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article imageOp-Ed: Sony's action could affect portrayal of N. Korea in video games

By Stan Rezaee     Dec 18, 2014 in Entertainment
Christmas has been ruined for movie goers all thanks to North Korea's inability to have a sense of humor. After their hackers threatened theaters that screened 'The Interview' with acts of terrorism, Sony was forced to pull the film.
This has not been the first time the isolated nation has been featured nefariously in pop culture but this is the first time they have taken such drastic measures in response.
Despite the lack of creditability, major theaters have given in to North Korea's cultural aggression and pulled the film. This has also forced Sony to do the same and hopefully release it sometime in the future when tensions cool.
This ordeal has not only affected the release of a highly anticipated movie but it could also impact how the nation is portrayed in Western pop-culture.
Another highly anticipated title that features North Korea in a villainous manner is the video game, Homefront: The Revolution. Created by John Milus (director of Red Dawn), the series is about a unified Korea lead by Kim Jong-un having invaded and occupied America.
This followup has players establishing a resistance network and taking part in an uprising against the North Korean occupation of Philadelphia.
 Homefront: The Revolution
'Homefront: The Revolution'
Homefront wiki
Not as popular like Nazis or Russian Ultranationalists, North Korea has been one of those villains that has appeared in video games from time to time. Besides Homefront, gamers got to wreck havoc north of the Demilitarized Zone in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction or put down a rouge general in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2.
While accepted in the United States and Western Europe, the depiction of a nefarious North Korea has been a sensitive issue in Japan and South Korea. To avoid cultural problems, developers removed references to North Korea in these markets.
The actions taken by North Korea against Sony may change how Western artists try to portray the nation in future works. This could usher in an era of forced self-censorship as media outlets don't want to be harassed over depicting Kim Jong-un in a negative light.
Given that Sony is also a major force in the gaming industry thanks to the success of the PlayStation consoles, it could be speculated that they might be cautious of future tittles. Homefront: The Revolution and its release on the PlayStation 4 will be something the gaming media will need to watch for in the coming months.
Homefront: The Revolution has had its own problems with THQ having filed for bankruptcy in 2012 while Crytek had to hand-off the project to Deep Silver because of financial problems. With threats by hackers, this could be the excuse to finally give up on this series for good.
Hopefully gamers could continue the battle in 2015 or at least hear some good news at E3 2015.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about the interview, Homefront The Revolution, North korea, Pop Culture
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