This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Edited by GamePunisher85 (40 posts) -

Hello, fellow gamers!

I'm a gamer who happen to be a Muslim. A few years ago I had decided to avoid any type islamophobic games or movies. I'm sick and tired to see Muslims being portrayed ONLY as freedom hating, blood thirsty terrorists. Dehumanization of Muslims has gone on too long and I'm boycotting all that garbage.

I need your help!

Latest Splinter Cell shows Muslim extremist Group as the main antagonists. Is there more to the story or will I be shooting one "evil Muslim" after another in this one?

Thank you.

#2 Edited by cbk486 (174 posts) -

I really don't think the fact that the main baddie was Muslim had really any impact on the story (they don't really talk about it).

But then again, I am an atheist and so I maybe I am unable to relate.

#3 Posted by Skytylz (4029 posts) -

Spoiler maybe? I didn't finish the game but:

The bad guy is a british dude I'm pretty sure. Not really a middle east story the whole time, kinda goes all over the world.

#4 Posted by Zella (703 posts) -

I would more say the bad dudes tend to be middle eastern rather than muslim in Blacklist. While a few missions take place in the middle east and you fight generic arab dudes there are also plenty of missions with you taking down standard white dudes too.

#5 Posted by cbk486 (174 posts) -

@skytylz:

You know, the entire time I got the fact the he was ex-MI6 but somehow missed that he was actually British. Not that it really matters though.

#6 Edited by TruthTellah (8537 posts) -

@gamepunisher85: From what I remember, the villains being Muslim or not isn't really something mentioned, and religion doesn't really play a part. It's more about power dynamics. Gameplay-wise, you'll be shooting a lot of soldiers and guards, like any other Splinter Cell game, and you'll be shooting them all over the world.

I won't spoil it, but the main antagonist and the others with him are not just "Muslim extremists".

#7 Edited by cbk486 (174 posts) -

I'd just like to reiterate that religion really isn't discussed at all in this game, and I think you'll do yourself a disservice by dismissing it because of that.

#8 Edited by chiablo (904 posts) -

It does feature the middle east, but they do a good job of keeping the main enemy's nationality very neutral. Nobody is ever labeled a Muslim or Extremist. Overall, considering that there are multiple plots involving the middle east, they did a good job of not exploiting things.

I didn't find the plot or characters particularly interesting, if you do purchase it and take offense at anything, you can skip the cutscenes and just enjoy the great gameplay.

#9 Edited by GamePunisher85 (40 posts) -

Thanks guys! I'm going to order this one right away. Good to know the bad guys aren't doing the evil deeds in the name of Islam! :D PS. Muslim is not an ethnicity as some of you may think. There are a lot of blonde, blue eyed Muslims too :D I'm white btw.

#11 Posted by DarthOrange (3851 posts) -

There are millions of "Muslims" who commit evil deeds in the name of Islam. One needn't look any further than Iraq or Syria, to see how people can commit the most horrid and repulsive acts in the name of Allah. A video game should be your least concern.

This shit is going to get this motherfucker banned right?

#12 Edited by Milkman (16527 posts) -

Maybe I'm wrong but from what I can usually tell, most games generally seem to avoid any explicit references to Islam. I can't think of a game off the top of my head that just up front says "this bad guy is Muslim." I would call it heavily implied in some, for sure. It's an interesting discussion though.

#13 Edited by postnothing (65 posts) -

@darthorange said:

@postnothing said:

There are millions of "Muslims" who commit evil deeds in the name of Islam. One needn't look any further than Iraq or Syria, to see how people can commit the most horrid and repulsive acts in the name of Allah. A video game should be your least concern.

This shit is going to get this motherfucker banned right?

I'm not sure I got what you meant. But am I violating any of the forum rules? I mean, I don't think my comment was offensive, was it?

#14 Edited by Troispoint (267 posts) -

@postnothing said:

There are millions of "Muslims" who commit evil deeds in the name of Islam. One needn't look any further than Iraq or Syria, to see how people can commit the most horrid and repulsive acts in the name of Allah. A video game should be your least concern.

This shit is going to get this motherfucker banned right?

The way he said was pretty silly, but there's very much a rift between the Middle-East and Western civilization. That can't be argued and portraying it in entertainment isn't islamophobia in itself. I'd suggest the OP to re-examine what he believes to be hate mongering against muslims.

#15 Edited by TruthTellah (8537 posts) -

@postnothing said:

There are millions of "Muslims" who commit evil deeds in the name of Islam. One needn't look any further than Iraq or Syria, to see how people can commit the most horrid and repulsive acts in the name of Allah. A video game should be your least concern.

This shit is going to get this motherfucker banned right?

ehh... Plenty of users say these kinds of things about women or other nationalities and get a pass; so, I don't think it's something necessarily against the enforced rules.

I guess a lenient interpretation would be that he's referring to "millions" as a comment on systemic issues in some islamic nations, perhaps regarding the treatment of women and others. Kind of the "worry about those who are really giving you a bad name" argument when it comes to media that might embrace negative stereotypes. Maybe just not as artfully expressed as it could have been.

#16 Edited by joshwent (2113 posts) -

@milkman said:

Maybe I'm wrong but from what I can usually tell, most games generally seem to avoid any explicit references to Islam. I can't think of a game off the top of my head that just up front says "this bad guy is Muslim." I would call it heavily implied in some, for sure. It's an interesting discussion though.

This is exactly what I was thinking reading the OP. Heavily implied indeed in a lot of modern military shooters, to the point of being beyond an implication even, but specifically labeling characters as Muslim, especially enemies, is something I don't think a game would ever do. At least in the foreseeable future.

Reminded me of when Sony decided to spend the money (a LOT of money) to issue a world-wide recall of Little Big Planet before it was sold because one of the songs had someone singing in Arabic two lines from the Qur'an. If something as minor as that convinced a company to take that publicity and financial hit, I couldn't imagine any high profile game outright saying, "There's a Muslim. Shoot 'em!"

It's funny that Nintendo used to make ridiculous edits to games to avoid Christian and Satanic symbolism, and now Bayonetta 2 which is basically an explosive orgy of Christian and Satanic symbolism, is exclusive to the WiiU. Progress?

#17 Posted by Sinusoidal (1289 posts) -

Muslims seem to have dropped out of the bad guy spotlight lately. I'm sure because people are finally wising up to the fact that you can't blame an entire religion for what some few extremist sects are responsible for. Every religion has their nut-job factions causing trouble for the respectable members.

I feel like we've retreated to the halcyon days of the 80s when Eastern Europeans were always the bad guys. They're easier to blame and cause less outcry because there's no religion involved and no one can tell what country they're from anyway. Them and zombies, because they can be anybody.

#18 Edited by TheHT (10887 posts) -

@joshwent: The only one I can think of is Assassin's Creed 1. Both muslims and christians were your targets, but I suppose they were technically all templars.

#19 Posted by postnothing (65 posts) -

@truthtellah: Sorry I wasn't clear enough. What I meant is that there are plenty of people who act in the name of Islam, albeit not strictly following its teachings, and commit horrible deeds. Al Qaeda is a case in point. Most who are not familiar with Islam, might consider Al Qaeda as an entity that is, more or less, representative of Islam, when the truth is that they contradict Islam in most respects. Naturally, this gives Islam a bad name.The same thing applies to the Sunni-Shiite conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

The existence of Muslim extremist is not debatable, so I personally don't think it's wrong for video games to have Muslim extremists as antagonists, and I don't think that depicting Muslim extremists in media, in and of itself, should be considered Islamophobic. As long as they implicitly make the distinction between what is considered as an average Muslim and an extremist. Ridley Scott's Body of Lies did a decent job with that, even though it was really implicit, but I thought that was the point of the movie.

Then again, most people play video games to have a fun, and it's TC's prerogative to choose whatever he wants to play and deems to be entertaining.

#20 Posted by joshwent (2113 posts) -

@theht said:

@joshwent: The only one I can think of is Assassin's Creed 1. Both muslims and christians were your targets, but I suppose they were technically all templars.

Aha! Totally right. And if I remember correctly, there were even street preachers mentioning Allah in some of the cities. I suppose that may have been less of a risk because it was a historical setting, vs. a modern day shooter, but great catch. And of course because of that content, every time you launch them, each of those games make sure you know that they were...

No guys, I'm a pirate, so it's okay when I make pirate jokes.

#21 Edited by GERALTITUDE (2923 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@milkman said:

Maybe I'm wrong but from what I can usually tell, most games generally seem to avoid any explicit references to Islam. I can't think of a game off the top of my head that just up front says "this bad guy is Muslim." I would call it heavily implied in some, for sure. It's an interesting discussion though.

Heavily implied indeed in a lot of modern military shooters, to the point of being beyond an implication even, but specifically labeling characters as Muslim, especially enemies, is something I don't think a game would ever do. At least in the foreseeable future.

Implying often has a worse effect than specific labels, unfortunately.

@postnothing: just because there are muslim extremists in real life doesn't mean some media portrayals of muslim extremists aren't bullshit

#22 Posted by postnothing (65 posts) -

@geraltitude: No, I totally agree. I find portrayal of Muslims, and Arabs in general, in a lot of movies and tv series to range from laughable to downright offensive. You have the first Transformers; Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet somehow people live in crushed houses in the middle of the desert and don't have cell phones. What I meant is that a game shouldn't be considered Islamophobic merely by having Muslim extremists as antagonists.

#23 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

isn't the word islamaphobic nonsense.

a phobia is an irrational fear of something. and it is not irrational to fear Islam especially if you're a woman or gay or both or lee rigby.

#24 Posted by Guesty_01 (339 posts) -

About halfway through Splinter Cell at the moment and I don't think I've heard Islam mentioned once. Unless of course I haven't been paying attention. Which is completely possible.

#25 Posted by horseman6 (363 posts) -

So should all us Germans get mad because of the hundreds of WWII games that portrayed Nazi's negatively? No. Games don't portray Muslims in a bad light, they portray Terrorists in a bad light.

#26 Edited by horseman6 (363 posts) -

@bell_end said:

isn't the word islamaphobic nonsense.

a phobia is an irrational fear of something. and it is not irrational to fear Islam especially if you're a woman or gay or both or lee rigby.

It's just another way to make the opposing side of an argument seem bigoted, irrational, stupid, or scared. It's just like the term "homophobia".

#27 Posted by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

It's more 'terrorphobic'. Also the bad guy is white British dude. Who might be a Muslim for all I know. They don't really dive into religion in that game. Y'all.

#28 Posted by Sammo21 (3211 posts) -

The word islamaphobic is used incorrectly almost as much as homophobic. We currently are engaged overseas with Muslims so it is only natural that we would see the same in movies, books, games, and other fiction. This is no different than how Russians were used in the 80s and 90s. I can bet it is frustrating to see something you are associated with used in a negative light that doesn't exact jive with how things really are, but the same goes for most things.

#29 Edited by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

Hey everyone, the bad guy is a Caucasian British dude. His religion isn't mentioned. I think that needs to be repeated over and over again in this thread.

#30 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -
@jasonr86 said:

Hey everyone, the bad guy is a Caucasian British dude. His religion isn't mentioned. I think that needs to be repeated over and over again in this thread.

Hm, was he politically correct? Because that's the true evil.

#31 Posted by Humanity (8810 posts) -

@postnothing: I agree and quite frankly don't see why most people have taken such issue with what you've written - which has been tactful and intelligent. What's important to remember is that all major villains in videogames are basically caricatures and usually stand apart from collective society.

#32 Edited by Brodehouse (9586 posts) -

@darthorange said:

@postnothing said:

There are millions of "Muslims" who commit evil deeds in the name of Islam. One needn't look any further than Iraq or Syria, to see how people can commit the most horrid and repulsive acts in the name of Allah. A video game should be your least concern.

This shit is going to get this motherfucker banned right?

Would you ban someone for talking about people who commit evil deeds in the name of Christianity? People commit evil deeds in the name of communism, liberty, religion, race, any ethos and any identifier.

There are people who commit evil deeds in the name of Islam. It's a thing. We can talk about how and why.

Muslims seem to have dropped out of the bad guy spotlight lately. I'm sure because people are finally wising up to the fact that you can't blame an entire religion for what some few extremist sects are responsible for. Every religion has their nut-job factions causing trouble for the respectable members.

I'm going to have to disagree with you on pedantic terms here; people actually can blame a religion for what fundamentalists do, when those fundamentalists are following the fundamentals of said religion. What you shouldn't do is blame a Muslim for the actions of other Muslims, just as Americans aren't responsible for the actions of other Americans, and I'm not responsible for the actions of other atheists. My best friend is a Christian pastor; he is not responsible for the Bosnian war (a religious war portrayed in Western Christian countries as a purely ethnic war). However, I can blame the book his religion is based on, because that's where the moral justification for violence against heretics comes from.

Just to take this on myself, if a necessary part of atheism is that we all believe in a book that justifies and incentivizes the dominance of human beings who aren't us, then you could absolutely blame atheism for creating the moral justification for terrorism. But atheism is merely the rejection of the proposition that deities exist, nothing more nothing less. Every religion actually can be blamed for their nut-job factions, if they pull their hideous doctrine from the parts of their holy books that moderate believers either don't follow or don't believe in anymore.

#33 Edited by joshwent (2113 posts) -

@brodehouse: I agree, but think there's a more specific point to be made as well. (and since this thread is old and mostly concluded, why not just throw it off the rails!)

Holding a religious text and not its followers responsible for those who commit crimes in its name doesn't hold up as well when you consider, as I do and think you do as well, that the Torah or Bible or Quran are books just like any other and therefore cannot be changed over time. As you said, there are many, "parts of their holy books that moderate believers either don't follow or don't believe in anymore.". But the fact that those sketchy parts remain a part of those books, that as a whole are claimed as ultimate truth by their followers, serves to validate the more extreme and dangerous interpretations.

If I spread a book around that says Bob is all powerful, he created you, he wants you to love everyone, and kick puppies. And explain to the folks that believe in Bob as I do, that the puppy part was just an ancient thing, "puppies" was actually a mistranslation anyway, and you can now see it as a metaphor for confronting evil and serving good, there will still be some Bobians who insist on puppy kicking. And I think I'd be partially to blame for that.

There are endless variations and sects who follow various parts of these texts and dismiss others, but if they aren't willing to actually omit or edit the parts that pretty clearly lead to some nasty shit, they're enabling people to act upon it.

(I myself (an Atheist) might go so far as to consider myself a Christian if the Jefferson Bible was held any actual religious esteem)

#34 Posted by MB (11983 posts) -

This has gone way off topic. The question was about the bad guys in Blacklist and it has been answered.

Moderator