(UPDATE: The ad has been removed; apparently IW didn’t notice the acronym, which I kind of think is bullshit, but I’m glad action was taken.)
Via Kotaku, a new ad went up on developer Infinity Ward’s YouTube page for the upcoming Modern Warfare 2. The ad features an in-game model of Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies “speaking out” PSA-style against grenade spamming multiplayer tactics. Along with using misogynist slur “pussies”, at the end of the ad is a caption saying the PSA was done for a fake organization called “Fight Against Grenade Spam”, aka FAGS. In one stupid video, Infinity Ward reinforces misogyny and homophobia and condones the openly homophobic atmosphere of online gaming where such words are used all too often.
Here is a transcript for those who can’t access the video:
[Video opens with in-game footage of a player named “BluntTrauma” (whose gamerpic is a pot leaf) killing another player with a headshot from a sniper rifle.]
Male Voice Over: Let’s take a break from the action to get a word from our sponsor.
[Cole Hamels game model, in fatigues, armor, and a red Phillies cap, closes the door on a Jeep and walks toward the camera.]
Hamels: Hi, I’m Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. And I’m here today to talk to you about something close to my heart: random grenades. Have you ever found yourself just walking down the street, minding your own business, when BAM! You look down and see a deadly explosive device attached to your uniform? I have, and let me tell you, it’s not cool. So be cool, and avoid random grenades. They’re for pussies.
[A grenade thrown from off-screen sticks to the front of Hamels’s uniform; Hamels looks shocked; a ton more grenades cover him.]
Hamels: What the fuck?
[Hamels explodes. A black screen with white text reads: “Funding Provided By: Fight Against Grenade Spam.”]
VO: Brought to you by: Fight Against Grenade Spam.
And I’m pretty sure the joke about walking down the street only to be attacked by a grenade is totally hilarious to people living in actual warzones, who actually have to worry about being killed by explosives.
More at Hellforge, including an interesting quote from an Infinity Ward dev about how they take responsibility for their marketing. Oh, really?
Vorpal Bunny Ranch has a powerful post about personal experiences with this word.
Deirdra Kiai has a related post about what is truly “edgy.”
ETA2: Sessler’s Soapbox on the issue; Adam explains the precise problems rather well, making the distinction between simple swearing and words that are bad because they marginalize groups of people.
ETA3: Another post on the issue by Amanda Phillips at HASTAC.