Call of Juarez: The Cartel Controversy Talkabout

Posted: February 23, 2011
Call of Juarez: The Cartel Controversy Talkabout
Upcoming game Call of Juarez: The Cartel is kicking up a dust storm of controversy. Kevin Kelly and Steve Johnson debate the merits.

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  • Cell34

    Gotta protect those children!

    Which of course is why the age of consent in Juarez is 14 years old and in other parts of Mexico is 12.

    As for not exposing the children there to violence. Ehhhh, they live there. So, I think video game violence is the last thing I would worry about if I had real bullets flying through my window. If anything the controversy should be why a bunch of idiot political figures in Mexico are debating this stupid crap while their citizens are getting mowed down in the streets due to a country that is run by corruption and drugs.


    Posted: February 24, 2011 2:30 AM
  • Meatball_Mamba

    Stephen Johnson's beard is majestic.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 11:20 PM
  • Atavax

    it annoys me how all videogames get peddled under art and not allowing any videogame is censorship... Its one thing if Call of Juarez was a game where the developers were trying to make a statement about the situation there, or even to bring attention there, but thats not the case; its a company milking money from other people's suffering. Big Oil should argue that how they drill into the ground is an art so keeping them from drilling anywhere they want is censorship. Regulating large videogame companies is not censoring free speech, these games are not intelligent arguments, they are an entertainment fix peddled to the masses and the companies argue art and speech to keep their industry from government regulation.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 11:01 PM
  • Blindchicken56

    http://www.facebook.com/note.p hp?note_id=10150092605835172&a mp;id=8506525

    Posted: February 23, 2011 10:41 PM
  • kwfang

    I live in Brownsville, Texas (google it) right next to Matamoros. The Rio Grand separates those two cities. Everyday on the local news we always hear something about the Mexican Drug Cartel. Everyday the violence gets worse im afraid it will spill over into my city. The day that happens my town is screwed. Even though it kinda is already happening. We have our Charro Days festival tomorrow from Thursday thru the weekend. Im not going to any of the festival things in fear something may happen. Anyway this game most likely won't get the Cartel angry to where things will go down but if it does im heading North.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 8:37 PM
  • Lobato87

    Damn I don't know what to say, I don't want it to get censored but I don't think I would buy it.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 5:25 PM
  • Selatcia

    It seems a bit premature to take either side of the argument at this point. There is simply not enough known about the game to say whether this is a tasteless exploitation of an abhorrent situation or if it will be an artfully crafted tale of morality centering on one of the most troubled areas on the planet.

    I will withhold judgment until Ubisoft releases more information.

    On a side note, I really enjoyed this talkabout! I would love to see more videos like this in the future. It had elements of the discussion that is common on Feedback (Stephen Johnson and Kevin Kelly are both great on Feedback!), but with a more focused conversation about a controversial topic in gaming. Great work guys!

    Posted: February 23, 2011 5:03 PM
  • theBEAST137

    I think that the main controversy (although it has not been directly stated) is that it is a form of interactive entertainment that this product is fallen into, and the fact that you can interact with it and that you control the character is why so many people draw the line. Same thing with No Russian. I think that in order for these controversies to stop generating so much attention, the industry needs to express the fact that games are a medium in which it is possible to use for reasons other than fun (in a sense). There are plenty of movies that people go to not because they are fun (like Pirates of the Carribean), but because they are extremely well done and invoke an emotional response that can be sad (such as The Hurt Locker). Same deal with books as well. When somebody makes a Hurt Locker movie about a subject of today, it might generate a very minute controversy, but when a game developer wants to develop a Six Days in Fallujah, everybody gets all upset because of the fact that you can interact with it, and the reason they react this way is because they don't understand the maturity level that games have risen to. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that this understanding of the game industry's maturity will not come until this generation are adults because they will have grown up with games in their lives in some way or another, and will have an understanding of how the game industry can deal with certain subjects with just as much respect as a movie or a book.

    HAVING SAID THIS, I will say that if Call of Juarez wants to keep this setting and story and all, they cannot at all treat this as a sort of GTA style game where you can do whatever you want. It needs to be emotionally invigorating like a great drama film in order to avoid anger. It needs to take this game INCREDIBLY seriously, and I believe that scrapping multiplayer is a good way of doing this, as multiplayer is what people go to when they are looking for distilled fun and nothing more. The story is where it needs to stay in order to keep an emotionally charged story that can survive in our society, and I honestly do not believe Ubisoft is ready and/or to some extent, willing to do this, especially excluding multiplayer. A story that is emotional and yet keeps the player continuing to play the game is something that is incredibly hard to do, something that only a couple of games in my mind were able to do. Not only that, but excluding multiplayer in a society where used games are such a problem for the industry is something that Ubisoft does not seem willing to do just to keep the game alive. I think Ubisoft dug themselves into a hole too deep that they can't get out of unless they sacrifice some things in order to get out of it.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 4:58 PM
  • gamermoney

    I already stated my thoughts on this the other day. let me try to summarize...if you're a gamer and dont care about the mexico fiasco then buy the game if you want and enjoy it I mean that's what games are for. If you are offended or something then ignore and let the people who want to play, game away

    Posted: February 23, 2011 3:56 PM
  • JustTheBeginning

    I dont have a problem with it but I do think its a dumb dumb move on Ubisoft's part. Out of all the games you could make this isn't one I would want to play, no matter what the story really is about.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 2:54 PM
  • BobitoZ

    It IS in poor taste. Can they publish a game like this? Yes. Should they? It depends on the company. If Ubisoft wants to be known for titles like this then go for it.

    Next week: Ubisoft plans to release Call of Lybia. Play as the people of Lybia struggling for democracy or as the elite guard to crush the opposition.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 2:48 PM
  • sy_cred

    I can understand why people have problems with the game. But I agree I don't believe in censorship and ya mexico should not have any type of games like this. Hopefully they at least show its not that glorious of a life style. You and your family probably won't live that long in such a business. But another thing is why is Haley Barry in the game I swear that's her on the left. Real life events are a tough subject. I'm in between about this maybe in a different time it wouldn't be as bad.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 2:40 PM
  • Phantom305

    Great talkabout guys! But can you PLEASE stop running that horrible promo for campus PD with that horrendous song?! Seriously, it makes me want to NOT see that show. Its having a reverse effect. Tell the marketing folks over there that the promo sucks.

    Thanks. You guys are the best.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 2:35 PM
  • AntiquesRoadwarrior

    I think Mexican GameStop (Alto de Videojuegos?) should refuse to sell the game south of the border, but the Mexican government shouldn't do anything. I think if a book came out about the same theme, those Mexican senators would never have considered banning it. And we've talked ad nauseum about how games don't harm kids, so we've got to stick to our guns even when somebody decides to make a tasteless piece of crap, which this could easily be.

    Posted: February 23, 2011 2:30 PM