It struck me I had not yet written this entry on the blog yet, despite intending to for a long while. With the Greenlight entry coming up and people finding out about the game I feel it's about time I write it.
I understand completely that making a game called Mission: Afghanistan and its subject matter might piss off a great deal of people. It's a sensitive subject even though a few years have passed since the war took place, and even though I've explicitly stated that what you see in the game is an alternative past, not some sort of documentary in game form (which should be apparent when seeing even a snippet of gameplay from the game). I was ready to change the name of the game to Danger Close, but changed my mind. Who knows, I might still have to, in a good scenario... Let's go full political correctness and list a few of the people that potentially can and probably will be offended by this game:
1. People who have been in service in Afghanistan and feel used
2. SJW's who are against the war for whatever reasons
3. People who live in Afghanistan and don't like their entire country and its history reduced to a war game about killing people, from their point of view. Even though this is a picture that the media has been feeding us for one and a half decade, one that the game makes fun of.
I could go on, but you get the point. With this game though my intention is not to offend people. Nor to belittle someone. In my opinion, art, media, games need to be able to cover even sensitive subjects, otherwise freedom of speech and freedom of press do not exist in reality. To me it is even more important to be able to feature sensitive and offensive material, because that means that the subject matter is taboo for some reason, and it desperately needs to be featured and put out there in the spotlight so we can at least try to understand why that is.
I was brought up on MAD-magazine, and to me political incorrectness is second nature. Walking around and thinking about what isn't appropriate or what might offend people is not how I want to live my life. Was the war in Afghanistan a good or a bad thing? I don't know to be honest. And my official stance and the stance this game take is that of utter neutrality. The game is not meant to be a moral debate of what is good and what is bad, I'll leave that for someone else. If anything, it is a study in exaggerated cartoonish ultra violence, and it's up to the player to determine what they think about that. If I could go back in time, would I make this game thematically and graphically about something else entirely? Probably yes. This part of the game was never something I put much thought into when first coming up with the concept for it. Like I said, I'm not a politically correct person. But here we are. And one problem is that if you take away the subject matter of the game and replace the player sprites with robots, you kind of take away the whole point of the game.
I'm a fan of movies such as Hot Shots II, The Hurt Locker, Jarhead, The Dictator, The Interview, Team America: World Police and Zero Dark Thirty. All the hundreds of movies about the Vietnam war and WWII. Not to mention all the Call of Duty and Medal of Honor games that take place in Afghanistan and feature the war to some extent. Are you going to tell me that these movies and these games are OK, but Mission: Afghanistan is not? Because it's an indie game? If so I simply don't think that is fair.