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Re: <nettime> pacifism in video games
Hari Kunzru on Tue, 18 Apr 2000 16:45:12 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> pacifism in video games


The Japanese Govt seem to think that video games are potentially tools of
war. The UK daily The Guardian for Mon Apr 17th runs a story 'Games machine
poses military threat':

"Japanese trade officials have decided that Sony's hugely popular
Playstation 2 is capable of inflicting far more harm on the health of
international society than simply encouraging millions of teenagers to
enjoy a misspent youth.

The country's international trade and industry ministry plans to restrict
exports of the video game console because it contains components which
could be used in missile guidance systems... Under Japanese trade laws it
is illegal to export restricted products worth more than 50,000 yen
(300)... according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, those who break the law
face up to five years in prison or a maximum fine of 2m yen

Military experts were quoted as saying that the PS2 contains a graphics
processing facility quick enough to help certain types of missile, such as
the Tomahawk, towards their target..."

The story is bylined Justin McCurry, Kobe, and seems to be following on
from something in a Japanese Daily. However I think it's best taken with a
pinch of salt, because Sony Playstation marketing people in the UK are
experts at guerilla publicity - it's not beyond the realm of possibility
that they have engineered it in some way - and the idea that a PS2 is so
powerful its illegal is calculated to appeal to their core market of
teenage boys ... 

Still, a zeitgeist moment, and if true, an interesting moment in the
history of the military-entertainment complex.

best

Hari Kunzru

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