Tag Archives: American Revolution

Fame Day: American Literary Piracy

As I’ve already mentioned in a previous post, I’m back in school, so I feel like it’s my duty to share some awesome learning with you. After the piracy debate broke out between Evan and Gordon a little while back I settled on the perfect topic: how piracy saved American literature. Or, as we have been learning in my Canadian Literature class, how British Imperialism screwed over early Canadian writers. Quick, name 5 great Canadian writers! If you are anything like me you probably weren’t able to think up more than one or two. There are a lot more than that, by the way, you just have to look a little harder… and not necessarily in Canada.

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I Want My M16

Today, we’re going to be talking about guns.

Well, I am going to be talking about guns. I can’t speak to Evan’s convictions on the subject, other than that he favors the needler in Halo. I further understand that the word “Reporters” in our blog’s title may make my post seem like it is using journalism as a facade for promoting personal social and political views à la Fox News.

Your source for interchangeable blonde news anchors since 1996.

Despite this, the simple truth of the matter is that here at CWR, we do hold fairly strong views and don’t shy away from laying them out, be it calling out lousy comic book “artists” to demanding greater coverage of violence by the media. Granted, we have Fame/Shame Day here at CWR to more directly bash what we believe to be wrong with society and laud what we think is being done right, but the purpose of this post really isn’t either of those things. This is simply my own take on a current debate, submitted for your consideration.

Let’s get right to it.

I like guns.

And no, not in the obsessive way where I can tell you how many rounds a Beretta Px4 can hold, or why it’s important that the bullets from one hunting rifle travel marginally faster than those of another. I’ve never hunted anything bigger than a cockroach (which isn’t to say those weren’t some big roaches). I’ve never posted a photo of me and my gun on Facebook.

I don’t even own a gun.

So why do I like them? Why, in the face of all the recent atrocities committed with guns, would I voice any support for the alleged right to own a killing device?

I could spout all the old rhetoric and slogans of the gun-nuts.

If we take away guns, only bad guys will have them!”
Guns won this country’s independence!
“My right to  own a gun protects your right to complain about them!”

In addition to just being used-to-death, the simple truth of the matter is that all of those supposedly “tried-and-true” arguments have some holes in them.  There are countries out there with gun control laws more stringent than the US whose gun-related crimes are nevertheless low. Guns did help win this nation’s freedom, but so did the cannon and the battleship, neither of which could be found hanging above the average colonist’s mantle. And if we’re looking to face the facts, the same guns that supposedly protect my freedom could likewise take it away. Let the facts be faced, the gun owners of this nation are not some courageous bastion standing between me and an intrusive, all-powerful government.

So why support guns?

Because I like having a fighting chance.

Too often these debates get painted as black and white. Both sides point at each other and howl that a victory for their opponents would be on par with the rise of Cthulu.

I, for one, welcome our elder-god overlord…

Take it from any Black/Hispanic/Native American/Jewish/Etc. person living in the 1950s- access to firearms is not a guarantee of freedom, justice, and equality. And take it from someone who actually lived in a brutal dictatorship- a society without guns in no ways guarantees safety and security for you or those you care for. A gun is just a gun. It is not a magical freedom stick forged in angel tears and presented to you by the almighty. It is not an infernal, malicious, conscious beast that turns otherwise good people into psychopaths.

You’re thinking of board games

It is just a machine.

Cars kill people. Cars save people. Speaking for myself, I’d prefer to live in a world with cars. Dogs kill people. Dogs save people. I’d rather in a world with dogs. Hammers make good chairs. Hammers make lousy chairs, and I don’t care that it’s been years since I last used a hammer. For good or ill, I’d like to know that if I wanted to, I could walk into the garage and use one.

Same goes for guns.

They aren’t always safe. They aren’t always good. They don’t always protect me, but I nevertheless like to know that I can try to use them to do that.

It’s just something to consider.

This isn’t meant to offer all or even some of the answers- it’s just an alternate take on the situation I think wouldn’t kill us to discuss.

Think about it.

A Response to Kotaku’s “Why a Colonial Assassin’s Creed Makes Complete Sense (and Sounds Awesome)”

At least one spoiler present.
                                                                                                                                                                      

No matter the medium, there have always been dominant themes in literature.

I realize that today is Elisa’s day to post, but I just had to get on this Assassin’s Creed bandwagon before it was too late. To get this out of the way, I have played Assassin’s Creed II on the Xbox 360, and enjoyed it immensely. I have not yet had the chance to play its two sequels, Brotherhood or Revelations.

Kotaku and other gaming news sites have released the cover of the game, seen on the right. It’s pretty evident from this that the game will take place during the American Revolution, a far cry from the Holy Land of 1911 and Renaissance Italy. Kotaku’s article, mentioned in the title of the post, is “Why a Colonial Assassin’s Creed Makes Complete Sense (and Sounds Awesome),” and this is a point by point response to what its author, Luke Plunkett, feels about the new setting for the latest in the franchise.

THE REVOLUTION DESERVES BETTER

Plunkett’s point here is that this is an era in American history that’s taken on a “mythical status in the hearts and minds of many Americans.” He then goes on to say that there’s “very little mythical about it.”

What I think he’s trying to say is that the game will help reveal the realism behind the American Revolution, but for some reason I think that using a franchise all about how aliens are working through a group named Assassins to save the world may not be the best way of doing so.

THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE TREES

Here arises the argument that Colonial American will not have the vast cityscapes, et cetera, that the older European settings have. Plunkett reminds readers that cities like Philadelphia were actually quite large.


I question, I suppose, the very title of this particular point. Yes, there will be trees that are scalable, as seen above, but will all of them be this way? I imagine that having an entire forest of interactable objects would be difficult to pull off, but I guess that’s technology these days.

That’s all I really have to say about this. There will be, as he mentioned, churches and ship masts and things to provide those look-out points, so that really shouldn’t be a huge issue.

NATIVE AMERICANA

Yes, I entirely agree. It’s definitely very, very cool that the protagonist of this game is speculated to be, at least, half Native American. It’s a large, incredibly popular series, and it’s fantastic to see a little bit of diversity to mix up the “athletic white male protagonist” that dominates the industry.

GUNS & STEEL

Again, not a point I can argue against. There are those who say that this is a time period in which the presence of gunpowder is too large, but it’s highly debatable. Plunkett is entirely  correct when he says that smaller skirmishes were highly dependent on bayonets and swords. Native Americans, of course, often used tomahawks and bows, both of which are present in the images above.

PLENTY OF TARGETS

Another good point. A block quote will wrap up pretty well what his point is:

You’ve got established colonials. European immigrants from all corners of the continent. Local militias. The Continental Army. The British Army. Tens of thousands of Germans fighting for the British Army. The Royal Navy. The French Army. The French Navy. The Spanish Army. Slaves. Not to mention Native Americans on both sides (and stuck in the middle).

Basically, there are lots of people to kill. You are, after all, an Assassin.

SUPPORTING CAST

Leonard da Vinci appeared [as a gay man, actually] in Assassin’s Creed II, among many other historical figures. That being said, it’s entirely expected that characters such as Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, et cetera, might be making appearances.

An issue that has been brought up a good number of times is that many of America’s Founding Fathers were thought to be Freemasons. Freemasonry has often been connected to the Templars, who are the sworn enemies of the Assassins.

That being said, will this game’s protagonist be trying to assassinate well-known figures in American history? See: the following point-

AMERICA F-CK YEAH?

Look at the cover of the game. Now without bothering to make overly lengthy references to Old Spice commercials, look at it again. It’s the protagonist of an extremely popular video game franchise taking the tomahawk to a British soldier’s face. In the background flies Betsy Ross’ 13-star variant of the American flag. That seems like a loaded image, to say the least.

This is the point I’ve been waiting to get to. Allow me to, again, use a block quote to present where Plunkett is coming from:

I’ve already seen a few people complaining that this is yet another game about America, that it’s a shame to see a series that had been so un-American end up so, well, American. That to me sounds ridiculous. The America you’re sick of seeing wouldn’t be the America represented in a Colonial video game. This is that nation’s origin story, and as such will sound and feel much more European (particularly British) than anything you normally associate with electric guitars and square jaws.

Do I agree? Somewhat. Yes, to follow the story Desmond’s ancestors would have had to make it to America at some point, so I suppose this was inevitable, but did there have to be an entire game about it? Just staring at the cover makes me uncomfortable; it practically bleeds nationalism.

That being said, at the very least it’s no Homefront, the 2011 FPS that’s premise is that North Korea has invaded the US and you’re fighting to win it back. No one with any sense of international relations could see this as being possible, and the very concept is unnervingly jingoistic.

Plunkett ends his article by saying that “the guys making the game [. . .] aren’t American either.” This is true, as the game is being produced by Ubisoft Montreal. Why this studio has decided to go with this concept as well as this kind of approach to marketing the game is questionable, and one I’m interested in finding out. From a general observation I can see this as being a game that appeals to gamers in general [it’s a good series], but Americans in particular.