El Juego De Ender?

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Among his manifold qualities, Hugo Chavez is apparently an Orson Scott Card fan. He thinks America is developing video games that will train its young people for a Venezuelan land invasion.

Chavez supporters in Venezuela's National Assembly suspect the makers of "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames" are doing Washington's bidding by drumming up support among Americans for an eventual move to overthrow Chavez.

"I think the U.S. government knows how to prepare campaigns of psychological terror so they can make things happen later," Congressman Ismael Garcia said, citing the video game developed by Los Angeles-based Pandemic Studios.

Julian Sanchez tackled Chavez's brand of governance back in 2005; I discussed Latin America's leftist rulers earlier this year.

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  1. I guess the folks who want to get rid of violent video games have found a brother in arms.

  2. I love video games. I’ve played them since they were invented and I still do. Mercenaries is not much of a game. If you get the codes, you can get weapons that are so powerful, you can literally destroy the entire playmap. So if you like running around destroying everything in your path – Mercenaries is your game. If you like real battle feel, Star Wars Battlefront I & II are the best.

    JMJ

  3. Yeah, the least Chavez could have done was mention a game that has it’s design rooted in real military strategy and not comic book insanity like Mercenaries. Maybe something like Full Spectrum Warrior or Ghost Recon. Bah!

  4. Chavez is so obsessed with the US, and so nearly irrelevant to the daily lives of most Americans, that it’s not surprising that this divide has clearly driven him past the brink of insanity.

    Of course, he’s right in tune with the unhinged screeching that comes from our domestic left-wing loons, but so is the rhetoric of much of the hate-America crowd around the world.

    <yawn> There’ll be a junta, or an election, and Chavez will disappear off the world stage in due course.

  5. Why would the government need to mobilize mass support for an invasion? Clearly, if Mercenaries is a training tool… all we need is one guy with a few rocket launchers and he can level the entire country.

  6. Clean Hands,

    Chavez is desparately trying to do something, anything to keep his people from noticing that he is turning what was once a pretty decent country into a Latino Marxist hellhole. Blaming everything on the gringo is a pretty standard way to do that.

  7. Ultimatum: Surrender to us, or we’ll make Venezuela into the next Grand Theft Auto game. Tremble, and submit.

    JMJ, ever play Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic? I love that game. And I rather like the sequel, too, though it suffered from being rushed out (especially in the story line).

  8. I think you’re exactly right. Same tactic has worked spectacularly for Cuba.

    I’ll reiterate something I said a while ago — I wonder if it would make sense to quit imposing trade sanctions, etc. on these tinpot dictators?

    From the pure philosophical standpoint, there’s a strong argument to be made that sanctions represent a gov’t interference in private market transactions.

    And from a practical standpoint, they provide cover for the depredations of a Marxist approach to governing, as failures can be (and are) ascribed completely to the sanctions.

  9. Chavez has no reason to be paranoid of ill-intent from the US Federal government.

    None.

    The US has never tried to overthrow him or any other democratically elected South American lefty leader. Rummy has never compared him to Hitler. We’ve never invaded another country for dodgy reasons and have always keep clear of internal politics in the region. Oil does not interest us. We’d be pleased to see Mexico elect a leftwing president.

  10. It’s interesting that in a region supposedly brimming with anti-Americanism that here in Mexico the National Action Party (PAN) used Hugo Chavez in a successful negative-ad campaign that kneecaped the leftist frontrunner (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador). Chavez unsettles a lot of Mexicans and he’s viewed as something out of the country’s dark past.

  11. I’m with you, PL. I like the first one a little more – same with BAttlefront, to be honest. The sequels felt more like modules.

    Hey, if you guys like real shoot-em-ups, check out a game called Serious Sam. Huge platforms and thousands of enemies endlessly rushing at you. What a rush! For the slow stuff, I just loves the Worms games.

    (Yeah, I know, I’m pushing 40 and I’m still like a kid…)

    JMJ

  12. In SW:KOTOR, I liked playing the light side best. Though I did enjoy an evil moment in SW:KOTOR II when, playing a dark side character, I used a Jedi mind trick to get two guys to jump into oblivion.

  13. I think you’re exactly right, John. Same tactic has worked spectacularly for Cuba.

    I’ll reiterate something I said a while ago — I wonder if it would make sense to quit imposing trade sanctions, etc. on these tinpot dictators?

    From the pure philosophical standpoint, there’s a strong argument to be made that sanctions represent a gov’t interference in private market transactions.

    And from a practical standpoint, they provide cover for the depredations of a Marxist approach to governing, as failures can be (and are) ascribed completely to the sanctions.

  14. Doesn’t Chavez know about America’s Army?

  15. Doesn’t Chavez know about America’s Army?

  16. Ah yes – the ol’ comic book view of the world!

    The Evil Doctor Hugo has used his satellite mind control beam to take over Venezuela!

    Oh, but Mexicans know better! LOL!

    What the hell is you peoples’ problem with Chavez? He means well, he’s done some good things with HIS PEOPLES’ NATURAL RESOURCES, he’s popular, popularly elected, and has made strides in FINALLY bringing some peace and prosperity to Latin America (unlike the horrific endless abuse they suffered under our hegemony).

    Grow up.

    JMJ

  17. Ah yes – the ol’ comic book view of the world!

    The Evil Doctor Hugo has used his satellite mind control beam to take over Venezuela!

    Oh, but Mexicans know better! LOL!

    What the hell is you peoples’ problem with Chavez? He means well, he’s done some good things with HIS PEOPLES’ NATURAL RESOURCES, he’s popular, popularly elected, and has made strides in FINALLY bringing some peace and prosperity to Latin America (unlike the horrific endless abuse they suffered under our hegemony).

    Grow up.

    JMJ

  18. PL, I’m going to check that out. I did hear great things about the Knights games. Good stuff!

    JMJ

  19. JMJ, I figured you wouldn’t be able to help yourself or too long. Figures that you would speak up in favor of this thug.

    …he’s done some good things with HIS PEOPLES’ NATURAL RESOURCES…

    Okay, I know you often fail to understand the concept of property ownership, so I’ll set that aside for the moment. But could you cite an example or two of these “good things?” Inquiring minds want to know…

  20. JMJ, I figured you wouldn’t be able to help yourself for too long. Figures that you would speak up in favor of this thug.

    …he’s done some good things with HIS PEOPLES’ NATURAL RESOURCES…

    Okay, I know you often fail to understand the concept of property ownership, so I’ll set that aside for the moment. But could you cite an example or two of these “good things?” Inquiring minds want to know…

  21. Nationalizing your oil supply is the way to build a better society? Doesn’t seem to have worked for Mexico, Saudi Arabia, or Russia…

    (btw, does anyone know offhand how the Norwegian oil industry operates? Is it privatized or socialized? If it’s socialized, it probably amounts to the one instance where this model has actually worked…)

  22. JMJ, I suspect you have some of The People’s cash in your wallet. You can tell its The People’s cash because it has the government’s name written on it. Pls. turn this cash over to its rightful owner immediately.

    Thank you. That is all.

  23. Chavez can really bring out the trolls. I am sure JMJ is over on the thread about the North Korean restaurants talking about how the Kim Jong Ill “means well, he’s done some good things with HIS PEOPLES’ NATURAL RESOURCES, he’s popular, popularly elected, and has made strides in FINALLY bringing some peace and prosperity to Latin America (unlike the horrific endless abuse they suffered under our hegemony).”

  24. Kim John Il was popularly elected? He’s brought peace and prosperity to the region?

    Huh-wuzza?

    The myth of the monolithic global left is so 1950s.

  25. Cleanhands,

    I’m not a fan of the guy but he has done some good things and is a better alternative to the oligarchs who were in power before him.

    A couple things on why he is popular in Venezuela:

    They’ve decentralized the welfare state so more money makes it to poor and rural communities and turned over authority over how that money is spent to the locals getting the money. Its not perfect and there is still corruption, etc. but you’ve seen things like literacy rates improve considerably amoung the poor since he came to power, access to healthcare for the poor has improved, and the poverty rate which doubled from the early eighties until his crew came to power under the old guard the US seems to favour have started to come down as well. They have stopped cooperating in the War on Drugs and Chavez has taken on several of the trade unions. Urban land reform along the lines DeSoto has called for.

    Things he has done badly:

    Infrastructure is crumbling, debt is rising, rising taxes on oil companies, etc.

  26. Joe,

    If you want to take ownership for what JMJ says as being from the left be my guest. I wasn’t really commenting on the left as much as I was JMJ. But, if you agree with him and are a big Chavez fan don’t let me stop you.

    BTW, read anything by Bruce Cummings and you will find out there are realy people who beleive those very things you list.

  27. “Take ownership” of what, John? I’ve never seen JMJ write anything even remotely similar to what you assume he believes about Kim Jong Il. Hence, my mocking you for assuming that he simply must believe those things, because (I suppose) your gut tells you that he must.

    But there are, no doubt, a handful of people who believe such idiocies. Sadly, there is a much larger group, including yourself, you believe those idiots are even remotely representative of liberals or leftists as a whole.

  28. Gabriel,

    “The vast majority?” “Starving TO DEATH?”

    Would you care to take another stab, or are you going to stick with the assertion that an eight-digit number of people are a few weeks away from expiring from malnutrition?

  29. Hugo Chavez is nothing more than Castro’s dildo.

  30. spur, I’ll note that in Castro’s Cuba, literacy rates are the primary thing I hear cited as an indication of the wonders he’s achieved.

    “Aside from the beatings, hasn’t he provided well for you, Mrs. Smith?”

  31. And No Joe, I don’t think JMJ really supports the Kims, I was being a smartass. Frankly I am not sure what the hell JMJ really beleives and I don’t think he knows either.

  32. Chavez is not totally off base here. Take a look at the mission statement of this .

  33. anon, what does this have to do with Chavez’ pseudo-paranoid ravings? (Note that I do not believe for a minute that Chavez is actually paranoid… this is strictly to bolster the image of him as standing up to the eeeeevil gringos.)

  34. Soldiers are using video-game-like technology to prepare for real battles. Is it far-fetched that such technology is developed to train soldiers to execute plans for invading Venezuela?

    BTW, Clean Hands, how is it going with Gadhafi? Is he still a raving lunatic or did he suddenlly gain wisdom when he openned Lybia’s oil fields to US companies?

  35. Oh how I wish I could be proud that my government was as machiavelian and *competent* as it is in Chaves’ fantasies.

  36. Cleanhands,

    I mentioned 10 things Chavez has done 1/2 way decently and you take it back to Cuba and literacy. Dumbass.

    My point is that Chavez and Venezuala isn’t a black and white issue — he is doing some positive stuff and some negative stuff and that overall IMHO he is better than the crooks he took over from.

    My problem with libertatians; as a gungho libertarian myself,is that they are smug bastards that tend to see Chavez and Evo and dismiss them outright because some of their supporters are leftist cvnts when in actual fact the issue, the leader, and their supporters are more muddied and complicated than any central opinion making could ever grasp. I would include so called hip and amoral writers here at Reason and not just crackers like you. I’m not calling you a libertarian btw if you happen to classify yourself as something else.

  37. Venezuela needs its own video games to counter America’s.

    One great thing Chavez has done is put politically reliable people in charge of the oil fields. Oil output is declining raising its value on the world market and hastening the rise of alternatives.

    If he puts his political operatives in charge of the rest of the economy things will be really swell.

    Think of Cuba. Its economy has changed by a factor of 10 since Castro took over in ’59. Unfortunately that was a decrease.

    Chavez may not be able to do as well. He still has oil.

  38. spur, I’ll note that in Castro’s Cuba, literacy rates are the primary thing I hear cited as an indication of the wonders he’s achieved.

    I understand that Cuba already had nearly universal literacy before Castro. I’m not absolutely sure of that, but it is a fact that Cuba had the one of the highest standards of living in Latin America and that under Castro things have remained fairly static compared to the rest of the region.

  39. The main wonder that Castro has acheived is that a sizable number of American intellectuals view him as a fellow intellectual.

    And, as everyone knows, all the world’s problems would disappear if only we were ruled by intellectuals.

  40. Cuba had pretty major political problems before Castro, but it was a relatively wealthy nation. Considering that the Russians had to pour many billions of dollars into Cuba to prop it up, there’s nothing much to be impressed about in what’s happened since then. Castro was and is a tyrant and a pig. The people who embrace him scare me, because those are the kinds of people who fall for cults of personality in the first place. Somebody has to let someone like Hitler, Mao, Stalin, et al. get power in the first place, after all. Making excuses for people who have a record of violating human rights and doing other bad things is not very smart. Or good.

  41. Interesting blogentry on crony capitalism in Latin America. Synopsis: the people should demand less cronyism, not less capitalism.

  42. Cronyism and corruption are HUGE factors in keeping most Third World countries in the Third World.

  43. And they also radicalize people against legit capitalism (free markets and competition), causing the pendulum to swing very far from the mark.. One wonders how many oscillations it will take until sanity and Reason set in.

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