As a lifelong gamer, I’ve often wondered how those who share their nationality with video game bad guys feel when they are confronted with their on-screen countrymen’s antics. Being a native Brit, more often than not I’m able to sit back and have my ego massaged when I play my games as my countrymen are usually portrayed as, or are at least in league with, the heroes and champions of justice. (Although I consent that U.S. directors’ penchant for nefarious villains with English accents sometimes provides us with exceptions to the rule.) But what of all the German gamers who are tasked with mowing down their fellow nationals in literally dozens of World War II shooters? How many times have Russians had to sit through lazy depictions of vodka-swilling madmen in leather coats holding the detonators to nuclear weapons? As Disney’s latest movie Wreck it Ralph taught us in its own cutesy way, it’s not much fun being the designated bad guy all the time.
During his recent trip to Myanmar, our reporter Go decided to scratch his game itch by calling into a video game arcade and seeing what kind of electronic distractions the locals were spending their change on. Little did he know, however, that he was about to come face to face with an arcade cabinet decorated with cartoon images of deranged Japanese soldiers, just begging to be shot in the head.