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10/21/2002

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justin

It looks like Under Ash was published or developed by Dar Al-Fikr, a Syrian publishing company devoted to education surrounding Muslim theology and law.

jane

AWSE.com has a story: http://news.awse.com/23-Feb-2002/Technology/8727.htm

'"We're trying to counterbalance the poisonous ideas conveyed by American video games to our children," said Hassan Salem, executive director of the project at the Dar Al-Fikr publishing house. "Our primary aim is educational: We want the new generation, which doesn't listen to the news, to learn about the Palestinian cause."'

The Jerusalem Post: http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2002/03/13/Columns/Columns.45107.html

John

In light of games as recruitment/indoctrination tools, I find the comparison to America's Army very appropriate, but I think there is a crucial difference between the two games. An American Army player may decide to enlist in the military but it will be months (or longer?) before they finish training and are stationed. And even then, I would guess that only a tiny percentage of US military personnel will ever see combat situations like those depicted in America's Army (although that may change soon...)

On the other hand, many of the Palestinians that play Under Ash can probably join the Intafada the same day and be fighting Israeli occupation forces for real. To me this is an incedible and unpecedented collision between 'Game Life' and 'Real Life.' I think it will be interesting to see how this game is received by an audience who's day to day life reflects the game so closely. An Under Ash player probably has a far greater personal investment in the real world struggle depicted in that game, than an America's Army player has in their game.

It's also fascinating to see a form of media/entertainment that is so predominatly grounded in Western thought and idioms be appropriated by another culture. It's like watching a version of Die Hard where the Bruce Willis character is a brave Palestinian soldier and the terrorists are evil US and Israeli troops.

I think Under Ash is an exciting and unnerving development in gaming history. I wonder if it will slip under the radar of the mainstream game media.

(I'm reading Joe Sacco's 'Palestine' right now, so this game seems even more timely to me...)

Bowler

"We're trying to counterbalance the poisonous ideas conveyed by American video games to our children,"

Huh? Which American games? Is he talking about Madden? Most of the games played by Americans that he might consider "evil American games" could possibly be coming from Japan, too. Even Europe.

I'm trying to think of what poisonous ideas are conveyed by my video-game collection, and I'm coming up with a complete and total blank.

I mean, my *god*, the audacity of Tony Hawk shredding that grind...::shudders:: ;)

But seriously, I for one am absolutely terrified of Under Ash. It's not like the children there have a lot of gaming alternatives. The Palestinians aren't having problems coercing their children to strap bombs on themselves, so why are they resorting to video-games as propoganda? How can a country that claims that American games are poisonous and evil in the very same breath say that the *same game engine* and *virtual killing of people* is going to be educational; not evil? Sounds a bit hypocritical and two-faced to me.

jane

as for the poisonous ideas conveyed by American video games, i guess one man's drink is another man's poison. one could argue that games like Rogue Spear, for example, glorify U.S. military actions in other nations, which is something not entirely supported by the rest of the world!

there's a strategy game here in Japan called 1945, which re-stages WWII and asks the player to command the Japanese Imperial Army. the game poses a "What if...?" and asks the player to guide the army to victory. i haven't played it yet (it seems, actually, like a very boring game) but i was thinking, wouldn't it be funny somehow if the lesson were that you absolutely couldn't win? i doubt it... i personally find that game to be a chilling idea - revision of history through games - but fascinating, too. i mean, can you imagine that there would ever be a (legal) release in Germany of a game that posed the scenario, what if Hitler won?

i agree that Under Ash is troubling, but i think America's Army is troubling too. they're not the same thing, but i think they operate on the same ideas - that games can be used as an effective recruiting tool. i'd love to see some psychological studies on this.

jane

oops! that Japanese game isn't "1945", it's called "Daisenryaku 1941".

not much info in english on the web but:
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/hypergameaction/dais19ps2im.html

Bowler

Ironically, I'm currently playing a slightly "alter the course of history" game:

WWIIonline ( http://www.wwiionline.com )

And, for what it's worth, I play as the Germans exclusively with a few of my rl friends (it's really only because we like their equipment better than the English or French). And since it's based in 1941, the alternate history is when the Germans *lose* the invasion of Belgium and France.

As far as games go, it's an amazing premise, but it's starting to falter. Thousands of people playing online against each other at the same time in a first person shooter/tank/flight WWII sim. You can fly/drive from town to town; battle to battle. Battlefield 1942 is an "arcade game" when compared to what WWIIonline is attempting to pull off.

But now I'm getting off topic. :)

Stephen

It's nowhere near the same thing.

The US game shows how to be a soldier, a uniformed, declared combatant, fighting terrorists and other soldiers armed with various weapons.

This under Ash SHIT is just more HaTRED in the form of ISLAMO-Facist video game propaganda.

For the love of Christ, this game teaches you to kill civilians! That can in NO WAY be compared to America's Army. This is the epitome of teaching evil. America's Army, while surely a recruitment tool, is not teaching anything other than squad based tactics.

Read the Koran, especially the parts about Christians, Jews, and polytheists. This will make you understand this game better.

BigBad

This game is just another propaganda tool of the Palestinians in their war to destroy Israel. How do you win? When you have killed all the Jews?

This game is the moral equivalent of a game about concentration camps where the goal is to cremate as many Jews as possible before the allies liberate the camp.

Disgusting!

chakma

Here's an idea: let's make a video game that allows players to murder jews in German death camps. Then let's justify it by comparing it to American "propaganda" games where poor nazis are murdered; Wolfenstein for example.

These murderous anti-semetic Islamists have been far too successful in justifying themselves. The fact that the world stands by and watches little Hitlers do whatever they can to kill Jews is bad enough. This game is just another recruiting tool for the Nazis in the mideast as well as in the west (yes, that goes for all of you who defend this garbage).

Thankfully there is no hope for these fascists in the real world as Isreal has crushed them whenever they have attempted any form of organized attack.

ayo

I need a girl

Swiss Cheese

I would say "Under Ash" is showing the true reality in the occupied territoris. People who have to live under terroristic occupation forced by two countries. An occupation that is violent, twisting and with out no sense!
I would call the game "Americas Army" the biggest bullshit that has ever been produced since 3D armygames are existing. America is fighting its "war against terror" not only against arabs, it`s fighting against the entire world, to achive it`s entire imperialistic goal ruling the whole planet earth! In the end Bush and co. will be blessed by good, oil and power.
Let`s start preventing ourselves from americas delusion by playing "Under Ash".

Bash

Under ash is the middle eastern answer to games like Counter-strike, where half of the terrorists are arab. And if you notice, thats how the public percieves "terrorists" too, based on the models that you'll find at CSkins or whatever. Also, Underash does not teach you to kill civilians. In fact, if you kill a civilian, the game is automatically over, whereas in half-life, you can rampage around the facility killing as many security guards and scientists as you'd like. Under ash portrays the palestinian conflict in a correct way, just take the bias out of your heart for just a second, and you'll realize it is no better, or worse than any other game we have in america. Also, although palestinians have committed crimes against Israeli citizens, they are no match compared to the 100's of citizens Israelis kill regularly. Don't trust american media like CNN. Go to a larger news source, like reuters or BBC, they will portray the situation correctly. Oh, by the way "Big bad", I just wanted to correct you on something. Don't use buzz words like anti-semitism. Look up semite in the dictionary. It means the arab race. So anti-semitism would mean that the palestinians are opposed to themselves.

Bash

Under ash is the middle eastern answer to games like Counter-strike, where half of the terrorists are arab. And if you notice, thats how the public percieves "terrorists" too, based on the models that you'll find at CSkins or whatever. Also, Underash does not teach you to kill civilians. In fact, if you kill a civilian, the game is automatically over, whereas in half-life, you can rampage around the facility killing as many security guards and scientists as you'd like. Under ash portrays the palestinian conflict in a correct way, just take the bias out of your heart for just a second, and you'll realize it is no better, or worse than any other game we have in america. Also, although palestinians have committed crimes against Israeli citizens, they are no match compared to the 100's of citizens Israelis kill regularly. Don't trust american media like CNN. Go to a larger news source, like reuters or BBC, they will portray the situation correctly. Oh, by the way "Big bad", I just wanted to correct you on something. Don't use buzz words like anti-semitism. Look up semite in the dictionary. It means the arab race. So anti-semitism would mean that the palestinians are opposed to themselves.

Uber-Juden

Heres an idea. Why don't all of you little shithead palestinians and other assorted rag heads GET OVER IT! Stop justifying and playing little games like, "Why do people say arabs are terrorists?" I will tell you why, if your not strapping a bomb to yourself and going off killling civillians then you are sitting somewheres justifying it. If you haven't noticed you little shits are the only ones going around acting like morons. And for what? 7 virgins? Are you ragheads really that hard up for a piece of ass? you little sick shits. And just so you know, palestine, which is a derogitory term for the jews that lived there given by the turks, which was never in ARAB control was given by the rightfull owners at the time ENGLAND, maybe if you guys weren't such organized and weren't so chicken shit this would be different, but it is not so stop now and go get laid you dont have to blow your self up there is plenty of ass around willing to put out.
Shalom!!

Stingeth

Yes, the comparison to american games is quite fair. I have played most of the first person shooter games, and I can tell you that over the past few years (even before 9-11) there were many games that used middle-eastern dark skin 'terrorists' as enemies. Usually the objective in those games included killing every single one of those dark-skin 'terrorists' that you come across. So I don't find it particularly offensive that middle-eastern companies will now begin creating their own games with an alternate perspective. I find it completely fair that all these years we have put dark-skinned 'terrorist' character models as the target of every weapon that we can come up with (tanks, grenades, bombs, knives) and that they will now create games that show a things from a different point of view.

P.S. Wow thanks for those Intellectually enlightening comments Uber-Jewden. You sound almost angry enough to strap a bomb to your waist and run into a crowd of muslims and blow yourself up. Hmm, no probably you just need something to push you over the edge, like having your father shot to death by a dark-skinned 'terrorist' arab. Hmm, no only arab terrorists do that, and you are a jew.. Rather your method of getting back would be to join the israeli army and fire an automatic M16 rifle into a crowd of dark-skinned 'terrorist' arab teenagers throwing stones.. Hmm

Blkwolf

I think some of you are pointed in the right direction. Lets make it clear that promotion of Killing people of other races is WRONG. If we will remember the world is populated by HUMANS, the races is something we put on ourselves.
I am a vet I fought for My country(USA) but Ill be the first to tell you, no solider wants to go to war, to be separater from his of her loved ones and maybe get killed. I wish the Middle East would learn to live together. We try but are getting better at it, look here the Catholic and Protestant dont try to Kill each other. Thats only one example the more we know about each other the more we understand once we see each other as people, brothers, friends.

ty

this site is the biggest bunch of crap i have ever seen if you are an american i hope i never have to see you and lets hope we dont go to war with people like you stabbing us in the back the whole time!!!!

Another Mike

Ty,

It's all fun and games until the tables are turned, you hypocrite.

Nik

hoo, man, looking at the last couple of posts to this, and in the wake of the war on iraq, and all the media hoopah that surrounded it, can we really say that either ash or AA is in any way right?
i'm ex military, not an american (canadian, now australian), and can catagoricaly state that the view you have recieved of the recent conflict, as with most wars and police actions before, thru the media coverage is wrong. as is the view portrayed by both these games.
combat is a lot of time hiding in the ground being scared s**tless, followed by brief periods of just being scared s**tless while you do loud active things.
all of which is followed by a long time telling everyone else how good it was, and what a great guy you were.
but lets not forget medal of honor front line, or the new vietnam version. i guess we're being told it's ok to kill krauts and gooks as well as anyone else.
it would be nice (if somewhat simplistic) to think that people see beyond the obvious simplistic surface to social implications below, but the fact remains that there is a bigass truck load of hate out there for anyone who isn't you.
just for the record, i tend to play a lot of quake 3, that way i get guns on for rebuilt alians and dead people. as far as i know, we don't have to many of them here at the moment.

Drake Dracoli

Huh? Which American games? Is he talking about Madden? Most of the games played by Americans that he might consider "evil American games" could possibly be coming from Japan, too. Even Europe.

Indeed. Many video games come from Europe and Japan. However, these are mostly games that are applicable for specivic video game consoles such as Nintendo, Playstation, and Sega, among others. Even Japanese video games that are playable via the computer are usually transcribed from their origional system to suit the needs of computer users. I can not think of a single computer-only game that has origionated from Japan. As far as European gaming goes; they are not nearly as common as games created within the United States. As far as your quotation goes, no where did Dar Al-Fikr claim that there were 'Evil American Games'. He did, however, claim that there were many western games that are bloated with United States propoganda. I can name several of these games offhand. 'Delta Force', 'Delta Force 2', 'Dealta Force: Land Warrior'. Ah, you say, but these are games that depict the Americans fighting against terrorism! There is nothing wrong with this! True as that may be, in this case you should acknowledge that After Ash does not depict the player terrorizing a population, but rather preventing their homeland from being destroyed. That is no less noble than warding off terrorism. Both genres of games should be respected at the same level. There are other militaristic games as well. The 'Command and Conquer' series depicts all communists and socialists as warmongering maniacs who wish to unleash nuclear havok on the west. (Because you all know, us socialists have attacked the United States thousands of times, right!) I recall playing a game for the 3DO called 'Return Fire'; the game was Army Propoganda. No exaggeration. Every time you pressed the little pause button, a message would pop up telling you to join the United States Army. 'Real War' is another game that shows an overwhelming sense of support for the United State Military. These are just a few I can think of offhand. There are many others.

I'm trying to think of what poisonous ideas are conveyed by my video-game collection, and I'm coming up with a complete and total blank.

Most games are full of nothing but poisonous ideas. They usually consist of the player running around with a bigass gun, all alone, somehow capable of slaughtering thousands of enemy soldiers with their 1337 skills. That's what nearly all games consist of. The charachter running around with huge plasma guns, or the player's nation bombing all the enemy units with tactical nuclear strikes (somehow incapable of producing a computerized fallout), tanks, soldiers, and not to mention carpet bombings. Any game with the Soviet Union involved will always portray the Soviet Union as the aggressor, even though historically, they never even touched us. Any game (Save for this one) with any sort of Arabic or Islamic Liberation Force will be portrayed as terrorists. After all, every Arabic individual seeking independence from Israel MUST be a terrorist.

I mean, my *god*, the audacity of Tony Hawk shredding that grind...::shudders:: ;)

Funny indeed. However, As I stated. They are more likely refering to military-based games.

But seriously, I for one am absolutely terrified of Under Ash. It's not like the children there have a lot of gaming alternatives.

"Oh no! Children are going to play violent video games that might make them more violent! Why can't they be like good little Saiid and join the IDF or watch their houses get destroyed?" Seriously. I don't see how a video game will exacerbate the situation in Israel. A palestinean child is no more likely to shoot random Israelis after playing Under Ash as an American child is to shoot random Arabic individuals after playing any of the games I listed.

The Palestinians aren't having problems coercing their children to strap bombs on themselves, so why are they resorting to video-games as propoganda?

The Palestineans are an entire population. Saying that they have no problems convincing their children to stapping bombs, simply because a few palestineans have done this; it is no worse than me saying that the German population has no problems persecuting minorities, simply because of an instance of German Nazis. It is nothing but a generalization. I would prefer you not speak of the Palestinean population as though they were a single entity. Rest assured. If all of the Palestineans were terrorists, they would have all killed themselves by now.

How can a country that claims that American games are poisonous and evil in the very same breath say that the *same game engine* and *virtual killing of people* is going to be educational; not evil? Sounds a bit hypocritical and two-faced to me.

It is very hypocritical, not just a bit. Keep in mind that although my post seems argumentive, I am simply stating that this game they are releasing is just as bad as any American Military games. You should support both types of games, or support neither. As you can tell, I am not fond of either.

Drake Dracoli

Heres an idea.

An idea requires thought. This is something that, judging my the nature and the various gramatical imperfections of your asinine post, you are incapable of.

Why don't all of you little shithead palestinians and other assorted rag heads GET OVER IT!

Stop bulldozing their houses down and perhaps they will. Going around calling them 'reaheads' won't acomplish anything either.

Stop justifying and playing little games like, "Why do people say arabs are terrorists?" I will tell you why, if your not strapping a bomb to yourself and going off killling civillians then you are sitting somewheres justifying it.

The Palestinian population that opposes the Israeli occupation never attempts to justify the actions of Palestinian terrorists. It is amazing to see how extreme you have become, in that not supporting the Israeli Defense Force is justifying terrorism. I suppose if you didn't like the KGB then you are an advocate of fascism, right? So murdering people is an act of terrorism, correct? In this case, the Klan is a terrorist orginization. Maybe I should start equating all people of european ethnicity with terrorism? Maybe I should state that anyone who doesn't agree with the platform of an orginization that opposes the Klan is justifying terrorism. Suddenly the idea doesn't sound very palatable.

If you haven't noticed you little shits are the only ones going around acting like morons.

That's right. We know that the Aryan Nation and the JDL are always on their best behavior!

And for what? 7 virgins? Are you ragheads really that...BLAH BLAH BLAH! FUCK THE ARABS! I HATE ISLAM! BLAH BLAH! IM A RACIST IDIOT! BLAH BLAH! I CAN SPAM!....sick shits.

Thank you for your compliments.

which was never in ARAB control was given by the rightfull owners at the time ENGLAND,

It was under arabic control. It's in the ***king Middle East. Oh, right; where was I living, under a rock? I forgot. We all know that the Israel, a location hundreds of miles from England, was always under English control. Right.

maybe if you guys weren't such organized and weren't so chicken shit this would be different, but it is not so stop now and go get laid you dont have to blow your self up there is plenty of ass around willing to put out.

That's right. Nevermind the idea that terrorists blow themselves up because they are insane and desperate. We all know that Osoma Bin Laden was after some sweet ass this whole time!

Bilal Ahmad

Where can i buy the game? It sounds brilliant.

T R U T H

THe powers that be have removed this game from the web as far as I can see. Someone please post a link to a mirror/sutiable download location. THANK YOU in advance.
cheers

-p

Malkaiya

This entire thread of ideas is very disturbing. I am a gamer in the USA, and have played games like Medal of Honor and the like. In many games the main goal is death, death is never good, but violence is "entertaining". I love fps games, but I realize that they are just games. I would never begin to resort to violence and murder because a game tells me to, but a game that has the main goal as militaristic/teroristic recruiting cannnot be good. America's Army was made for recruiting, but it did not condone 'take up arms and kill your neighbors behavior'.

In the "War for Iraqui Freedom" Coalition forces were not made just of glutenous white males; arabic people faught with us, people of Jewish decent faught with us, people of Asian decent, and people straight from Europe (thanks for the help England, sorry for your losses). The point is it is being portrayed by certain people that all American games have Rambo with a red, white and blue bandanna killing Arabic people and laughing; it simply isn't so.

As far as 'Under Ash' is concerned; I feel that it is a twisted idea and am much more concerned that many fellow gamers support the ideas that it is based upon. It is a sad day when I am sorry to admit that I am a gamer... :(

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