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So first came the announcement that convicted traitor Oliver North was hired on as a shill for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.  Now, Treyarch Games has revealed that the primary villain of the upcoming title is the "idolized Messiah of the 99%", a mixture of Julian Assange, Che Guevara, and the 99% Movement.

So, from cold-war era communism, the logical progression of Big Bads is Occupy Wall Street?  Seriously, that's what you're going with?

I'm getting the strong impression that Treyarch Games is a few tri-corn hats short of a tea party.

Why is this a big deal?  Well, for starters, the first Black Ops game was the best selling game of all time (although Diablo III may be on track to eclipse it, if the initial sales numbers are any indication).  The audience is huge, and is heavily skewed towards younger and less politically educated people.

Political messaging in video games is kind of difficult to read, in general.  On the one hand, most video games center around violence and warfare.  On the other, many also focus on society building, and "evil corporations" are quite possibly the second most common variety of enemy, behind 'megalomaniacal tyrant/overlord/mad scientist'.  The 'chest-high walls' genre of modern shooters, though, has clear and hyper-conservative messaging.  This is by far the most egregious example I've seen, but brown-skinned enemies, torture porn, and OMG COMMUNISM are near-universal staples of the genre.

I'm not really sure 'what to do' about it, other than use it as a Teachable Moment - it's a great opportunity to explain to some of my less politically aware friends exactly how Oliver North and Saint Ronnie betrayed the nation.  The other thing that helps is spreading the word.  I really doubt that a boycott would be anything other than embarrassing - this game is guaranteed to sell 5 million+ copies - but I won't be complicit.

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