on Jan 22, 2006
I’ve never seen a company like this. At the bottom of each page is a banner that proudly proclaims, “We Support The Troops”. They curse on their own news page, in the forum guidelines, and pretty much everywhere else. The fan art section is filled with crude crayon drawings, bizzare screenshots, and pictures of real guns. Check out the disclaimer at the bottom of the “About Us” page:
This site contains content not approved for consumption by children, senators, religious leaders and/or other easily damaged psyches, those seeking to enhance or establish political careers and/or possessed of delusions of grandeur. If accidentally exposed, flush eyes with cold water and induce vomiting. If irritation persists, sit quietly and watch PBS. Not for internal use. This site and its related products/propaganda are GUARANTEED not to make you go blind, masturbate (and THEN go blind), become a social liability, induce you to act out atrocities that you would otherwise never indulge in, or burn eternally in hell. Running With Scissors accepts NO responsibility for any and all random acts of stupidity or violence committed by losers who may blame popular entertainment media and/or sugary snack foods for causing their inherent basic lack of control. You’re on your own. Thank you and good night.
There is something here to offend everyone. For right wingers, you have pictures of half-naked women holding copies of the game and links to (I’m assuming, I’m not the clicking sort in these matters) porno sites. For the lefties, you have unqualified support of our troops, not to mention a very un-PC video game where you gun down (among other things) rednecks and Arabs. Amazing.
You could read their page and conclude they must be lunatics out to offend the world, but every once in a while their mask of insanity slips and you catch a glimpse of the folks underneath. Occasionally you’ll read an official statement and get an idea of where these guys are coming from. It’s a sort of test: Do you support free speech? Are you sure about that?
Politics being what they are, I’m betting the full spectrum of people from Hillary to Delay, if asked in front of a camera, would support some effort to shut these guys down. For the children.
But now my point:
When was the last time you saw a company that seemed to exist to prove a point? These guys have something more important on their mind than money. There is no doubt they could dial their products down and make themselves a lot more cash. The whole “controversy” thing doesn’t sell games nearly as well as having the game on the shelf at Wal-Mart. They are, on purpose, pissing away profits by making their game so over-the-top that most retailers refuse to carry it. In a lot of ways, I think they are the gaming equivalent of Howard Stern.
I’m a Christian man. Let’s go ahead and say that I consider myself to be devout. People who know me know that I’m given to thanking Jesus for things and praying. I’m offended by a lot of this stuff, but I wish them all the luck in the world.
Link via eToychest.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.