The Sunday Leader

New Game Set In Sri Lankan Jungles

By Abdul H. Azeez

Ghost Recon Predator, a new game set to be released in September, chooses the jungles of Sri Lanka as its setting. The game depicts elite US forces fighting an armed terrorist force.

Even though the game doesn’t explicitly name the LTTE, it is quite obvious from the uniforms of the terrorists depicted in the game’s promotional trailer and snatches of radio conversation displayed on the screen, that it is in fact, the LTTE. Snatches of conversation describing the use of human shields and ‘not-so-innocent’ civilians seal the case.
The war is still fresh in Sri Lankan minds and the impact of such a video game on our social psyche could be unpredictable. The Sunday Leader interviewed a few people regarding their feelings on the issue and received mixed reviews.
An avid gamer said that he saw no “big deal” with it. But he added, “I don’t think it’s right to use the LTTE for it, but I can’t say that because I have killed many a Hezbollah, Vietcong and Nazi before” (in reference to other games he has played). Another person said “it is tasteless. It was a real war in which people suffered endlessly…the aftermath is still not over! What’s the big idea in making a game of it?’
A executive said it was important that the LTTE was not named. “Maybe it is only because Sri Lanka is now synonymous with jungle, guerrilla based warfare.” Opinion varied as to whether it was significant because it was the US army and not the Sri Lankan army that is involved in heroic counter terrorist fighting.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, TNA Minister M.A. Sumandiran said “I don’t think people will even (get to) know about it. Our people will not look at video games. I personally am indifferent to it, it is only a game.”
A promotional blog post described the game-play as follows: “In the game, you’ll lead your elite squad on the hunt for terrorists in the jungles of Sri Lanka. Deep behind enemy lines, your mission is to take out the insurgents before the situation gets out of hand.”
The situation described is the prevention of imminent war against Pakistan, which presumably has been misunderstood to be an enemy of the USA whereas the real enemy was lurking in Sri Lanka all along.
“You’ll encounter the enemy on his own ground; he knows the terrain better, has more allies, knows where to hide and where to attack. Surprise is on his side – he can be anywhere, he can be anyone. In a crowded street, you’ll first have to make the distinction between friend and foe and the only way to fulfill your mission is with the help of your technology and training.”
The game is in the genre of a high action third person shooter and will be only released exclusively for Playstation portable consoles. The date for release is the 30th of September.

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