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WTO Riots Now Just a Game

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo Local News : Tuesday, May 29, 2001 Those Seattle WTO riots? It s just a game now, folks By
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2001
      News for Anarchists & Activists:

      Local News : Tuesday, May 29, 2001

      Those Seattle WTO riots? It's just a game now, folks

      By The Associated Press

      TACOMA - If you missed the riots and protests at the World
      Trade Organization meeting in Seattle a year and a half ago,
      you may soon get another chance.

      Video-game players can march down the middle of a city
      street to the beat of loud music, launch a rocket or brick
      into a storefront window, even punch out an officer in riot
      gear while playing "State of Emergency."

      Rockstar Games revealed the game - due in October for Sony
      PlayStation 2 - earlier this month at the Electronic
      Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

      No coincidence

      A spokesman for Rockstar has acknowledged that the game has
      strong ties to the WTO riots in late 1999. Take-Two
      Interactive Software, parent company for Rockstar Games, was
      unavailable for comment yesterday, a holiday.

      Some 50,000 people marched through Seattle, disrupting the
      WTO meeting and downtown business in protesting global
      issues such as human rights, labor issues and the

      Most were peaceful, but conflicts surrounding the WTO
      meeting resulted in the arrests of 600 people and property
      damage of $3 million.

      "State of Emergency" is billed as an "urban riot game set in
      the near future, where the oppressive American Trade
      Organization (ATO) has declared a state of emergency. ... It
      is up to you to smash up everything and everyone in order to
      destabilize the ATO."

      Scoring points

      A player can overturn vehicles, incite rumbles between rival
      groups and attack bystanders. Extra points can be made by
      punching out an ATO officer in riot gear, knocking him to
      the ground and jumping on him.

      The game already has drawn criticism.

      "If you want your child to become a violent anarchist, this
      is a great training game," said state Rep. Mary Lou
      Dickerson, D-Seattle. Dickerson, who joined the ranks of
      peaceful WTO demonstrators, called the game "a slap in the
      face of the peaceful ideals of 40,000 protesters."

      After watching a video clip on the publisher's Web site, she
      said the game seems to show anarchists whose violent actions
      all but obscured the message of the peaceful demonstrations
      in Seattle.

      State Rep. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, a state trooper who
      was on duty in Seattle during the WTO meetings, also found
      fault with the game's premise.

      "To re-enact things like that in a digital arena sends a
      very strong message," he said. "It's just better to try to
      heal a community."

      Dick Lilly, spokesman for Seattle Mayor Paul Schell, said
      the game will never show up in any city-run community

      "I think research has raised enough serious questions about
      these kinds of violent games that people should be very
      skeptical and critical of this kind of content," he said.

      It's not child's play

      The Rockstar spokesman said the company is being careful to
      follow advertising guidelines set by the Entertainment
      Software Rating Board to ensure that "State of Emergency"
      isn't marketed to children.

      Arthur Pober, president of the ratings board, refused to
      comment on the game, which has not yet been rated. The vast
      majority of games fall into the E (Everyone) and T (Teen)
      categories. Most of the M (Mature) games are aimed at older

      Dan Clore

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