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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  • NutterButter227

    I want to actually see that MindJack playthrough, I heard that it was a terrible game.

    Posted: May 12, 2011 5:43 PM
  • DKBomber13

    actually kinda excited for this game.

    Posted: March 8, 2011 11:07 AM
  • kentla57

    The kids are already exposed to real life violence death and mayhem. I was in Russia for two years and talk about death and mayhem. Human slavery etc. Maybe this world needs a real life team to clean up the world of scum.

    Posted: March 7, 2011 3:08 PM
  • JaShatta

    Look to solve the problem is do not send the game there. If you going to change the game fine make 2 version the original version and one for just Mexico thats all thank you.

    Posted: March 6, 2011 7:14 PM
  • IAmBecomeRevolt

    This is such crap. First of all, why do people with children constantly have this fervent belief that they can dictate everyone else's lifestyle out of fear of what their child is exposed to? You brought them into this world, it is primarily your job to teach them how to think and function within it. Not everyone else's.

    Second, this crap about games being ok because they're "make pretend" is rubbish. I wish and hope "Call of Juarez: The Cartel" is as realistic and close to the actual situation as it possibly can be. Because the question we need to be asking ourselves is "what is this piece of media trying to communicate to us?" Not "is this real enough to [somehow, illogically] be considered offensive"? Let's see what the game has to say first. If it's for not much more than making fun out of a terrible and oppressive situation, then we attack it. But the game might be trying to show something by using the Juarez backdrop. I mean, with that said, I much, MUCH rather put "GTA 4" in my little brother's hands than "Call of Duty: Black Ops" (if for some morbid hypothetical reason, I had to choose).

    And have we all forgotten that the game is clearly not for children? Game makers have stamped their game with ratings indicators for which age group can play what. Parents need to stop wishing everyone else in the world has to fill in parental responsibilities in areas where they "can't". Before the case arrives in which your child has gotten hold of an adult product, train their mind with proper values and insight so that they properly process what's being played.

    Posted: March 4, 2011 7:09 AM
  • vaiobands

    Something they don't know is that the cartel is EXTREMELY dangerous....honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they were killed. People have been killed for way less when it came to the drug cartel, now making a game about them will surely attract their attention and if they aren't portrayed with an image they think is "Correct" they will kill them. Good Luck.

    Posted: March 3, 2011 8:25 PM
  • B!gAnt

    Jesus someone needs to buy you guys a box of tampons already.

    Posted: March 3, 2011 12:34 PM
  • Preyer

    I think it all really depends on the plot and tone the game takes. If in the story you play the role of some cold blooded member of the cartel who shoots people up with no justification, then no doubt the game is out of line. If your playing a character who is out to stop the violence, who actually feels remorse for the people who are dying due to the cartel's violent rampage, then it could be argued that it sends a somewhat more positive message.

    Posted: February 27, 2011 12:37 PM
  • Preyer

    My opinion put simply is that if you live in a place where there is much violence then playing a video-game that takes place in said place will not further your belief that the violence is normal or that you should commit violence. I do understand why a person wouldn't want kids playing this game, but it should not call for a ban, boycott, or protest.

    Posted: February 27, 2011 12:23 PM

    This debate goes back to the question that has been asked time-and-time again: "are video games too violent?" which ultimately led to the ESRB rating system and the continuous harassment by politicians for censorship. Look, if the Mexican government truly felt any compassion for their children, they would fight, or ask their allies for help, in fighting for civility. For these senators to say that this game will demoralize their children by playing this game is a bit of a hypocritical response when the kids are already seeing the violence in their back yards.

    It's one thing to say that this game will give the city of Juarez a bad rap, but it's another to use children as a political shields because a form of medium is reflecting how crappy the city really is.

    Posted: February 25, 2011 2:43 AM
  • BoydofZINJ

    I live in San Antonio, TX. While we are close, and I hear a few reports from down there. It is very far removed, from me. Never-the-less, there is entertainment and then there is tasteless entertainment. How would we like to have the next pron of a mass shooting occurred near Tucson, Arizona. In that Pron it was of of the female senator or representative was off "doing her thing" and then got shot. OH YEAH. That would be very tasteless. This is equally tasteless. IMHO.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 6:31 PM
  • bolander9

    I agree with Steve. I live in El Paso TX and have seen this stuff played out close to home. I don't believe in censorship but I do believe in basic human decency and common courtesy. It's just too soon. This stuff is still going on. Hundreds have been killed just this month. This is a horrible reality that is taking place right now. There is LITERALLY a third-world warzone right across the river; it's practically in America's backyard.

    It's one thing to make a game like this that is set in the past, but this isn't the in the past. It is the present. And I think that this game is in really poor taste. I would support a boycott of this game.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 3:56 PM
  • w2walton

    So let me get this straight they are upset because you control the hero protagonist that is doing what those Mexican senators are to afraid to do. We didn't ban Grand theft auto in the ghetto's of our country where there is constant, violence, poverty, and a lack of hope. Let people who live there fantasize that they are making a difference in their city by playing the game. They have no outlet for their anger at their situation. Their government sucks, their police and a lot of those senators ARE a part of the cartel so let people smile a little bit and have a small taste of revenge that they may never have in reality.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 11:24 AM
  • astro_righteous

    WTF? i wrote this long thing with 1200 characters remaining, and i get some error about how facebook had an error.


    Posted: February 24, 2011 11:07 AM
  • astro_righteous

    So i believe that what Stephen was trying to say is that the line he is making with CoJ is that this game is making entertainment value out of actual real life violence.

    Yes GTAs are mercilessly violent at times and are modeled after real places, but those story lines are fictional and even though there are serious crimes like the ones in those games, they arent based on actual events. Call of Juarez, however, is a game based on the actualities of things currently happening. The actual gameplay more than likely never occurred in the exact way it is meant to be played, but nevertheless the events are probably based on police reports and slightly modified for that entertaining hook.

    I also think what is being said about the difference between movies and games is that in movies, there is a sense of realism through emotion. The actors can portray the people who lived the event but also bring compassion to the story, on both the good and the bad side. Take, for example, 'The Kingdom' - very violent. You actually watch a dude blow himself up in the first 10 minutes of the movie. And that happens all the time in the middle east. But they bring a feeling to the story about the people who do that. Its for a cause. Whether you believe in that cause or not, you are still getting an understanding as to why they feel the way they do in order to make themselves do that.

    In videogames, there isnt often a very detailed storyline with superb acting skills that can give that sense of realism and so the violence is just violence and nothing more and there is no feeling behind any of it which is why most governments want to censor things so that the violence isnt just, you know, another everyday thing. How many video games have won oscars? Yeah there are many video games but nothing to show that there is a game that conveys the fidelity of the story.

    Its bad enough that real life people have to actually live through that sort of thing. The last thing that we should have is a game that makes the horrific reality of that situation an entertaining thing. I am with Stephen in saying that its in bad taste to make light of the atrocities but far be it from me to say that this game should be altered just because it happens to fall in the "too soon" category.

    Lets say for instance though, that publishers and developers didnt have any sense of moral judgement and just made games because they thought it would be a nice catchy gameplay and it appealed to our taste for gore and destruction. Why not make a game where you fly a giant aircraft into a highly populated building. Not necessarily resembling any building that it may have happened to. It still has happened and even though that event was a decade ago this year, and people are already getting sick of the annual bell ringing, its not cool to even pretend to do it again. And considering the events in CoJ are happening as I write this, it certainly falls under 'Too Soon'.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 11:03 AM
  • Bowmanganie

    What a lot of controversy for a game that no one exactly knows what is going to happen in it, what the story line will be, or that it will even be a game that ANYONE wants to buy. If I were the creators I would be ecstatic about all this press for my mediocre game! The po-po spoke out about it WITHOUT ANY FACTS, Stephen is speaking out about it without any real facts. There is a whole lot of assumption going on.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 10:30 AM
  • DarkKirby2500


    There problem with your reasoning is the game is absolutely not causing physical harm to anyone, nor is it likely to have the potential to.

    Did people in NY run out and steal cars, kill hookers, and get employed by multiple mob bosses, after playing GTA4? Did people in NY riot in the streets about how GTA4 was portraying them and their state? If you didn't know, the answer is nobody cared.

    The censorship is based on how some people feel the game is making fun of their situation and/or portraying their home town. Emphasis of "feel" because they have not actually played the game. The censorship is based on what they think it might be about.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 9:44 AM
  • Atavax

    dark kirby, its not about whether it hurts people's feelings. Its whether it threatens people's well being... Shouting fire in a crowded theatre would likely kill people, but should people be allowed to do that when there is no fire despite the consequences? If a Videogame is going to harm people, speech gives way to the public well being. This videogame isn't telling people anything relavent, its mass entertainment that at the very least is an industry making money off of people's suffering and at worst making a bad situation worse.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 9:16 AM
  • DarkKirby2500

    Most people on G4's video game staff have always been heavily in favor of censorship. And are hard line liberals apparently.

    I am against censorship of any type. Censorship is people who don't want to see things telling other people what they are allowed to see.

    And no, "it hurts peoples feelings" is not a reason for censorship.

    I believe in "While I disagree with what you say, I will fight to the death for your right to say it".

    Not "if it hurts some peoples feelings it should be illegal".

    And to top it off, like someone else already said, people are trying to ban something that they haven't actually played, but basing their reasoning on what the "feel like" it probably is.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 9:06 AM
  • s0beit

    Excuse me, if you are in favor of places not selling these games then you should stop selling Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Battlefield.

    All of those things happen all the time in war and the United States (GTA specifically), the hosts attitudes are appalling.

    Either everything is off limits or nothing is off limits, you choose.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 6:40 AM