I would wager that not even the remaining Oregon militia members want to be part of the Oregon militia standoff these days, but now you can join in on the dismal venture. In a video game, I mean.
Nipper’s cs_wildrefuge map was actually made shortly before the whole fiasco took a turn for the uglier-than-it-already-was, resulting in one death and a whole mess of (long overdue) arrests. It envisions an even more violent outcome to the armed children’s lock-in slumber party than what’s occurred so far. Because Counter-Strike.
Here’s the fictionalized setup (note: the actual stand-off has not involved any bird watcher hostages, though the rest of this thing has been so absurd that it sounds remarkably plausible):
“A group of heavily armed patriots known only as ‘Vanilla Isis’ have decided to launch a rebellion against their tyrannical government! Using their brilliant tactical mind they chose their first target: a mostly unoccupied bird sanctuary and wildlife refuge. After about 2 days of holding this territory from the feds they have unfortunately run out of vital supplies like slim jims,energy drinks and beer. In an act of desperation for more supplies they have taken a couple of orange jumpsuit wearing bird watchers hostage. Now with human lives at stake the feds have been forced to respond.”
Whether you consider the map to be in poor taste or not, it continues an undeniable tradition: people like to make Counter-Strike maps based on real-life events. As PC Gamer points out, people have also made maps based on the Boston Massacre and Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound, among many, many other things. It’s a fascinating confluence of fiction and real, especially given that the game otherwise tries to remain distant from authentic events that inspire it, painting people and places in broad strokes with unspecific names like “Terrorists” and “Dust.”
It’s a phenomenon that hardly started with Counter-Strike, with roots in Doom, Wolfenstein, and other classic FPSes that let players make their own maps. The allure of this stuff is as odd as it is human. Sometimes we want to watch train wrecks from a safe vantage point, and video games let us be in the thick of things while keeping our precious, precious organs out of harm’s way. Other times people want to make commentary on current events. Others still, they just want to piss people off.
In this case, it seems pretty clear that Nipper intended to make fun of the sudden, inexplicable (even for the people participating in it) jamoke uprising. I’m curious: do you think video game maps are a good arena for that? Do you find this map interesting, or at least funny?
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