Dan Carlin’s Common Sense #217 – The Big Ketchup Show

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Common Sense with Dan CarlinThe latest Dan Carlin’s Common Sense episode, #217 – The Big Ketchup Show, has Carlin asking tough questions and proffering incredibly reasonable answers. |MP3|

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dancarlin/commonsense?format=xml

Carlin’s take on SOPA is both surprising and insightful. He also talks about the latest U.S. presidential jockeying and a number of other recent items in the news. But the most enduring takeaway, at least for me, was his argument with regard to the “mistreatment of enemy dead by U.S. soldiers” – As Carlin points out the reasons for the controversy and compares it to the Collateral Murder video promulgated by Wikileaks and then wonders if:

‘First person shooters offered the chance to piss on a virtual enemy’s corpse?’

Now I love a good FPS myself. I’ve played quite a few of them. Many deliberately offer controversial sequences. Modern Warfare 2, for instance, has one sequence in which you can act as a terrorist, shooting innocents in a Russian airport. And while the body count is incredibly high in these games, I’ve virtually killed more than 51,000 times in Battlefield 2 alone, most game companies actively discourage swearing, racism, and such from their servers. I haven’t yet seen one yet that officially offered desecrating an enemy corpse as an option.

But where there is humanity there something just as human, and similarly disrespectful: I refer of course to the rampant teabagging of enemy corpses!

The Wikipedia entry on the subject describes the virtual act as “done to humorously imply domination or humiliation.” And The Giant Bomb website has this to say:

“Tea-bagging is primarily used to make one’s death a more humiliating experience and provoking the other player. This action is most commonly performed in video games found within the first-person shooter genre; however, every game that has a crouch button and dead bodies is susceptible to this phenomenon.”

The difference is, the worst of human behavior in computer games is all virtual, and generally not mean-spirited. Going to war should be a big fucking deal. And to make that clear we’d do better to show the reality of it, and to do it in high definition.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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