Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Law enforcement group urges boycott of the video game
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
Origins: The e-mail forward quoted above calls attention to a petition from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) regarding the video game
"It is absolutely unconscionable that game makers are enabling young people — or anyoneAs
Players of 25 to Life© are presented with a scenario that enables them to choose between playing as a law enforcement officer, or a drug dealer who role-plays shooting fellow gang members and law enforcement officers. The Web site advertising the game boasts that players have "more than
Noting that in the past 10 years, 70 officers have been killed by people under the age of 18, Mr. Floyd said, "While it's true that players are given a choice between wearing a badge or the colors of a gang, the ultimate message carried by the game is that some players are justified in endangering the lives of police officers. That's a terrible message for anyone, but particularly so for young people who are already confronted with numerous choices that can lead to dangerous consequences. Regardless of your views on free speech or marketplace dynamics, there is really nothing good that can be said about this game. The images are wrong. The messages are wrong. And stocking it in U.S. stores is wrong."
Mr. Floyd noted that the NLEOMF's recently released report on law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty during 2005 included more than
"We're focused on this game right now because children and communities are facing the greatest threat from it right now, but our broader goal is to encourage all parents and caregivers to be more aware of what their children are exposed to or encouraged to emulate," added
Visually, the game is flat and boring. There's a chance you've seen better-looking graphics on the PlayStation Portable. That alone isn't enough to sink this title; the game play does that all by itself.The reviewer noted in a coda "The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has an online petition to pull the game off the shelves. How much of an impact it will have remains to be seen. One almost feels the need to tell the group not to bother
In single-player mode, you are placed in the role of a gangbanger who's trying to find a way out. While other games and movies have used this kind of story to craft intriguing tales of redemption, in this game, much of your solution comes through blowing away as many cops and other gangsters as possible.
And when the bullets start flying, the game unleashes a barrage of broken game-play mechanics. For instance, the game lets you take hostages, but the virtual cops still shoot at you as if you were holding Osama bin Laden. Most of the time, the hostage ends up dying and you're forced to run around with guns blazing.
There's usually some thought involved in third-person shoot-'em-ups like this, because the enemies in the game do things like take cover, move into position and try to flush the player out. Not here. The enemies scatter all over the screen like marbles, turning any concept of strategy into a chalk outline.
The cherry on top of this ignorant sundae is the delivery of the story itself. Every tired rap and urban cliche you can think of is presented in its full glory.
The dialogue sounds like it's being read from a gangsta rap cue card. Our "hero" tells his wife to stop talking about his friend because (in the words of Tupac) "only God can judge him."
Last updated: 5 March 2006
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