Bungie assist in the murder of children

By Alec Meer on August 21st, 2007 at 11:30 pm.

Pretend children! And not deliberately!

I can’t honestly remember if I heard of Los Disneys when it was first released over a decade ago. I won’t be forgetting it for a while, though. There aren’t many games that immediately present you with a loaded gun and an African-American kid wearing a Mickey Mouse hat, after all.

Gee, Pluto

More after the jump – including robot pirates! (Crap robot pirates).

To qualify this post’s oh-ha-ha title, the just-re-released Los Disneys is a modification of Halo-meisters Bungie’s old Marathon FPS, which is itself available for free online. Again, Bungie do not actually assist in the murder of children – to the best of my knowledge, anyway – but they are cheerfully linking to Los Disney’s re-release on their own pages, so they can’t be that bothered. Odd, as even in its incredibly crude barely-post-Doom graphics, gunning down Disneyland tourists and guys in Donald Duck suits is pretty shocking. Theoretically you don’t have to shoot them, but some will block your path until you do. Postal 2 pulls its punches compared to this.

Me, I don’t mind controversy and have little time for censorship (unless it’s preventing hate crimes or guys saying Thundercats was better than Transformers), but the reason I’m not on board with this strange, free reissue of Los Disneys is I’m not really sure what point it’s trying to make beyond tongue-in-cheek offensiveness. It’s set in a near-future where DIsney runs most of the planet, and the frozen head of Uncle Walt must be destroyed to bring about peace.

It's a small, poorly rendered world

So, Disney = big and rich, right? Ha. Ha. That, and mutant It’s A Small World children, is about as heavy as the satire gets. I’m not entirely sure where “fuck the tourists” (actual in-game quote) comes into things unless it’s purely to further get Disney’s hackles up. Disney’s always been a soft target, and its 21st Century Pixar-created cool makes the anger and puerile humour here harder to get.

I’m dimly aware of what might be an attempt at irony in it, of it perhaps deliberately playing the part of what the non-videogaming part of the developed world thinks videogames are like (it reminded me, in fact, a little of the unarmed civilian-killing FPS seen in Gus Van Sant’s Columbine semi-satire Elephant), but that doesn’t mean it works. Perhaps if I lived in Florida I’d feel differently. Regardless, it’s a pretty awful game by modern standards, and stupidly difficult from the off too. A lone pistol ain’t much defence against robot Pirates Of The Carribean (as in the ride that inspired the film, and Monkey Island) in massed hordes.

Still, it’s pretty incredible this thing’s online, given that it includes all manner of Disney IP in a violent and/or derogatory context. It’s been offline thanks to the house of Mouse’s lawyers for a decade, but now it’s back. Take a look, anyway. It’s a fascinating creation even if it is a poor one.

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4 Comments »

  1. Acosta says:

    Even if it was irony it needs certain finesse to send its message and this game lacks of it. Probably the product of some lazy afternoons and a guy who thought it would be cool to make a mod like that.

  2. XsV says:

    Perhaps it’s more satire than irony. For instance it’s perfectly acceptable to go on a Nazi/Communist/terrorist killing spree, but eyebrows are raised, such as Manhunt 2 or Carmageddon, when the violence turns to civilians or even children. Of course the latter is morally reprehensible but is all killing not morally reprehensible and the target’s acceptability merely the product of social inculcation? At the end of the day we’re still pumping virtual lead into another human being.

    Just a thought…

  3. nich says:

    haha, you’re analysing this mod?
    what do you truly expect? it’s a free mod for an open source game. it looks like the guy/s put a fair amount of work into it.
    maybe write an article promoting this kind of use of people’s spare time.

    ps. idea for mod. your character has to go around shooting yourself(boss?), your family and friends.