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Tactical Facepalm

October 31, 2009

tactical_facepalmIt has been a while since I posted on the blog. I find it unfortunate that this current debacle with the marketing campaign for Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 will be my first blog post in a long, long time. If you want more information on the subject I suggest you follow these links for perspective on both the developers, community, and persons effected by the kind of offensive rhetoric being brought to the forefront in this video. Vorpal Bunny Ranch, Brainy Gamer, Sarcastic Gamer, While !Finished, Developer Response.

But I think it is important to understand that a marketing campaign like this could only exist in an free, democratic space such as the Internet. Specifically, on Youtube. And with that entails ideological practices of activism and participatory culture that are embedded with new media. Despite how democratic Youtube presents itself it is still both a self regulating and corporate regulated space. We’ve seen this before with clips that are copyright infringement, pornographic, and even offensive. But we also see kinds of activism on Youtube and the effect such clips of outrage, politics, and humanitarian call to arms can have outside of the online space to collectivize groups as well.

I’ve told people to flag the Modern Warfare 2 advertisement on Youtube and leave comments. Please be sure to respond to the official Infinity Ward posting of the video in question. But there are other ways to make your voices heard directly on Youtube. Create response videos and link them to the comments. Link humanitarian videos on tolerance. Link videos depicting homophobia and violence in protest to the comments. Mark as spam hateful comments in the video. E-mail the Infinity Ward Youtube profile page in protest. Or be even more creative and create Machinima with the Call of Duty 4 & 5 engine on these issues concerning violence and intolerance and put them online in response.

There are many ways to protest and it’s important to understand the platform that allows this kind of rhetoric and advertisement to appear and the consequences such an open platform has in regards to empowerment for the community and self regulation. I end you with a post on digital activism on Youtube from the Google blog. My best wishes to everyone and I hope this post was helpful. Please post in the comments any other links of interest and other ideas for protest and I will be sure to update it in this post.

UPDATE: Community Manager Robert Bowling has informed that Infinity Ward has removed their posting of the Modern Warfare 2 video from Youtube.

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