Israeli Council Releases Videogames as Propaganda

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Israeli Council Releases Videogames as Propaganda

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Unable to deny that "youths" play videogames, an Isreali council of settlers in the West Bank commissioned a game that lets players fight in the 6 Days War.

The Residents' Councils of Samaria and Binyamin realized that today's children are not educated in the same ways they were years ago. In order to make sure that the message of the Israeli way of life survived, the groups commissioned a company called Virtual 3D to create four games: Judah Maccabee, Ahab in Samaria, Ammunition Hill, and an untitled game that allows you to hang-glide and guide the people of Israel to the Holy Land. Itzik Shadmi, the chairman of the councils, hopes that these games will help guide his people just as well.

"In education, one sometimes needs to take roundabout routes to reach the target in a better way. The road may be longer but it holds promise for better results," Shadmi said. "Today's youths are surrounded by external stimuli that change rapidly all around them, and we must be aware of this."

Built using Shockwave to run in a browser, the games are all fairly low-tech and appear like primitive first person shooters. In Judah Maccabee, the player takes the role of an Israeli soldier from 166 BC who must steal a sword from the Appolonian camp and bring it to the eponymous priest, who led a revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Ahab in Samaria takes place in 870 BC as the player defends the city against invasion, while Ammunition Hill places the player in the modern 6 Day's War as a paratrooper tasked with blowing up a bunker in Jerusalem in 1967 using an Uzi. Yeah.

The games are available to download or to play directly in your browser on the council's Hebrew language website with the following message from father of Israel:

Hello Dear Grandchildren,

I know you love computer games, so I madea special Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift for you:

A series of three-dimensional computer games.

While playing them you will discover many interesting and important things about the Land of Israel, Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel, and its history.

And most importantly: This is your chance to take part in historical events!

Love,
Grandpa Abraham

Don't worry if you're the only one who thinks this is a silly idea. I never was one for edutainment myself.

Source: Residents' Councils of Samaria and Binyamin via Fast Company

Permalink

Most of the civilized world is trying to ban violent video games, and these motherfuckers are trying to teach history with them.

Israel, you deserve a cookie:

Bah, You call THAT Propaganda? You should see the shit Hamas turns out.

Greg Tito:
Don't worry if you're the only one who thinks this is a silly idea. I never was one for edutainment myself.

So you never played Yukon Trail?

heh, I might be on the palestinians side but ... history + games = awesome

And I was thinking of "re-creating" the battle for the Golan Heights after watching a certain "Greatest Tank Battle" video in arma 2, 100 IDF tanks facing off 1200 tanks and winning? <3 Arma 2.

Edit: If my PC dies from that, I probably won't be posting around here for a while > . >

Then there's BAD history/game combo, like Six Days in Fallujah or was that Gears of Fallujah?

All I know is I shot a bunch of badly animated dudes, and I don't feel the least bit educated.

Also, I recognize the music from somewhere. Stolen, I suppose.

HankMan:
Bah, You call THAT Propaganda? You should see the shit Hamas turns out.

Greg Tito:
Don't worry if you're the only one who thinks this is a silly idea. I never was one for edutainment myself.

So you never played Yukon Trail?

fuck Yukon Trail

Tito, you never played Typing of the Dead?

lol double post

Oh, I predict a franchise from this.

West Bank Settlement Tycoon!

A second joke!

...Carmageddon!

believer258:
Most of the civilized world is trying to ban violent video games, and these motherfuckers are trying to teach history with them.

Israel, you deserve a cookie:

You give cookies for murdering people?

I'll go get the zodiac killer one.

Heck, us Americans do that already. Ever played a Tom Clancy or Call of Duty game?

Israel has a good idea here though they might need to refine their product a little.

Bungie's gonna be mad that they stole the Halo theme for one of those games.

I can't be the only one that tried them.

Misterpinky:
Heck, us Americans do that already. Ever played a Tom Clancy or Call of Duty game?

+1000000 plus half the staff holywood has ever produced.ah and if you ever see the word propaganda you should probably ignore it.you know like what the germans should have done with geibel's

Huh, a 6-Day War video game.

I remember a LONG time ago I once discussed the idea of a video game based on the 6-Day War and thought it would be very interesting to see it transformed into a video game with respect and whatnot.

Also, propaganda? Really? It's more like a crudely put together 5th grader's project. Pshaw, one only as to take a look at Call of Duty to see how propaganda in video games can be done right.

I predict a really saddening argument over the topic soon......

I want the Israeli people to make their own games just so the term Hebrew Homebrew becomes popular.

You disappoint me greg. This is not propaganda; had it been to teach them an incorrect version of history i would be shouting like a fiend but no. I don't think this qualifies.

Fuck, no comment.

Actually, fuck that. COMMENT:

This is obtrusive shit. Its not funny and its not helpful on any scale. Large scale propaganda with religious undertones(Grandpa Abraham?! Thank god Muslims run such a tight ship on having their patriarchal figures represented publicly.) directed at children in the time of war is not funny, and shouldn't be allowed at all EVER in a freedom loving country(not that Im tempted to call Israel just that, but for now the label fits just fine).

This is going to further misconstrue a deeply two sided story that has gone on for thousands of years. It will further reinforce the concept that a state of Palestine does not, and has never existed. It will result in young minds being open to the concept of murdering/killing(pick your definition Im open to either one) the "bad guys" that they see in videogames in real life. The bad guys they will see in this videogame(especially the ones during the 1967 portion) will be readily identifiable and sometimes only a few dozen miles away from where they live.

This is NOT an iteration of the Tom Clancy genre or Call of Duty games. This is a further bastardization of the concept originally began with the US military with Americas Soldier series taken to a different extreme. I would urge everyone, even those of us who enjoy violent games like GTA, CoD, Duke Nukem(Which I am one of! Gore filters stay on for me kthx) and the like, to boycott games like this. This is on the same level as "High School Shooter" In the sense that in encourages active killing in the real world(Not that High School Shooter implicitly did that, but you see my point hopefully. Thoughtless hate). If you think I am blowing this out of proportion, remember, this game is unarguably propaganda. That means the government is taking our hobby and twisting it into a conversion tool for its own means. To let governments use our medium as a tool of war should be completely rejected by the community. I'd suggest if your reading this, and are still wondering why I am worried/angry about this, check out Extra Credits video on "Gamification". They touch on how gamifying things in the real world can be positive, and extremely negative. If this is Israels way of gamifying a brutal and harsh occupation(not saying the ALL of israel is an occupation. Israeli right to be there is on par with everyone elses. I would be a bigot if I thought otherwise) then Im firmly saying NO. And I hope others are with me.

Boy, that was rambly at points. Thanks for sticking with me.

It's going to take a fuck of a lot more than a couple of cheap browser games to overshadow the memory of Shatila and Sabra.

The naked, antagonistic jingoism of this from a council of illegal settlers both sickens and disturbs me.

I would say these games suck and provide no educational content, but then I would be called antisemitic.

WingedFortress:
Fuck, no comment.

Actually, fuck that. COMMENT:

This is obtrusive shit. Its not funny and its not helpful on any scale. Large scale propaganda with religious undertones(Grandpa Abraham?! Thank god Muslims run such a tight ship on having their patriarchal figures represented publicly.) directed at children in the time of war is not funny, and shouldn't be allowed at all EVER in a freedom loving country(not that Im tempted to call Israel just that, but for now the label fits just fine).

This is going to further misconstrue a deeply two sided story that has gone on for thousands of years. It will further reinforce the concept that a state of Palestine does not, and has never existed. It will result in young minds being open to the concept of murdering/killing(pick your definition Im open to either one) the "bad guys" that they see in videogames in real life. The bad guys they will see in this videogame(especially the ones during the 1967 portion) will be readily identifiable and sometimes only a few dozen miles away from where they live.

This is NOT an iteration of the Tom Clancy genre or Call of Duty games. This is a further bastardization of the concept originally began with the US military with Americas Soldier series taken to a different extreme. I would urge everyone, even those of us who enjoy violent games like GTA, CoD, Duke Nukem(Which I am one of! Gore filters stay on for me kthx) and the like, to boycott games like this. This is on the same level as "High School Shooter" In the sense that in encourages active killing in the real world(Not that High School Shooter implicitly did that, but you see my point hopefully. Thoughtless hate). If you think I am blowing this out of proportion, remember, this game is unarguably propaganda. That means the government is taking our hobby and twisting it into a conversion tool for its own means. To let governments use our medium as a tool of war should be completely rejected by the community. I'd suggest if your reading this, and are still wondering why I am worried/angry about this, check out Extra Credits video on "Gamification". They touch on how gamifying things in the real world can be positive, and extremely negative. If this is Israels way of gamifying a brutal and harsh occupation(not saying the ALL of israel is an occupation. Israeli right to be there is on par with everyone elses. I would be a bigot if I thought otherwise) then Im firmly saying NO. And I hope others are with me.

Boy, that was rambly at points. Thanks for sticking with me.

This isn't mandatory for anyone. They have as much right to promote their own government as we have to promote our own values. If you don't want to play the game you don't have to.

I've personally am sick and tired of all the rah rah jarhead-marine type BS. As soon as another country makes the a game about the exploits of their culturealbiet some fudge, AS ALL GAMES, and movies do. Its propaganda. Way to go double standard.

WingedFortress:
Snip

Stiffkittin:
Snip

And so it begins.

*Sigh* Look, I don't agree with either of your positions, but I respect it. I really hope this wont start something that makes everybody going off, pointing fingers, and getting riled up. Could we please keep this in the "Religion and Politics" board? It might as well have been posted there.

I find it amusing though that one of the games was using the soundtrack from Halo.

What? I was curious

EDIT: It was the Ammunition Hill one that had the Halo music

Judah Maccabee was one of the heroes in the story of Hannukah.

The untitled game sounds like a funny version of the 40 year post-exodus of Egypt lost-in-the-desert.

No clue who Ahab is. Is it Abraham? That sounds about right. What a boring story that would be...

Ammunition Hill, well, 6 Day War actually happened. You don't want to play it, that's fine, but don't start throwing out the word propaganda without any grounds. Try remaining objective. If Al-Jazeera doesn't even care about these little browser games then as an American you've got less stance on what effect it has. The Al-Jazeera network is concerned about other games though.

Edutainment can be fun, I certainly had fun playing Math Blaster as a kid.

Jumplion:

WingedFortress:
Snip

Stiffkittin:
Snip

And so it begins.

*Sigh* Look, I don't agree with either of your positions, but I respect it. I really hope this wont start something that makes everybody going off, pointing fingers, and getting riled up. Could we keep this in the "Religion and Politics" board? It might as well have been posted there.

So I should only post neutral and appeasing comments? I have no control over where this article was posted.

I wholeheartedly agree though. The topic and tone of the OP may have been ill-considered for the front page feed.

It's a good thing that the United States government would never make propaganda video games to support their military.

fnartilter:
No clue who Ahab is.

Captain Ahab was the main character in Moby Dick.

feather240:
This isn't mandatory for anyone. They have as much right to promote their own government as we have to promote our own values. If you don't want to play the game you don't have to.

This isn't a "game". Its a tool in game form used to address an age group that still responds to flashy lights, colors, and yes, videogames.

Propaganda isn't just the governments version of free speech. Its an insidious force that has been used time and time again to undermine individual rights and freedoms and is used to circumvent public opinion on hot button and important issues. It is not governments "Right" to use vast examples of social engineering in order to secure an economically appropriate future for its countries centralized power. Governments are tools of the people, not the other way around. This steps over the line of governmental awareness into outright propaganda.

Propaganda scares me. The reason why it still scares me is because not everybody is frightened by it yet. To some people, its just another form of advertising. What a slippery slope that is.

Ew.

I wouldn't touch those with a ten-foot pole.

Unless the pole had a point on the end.

KalosCast:
It's a good thing that the United States government would never make propaganda video games to support their military.

Is this sarcasm or no? Have you ever heard of America's Army?

Stiffkittin:
So I should only post neutral and appeasing comments? I have no control over where this article was posted.

That's a strawman, and I know that you know that.

Look, I'll be honest and that that I support Israel. I don't agree with every action they make, and why would I? They fuck up like most any nation, and I'd be lieing if I said the Israeli government doesn't have flaws in it (it's an incredibly convoluted system). I will be perfectly happy to discuss the situation through PM as I do enjoy a good debate every now and again, I wholeheartedly encourage you.

But I really don't think that anyone really wants yet another 10+ page argument over who should be on what land and whether this person or that person is justified. It's just not necessary

I wholeheartedly agree though. The topic and tone of the OP may have been ill-considered for the front page feed.

Hell, even if the OP did a perfectly neutral "I have no strong feelings one way or the other" news post, it'd still break out to a convoluted, 10+ flame war that will basically end with a "Get your peanut butter out of my chocolate!" "No, you get your chocolate out of my peanut butter!" "No you-! Wait, what were we arguing about again?" "Get your chocola-....wait..."

cainx10a:
heh, I might be on the palestinians side but ... history + games = awesome

And I was thinking of "re-creating" the battle for the Golan Heights after watching a certain "Greatest Tank Battle" video in arma 2, 100 IDF tanks facing off 1200 tanks and winning? <3 Arma 2.

Edit: If my PC dies from that, I probably won't be posting around here for a while > . >

Then there's BAD history/game combo, like Six Days in Fallujah or was that Gears of Fallujah?

BE CAREFUL, I used to have a pretty decent gaming rig built to play Arma 1 on very high settings and my graphics card literally exploded a few months into playing. This was when we had a rough 6k enemy combatant AI army surrounding an area, little did we realize that the mission coder had set it so that they would actually USE the vehicles.

OT: I like having historical videogames, though I can only wish they had put a little more effort into the games themselves; If we are not grabbed by a game near the beginning, there is little chance we will continue through it if we are not entertained enough.

A perfect example was The History Channel's Civil War game. I wasnt a huge Civil War buff, but I knew a little about it, primarily weapons used, but at least because of that game I can recall some more events that what I could prior.

So how long before the "OMG A GAME ABOUT WAR IS MAKING FUN OF IT AND YOU SHOULDN'T DO THAT!" and other nonsense rants like Six Days in Fallujah was subjected to?

EDIT: Less time that it took me to write this comment, apparently.

Misterpinky:
Heck, us Americans do that already. Ever played a Tom Clancy or Call of Duty game?

So do the Japanese. Remember kids, when you play Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima wants you to know that nukes are bad.

And he and his duck are super serious about that:
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Misterpinky:
Heck, us Americans do that already. Ever played a Tom Clancy or Call of Duty game?

Bias? Where?

Jumplion:

Stiffkittin:
So I should only post neutral and appeasing comments? I have no control over where this article was posted.

That's a strawman, and I know that you know that.

Wow, people sure love throwing that term around these days don't they? What happened to the good old days where literary prowess was judged by wild exaggerations flung with abandon and the raw imagination of one's hyberbole? *Sigh* That was entertainment ;P

Seriously though, it would have been a strawman fallacy if I'd actually been arguing a point. In fact I was only posing you a straightforward question. Your inference being that the thread would be better served without the conflict this topic invariably raises.

Jumplion:
Look, I'll be honest and that that I support Israel. I don't agree with every action they make, and why would I? They fuck up like most any nation, and I'd be lieing if I said the Israeli government doesn't have flaws in it (it's an incredibly convoluted system). I will be perfectly happy to discuss the situation through PM as I do enjoy a good debate every now and again, I wholeheartedly encourage you.

That's fine. I respect your opinion too. I don't hate Israel and unreservedly recognise it's right to exist. I abhor the extremism on both sides of the conflict and comiserate with all of it's victims Israeli and Palestinian. However, these settler communities on the West Bank are an important part of that extremism and if these crackpots are finding another way to ignite even more violoence and dissent in the region in support of their own goals then I feel entirely justified in calling them out on it.

The imperfection of nations and their machinations is a given, you are totally right there. You seem like a reasonable guy who wants to encourage reasonable discussion, which is great. So I know then that you didn't mean it that way; but might I suggest that your slightly patronizing first comment would have done more to inflame argument, if I were a foaming-at-the-mouth pro-Palestinan supporter?

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