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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2020
Video game developer attacks Black Lives Matter
Ubisoft, (Click to enlarge)
Isaac Maskill-Watts, Derby Socialist Party
Just two months ago, French video game giant Ubisoft joined the hollow chorus of corporations exclaiming that black lives matter. But its latest mobile game under a flagship franchise, Tom Clancy's Elite Squad, features a thinly veiled attack on the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the introduction to the game, we are greeted with a scene stating that an organisation called Umbra "has emerged to take advantage of escalating civil unrest," promoting an "egalitarian utopia." This is cover for its desire to build a "new world order" using terrorist attacks to generate more chaos, and "weaken governments" by hacking social media to discredit world leaders.
Just in these few snippets, we can see Ubisoft making a clear and distinct link between recent protests and terrorist actions, and even linking it to (mostly right-wing) conspiracy theories.
However, this did not link them clearly enough for Ubisoft! The logo of the villainous organisation is the black solidarity fist used by the workers' movement and black liberation groups.
The player's mission is to operate an elite squad of assassins, authorised by world leaders to work outside the law, to "put an end to Umbra's campaign of chaos."
Since its release, Elite Squad has faced a significant backlash online. Ubisoft has agreed to remove the solidarity fist from the introduction of the game. But this still leaves the rest of the parallels drawn between anti-racist and anti-capitalist protests, and shady terrorist groups.
The major players in the industry feel they can publish games like this with little to no accountability to the world outside of the gaming sphere. We've known for a long time, for example, that these companies overwork their staff, sometimes with 100-hour work weeks before a game is due to launch, referred to as 'crunch'.
Staff are underpaid for their time, while chief executives are among some of the highest-paid. Mobile games in particular use underhanded tactics, including gambling mechanisms, to squeeze ever more money from vulnerable players, sometimes even children.
Capitalism is prepared to use every means to undermine opposition to the profit system. This includes the exploitative, multibillion-dollar video game industry.
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In The Socialist 9 September 2020:
Fight the schools Covid crisis
Safety overridden in drive to bolster the economy
Caerphilly lockdown puts profits before safety
Under the microscope
Campaigns and party news
Jobs, training, pay, we want a future!
Dover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class
BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism
Big push to hit finance target
15% now - unions must fight for NHS pay rise
Callous Tories threaten not to uprate the minimum wage
XR blockade: Don't let the Tories criminalise protest
Grenfell fire inquiry stops victims attending
Video game developer attacks Black Lives Matter
What we think
U-turn Tories' splits are growing
Fight Amazon's anti-union spies
NSSN rally: Workers must not pay the price of Covid
Nottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy
Covid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government
Ireland: Debenham's workers occupy stores
Hull: Defend Tony Smith!
Reinstate Richie Venton
A critical election for Unison general secretary
Back at work! TUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians
Belarus: Mass opposition continues to defy repression by Lukashenko's regime
Strike wave marks new stage in revival of Iranian workers' movement
The Socialist 9 September 2020 |
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