We saw something over at Game Politics that was too good to leave alone - the mayor of Las Vegas is angry because the next Rainbow Six game nestles its geopolitical storyline in his city. If you haven’t seen how, I really recommend that you get your hands on the full version of the E3 trailer (in HD preferably, in convenient mov or wmv formats). It’s pretty horrifying. I sort of understand why he wouldn’t want someone to see that, even though he hasn’t seen it himself, so he doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about. When they’ve spent so much money giving the impression that the town is primarily a haven for frequent and anonymous sexing, you don’t want to get that signal crossed with "seething cauldron of anti-American terror."
That he took special care to assert that the storyline of Rainbow Six was based on a "false premise" seemed pretty funny to us. That they are now seeing if their own Las Vegas trademarks can be used to scuttle the project is less funny to me, and it’s not really connected to a specific game or usage. I think it’s just that as a person who makes things up, anytime potential winks out and is gone I feel it in my bones.
I must admit that I did not harbor any misconceptions about the truth of the Rainbow Six narrative. It was my assumption that, as a piece of entertainment software, it was most likely a simulation of some kind. It may be that the mayor believes that by talking about something or representing it in some way, we make it real. It would explain a lot about the way this medium is being politicized, were that true - if they were somehow under the impression that, like Beetlejuice, dark outcomes might be summoned merely by repetition.
It’s hard not to compare this supposed infraction to the town’s sometimes explosive Cinematic history. It’s okay to crash a plane into the fucking strip! If you have to crash a plane full of convicts or whatever, that’s cool. Alternately, if you create an interactive scenario where people can rescue the city from Goddamn criminals, then you’re way out of line.
It’s my theory that the videogame industry just isn’t giving these people enough money. It’s always a big scandal for five seconds when the true extent of this practice is exposed, but they aren’t going to get out of this crap until they start greasing their forearms all the way up to the elbow and shoving handfuls of Benjamin Franklins so far up a senator’s ass that he can read off the serials.