Sunday, May 14, 2006

Video Game Genocide by Xiuhcoatl

Video Game Genocide
May 14, 2006

The recent debate over immigration and the inevitable backlash from the brown community have made headline news throughout the nation. Despite the broad coverage of the anti-H.R. 4437 movement by the mainstream media, they have failed to address the real issues concerning immigration reform. They do not dare venture into the root of the problem, for they know that it has nothing to do with terrorism or border security. In reality, immigration reform in America is driven by widespread xenophobia, the colonizer's mentality, and yes, plain old racism.

Now, with Minutemen on the border and the President promising National Guard deployment there, the anti-Mexican sentiment and reactionary xenophobia in this country has been manifested in a video game. "Border Patrol," which is credited to the bigoted neo-Nazi Tom Metzger, puts you in the role of a hunter/murderer who patrols the southern border with Mexico. Your objective: "Keep them any cost!" "Them," by the game's definition, are the "wetbacks" trying to cross the border from Mexico.

As if the mere concept of a game that requires you to shoot indigenous migrants were not insulting enough, Metzger identified each character with a common stereotype of Mexican people.

The "Mexican nationalist" holds a Mexican flag and totes two guns as he runs across the river. The "drug smuggler" carries a bag of marijuana on his back. The most offensive target is the "breeder," a pregnant Mexican woman who lugs two children behind her. In true neo-Nazi fashion, the author exhibits an obvious lack of respect for all women, identifying those who give us life with the label of an animal. The game credits you with four kills if you shoot her – one for the mother, one for each child, and one for the unborn baby.

This "kill them all" mentality isn’t mere fantasy – it's Western history relived on a video screen. No mainstream video game better illustrates the point than "Gun," set in the American Old West. Colton White, a hunter turned gunslinger, must kill Apache Indians in order to "advance." As White, you slaughter the Apache people, scalping as many as you can with your "scalping knife." The message of these games is clear – genocide against indigenous people is still accepted and encouraged in the US.

Since the introduction of television in the US, indigenous people have been portrayed as villains, savages, rivals of righteous white cowboys against whom anything goes. In modern times one can see the same relationship in the struggle between the "upright" white police officer and brown skinned gang members. Racism against Indians has always been commonplace, but these "games" take it to new proportions.

The purpose of the games is threefold: as a recruitment tool for hate groups; they portray people of color as sub-human; they serve to desensitize the public and potential recruits to very real crimes against humanity, like mass deportations, hate crimes, and mass incarceration. If the people can be numbed to this brutality and convinced that the targets are sub-human, the next step will be one we have seen before – genocide.

Europeans colonists engaged in the wholesale slaughter and enslavement of Indians and Africans with no remorse. 100 million Native Americans – our ancestors – and 100 million Africans were ultimately killed at the hands of white colonialists and slavers. European culture was desensitized to these atrocities by the dehumanization of non-whites. This condition is known as the colonizer’s mentality, and it is recreated, and meant to be recreated, in the mind of everyone playing these "games."

The neo-Nazi "National Alliance," creators of the video game Ethnic Cleansing, knows this all too well. Released on Resistance Records, a low-budget white nationalist label, Ethnic Cleansing encourages you to play as a skinhead or a noose-wielding Klan member. You patrol the streets of a city which has been devastated by gangs of "sub-humans." From the words of the creators, you "run through the ghetto blasting away various blacks and spics."

Ethnic cleansing in the US is not an implausible course. The government is already building concentration camps for migrants. Soon, the law will allow them to stop anybody on the streets with brown skin to ask for proof of citizenship. We have been stripped of our rights by the Patriot Act. The American Indian holocaust is very real; it has endured the test of time, and it continues, both in the real world and in the media. These “games” are nothing but video genocide.

This article was originally written for Mexica Tlahtolli, the voice of the Aztlan Mexica Nation / Harmony Circle.
Xiuhcoatl is an independent writer from South Modesto, CA. For more info visit Aztlan Rising