Past Entertainment Articles.
Article for the week of 4/14/08
Pope's U.S. visit inspires video games.
The pope's recent visit to the US has inspired a bunch of Catholics to continue neglecting birth-control and things like that, but a considerably weirder side-effect is the way it has influenced the video game industry. One could have hoped it would influence Hollywood, but that would mean some sort of almost new idea would come out of that place, and that seems absolutely impossible, and would require some form of major miracle, and, well, I guess the Pope felt lazy (I could say perhaps he does not do miracles, but that would lead to a whole slew of troubles).
No, instead all of a sudden most games no longer have plots revolving around crazy Russians selling off nukes to the Arabs and American special forces/mercenaries/small yapping dogs going out to stop the evil men, instead the games take on a different approach now. The expansion to “Call of Duty 4”, “Pope n' Warfare”, instead involves the crazy Russians selling the equipment for the Arabs to kidnap the pope, and a group of marines and special forces going out to rescue his holiness, using a slew of guns and being hit by grenades at the most inopportune moments while killing endless hordes of respawning enemies.
A similar plot can be found in “Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter: We're not going to name them just Ghost Recon anymore, because nobody liked them until GRAW anyway”, which involves Mexicans assaulting Los Angeles across the border to kidnap the Pope and make him use his religious powers to declare that the U.S needs to lose the war. It is not only a great addition to the franchise, but also a rather rare commentary on religious fundamentalism gone wrong, something Tom Clancy things usually do not dabble with, as they might interfere with all that propaganda stuff, the other exception to this being “Splinter Cell: Double Agent”, with Sam “Can I get a personality now” Fisher. Exactly whether this plot will somehow include not only Mr. Fisher but also that wondrous organisation known as Rainbow, or if they are too busy grappling down buildings and stuff is unknown at this time.
On a lighter note, RockStar and Take Two have already declared their intention to make the Popemobile an addition to GTA4, as part of a downloadable micro-transaction, and promise it will be better than the horse-armour for Oblivion. Bethesda, on their end, have already declared that their own horse-pope armour will be way better than their horse-armour, but nobody seems to care about anything they say unless it has to do with Fallout 3 nowadays anyway.
So what does this all mean, besides causing controversy and upstaging the movie-business? A lot of games have always been good at feeling the changes in the world, notably the Command & Conquer series, which does not need the Pope as long as they have Kane, but perhaps he will instead feature in a potential sequel to Command & Conquer Generals, although we can hope not.
All in all, besides upstaging Hollywood, simply adding the Pope to video games might mean nothing much at all, except some free PR for the Vatican.
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