove through an illegal barrier they set up, is wrong, and that person should be held accountable for their actions.

      Just the same as, everyone here would agree that, the men who shot and killed Ahmed Arbuary (?), should be held accountable for their actions, to the full extent of the law.

      No-one here is defending racism and murder. We’re too busy trying to see things from the outside and not judge based purely on what we feel, or before we learn what’s going on.

      For instance, before seeing footage of the 17yr old and both incidents there.. From what I heard, he was walking down the street firing into crowds and he killed 2 black people… I was satisfied with that turn of events (because that’s what we are being conditioned to immediately believe). the footage shows a significantly different story.

      It’s better to err on the side of caution, then to immediately believe the hype. That way, you don’t have people rioting in the streets, because people thought police killed another black man, when in reality, he shot and killed himself. the police had nothing to do with it.

      There’s no defending racism and murder

      • Except that’s what you’re doing.

        You’re holding up a handful of examples on one side, while ignoring the literal thousands on the other and saying

        SEE THESE TWO THINGS ARE THE SAME!!!!

        You’re not erring on the side of caution. You’re erring on the side that protects your privilege.

        Now that’s fine, and you’re welcome to deal with that in your own way.

        But don’t pretend it’s not what you’re doing, or try to convince others.

        People are rioting in the streets because tens of thousands of black people have had their lives ended within living memory due to systematic racism in the US.

        This isn’t hyperbole or fantasy, these are publicly available numbers. In all areas of America, inequality causes death and tremendous suffering based on skin colour.

        If your go-to in response to that is BUT WHATABOUT then yeah my man, you’re racist. You’re either just too afraid to admit it to yourself or too scared that people will call you to account for it.

        • Actually if you look at my examples.. I chose two from from “both” sides of the argument.. 2 that helped cause and strengthen the cause of the protesters… and 2 on the opposite side, which strengthens the cause of those opposing the protests and riots. They are not all on the same side at all.

          “People are rioting in the streets because tens of thousands of black people have had their lives ended within living memory due to systematic racism in the US.” I mean…. unless you want to blame EVERY instance of black on black crime, on systematic racism. Otherwise statistics show, the number of unnarmed black people killed last year by police, was 8 (200ish in total)… but even if we assume that EVERY instance of a white person killing a black person is strictly racially motivated, then you’re looking at about 1000-2000 per year.. if you really want to assume that EVERY one of those is racially motivated…. as opposed to the 5000-6000 black on black deaths every year… I think they have a bigger problem than that.

          But it’s funny, because any response, you’ll boil it down to be a “whatboutism” you’ve concocted a fool proof “gotcha” well done.

          • I don’t need to boil it down, because it’s barefaced.

            If you were reading rather than just spewing you’d notice I wasn’t talking about homicide.

            The death rates of black people due to systemic racism are not primarily driven by homicide.

            They are driven by inequalities in physical and mental health care, education, housing, employment and pretty much every other marker of human life.

            This is obvious to anyone who isn’t either insane, or a racist. It’s documented in literally hundreds of thousands of instances. There are thousands of novels, movies, research papers, organisations and stage plays openly discussing this.

            People are not rioting ‘because a few black people were shot and WHATABOUT BLACK ON BLACK KILLING HUHUHUH’

            People are rioting because racism in America is obvious, omnipresent, and endemic.

            This is obvious to anyone, from the filthiest racist bigot to the most ‘woke’ SJW – and to you. It’s not hidden.

            The fact you’re avoiding it entirely to yet again dive into producing a ‘statistical discussion’ puked up by every single white supremacist website (statistics that are of course complete surface bullshit) is pretty much all anyone needs to know about your position.

            WHUT ABERT BLACK ON BLACK KILLINGS HUHUHUHUH

            Buddy, your talking points are IDENTICAL to those produced by someone calling himself GRUPPENFUHRERN*GGERK*LLER from Stormfront. They are posted, every day of the week, by thousands of racists, all over the world.

            They were created by hardcore racists, initially spread via hardcore racist social media sites, and now filter into hardcore racist-adjacent locations, which is hopefully where you got them rather than the Daily Stormer or something.

            Now you may squawk and scream that you’re not a racist or a bigot. And sure, you may not actively visit Stormfront yourself.

            But when your commentary precisely mirrors that produced on a constant basis by people who indubitably and obviously are racists and bigots, you REALLY need to do a bit more self examination.

            Standing a step behind actual Nazis in your point of view doesn’t provide you with as much moral distance as you think it does.

          • Sure thing bud… If that helps you sleep at night.

            Talk about confirmation bias.

            Live long and prosper Burnside

          • I’m not the one posting Nazi-adjacent comments.

            It’s your own sleep you should be concerned about.

            Here’s hoping you’re not sleeping well.

            It says a lot worse about you if you are.

    • I Wish I knew.

      It feels like this site has gone from my favourite internet hangout to a toxic pit of thinly veiled hate over a timescale that ensured I didn’t notice. Like frogs in water slowly being brought to the boil.

      I get the impression the moderation on this site has changed or at least been a secondary priority as the site was being redesigned and with the lack of upvotes / down votes the people that comment less but don’t , I hope, support the hate I’ve seen in the comments aren’t being felt anymore. Add to that a few of the more active and resonable voices that used to actively combat this garbage that left a while back and though I feel the content is the same, its vocal readers aren’t the same group they used to be, and not the ones I wanted to join. If I were coming to this site for the first time today I certainly wouldn’t make an account, but like the afore mentioned frog I’m already in the water and I didn’t notice when it got this hot.

      • It’s extremely frustrating.
        The thing that really scares me though, and to continue the analogy, is the chefs have convinced everyone the other frogs in the pot are to blame for us being here.

    • And it’s happening on your watch pokedad!
      Time to step out from behind the keyboard and make a difference.
      Make a vow never to waste another second typing useless internet comments while racism and bigotry goes unchecked.

    • It’s the same little group of Alt-Reich scumbags and bootlickers, just commenting over and over in their sad little circle jerk.

      There’s only a half dozen of them or so but they are the most prolific posters on here, mainly because it’s the only place their slimy views aren’t banned.

      They really are the saddest little bunch of creepers, always struggling to promote their nasty views while scurrying away from openly admitting to them.

      And they’re egged on by an equivalent number of fatuous ‘Centrists’ who are basically just as vile but simply lack the courage of their awful convictions.

      It only looks bad because of the low comment numbers on this site, which is largely a result that this is a pastiche of US content strung together with vast numbers of intrusive ads.

      This site has gone to waste and these gross little incels are the inhabitants of said wasteland. Gamergate drove away a LOT of people, mainly because these saddos had free reign.

      Only way to fix it is to reinvigorate the site but when any newcomer hits this place the string of IM NOT RACIST/MISOGYNIST BUT HERE’S MY RACIST/MISOGYNIST RANT and IT’S CALLED ART AND SHE’S 400 YEARS OLD IN THE LORE SO IT’S OK comments will drive them away.

      It’s ALMOST like these dudes don’t get it’s just the handful of them jerking each other off or something.

    • ‘Entirely full’ is obviously a strong phrase, but there have been a clear majority of RWNJs posting here for an easy decade or more. Most of the more moderate to left wing posters gave up and left a long time ago.

      It’s just draining being baited by the same old same every day, but the real cause was primarily the fact that until the website redesign Kotaku’s systems favoured RWNJ pile-ons by allowing the RWNJ mob to vote down anyone not of a similar world view into moderation for weeks at a time. It requires a fair bit of patience to know that every time you post you’re likely to be back into two weeks moderation within a couple of hours.

      Kotaku has for a long time been a lightening-rod for right wing culture war warriors vigorously virtue signalling to each other in the forums due to the social justice focus of its articles. Alex Walker’s generally been pretty tolerant of all but the most extremely offensive posts, to the point of occasionally making sympathetic noises in the name of ‘balance’, which has done nothing other than enable them further.

      Basically, the Kotaku forums have become a safe space for people with RWNJ views.

  • Interesting that the articles on this site can link others supporting their premise, but try linking an smart and insightful video that actually conveys information instead of knee-jerk reactions gets deleted.

    • The video isn’t as smart as you think – not because the guy that made it isn’t smart, but rather because an argument from a legal perspective on a specific instance of violence isn’t relevant in this context at all. His argument is simply that legally it’s unlikely he’ll be tried for murder because it can be strongly argued he was acting in self defense. Great, but when most people talk about murder they mean it in the colloquial sense – i.e. the act of killing someone. It’s not like Gach is a court reporter, so his use of language is fine. Your original grievance, if I remember correctly, was with the supporters of the president remark anyway, which this video bears no relevance to.
      Leaving all that aside though it’s still not relevant in the context of your original, deleted, comments for two main reasons as follows (and the minor reason that the guy is clearly a pro-gun guy trying to justify carrying weapons in general through current laws).

      1. Legality =/= morality. Whether he can be legally tried for murder or not doesn’t change the fact he brought a gun to a protest as a counter protester and killed 2 people and any decent person should be absolutely disgusted. It’s not exactly controversial to say killing someone is bad, if anyone tries to duck away from saying that they’re a prick.

      2. The legal system and how it has treated black people differently to white people in America is the whole starting point of these protests. Even if Legality = Morality it’s insanely ignorant to fail to see that the protesters are fighting to change the legal system you’d try to use as evidence against them. In America’s past it was illegal for a black person to refuse to give up their seat to a white person on a bus. Tell me – how do you change that law without at some point breaking it?
      That’s not to condone the bad actors burning stuff down or violently assaulting bystanders, but putting up some evidence that ‘oh, actually that dude probably isn’t legally a murderer’ just doesn’t make sense when the very laws surrounding lethal force in america are what they want changed. Now obviously he isn’t a cop, but given unconfirmed (though quite damning) evidence the police were thanking the guy and his group for coming out prior to the killings and the fact they didn’t confiscate a millitary style weapon from a goddamn 17 year old I’d say it’s very clear the police were at fault too, to say the least.

      TL;DR the video isn’t relevant here, you might think it supports the argument you were making, but rather you just read the article in such state that you didn’t actually understand what was being said in it as you went on a wierd tangent about how the interstate travel thing was hyped up when it wasn’t mentioned in the article, that being the only (even then still tenuous) connection to your linked video.

      • The comment was meant to be a reply to another poster who mentioned him coming from interstate, when the whole thread got nuked it turned into a new comment so the interstate part was relevant not some weird tangent.

        My original grievance was “supporters of the President” has no relevance to the story it is a stupid thing to say, the video was supposed to give context to people who haven’t heard about the incident and yes “try to defend a 17-year-old accused of killing two people” which the video does a good job of, as in he was acting in self defense and not a bloodthirsty murderer looking too kill someone.

        You can also watch the video and realise the guy isn’t a monster hell bent on intimidating “peaceful protesters” as you where insinuating, the point of the video was not only to show that he was defending himself and he tried to disengage multiple times but also the interviews with him showing his intent.

        He killed two people that’s not up for debate but intent matters.

        • Ah, fair enough, doesn’t really make sense to repost it here without that context, but I can see why it would make sense in that one.

          I’m not a fan of the president comment either, it was clumsily written and didn’t make the point it was supposed to, but it was just one line that clearly wasn’t given much thought, so I don’t think it merited this response.

          As for intent matters I’m Copying and pasting stuff I wrote elsewhere because it applies here too:

          He brought a gun. He stood in the way of protesters. He took the side of police in a distinctly anti-police protest. He claimed it was his ‘job’ to protect businesses. He’s 17. He’s not bloodthirsty, but he is an idiot and shouldn’t be defended.

          I actually don’t blame him for pulling the trigger. That’s not surprising. I blame him for bringing the gun. I blame him for deliberately, and with great naivete, presenting an antagonistic prescence to a protest movement fueled by anger. I blame him for showing up. If intention is supposed to matter when he pulled the trigger it should also matter at every moment before that. He chose to go. Guns kill people. You can debate the legality all you like, but he went to the protest with a gun, they didn’t come to him with one. In my eyes that some people went after him is no surprise, guns are pretty bloody scary and scared people don’t act rationally. If he didn’t expect people to go after him when he carries a gun, especially a gun like that, to a protest then he absolutely lacks the maturity to be at a protest, not to mention with a weapon. Just think about it for a second from the other side – given the history of young white men with guns in America would you be scared shitless by a 17 year old with that kind of gun? I sure would have been, and who knows how I would have reacted.

          On a different note, I was not implying the protesters were peaceful. Leaving aside the bad actors – who are bad, and whom I’m not defending – among the protesters, the protests themselves absolutely were violent. They have to be. You can make arguments for and against commiting violence, but every successful protest will, and must, incite violence. Otherwise it’s just democracy, but when democracy is too slow, or it doesn’t serve all the people equally violence becomes necessary.

          That doesn’t mean burning down random buildings, that’s just dumb, but it does mean making a scene, it does mean standing up for your fellow people and pushing back against what’s pushing them down. I’m generally speaking a pacifist, I don’t like or ever wish to commit violence, but even civil disobedience incurs violence from the targets of that disobeience, and violence will and must occur if any protest is ever going to change anything. The people that decry the violence don’t see that violence is the only language they’ve been given. America hasn’t resonded, and doesn’t respond, to polite requests for change. The slow wheel of progress is still crushing people as it slowly turns and my sympathies will always be with the people that want to push the wheel a little faster so it isn’t crushing them anymore.

      • Actually agree the video in question isn’t relevant to the article, was actually trying to figure out the point @almightysparrow was trying to make with it but I suspect there’s some comments that were removed before I got here.

        As far as the incident in the video I can do see linked goes however, there are aspects you’re misrepresnting.

        He wasn’t a counter protestor. There’s footage of him saying his group is there to protect businesses and protestors, and provide medical aid to anyone who needs it. There’s also footage of him talking to and offering assistance to protestors.

        Implying those attacking him were merely protestors at that point is blatantly dishonest. Don’t conflate rioters with protestors.

        In the incident in question he was on the ground being assaulted and defended himself. In the footage you quite literally see him choose NOT to shoot others nearby when they raise their hands and/or move away from him. The amount of restraint on his part is actually staggering. He didn’t shoot at anyone that wasn’t an immediate threat right on top of him.

        If you morally think that defending your own life with lethal force is murder then I dunno what to tell you, I can only assume you’d let people beat you to death then if all you had was a gun to defend yourself. Or are you going to argue that he should’ve aimed for their legs or such in the heat of the moment as he’s being attacked?

        He shot three people who chased him down and approached to attack him, not the other way around. One even pulled a handgun and starts to take aim, again while moving towards him and not away.

        If the kid had been killed instead there’d probably be parades on the news and those who attacked him would be getting hailed as heroes. Because the major news outlets sure aren’t jumping to show the footage of him being chased down. Or highlighting the gun one of the attackers pulls as they walk towards him while he’s on the ground, some outlets even going so far as to say they were holding a phone despite video clearly showing otherwise.

        You don’t get to blame the blatantly hostile actions of others on an attempted victim, all because their victim may or may not have legally been allowed to carry the weapon they defended themselves with. Especially when in this case they very much knew he had the rifle and still attacked him anyway.

        And this idea of “But if he didn’t have the gun the whole thing wouldn’t have happened at all!” is also some bullshit. As nobody can know that, and it could be just as likely that if he didn’t have the gun he’d simply be dead instead.

        The kid should be charged for his illegal wrong doings in the matter, but he sure as shit shouldn’t be charged for shooting/killing those he did. Especially the guy who pulled the handgun at point blank range and was about to execute him.

        • He brought a gun. He stood in the way of protesters. He took the side of police in a distinctly anti-police protest. He claimed it was his ‘job’ to protect businesses. He’s 17.

          I actually don’t blame him for pulling the trigger. That’s not surprising. I blame him for bringing the gun. I blame him for deliberately, and with great naivete, presenting an antagonistic prescence to protest movement fueled by anger. I blame him for showing up. If intention is supposed to matter when he pulled the trigger it should also matter at every moment before that. You don’t get to say he might have been killed if he didn’t have a gun like that justifies him carrying one, because it doesn’t. He chose to go. Guns kill people. You can pretend it was for self defence all you like, but he went to the protest with a gun, they didn’t come to him with one. In my eyes that some people went after him is no surprise, guns are pretty bloody scary and scared people don’t act rationally. If he didn’t expect people to go after him when he carries a gun, especially a gun like that, to a protest then he absolutely lacks the maturity to be at a protest, not to mention with a weapon. Just think about it for a second from the other side – given the history of young white men with guns in America would you be scared shitless by a 17 year old with that kind of gun? I sure would have been, and who knows how I would have reacted.

          Legally I can see the case for self-defence, but morally he’s a murderer in my eyes because he chose to go to the protest with a deadly weapon. Legality =/= morality, and what he did is morally abhorrent. The other guy that had a gun should also be seen as morally abhorrent, but with the important difference that he didn’t actually kill anyone. The weird boasting about how they wished they killed him on social media is your usual social media BS, what someone actually believes or doesn’t isn’t in any way proven by someone talking up the ‘could have, would have, should have’ bravado stuff after the fact, and the self-defence argument if you’re going to bring that up has to apply to both people here.

          • The 17yr old (plus others) was asked, by the owner of a store, that had been targeted previously by the “peaceful protesters” to help protect what was left of his business, so yes, you can argue that he “stood in the way of the protesters”, but considering he was standing on the sidewalk, in front of a store that had been targeted in previous nights, the only thing he was standing in the way of, was wanton destruction of a place of business (you know, like David Dorn, who was killed trying to stop the peaceful protesters from looting and destroying a jewellery store.).

            He decidedly took no side in the protest. Shown from the fact that, until he was targeted (and you can see, in the first instance when he was first chased down, and had things thrown at him), he was rendering aid to protesters, and others that required it.. Hell, you can see footage of the man that was eventually shot and subsequently killed, that a) he was very much an aggressor and b) he didn’t care for any protests, or the message behind it… He’s too busy trying to coax whoever (his target is unseen) into shooting him and attacking him.. and calling him the N-word. Now… I don’t know about you… but a white person, at a BLM rally, calling people the N-word… yeah.. he’s not there to protest, he’s there riot and cause trouble.

            The footage of the first shooting clearly shows that the 17yr old was running away from the previous peaceful protester (and I’m going to keep calling them that, because media refuses to call them anything but), who had thrown at least one large object at him and chased him down. Footage is unclear after this as they are far away, but there are 4 (i think) shots heard… The first, from all reports was straight into the ground, a warning shot some say. Witness states that there was a scuffle, and the aggressor (who is not the 17yr in this case, he ran away until he was cornered, and apparently fired a warning shot first, both are not acts of aggression) grabbed the barrel of the gun and that is when he gets shot. The footage then shows that the 17yr was standing by the shot man, while someone rendering him aid, on his phone calling emergency services saying that he shot a man and to send aid. The only reason he ran off, while still on the phone to emergency services might I add, is because others set upon him, which you can hear in the footage. Obviously those people have no idea what happened, nor do I think many cared…

            Next bit of footage you can see is that the 17yr old is running away from his attackers, down a street, full of peaceful protesters… notice how he doesn’t even raise his gun at any of them? In fact, you can see that while running away, objects are being thrown at him, and not once does he turn to, or raise his weapon.

            It wasn’t until he tripped and fell, and then was set upon by multiple people, that he fired again… he was set upon by multiple people, and he elected to shoot at only the ones that came near him, not even at them, but at the ground near them, the only one he actually shot at directly, was the one that pulled a gun on him.

            If he was out to murder people… he could have killed a hell of a lot more with a lot less thought, especially considering the number that was around him as he was running away from his attackers…

            Aggressors CANNOT claim self-defence, and footage clearly shows that in both cases, he was running away and only shot at people when his life, in his own belief, was in danger. Footage clearly shows that.

            Now, before I saw any of this footage, I only got my info from celebrities I follow on the gram, and from what was being told, this 17yr old was a white guy, walking down the street shooting at protesters willy nilly… and his two “victims” were innocent black people.

            Hell, I’m fairly certain that even in Australian law, once you decide to chase someone down running away from you, you are no longer considered the victim and are now the aggressor.

            Now… you can call him a murderer all you want… but the footage is very clear.

            If you truly believe that shooting someone in self-defence (because remember, in both instances, he was running away from his attackers) is morally abhorrent, then I would expect that if you were ever in a situation where you (or someone you know) was threatened, that you would just sit there and let them do whatever you wanted. But we know that no sane person would do that

          • It’s also since come out that there are exemptions regarding 16/17 year olds carrying rifles/shotguns, it seems he was actually legally allowed to have the weapon after all. Whether one personally likes or agrees with that is another question, said feelings are irrelevant to the situation anyway.

            I can agree that if he simply wasn’t there didn’t this particular incident wouldn’t have happened. But honestly, that’s akin to victim blaming whether you want to see it or not.

            And since you seem to think that the blame is all his then I don’t think you actually care about the truth at all. The others involved wouldn’t have been shot/killed if they weren’t their either. They also wouldn’t have been shot/killed had they not actively chosen to pursue and assault an armed individual who was trying to run away. When they became the aggressors, they very much stopped being victims of anything. Once again, all on video.

            TL;DR – Ignoring shit that is on video to see plain as day is fucking insane. Just stop. Or go work for a major media outlet because they love that deceptive bullshit.

    • @ctrlsaltdelete This has been going on for years. Seriously. Its just that it used to be moderated by Alex, Hayley etc before it got really out of hand. Now you just have the usual suspects typing in an apparent frothing rage at each other in any topic where identity politics is even only tangentially relevant. Which is the result of jabs that went unchecked, that became punches that went unchecked, that became…. I mean this is a video game website first and foremost and yet there are people on both sides who literally never talk about games. Again, when these people are the ones left unchecked this cesspit is what you get.

      • You replied to the wrong comment but you’ve highlighted something I wanted to… highlight.
        “Now you just have the usual suspects typing in an apparent frothing rage at each other in any topic where identity politics is even only tangentially relevant.”
        “this is a video game website first and foremost and yet there are people on both sides who literally never talk about games.”
        This. THIS.
        What do you call someone who only posts on articles about heated topics such as race, gender, sexuality and trans stuff? Someone who comments ALWAYS contain hyperbole, insults to other commenters, and is always on the offensive? Someone who in their searchable post history has not once posted on a non-politcal video game article and not once ever even alluded to playing video games (on a video game website)?
        Because to me, that sounds like it describes the stock standard internet troll. Someone absolutely not worth listening to, and someone that should be highlighted as such.

        But, this is apparently not a bannable offense. We had to deal with Burnside’s bile for years until he presumably fell over from hypertension, so I imagine culture wars will exist on this site until its slow entropic end.

        At least to Burnside’s credit – bullshit artist that he was – he (on one single occasion) mentioned playing Dark Souls 2. The same can not be said for others.

        • The older I get the more I’ve noticed the games I play don’t really get covered by mainstream gaming websites. I’m still interested in the reviews and stuff of games I’ll probably not play but it doesn’t make it easy to engage in discussions when the topics tend to be about the same three or four big titles sprinkled with the politically charged clickbait for traffic.

      • You’re right, it has been going on for a while, I wasn’t around Kotaku all that much before the middle of the Serrels era so I’m probably not too aware of the changes they’ve gone through over the years.

        Yep, the never actually talking about games thing is a problem. That said while I might be inclined to a knee jerk reaction regarding commenters that never comment on games, with a little thought I think it wouldn’t be a good idea to make any hardline rules about this – the political climate (also the actual climate, but that’s another thing) is weighing pretty heavily on everyone’s mind and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of people that don’t comment on articles outside of the ones that stress them out, but aren’t just trolls or bad actors. I know I’m certainly more likely to comment on articles like these than most others, and though I use Kotaku mostly for its articles on games I’m sure to the outside world it looks like I mostly interact with Kotaku’s political articles.

        As much as I might want to make assumptions about the intentions of those I disagree with, I don’t think it’s quite fair to do so. That said I’d love it if there was a ‘flag this post for moderation’ button and maybe some soft auto-moderation on users who repeatedly get reported, but I’m sure that’s not an easy thing to add.

  • I think history will look back at this time and lament the fact that Corona virus and a time of massive social unrest took humankind’s attention away from climate issues at the exact moment we could least afford it. It feels like we are now caught in an inescapable downward spiral.

  • Also, i feel like video game journalists are culpable here. Writers for sites like Polygon and Kotaku started conflating social issues and video games, demanding that games reflect the miserble reailty of North American. Well congratulations you got your wish at the expense of fun and escapism.

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