Sunday, July 31, 2005


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Five soldiers who were real human beings and who wanted to live were blown up in Iraq today and are now very much dead. A host of others lost more arms and legs. We read patriotic stories about legless or armless men begging to be sent back to Iraq so they can give more for America.

But it all falls on deaf ears because our patriotic young Republican youth are way too busy, dudes, to go to Iraq when there are so many battles to be fought here at home on video games!

Like Battlefield 2: Special Forces!
Battlefield 2, EA's shock-and-awe continuation of the popular mulitplayer action combat series, is getting fresh reinforcements for its growing coalition of willing gamers. Battlefield 2: Special Forces brings elite units to existing U.S. and Middle Eastern Coalition (MEC) forces, and also brings several new nationalities and factions to combat on land, sea, and air. Things are also getting sneakier and meaner -- always a plus in the competitive arena.

Special Forces showcases a total of six different flavors of "elite" troops, including British SAS, Russian Spetznas, U.S. Navy SEALs, and MEC Special Forces. As with the main game, each newly introduced faction is broken down into the distinct standing character classes. Even raggedy-ass rebel and "insurgent" groups get in on the elite-solider routine (and one of them is in particular conflict with the Spetznas).

Battlefield 2 knew how to kick butt and leave a boot-print from day one, but the Special Forces expansion adds new aspects and entire new dimensions of screw-with-thy-neighbor. An all-purpose grappling hook allows determined players to scale any structure or obstruction within range of the device.
Whoa. Big stuff! Like, wow. Kick butt, take that, you insurgent radicals! Bin Laden better be scared, man.

While our infants at home "screw-with-thy-neighbor" the American consulate of Neuvo Laredo on the Texas/Mexico border had to be closed because of machinegun fire. But even this attack right on our own borders won't drag our gamesters away from their hard work winning battles with video games.

Here is an even better game for our dear right wing youth who want to shock and awe the planet: Shattered Union.
You'll pardon the editorializing, but it must be said: Hell, yes. Somewhere between the edgy (dare we say "topical") subject matter, the just-north-of-beer-and-pretzels gameplay, our own shameless love for anything that even vaguely smacks of Advance Wars, and the lamentably anemic standing of turn-based strategy gaming, Shattered Union comes a-clamoring like an upstart politician making sweet promises amid a dry political season.

If you secretly dug on the pessimistic entertainment doom of Westwood Studio's Red Alert series, Shattered Union may well show up somewhere on your gaming radar. It's 2013, and superpower America has, alas, finally succumbed to a series of politically fragmenting events (up to and including the nuking of Washington, D.C.); as per the name, the Union literally shatters into independent geopolitical territories, and it's your job to put Uncle Humpty Sam back together again... by any means necessary.

A strategic-scale map shows the initial fragmentation of the country, with such new territories as the Pacific Northwest's Arcadia, the Heartland coalition, Dixieland, the "New England Alliance"... and even, ironically, expeditionary "peacekeeping" forces sent from Europe to stabilize the American situation! The actual work of battling to reunify the nation takes place on a closer scale level, with maps showcasing each region's major cities and geographical layout.
Way too cool. Our right wing buddies can virtually blow up America. Doesn't that warm our collective cockles?

You see, this is their game plan: they stay home, training themselves to nuke NYC while they send out real soldiers to die in far lands in futile battles. Then, after utterly destroying our defensive military apparatus and scattering our real soldiers across the planet, they will attack their real enemies: fellow Americans.

Great. I just can't wait. Gads.


At 31 July, 2005 10:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 31 July, 2005 14:00, Anonymous Pvt. Bidness said...

Darlin' Elaine,

The joystick warriors of the right are waiting and training avidly for the time when through drones, robots and real-time control technology they can engage in "combat" without leaving the safety of Mama's basement. Hey, it's the best they CAN be!

From the ranks,

At 31 July, 2005 14:41, Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Ender's Game with the Dead End Kids.

At 31 July, 2005 18:44, Anonymous Pvt. Bidness said...

That's a rajah.

At 01 August, 2005 12:04, Anonymous JasonB said...

Elaine, you really need to tone down the crazy rhetoric.

So let's see... according to you all Boy Scouts are right wing chickenhawks AND anyone who plays video games like Battlefield are as well.

Get off it. This generalizing and "pointing with mittens" isn't only rediculous, it makes people onteh left who are truly behind the aims of OYE look like asshats.

Get this - there are alot of kids (and adults) who play games like this who are quite liberal (or at the least very libertarian). I count myself as a liberal gamer who has *gasp* played games such as these.

Or am I a chickenhawk too, even though I'm liberal who was against teh war from the beginning??

At 01 August, 2005 19:09, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 02 August, 2005 20:55, Blogger Steve said...


Satire escapes you. I play these games as well, but that doesn't entitle me to cheer people on to their deaths.


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