Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Propaganda Review: Angry Goy - The Game!

Are you ready for the single most offensive video game ever made? Long answer short: no, you probably aren't

By: Jimbo X

Video games, by their very nature, have courted controversy from the very beginning. It wasn't long after the medium became entrenched in the pop cultural psyche before the powers that were started citing them as moral ills - lest we forget, the National Safety Council itself went after the arcade game Death Race and 60 Minutes was winging together "scare pieces" about the psychological impact of violent games all the way back in 1976. Since then, each passing generation has had its boundary pushing interactive watersheds, each drawing intense public scrutiny from concerned parents groups and worrywort politicians alike. In the 1980s you had Native American rape simulators and arcade shoot 'em ups where you blew away people in sexual torture devices, and in the 1990s you had kung fu games where you could knock each others' heads off, shitty Sega CD games about stealth vampires eating Dana Plato a whole host of three-dimensional FPSes widely reported as being the root causes of many a school shooting. The bottom fell out with the release of Grand Theft Auto III shortly after 9/11, with seemingly a new game to be "gravely alarmed" about coming down the pipes every three months or so: Postal, BMX XXX, The Guy Game (which, technically, is considered an illegal piece of C.P.), so on and so forth. With the advent of the Internet and indie gaming, however, the locus has shifted away from condemning video games that are just textually violent (indeed, Hatred, the first released game in history to ever get an A-O rating for violence alone, barely drew any media attention when it was released a few years ago) with the moral ire instead focused on video games with uncomfortable social context, which includes - but is not limited to - first person raping simulators, games about shooting pregnant Mexicans and, of course, that all-time FPS classic, Ethnic Cleansing, in which you choose to play as either a skinhead or a Klansman and run around shooting blacks and Hispanics (with the game's end boss being a fight to the death with Ariel Sharon.)

As controversial as those games may have been (and to be frank, the damn things were so obscure that not that many moral watchdog groups got up in arms about them), I think it's safe to say none of them will hold a candle to the cross-cultural shitstorm the recently released Angry Goy: The Game is ABOUT to brew up. 

What is Angry Goy, you might be wondering? Well, it's a free-to-download 2D, retro-style shooter a'la NARC. Yeah, so what, there are tons of freeware games like that already on the market, right? Well, there's one mighty big difference between Angry Goy and all the other retro-revival 2D shooters - namely, the fact that the entire thing is meant to promote white nationalism and anti-migrant sentiment. Basically, it's Anders Breivik: The Video Game, with all of your adversaries represented as endless hordes of gibberish shouting Somalis, homosexual Marxist college students and Jew-owned police and SWAT responders ... all of whom you brutally murder with machetes and semi-automatic weapons en route to the game's grand finale, a five minute long tribute to the preachings of Adolf Hitler.

Since the game was released on Jan. 1, it hasn't generated that much publicity, but trust me, once the media gets a hold of this one, it's going to be the Mortal Kombat brouhaha all over again. You can almost smell the headlines on HuffPo and Salon now: "RACIST VIDEO GAME ENCOURAGES MASS GENOCIDE" and "ONLINE NAZI GAME RADICALIZES WHITE YOUTH" and "IS THERE ANYWAY WE CAN PIN THIS ON DONALD TRUMP?" It's only a matter of time until this thing goes nuclear, and I reckoned the sooner I covered this thing, the better for all of us (but mostly, my SEO rankings, I ain't going to shit you.)

As far as the developers of the game, a grand total of three people are credited as designers. It appears to be a "fan-made" production through and through, complete with narration from pro-Nazi Euro-SoundClouder Natt Danelaw and a soundtrack provided by techno-Hitler fanboys CyberNazi (don't ask me how or why, but apparently, neo-synthwave music has become the official soundtrack of the neo-neo-Nazi movement.) It isn't too difficult to find links to download the game, but there's been a lot of clamor from the early adopters that the game may secretly be F.B.I. spyware intended to collect potential alt-righters' personal info. I'm not providing the links myself, but for those of you that want to download Angry Goy, be forewarned that when the game  was initially released, it demanded you run it on administrator mode and it may or may not record your keystrokes - or so, that's what I've heard through the grapevine, anyway. 

Alright (or is that Alt-right?), let's get this little sucker fired up somebody else's laptop, why don't we?

Before you even being the game, you're asked to agree to a T.O.S. box that refers to the game as "an ironic shitpost" and beseeches you to "not hold the creators of the game responsible for anything (sic) harm that could possibly occur to you in any way from playing this game." We get a little segue screen letting us know all the music for the game was supplied by CyberNazi (although I'm more partial to GigaGestappo, personally.) Instead of using the arrows on your keypad to move your avatar around, you have to use the W, A, S and D buttons. The space bar shoots, Q switches weapons, R reloads and G ditches your item. 

A giant pixel art swastika greets you at the formal intro screen. You see a guy wearing a futuristic Nazi ensemble (perhaps inspired by Uwe Boll's Rampage series?) with five options available: new game, continue game, system options, achievements and controls. There is another disclaimer at the bottom of the screen stating "the entirety of this game is satire" and "does not support violence of any kind or hatred towards any individual group." 

Time for the opening cutscene. Somewhere in Europe, a guy wearing a skeleton jaw bandana is sitting in his apartment, watching a newscast about six million refugees being granted asylum throughout the continent. The reporter on TV says this is a big step towards progressive multiculturalism while a banner in the background displays several black caricatures - all armed to the teeth - labeled as "starving refugee children." The reporter rolls footage from earlier when he interviewed a Somali migrant at a refugee camp. The asylum seeker says "wherever I am, I might also rape." 

This causes your avatar to chuck his TV out the window. You get to explore his flat a little (it's, perhaps unsurprisingly, littered with swastikas, Pepe the Frog posters, signage of people getting thrown out of helicopters and images of a white family with the slogan "defend our home.") You acquire a handgun, but before you hit the city streets, you'll notice a flat above yours that is digitally padlocked. Huh, I wonder what delightful secrets it holds?

This is gloriously offensive ... all the way up until you lamentably realize it's factually accurate

You are immediately attacked by a horde of machete wielding Somalis (although the weapons look more like yardsticks to me, but whatever.) You get health by buying cola out of vending machines (trust me, you will be hitting these things up constantly.) One of the posters in the background heralds the arrival of the "Seventh Annual White Guilt Parade." Your avatar calls the attackers, among other things, "goat fuckers" and "sand niggers." Whenever you unlock an achievement (essentially, hitting a certain kill count) a brief clip of a Hitler speech plays in the bottom lefthand corner of the screen. 

Graphically, the game looks like any number of the old I-Mockery flash games, a'la Abobo's Big Adventure. Structurally, the gameplay feels just like the old school arcade shooters of yore, like Smash T.V. and Ikari Warriors

Your avatar yells "We take back Jerusalem" after strolling past a poster that reads "White pride? That would be another Holocaust." You enter a park and gun down some Somalis, periodically quipping "nice try, Muhammad." You rescue a white child on a swing set. "We have to get you inside, these brown filth are dangerous," he tells the 16-bit girl. Your avatar advises she close her eyes and pretend he's a pony while he blasts his way through the horde of Muslim migrants. Eventually, you drop her off at her parents' flat, where the father (wearing a Soviet sickle shirt) accuses you of gunning down "12-year-old children" who were also his daughter's friends. While he's calling the po-po, you blow his brains out and tell his now-widowed wife he was "a faggot" and "a cuck." He says "I wouldn't be surprised if he was a sodomite" before giving the child - whose father you just murdered right before her very eyes - a lollipop. 

Back on the city streets, you get into a shootout with half a dozen cops. You enter an alleyway and encounter more migrants. "Reparations, you say?" your avatar proclaims. "Well, I hope you take lead." You go up some ladders and enter a rundown crack house, which serves as something of a mini-maze. Once you make it back to street level, you encounter more Somalis. "No, I think Meccas is THAT way" and "fucking Mussies, get out of my country, REEEE!" your ethnic cleansing "hero" mutters. Despite being a 2D game, the gore effects are surprisingly realistic. Whenever you shoot someone, their head caves into bloody bowl shaped wounds, complete with eyeballs flying across the screen once you register the coup de grace. 

At the Chosen Theatre, Dude Where's Your Argument, Jamal Wars and Fistful of Shekels are playing. Now the enemies are hiding behind cars and milk crates, making it sorta' like Gears of War, but, you know, with one less dimension and whatnot. Once you stumble upon Nip-Mart, a cutscene with an Asian stereotype supermarket owner is - pardon the pun - triggered. The owner - rocking a Fu Manchu mustache, buck teeth and a full-on Raiden hat - is on the roof of his store, armed with a sniper rifle. Small mounds of dead Muslims are scattered across the parking lot. A Somalian tries to sneak into the business. He shoots him dead and declares "I-uh really dis-rike niggers" and gives you an MSG to continue your quest. Hey, us Axis Powers gotta' stick together, I suppose.

We're still slogging through the ghettos. The laziness of the designers becomes apparent, with lots of the game space turning into generic splotches of grey and green. "Wow, this really challenges my preconceived notions," your avatar says upon splattering his 50th or so victim.

Now you arrive at the Cole B. Yearner Gender Studies Institute. And yes, that name is a joke ... sorta. Once inside, you do battle with students wearing clown makeup and bras screaming "you're fucking a white male" and dudebros with ganja leaf shirts. They are carrying dildos and bongs as melee weapons. School posters remind you to "remember, don't misgender" and that "feminism is reality." Say what you will about the racist inclinations of the game designers, you at least have to give them credit for clever achievement targets - i.e., being rewarded for breaking Anders Breivik's real life "high score" record. 

Portraits of Stalin and posters of the Islamic moon insignia (emblazoned with the subtitle "the religion of peace") are plastered all over the place. Eventually, you make your way into a lecture hall with a professor - clearly of the Hebrew persuasion - teaching his students that "evil times privilege squared divided by whiteness equals oppression." You chase him into the art room and stuff him into an oven set to 1488 degrees. This unlocks an achievement for making, and I quote, "Jew Pizza."

Back to the streets. Now the Somalis have AKs. You pass through "StarCucks," "Ade's Acrylics" and "Jeb! Authentic Guac Bowls" while mass murdering migrants and shouting "if it's brown, mow it down." You encounter a giant billboard declaring "diversity is our greatest strength" right before stumbling upon a major traffic pile-up (a reference to the France transfer truck attack last year, I take it?)

You loop back around to your apartment complex. Hey, the locked door is open now! You walk in, and there's your state of the art Nazi Iron Man suit waiting for you - along with an arsenal of super-powerful automatic weapons and even a futuristic-looking spiked metal baseball bat. Among other bric a brac in the room are bombs with Confederate battle flags attached to them and a poster praising William L. Pierce - you know, the guy who wrote The Turner Diaries and at one time pretty much bank rolled the entire white power music recording industry. Time for the first legitimate LOL quip of the game: "The Russians totally financed all this," your avatar declares.

Because fuck subtlety, that's why.

OK, so obviously your Nazi death suit (it kinda reminds me of Frankenstein's get-up in Death Race 2000) allows you to absorb way more damage before keeling over. You retrace your steps from earlier and wander into the Usury First ((("National" Private Bank)))." You have a dispute with the Jewish owner (a real plot twist, I know) and get involved in a lengthy shootout with cops and SWAT members. In the following cutscene, the Jewish caricature tries to bribe you into not killing him, but the number he offers keeps getting lower and lower. His death - the old two bullets to the skull chestnut - occurs totally off-screen.

Time for another shootout with SWAT on top of the bank (which, for some reason, has the Freemason logo on it.) You walk across a two-by-four catwalk into a crack house, which connects you to another rooftop SWAT battle. You know, this feels VERY reminiscent of Predator 2 on the Sega Genesis, actually. "That's what you get for covering up for rapists!" your avatar justifies his mass murder of police officials. 

Back to the city streets. You walk by a public utility building with a poster reading "We push the Fluoride Scam" and another billboard feature Penn Jillette as a black man (one of you kids is going to have to email me about that one - I have no earthly clue what it's supposed to be referencing.) 

Next, you enter an abandoned, darkened building (you hit Q and R simultaneously to flip on night vision goggle mode.) Everything has a blurry red tint to it. It's a fairly confusing labyrinth, mostly because the yellow guiding arrow keeps leading you astray. Eventually, you'll enter the sewers then an elevator that chugs along at a snail's pace back to the surface. Interestingly, a portion of one of Hitler's speeches plays while you're slowly inching your way up, in what may or may not be an oblique nod to the one "ladder climb" sequence from Metal Gear Solid 3. "We will win," some highlighted graffiti declares right before the sequence concludes.  

Now you enter a refugee crisis center and - surprise! - kill more Somalis. I don't know if it's a common bug with all versions of the game, but my copy got insanely glitchy here - in fact, I had to kill switch the thing a couple of times to make it through. I'm guessing Q.A. wasn't really emphasized during production - indeed, if you even touch a dead enemy's rifle, the fucking game locks up on you!

So, you keep killing everything with a tan, weaving your way in and out of abandoned buildings and more migrant camps. You eventually amble past the local welfare center ("Make Green for Being Brown" the billboard reads), a boarded up liquor store and a pharmacy with an ad suggesting "Cough syrup! Try it on hamburgers!" all while gleefully screaming "keep that HIV-ridden nigger blood away from me!" into the night. 

Yep, we're still blasting through the slums. You cross the movie theater again, see the same bus wreckage and hear the same 20 or some quips a million bajillion times as you massacre a small armada of Islamic sanctuary seekers. After what feels like an hour of mindless blasting, you come across the Channel 4 News Network (since I'm a Yank, I don't know shit about the BBC - is BBC 4 especially liberal or something?) The anchor - yep, the same guy from the opening intro - lets us know the suspect responsible for the mass slaying is named "Sam Hyde." I know Hyde is a pretty counter-cultural dude and all, but come on guys - you just know equating a stand-up comedian with a neo-Nazi mass-murdering simulator is just lawsuit bait with a capital "L." 

The anchor is killed offscreen, and this cues a 20 minute long shootout in the prop room, with wave after wave of SWAT members and cops coming after you. Thankfully, there is a vending machine smackdab in the middle of the room, so it's pretty much impossible to run out of health - that is, unless your index fingers give out, naturally.

And after you finally off all the officers? Your reward a cutscene in which your avatar pops a VHS in the control room to show the whole world "that Hitler was right." This leads to a five minute long video which cues a Hitler speech about the media swaying public opinion and warning us about "giant capitalists" (that's codeword for "Jews," y'know) while clips of white babies and Sweden roll in the background. "Gentiles, rise up because we've done it before and we will do it again," the video concludes. "Stand up to Jews of the world. Organize against Jewish tyranny and fight for your people." And the very last image of the game? A vacant screen, reading "#hitlerwasright, make the truth go viral." 

How disgusting. Can you imagine the roles being reversed and a video game encouraging the wholesale slaughter of Nazis instead?

Yep, that's the ending. No boss fights, no cutscenes describing the consequences of your avatar's actions, nothing - just the designers going all #Kony2012 on us and pushing a shitty propaganda video down our throats that nobody in their right mind would ever think of posting on their Facebook timeline. Anticlimactic endings suck hard enough, but to give those of us who waited a good 14 minutes for the game to download no ending whatsoever? Now that's just the zenith of laziness, you goose-stepping goof-offs. 

Before I get into the sociocultural implications of the game, I'll quickly go over the technical merits of the offering. Simply put, even as a freeware title, Angry Goy leaves a lot to be desired. The visuals are pretty good and the soundtrack is surprisingly awesome (then again, I do love me anything that sounds like a John Carpenter score) but the controls are clunky and the gameplay is super repetitive. Because it's damn near impossible to avoid enemy fire at close range, virtually every time you get gang tackled by three or more foes you're going to incur a lot of unavoidable damage. That means you pretty much have to backtrack to the last vending machine checkpoint, refill your energy, and repeat over and over again. Get health, kill one mob, go back and get more health, kill another mob a little bit further down the street, retreat to the vending machine, refill, rinse and repeat ad nauseam. The melee weapons are practically useless and as stated earlier, the game tends to glitch out a lot. Whether or not that can be attributed to characters from other video games trying to go "turbo" a'la Wreck-It Ralph for the white nationalist movement, however, is unlikely to be the case - frankly, these guys just rushed the game out there, and oh boy, does it show. It's strictly a solo player affair, and there are no online scoreboards to show off to your buddies on Stormfront. There's virtually no incentive to replay the game once you already beat it - no unlockables, no alternate endings, etc. - so it's pretty much the epitome of a play once and destroy game. Without the alt-right humor, this would be a totally unremarkable game, without question. 

And now, we come to the biggie. Does this game ACTUALLY have anything to do with satire, or is it just disgusting racist propaganda disguised as entertainment? You know, we've been having this argument for centuries - can agitprop be art, and vice versa? - and while I can't say I approve of the game's Hitler-espousing, super-mega-duper xenophobic themes, I can at least see the developers attempted to wedge some halfway legitimate social commentary in there. You may not like it or think it's funny, but the game clearly passes the old Miller v. California SLAPS test - it's a carefully crafted (if not sophomoric) absurdist comedy that panders to the The_Donald subreddit crowd by making fun of leftist sympathizers' hypocritical stance on "globalization" and "multiculturalism." Yes, the game is about killing wave after wave of African Moslems, SJW college students and purportedly Jew-owned police officials, but I think it's a stretch to say the game is designed to incite gamers to go out there and murder migrants and liberals and international bankers in real life. If you're going to piss and moan about this game "radicalizing" the Voat community, you might as well go after They Live for encouraging viewers to gun down Reaganites, or blame the Dallas sniping massacre on Grand Theft Auto. Satire is supposed to have a hard edge to it, and yes, that First Amendment protection is afforded to parodies even IF they don't jive with your own personal ideologies and you find the general statement of the work in question dangerous, depraved and morally indefensible. 

Angry Goy isn't a good video game and it can hardly be considered masterful comedic storytelling. Alas, like 2 Live Crew and the photos of Robert Mapplethorpe a quarter century before it, it's a game destined to redefine what it is, precisely, that constitutes art. Perhaps the greatest cultural inversion of my lifetime has been the total 180 of free speech in the States, where it is now hardline conservatives - the DailyStormers and Million Dollar Extremes and Milo Yiannopouloses of the world - that are crusading on the frontlines of the cultural First Amendment battle, while liberals (yes, the very same people who defended "Me So Horny" and "Piss Christ" as crucial free expression 25 years ago) are now posited as the guardians of morality, destined to bar any and all racist, sexist or homophobic commentary from poisoning the minds of the masses. Undoubtedly, Angry Goy is going to cause quite the commotion, and might even represent the first volley of a new high court culture war

Freedom of speech was never meant to protect the status quo. It was meant to protect unpopular opinions from being silenced by the majority. The very same reasoning that safeguarded liberal heroes Chris Ofili and David Wojnarowicz from torrents of religious right oppression in the 1990s is why even vile, hateful works like Angry Goy ought to be protected today. The game isn't a "hate crime" anymore than Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ - it's a mere idea, however distasteful, encapsulated in a fixed medium. And the very minute we start persecuting people for ideas - or considering hateful speech on the same level as hateful actions - we've already begun that long, miserable march down the road to fascism, kiddos. 

The biggest social crisis of my lifetime, I have long surmised, will entail how exactly U.S. culture seeks to define the First Amendment. There is an ever growing contingent out there that is hell-bent on changing 1A to mean it's the government's duty to protect the citizenry from being offended, and we may be just a few years away from the first wave of freedom-eroding Supreme Court cases hitting Capitol Hill. 

Angry Goy is shitty art made by shitty people with a shitty agenda, but there's no doubt that under the First Amendment as is, they have a right to peddle their propaganda to the masses - and if you don't like it, well, tough titties. Alas, a game this caustic is sure to rankle the easily aggrieved P.C. police, and I'll give it about a month before Slate and The Washington Post picks up on it and we have ourselves a level three - possibly even level four - sociocultural shit storm.

Don't say I didn't warn you well in advance, folks. Don't you even.

1 comment:

  1. "The anchor - yep, the same guy from the opening intro - lets us know the suspect responsible for the mass slaying is named "Sam Hyde." I know Hyde is a pretty counter-cultural dude and all, but come on guys - you just know equating a stand-up comedian with a neo-Nazi mass-murdering simulator is just lawsuit bait with a capital "L." "

    It was a reference to when the News falsely reported a Mass Shooter to be Sam Hyde after a troll "informed" them of it. Also, Sam Hyde is fine with it, his twitter response to the screenshot was "cool armor."


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