The recently released Assassin's Creed III by Ubisoft's Montreal studio seems to have gotten the Globe and Mail editors all in a tizzy. A recent editorial by the national newspaper asks "who's side" Ubisoft Montreal is really on, considering the game is intended to glorify the conquests of a Native American assassin as he participates in fictional events intended to take place during the American Revolutionary War.
The Globe editors take the game's creators to task for making the goal of the game to "hunt down the British redcoats" (their quotations, no citation included), suggesting that it "grotesquely twists the facts" to imply that a Native American assassin would rally to the aid of the colonials in their fight for American independence. The editors close with the suggestion that video games may be "the only place that Canadian young people are learning about the Revolutionary War," and that the heavily-skewed American perspective of the game could hurt their understanding of real history.
I sincerely hope The Globe and Mail never takes issue with how I learned about Italian plumbers.
Needless to say, this particular stance has become the target of mockery both in the comment section of the Globe's article, and on Twitter under the hashtag #GlobeEditorial. Many have decided to correct other misleading claims that video games have made in the past:
In healthcare news: Up up down down left right left right B A will not in fact allow you to live forever. #GlobeEditorial
— Tabatha Southey (@TabathaSouthey) November 15, 2012
Humans do not, in fact, have the strength to remove one's skull and spine with one hand after being told to "Finish Him" #GlobeEditorial
— Andrew Panturescu (@Pantstotherescu) November 15, 2012
Frogger, while entirely realistic, does little to encourage defensive driving. #globeeditorial
— Tyson Vickers (@vickersty) November 15, 2012
Arkham City depicts a dangerous andeconomically irresponsible method of crime prevention. #GlobeEditorial
— Derek Higgins (@dhiggins06) November 15, 2012
It's time Pac-Man took responsibility for the his part in the obesity epidemic after decades of gratuitous overeating #globeeditorial
— Andrew MacDonald (@drewmac) November 15, 2012
Go-karting without helmets promotes negligent driving behaviour, and misrepresents the real danger of banana peels. #GlobeEditorial
— Jorge Amigo (@AmigoJor) November 15, 2012
Sorry, Mario, but your Princess is trapped in a regressive gender hierarchy that strips her of agency. #GlobeEditorial
— David Berry (@pleasuremotors) November 15, 2012
"But let there be no illusions: When real space invaders come they won't be arrayed in neat rows." #globeeditorial
— Paul Wells (@InklessPW) November 15, 2012
Those who don't take a jab at the Globe's perspective that youth are forming their world view solely on video games instead suggest that the editorial doesn't actually seem to grasp what the game is about at all. Commenters argue that both the British and Americans are portrayed as somewhat morally ambiguous in the game, and the entire story requires a certain suspension of disbelief to be enjoyed.
At least, for now, it seems the Globe's fear for our country's youth is strictly limited to the old scapegoat of video games. Hopefully no one ever sits them down with a box set of The Tudors.
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