Two hugely popular video games, including "Call Of Duty: Black Ops
II", have been ordered off store shelves in Pakistan for
portraying Pakistanis as terrorists.
According to gameinformer, the world's largest video game
magazine, the All Pakistan CD, DVD, Audio Cassette Traders and
Manufacturers Association has directed that "Call of Duty: Black
Ops II' and "Medal of Honour: Warfighter" be taken off the shelves
as they "show Pakistan in very poor light".
"Call of Duty: Black Ops II", a first-person shooter game by
Activision Blizzard, has an episode where the player is in Lahore
and brutally kills Pakistanis while "Medal of Honour: Warfighter",
another first-person shooter by Electronic Arts, shows Pakistan as
a hotbed of terrorists. Both games were released late last year
and have sold millions of copies worldwide.
Gameinformer quotes Saleem Memon, president of the All Pakistan
CD, DVD, Audio Cassette Traders and Manufacturers Association, as
saying: "The problem is that there are things that are against
Pakistan and they have included criticism of our army. They show
the country in a very poor light."
It quotes the circular issued earlier this week asking for both
the games to be boycotted. The association circular reads: "The
Association has always boycotted these types of films and games.
These (games) have been developed against the country's national
unity and sanctity. The games have been developed against Pakistan
and the association has completely banned their sale. Shopkeepers
are warned and will be responsible for the consequences if found
purchasing or selling these games."
Whether the circular was issued at the behest of the government
was not known.
" 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II' has one mission, titled 'The Fallen
Angel' based in Lahore where you fight the ISI (Inter-Services
Intelligence, Pakistani spy agency), who are the enemies," Anand
V, a video gaming enthusiast, told IANS.
"You have to fight and kill them in the mission," he explained.
According to Anand, you play as a character, David Mason. 'The
Fallen Angel', as seen by the IANS correspondent, has a scene in
which Mason and his friend Harper are in a heavily flooded part of
Lahore. It is pouring heavily as the two men move around killing
"the ISI forces". In some particularly gruesome scenes, the men
cut the throats of some Pakistani soldiers, with the blood shown
spurting out. In one pictorial scene, which intersperses with the
game, Mason and Harper confront two Pakistani soldiers. "Mason
bashes the head of one soldier against the door of the armoured
truck, while Harper does it with the other Pakistani. Both are
probably killed," Anand said.
"In 'The Fallen Angel' you fight a lot of Pakistanis. You are
travelling in a military camp... you are part of an armoured
convoy and there are Pakistanis on both sides trying to attack
you.. Your armoured car crushes the men as they come in front of
you," said Anand, in a graphic explanation of the violence in the
But why kill them?
"Well, they are the obstacles in the mission.. so you have to kill
them," Anand answered.
Anand said he did not enjoy playing "Medal of Honour: Warfighter".
"It is not my type of game," he said.
"Medal of Honour: Warfighter" depicts Pakistan as a jihadi haven
and many sequences were developed with the help of some members of
the Navy SEALs team that killed Osama bin Laden in a secret raid
on his Abbottabad house in Pakistan on May 1, 2011.
The seven SEALs were penalised last November for divulging
classified information to the game's developer. Each of the seven
received a letter of reprimand and a partial forfeiture of pay for
Kathryn Bigelow's movie, "Zero Dark Thirty" by Sony Pictures,
tells the story of the SEALs who took down bin Laden. One of the
seven had reportedly divulged information about the raid to the
According to Fox News, both the games are hot sellers in Pakistan.
A US daily quotes a game shop owner in Islamabad as saying that
"Call of Duty: Black Ops II" has sold more than 5,000 copies since
its release last November. However, the pirated copies, which sell
at under $2, have huge sales.
"Medal of Honor; Warfighter" has sold around 1,000 copies in
Pakistan, the daily says.
Earlier, another game, "Assassin's Creed" was banned in Pakistan
because Muslims found its content offensive.
(Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)