Fortress America: When Gaming and Politics Collide - Page 4
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  1. #31
    Lama (Lvl 13)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Fantasy Flight Games is creating a new edition of Fortress America, a game originally published in 1986 which pits America against three other nations. It was originally slated to have the following blurb text:

    "It is the early 21st century. Having suffered a series of devastating terrorist attacks, the U.S. wields a newly developed and horrifyingly destructive weapon technology with desperate fury, lashing out mercilessly at any government suspected of harboring its hidden enemies. Entire nations are erased from the map. The world is stunned by the brutal display. . . .
    . . .

    IMPORTANT NOTE: EN World usually has a rule against discussion of religion or politics. We're going to see - in this one thread only - if we can relax the rule a little in specifically indicated news threads. We'll be keeping a close eye on this thread. You may discuss politics politely (still no religion) BUT you MAY NOT insult another member or nation. Be nice, and we might just do something like this again. Try to discuss it in terms of political concepts and how they relate to gaming, NOT what you think of any specific country.
    Reminds me of Systemic Shock by Dean Ing: War against the Far East.

    Also reminds me of Reagan's SDI ("Strategic Defense Initiative"): advanced technology.

    I agree that the first example of text for the new release is more evocative.

    Edit: I find the idea of hovertanks preposterous.

  2. #32
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dire Bare View Post
    The idea that America would never do such a thing as start lazering other countries off the map is a part of one of the negative aspects of American culture. Our arrogance. We're the best, we have the moral high ground, we're the good guys . . .
    This reminds me of an op-ed I read on CNN a little while ago, stating that although most Americans think that their country is exceptional, there's a sharp divide between the political right and left over just what it is that makes America exceptional.

    It's an interesting piece, and seems to underscore the reason why some people were offended by the flavor text for this game.

  3. #33
    I hate the original version of the FFG blurb text because, as GreyLord pointed out, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You've got an America that's developed some terrifying new weapon capable of wiping out whole nations, but when the world decides to team up and neutralize America, for some reason America doesn't just use their super weapon to obliterate its enemies. Where's the logic in that?

    The second version doesn't make much sense either. It's hard to imagine everyone deciding to attack America over a missile defense system. Still, I can ignore the rubbish premise as long as the game is fun in actual play.

    I actually owned the original version back in the day, but only played it a couple of times because it took too long to finish (me being only about 12 at the time). I wonder what I'd think if I tried it now. I'll have to give this new version a look.

  4. #34
    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Maybe the nature of he weapon is explained in the rules.

  5. #35
    I'm having trouble believing the first blurb wasn't made intentionally to be controversial. FFG is not stupid and wouldn't put a blurb like out that unvetted. They damn well wanted to stir the pot.
    Last edited by frankthedm; Tuesday, 20th December, 2011 at 04:37 AM.

  6. #36
    Guide (Lvl 11)

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    I want to be The United States of America.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Remus Lupin View Post
    I find the idea of hovertanks offensive.
    Ground-based vehicles are oppressive!

  8. #38
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    Lots of smart posts, here.

    An offended reaction to the original text sort of puts me in mind to the offended reactionsof people to the Onion story about the Abortionplex.

    There are people who are prepared to be offended by anything.

    I think Fred Clark over at Slacktivist has some really good points about this kind of manufactured outrage (warning: lefty fundamentalist christian blog links!). This is the central idea, but I think the thing's well worth reading:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Clark
    I have a theory that the central motivation for much of American politics is a manufactured indignation.

    This indignation is stoked by the habitual taking of offense, whether or not such offense is actually there to be taken. The cultivation of such offendedness serves two emotional needs: 1) It’s exciting for those whose lives are otherwise kind of dull and pointless-seeming, and 2) It allows the people taking offense to pretend that they are better than those others whose behavior, imagined behavior, or very existence is cited as the pretext for the offense.
    So, yeah, not so much actually offensive as just a convenient target for the manufactured outrage of American politics.

    It's probably smart to change the blurb, as all it would take is some media charlatan or small, influential group to decide this was the rally point dou jour and really hit FFG harder than it probably deserves, but the fact that it is necessary to change the blurb makes me a sad panda.
    Last edited by I'm A Banana; Tuesday, 20th December, 2011 at 05:25 AM.
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  9. #39
    Lama (Lvl 13)

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    I encourage any Americans who think that the ordinary people would prevent the government from doing this sort of thing to take a very close look at what the people seem to be about to allow their government to do right now. Fortress America is a game, Battlefield America is real life (piece is by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern).

    It may even be the case that it would never do that sort of thing. But the assumption that what is stopping it is the people of America is naive in the extreme, given current circumstances.

  10. #40
    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesis Destiny View Post
    The first one sounds like the summary of a series of news headlines from an independent point of view, the second one reads like a spin-doctored press release from the White House, Pentagon, or a modern corporate news source.

    Pretty much what happened.
    Independent point of view?
    To me it sounds more like the plot from a North Korean cartoon.

    Oh, for those who don't know:
    This is the cartoon I was referencing.
    (The U.S. are the evil looking wolves with the big laser airships)

    [ame=]North Korea Animation 5-1 - YouTube[/ame]

    Come to think of it, the cartoon would make a better game synopsis.

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