American Indian group boycotts Gun

Activision shooter under fire; group calls for game to be pulled and have negative portrayals edited out.

by

Activision's Gun painted a gritty picture of vengeance and gunplay in the Old West when it was released last November. However, that grittiness is now drawing accusastions of racism.

The Association for American Indian Development has started a boycott of the game, saying it contains "derogatory, harmful, and inaccurate depictions of American Indians." On the boycott's Web site, the group is hosting a petition and demanding that Activision clean up various aspects of the game before rereleasing it to retailers, or simply issue a worldwide recall of the game.

"One of his earliest tasks that the game player must complete before advancing to the next level is to slaughter, not once, but on an ongoing basis, Apache Indians," the site notes. "Not only slaughter (and this is the terminology used in the game) but to scalp (terminology also used in the game) them as well with a 'scalping knife'..."

"Yes, we understand that this game is rated 'M' for mature audiences, and yes, we understand that historically, this kind of violence occurred all too often," the group says on the Web site. "No one knows this better than this organization and indigenous people from all tribes throughout the continents of North, Central, and South America. In fact, the repercussions of such acts of genocide are why there is a desperate need for the Association for American Indian Development today. What is of the greatest concern and outrage is the outright, unabashed and implied righteousness of [Gun's] genocidal nature toward Native Americans."

The site goes on to suggest that a game in which players were required to kill members of specific racial groups like African-Americans, Irish, Mexicans, or Jews would never be tolerated, "but apparently, killing Indians is still fair game." The site also mentions events and revelations that take place later on in Gun's story, but says they do nothing to excuse the earlier portions of the game.

An Activision representative provided GameSpot with the following statement regarding the boycott:

"Activision does not condone or advocate any of the atrocities that occurred in the American West during the 1800s. Gun was designed to reflect the harshness of life on the American frontier at that time.

"While Gun depicts scalping and killing, these actions are not directed exclusively toward any race or gender but are used against a variety of opponents, reflecting the realities of that time.

"It was not Activision's intention to offend any race or ethnic group with Gun, and we apologize to any who might have been offended by the game's depiction of historical events which have been conveyed not only through video games but through films, television programming, books, and other media."

This isn't the first time a game publisher has drawn protests as a result of racial depictions in a game. In 2003, a pair of Haitian-American community groups demonstrated outside of New York's City Hall, calling Take-Two Interactive's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City racist for ordering players to "kill all the Haitians" in one level. Take-Two responded to the groups' concerns by pledging to remove the offensive content from future copies of the game.

Discussion

162 comments
lightleggy
lightleggy

@hitman48 your comment is so damm offensive, I dont where to start....I mean you say "why did you let them kill you?" its like saying "why did you jews allowed to be genocided?"

red1998
red1998

screw all of you im iroqois and you know nothing about indians they didn t loose on perpuse dumn butts the spirit hates you im hounting you better be careful hitman498 go to school your dumn spikex8 i care so shut the hec up

spikex8
spikex8

Who cares about a native american group? They don't have anything to do with video games and have no media control, they can boycott all they want and effect nothing.

nick_manthe
nick_manthe

Cole himself is a native american dipsharts

Triadsense1
Triadsense1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Kratos1235
Kratos1235

I agree hitman498, but i do understand why there would be a protest but it is a little too ridiculous. Everyone is trying to push the racist button so the other side of the argument looks like monsters

hitman498
hitman498

I think this is bullsh** because indians were killed then and they were killed in this video game and if you indians are so offended at this video game. And if you people are so gracious about protecting your culture then why did you let all of those cowboys kill you in the first place. If you really cared then why did you open indian runned casinos in the west including Texas and other states in the south where you guys were killed and the east. GUN just depicts what happened in those times and they went for historical accuracy and besides if you read the disclaimer it is a historical action adevnture shooter and if you noticed in the end like Kutmen55 you help us white people out and one quote from that One Eyed Bastard Magruder said that fictious Empire City, New Mexico was a piss hole for mexicans do you hear them crying foul NO!!!!!. Besides you kill us and scalp us to. So what are you people crying foul about and if you payed attention cole is actually Native American so he's not white and he is one of you so don't complain about who gets killed or not because many ethnicitys like mexicans are killed in this game so like I said they don't care so why do you and in several instances in the game we save you from the white man or the white devils as you called us in this game so even this game is referencing what you called us back then besides if I remember if you read the history books you killed "the white man" in the famous battle named Custer's Last Stand so don't be complainin about what happened back then and what happened in this game so indians think about the next time you complain about something depicting you in a bad way! and sorry about me writing Indians what I meant to say was Native Americans

celtic-savage
celtic-savage

Well maybe they should look at who did the voice acting for many of the Native Americans in the game....um...Native Americans. IMDB it! I don't mean to dismiss them but Gun depicts the attitudes of the time in which it was set. You would think it would be better to represent the past accuratly than to sugar coat it & say that everyone used to get along just fine. By attempting to remove the violence it would also deminish or HIDE the hatred & violence that Native Americans & other ethnicities were subject to during the time. To me THAT would be really offensive!!! -Also it should be mentioned that NOT ALL of the Native Americans in the game are portrayed negitivly. And NOT ALL are even the targets of violence in the game (example: the Indian Traders & Hunt master npcs). Besides...wasn't Cole part "Injun" anyway as well as the Apache being the heroes at the end!?!?!

GoldenSilence87
GoldenSilence87

There is a part in the game (SPOILERS) when you sneak into Hollister's fort and a white guy asks another guy "How many scalps do you have?" Activision is right. Its aimed towards everyone.

TOOL10000
TOOL10000

I LOVE THE GAME GUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kutmen55
Kutmen55

Dude, this was posted so long ago but around tht time i dont think anyone was even buying the game anymore. Around where i live it ws in stores in November and December and then it was gone. It's too late for recall too because i'm pretty sure most people who owned this game have pawned it already. Anyway, the game makes you understand that the Native Americans are on your side towards the end anyway. You also kill a lot of crackers, scalp them and accuse them of doing bad things too, but we arent coplaining. Now there are two games out with mexicans playing the role of terrorists ( GRAW and DEAD RISING) but they dont seem pissed off. as a matter of fact a lot of mexicans i know play these two games and like them.

Xxann
Xxann

The Native Americans are taking this a little to seriously , nobody will go and start slaughtering Native Americans because they saw it in a game. And julian it is historicaly correct for the most part , if it was made up then that would be a very good reason to boycott the game.

julian79
julian79

Does not matter what u do or create there will always be some or other group that object to good old fun and entertainment because it is not historically correct. People, people if we wanted a history lesson we would be in a library or book shop!!

Blazer88
Blazer88

"Quote" ........ehhmm. I think a lot of people are missing the point here... I think the problem with this game is is that they ( in the first half of the game) portray the native americans as a bunch of ruthless mindless savages...... I mean.. they don't really come across as rational people right? I think by making them appear as mindless slaughterers in the first few acts it shows the people playing it that Native Americans supposedly were hostile bloodthirsty maniacs. I know that it is just a game... I even happen to own it! But Gun tries to be historically accurate... and if a game tries to reanact a certain time in history it is logical to think that everything and the groups depicted in it act more or less like they did during that age.... It's like going back to to the old mentality that general Custer was a hero and not a crazy indian slaughterer. I understand more or less what the native americans are so worked up about. *Laughs at you* Like said Political Correctness incites stupidity and you would be the poster child.

Blazer88
Blazer88

A better idea would to just get rid of Political Correctness since it incites fequent bouts of stupidity from stupid people.

mbushko
mbushko

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mbushko
mbushko

Ha Ha Ha Ha HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its a """"""""""""""GAME""""""""""""""""""""

mbushko
mbushko

Can they not understand The word "Game" They think that this means that it is an actual attack on their races values or heritage It is A "Game" Not A public Statement.

Dlwynndnn1
Dlwynndnn1

I am of Cherokee Indian dissent,I however never actually played the game Gun,but if the the content in the game is 100% historicly accurate then it should be left alone.Truth is truth and fact is fact....even if one was to try and rewrite history and actually get the masses to believe it happed another way or not at all,it still does not change the fact that it happened.For instance,the World trade centers on 911,or the Holicost,or even the attack on Pearl Harbor,no matter what nothing or no one could change the fact that it happened.Even if you took all the history books and all evidence of those things happening in history and got rid of it and actually succeed in making the people of the world forget.The fact would still remain that those events took place.

Robbie20nijs
Robbie20nijs

........ehhmm. I think a lot of people are missing the point here... I think the problem with this game is is that they ( in the first half of the game) portray the native americans as a bunch of ruthless mindless savages...... I mean.. they don't really come across as rational people right? I think by making them appear as mindless slaughterers in the first few acts it shows the people playing it that Native Americans supposedly were hostile bloodthirsty maniacs. I know that it is just a game... I even happen to own it! But Gun tries to be historically accurate... and if a game tries to reanact a certain time in history it is logical to think that everything and the groups depicted in it act more or less like they did during that age.... It's like going back to to the old mentality that general Custer was a hero and not a crazy indian slaughterer. I understand more or less what the native americans are so worked up about.

RomanHastati
RomanHastati

Ythaniel Just so you know alot of the treatis they didnt even understnad eachother lol selling all you land for a few bucks and some sugar lol taht always makes me luagh but at least I live in the usa now and not some tribal village thank you white people for tricking them lol.

RomanHastati
RomanHastati

I am native american and I see nothing wrong with killing a bunch of native americans who cares. If the native americans werent conqured as they were then they would never had lived in one of the best countries that is the USA. But this thing happens all the time people you just need to ignor it. Alot of african americans still moan and complain about what whites did native americans also. Jews there so many movies of what the germans did. I mean i just dont even care what happend no more youd waste your life just even taking the time to do so lol. This thing has been going on so long its just old races have been killing other races for so long at least its in a game rather then life lol.

skeeterbutt
skeeterbutt

I for one have the utmost respect for native americans. Yes, there were atrocities throughout history. But, don't we learn from history and mistakes made on both sides. to use a GAME to denounce racism is absurd. Every race and ethnic group in this country - since it's was founded - has had to experience and endure racism, hate, killing and just plain uncaring. It's the nature of the human condition. But Americans right or wrong are forgiving and compromising people. We must learn from our mistakes and move on. But to hide the facts is not good either. Learn from the past and forgive. But the truth will set you free.

lazeydivey
lazeydivey

what's next? modern day neo-nazis rising up against wolfenstein? if this keeps up we will only be able to play games that depict violence towards aliens. well, until aliens land on our planet because halo pissed them off.

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

i like the way they went about their protest.

Ythaniel
Ythaniel

Of course they play games! (If they can afford it.) They're just like you and me. *sighs*

Father_Time89
Father_Time89

You know I never knew American Indians played video games, why do I have a felling that a certain someone told the Indians about what is happening in the game and if that certain someone didn't exist the Indians probably would never have gotten wind of it.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

ok what next ? 007 games are going to get critisized i mean it is a mature game and like they said its not racism just to kill an fake opponent it aint like we were killing them as i see it gta was the most violent game ever made and they criticize gun why dont they then critisize medal of honor for shooting russians plan and simple if your offended do not play the game

Ythaniel
Ythaniel

Thanks to joygirl for kudos. :) *to Dax* The disease that killed the Native Americans was not only brought over by the Europeans it was planted in their villages by them and later generations of settlers. They offered them blankets they knew were infested with small pox and scarlet fever as signs of peace and the deceived American Indians were devastated for trusting them. As for the the land they claim, they have a right to it as the ownership of that land was mutually agreed upon between the United States government and whatever American Indian Nation was involved in peace treaties. The US government went back on these treaties many times and as recently as in the 1970s when they took land from American Indians for the sake of exploiting a natural source of fuel for nuclear weapons. (Google Lakota and Uranium) Now I don't know about you, but if someone did these kinds of things to me and my people repeatedly over several hundred years, I'd feel pretty sore about it and wouldn't be likely to forget. Heck Jack Abramoff recently admitted to exploiting the trust of American Indian casino owners for the sake of funding a number of Republican election campaigns! To those people that say 'racism exists, deal with it', I say, you are out of touch. Racism is a result of ignorance as their is no justification, genetic or otherwise, for having the opinion that one 'race' or ethnicity is less than another. You are entitled to an opinion of racism, but your opinion is one of hate and ignorance. Ask yourself this question, why do you need to hate or make people seem less than yourself?

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

SWEET! A game with scalping! Maybe I should buy Gun after all...

Dax207983
Dax207983

To the person who tried to deny the Holocaust by quoting anti-semitic sources, I would be careful about what you say; you're very close to sounding like a moonbat neo-nazi. What's important, is finding out if this is a consensus of the entire 550 or so nations of American Indians living in the United States. If not, then Activision or whoever made the game should ignore their whining outright. I haven't played the game but it sounds to me like it shows multiple levels of white/Indian/Chinese relations; it's not a KILL THE BAD GUY INJUNS type of game. But where does this end? My grandparents are Louisiana Cajuns, should I boycott that Crimson Skies game because you fight Cajuns in airplanes who are (I think) the bad guys? Please. Also, most North American Indians were poor and superstitous primitives when the Europeans arrived in the Americas, similar to when the Romans met the Celts. Disease killed 90% of them, not the Europeans themselves (not denying the mass slaughter committed by the whites, don't misunderstand me). The Mayas Incas and Aztecs were more advanced but they were also violent bloodthirsty lunatics just like the Spanish, sacrificing thousands of people including children for their sky gods. Many Native activists are hypocrites; they say "we" stole their land and yet like to say Indians had no concept of land ownership (many did, in fact, but that's off topic). Arguably GTA Vice City IS close to a line with messages like "kill the Haitians", but one has to remember GTA contains every imaginable ethnic stereotype, so Haitians are not singled out (similar to South Park). At any rate, it's Activision's call unless this group really sues their pants off. When Muslim parents complained about the Fire Temple music in Ocarina of Time Nintendo immediately removed the Islamic-chanting-sounding song (which was really cool, btw) and replaced it with some lame substitute for future versions of the game.

mtdewtag
mtdewtag

Not too surprising to see something like this come out on this game. Next thing you know Pacman will come under fire for being a game about the wanton destruction of shapeless blobby ghosts.

PutU2REM
PutU2REM

Ummm ... scheibe, since when were white, Catholic males a race? And if you're honest with yourself, those "more than mild stereotypes" you speak of have no material consequence. The stereotypes applied to Native Americans are the kind that can keep them from getting jobs and earn them odd looks in restaurants. The complaint is silly, true, but your reasoning is flawed.

scheibe
scheibe

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

townsenda1
townsenda1

I see where The Association for American Indian Development has a problem with this game. To us it's just a game and it's not like things like that didn't go on but still American Indians have had a rough life if you go back in history. I'm not sure what should happen but you still have to hear them out.

Kfoss
Kfoss

HAH thats funny!.... man people need to chill....i mean comon its the wild west, crap like this took place... get over it!!! and its rated M non the less...its not like its a kiddy game....ARRGGG im really sick of activist groups...

PutU2REM
PutU2REM

pistons18, I agree that many of these comments are asinine, but you're misunderstanding their nature. Most of these people aren't racist, they just don't want anyone touching their games, for better or worse. People would be saying the exact same thing if Christian groups were complaining about the evil preacher, or PETA about shooting horses. Actually, they'd probably be screaming even louder.

PutU2REM
PutU2REM

People have a right to complain about prejudice, and the AAID is being pretty reasonable about how they're going about it. However, their complaints are ridiculous. I'm white, and I was somewhat offended by how MY ethnic group was portrayed. I mean, I'd much rather be a deep-thinking mystic than a murdering, thieving drunkard, and if you believe "Gun," I'm the latter.

pistons18
pistons18

These comments show another example of how people don't give respect to Native Americans.

pie4u
pie4u

America's heart is racist. I don't know one person who isnt a little bit racist aganist some cultural different person. racism is something that everyone has to put up with every day. buck up.

DrKill09
DrKill09

it's just like the Haitian crap again. I see. So if it's a Clint Eastwood movie with Indians, it's ok, but if it's a game, it's wrong?! Oh yeah, THAT makes sense (rolls eyes). You don't hear me complaining about how Punks are always the bad guys in brawlers, do ya?

ApisBee
ApisBee

While I'm at it, I should stop playing Quake-4 too, I'm offending the Strogg. I'll just sit back and play Pong

gomb_715
gomb_715

So it's true what people say about you americans, j

Red122
Red122

I think in my own opinion that this is total BS read some history books scalping did happen it was part of the west Not all Indians were savages as the game depicts you do help some Indians and befriend them and the main character is a half blood. Case in point life in the west was rough as history dictates there was little law wagons were robbed by apache's and women were raped killed and so were children homes were burnt and people were killed. Anyways I apologize for what the white men in them days did to the Indians but tahts part of our history we want to forget as same as Hitler killing the Jews but its still apart of us all. I played this game many times its enjoyable its fun but I can say that I dont hate Indians after playing this game and I feel most people wont either. Some people have to much time on their hands. PS. remember when they got pissed at the baseball teams and calle dthem racist and should change team names from cleavland indians and atlanta braves. Seems like pulling the race card is the only thing peopel can do to get attention.

Strike009
Strike009

lordelx, in brothers in arms 2 you can play as the germans and kill american paratroopers. so yeah, game developers do dare to make games like that. plus, you cant say whites havent been discriminated against. you focus only on race while forgetting that historically speaking, religion has been a greater determinant for prejudice. my ancestors were essentially forced from germany because of their religious beliefs. am i jewish? no, im catholic. discrimination transcends many boundries my friend; racial, religious, political, national, and economical. consider that in the future.

Strike009
Strike009

there is no benefit were i to continue the previous discourse that racism is wrong and such. it happened, it sucked, what the f*** do you want us to do about it? Gun doesn't demonize Native Americans, it gives the player a chance to experience the atrocities committed by both races during westward expansion. all this politically correct bs is destabilizing the political structure of our country. every word you say (or game you make) can potentially step on a lot of minority toes because everyone gets so d**n offended by everything. when you grow up, youll understand that life isn't peachy and sweet for everyone. bad stuff happens all the time, especially back then. the game is a portrayal, not a tool of some racialist essentialist trying to subconsciously promote his idea that Indians are "evil". evreyone really needs to relax about this whole issue. oh and ps to the kids who said americans are racist because they read it in boards: this is the internet and is in no way shape or form and expression of real life and a representation of all opinions. many people in the us dont even have computers or the internet and the ones that post on boards are generally over opinionated anyway (like me).

LordelX
LordelX

I have noticed that offensively racist content in videogames in not nearly as harshly scrutinized as it is in any other media. The Native Americans do have a point. Although it does really seem harmless and it is just a game, I've overheard other gamers reflect on the parts of "Gun" where the questionable content is in a less than politically correct ( actually quite racist ) context. It's extremely hard for white Americans, who make up the majority of the gaming population sorry to say, to understand this point of view. You've never been discriminated against. Let me just put it into perspective.....would you tolerate a game where you are Vietcong, running around the jungle slaughtering American soldiers? Would you play a game where you were the leader of an Al-Queda terrorist cell and you had to launch an attack on the American citizens? Some of you might, but most of you wouldn't. These games don't exist for a reason. No developer would dare create them. The game industry is sensitive to only a few racial demographics, but it has some glaring insensitivity to others. The worst thing I've ever seen is EA's release of Medal Of Honor: Rising Sun in Japan. What a shockingly insensitive thing to do. Yes, it's real history. Yes, it's just a game. What would you say if Konomi or Capcom or any Japanese software publisher released a game where you participate in the attack on Pearl Harbor?

SoralinkGS
SoralinkGS

*reads Ythaniel's post* Very good points, but ITS JUST A GAME! I always wondered why there were no Wild west games....now we all know why because the Native Americans would be offended right away! I call this dumb because *spoiler Alert* there offended by the part where you try to stop the Native americans from blowing up a bridge and from slaughtering and scalping all the chinese workers working on the bridge. Does that make any sense? Plus, You team up with the native americans in the second half of the game after you find out that your a indian. So Thats why this sounds so dumb.