Goddammit! How come local interest stories like this one -from July- pass me by?
The Irish rock star Bono has been unwittingly caught up in a row over a computer game that features a fictionalised invasion of Venezuela to counter a “power-hungry tyrant” who has seized control of the country and its oil.
The computer game is played from the perspective of a mercenary who is dispatched to Venezuela with the guidance: “If you see it you can buy it, steal it, or blow the living crap out of it.” Called Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, it is made by Pandemic Studios, based in Los Angeles, in which a private equity firm established by the U2 lead singer has invested $300m (£165m). It is one of the world’s largest independent games producers.
It looked as though Venezuela solidarity campaigners had made representations to Bono’s ginormogantuan vanity:
A letter this spring from 50 US religious leaders to Bono, which was organized by the DC –based Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, apparently led Pandemics to reconsider the story line according to director Marie Dennis. “Bono never responded directly, but apparently our point hit home that financing a violent video game that targets a government already targeted by the Bush administration is counter to the reputation as a humanitarian that he has earned with his work on AIDS in Africa and debt relief. Pandemics began to change the story line soon after our letter was delivered,” Dennis said.
But! Shack Magazine is reporting that Pandemic is not for turning:
Update: Pandemic has apparently denied any allegations that it changed aspects of Mercenaries 2 due to pressure from the Bono-obsessed Venezuela Solidarity Network.
“Pandemic Studios never has and never will be intimidated by tyrants,” Pandemic president Josh Resnick told Shacknews. “Our invasion is on schedule: Mercenaries 2 will be released in early 2008.”
Fair play to them, though tyrant is a harsh word for Bono. That said, maybe they could base Mercenaries 3 in Killiney. Someone should have a quiet word with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland.