What Does Blizzard’s April Fools Starcraft Prank Have Against Koreans?
As a blogger, I can’t trust any piece of news that crops up today. But there are some classic pranks, like Google “introducing” their new feature of “storing anything on Google docs” (Cloud computing? How about cloud living!), that I wish would come true. April Fools Day is really just a date to honor ingenuity; you’d need a think tank for some of the creative pranks I’ve seen so far.
This prank certainly ranks among them: Blizzard, the game developer that brought us Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo, now claims they will be rolling out Starcraft: Motion Overdrive, a new Kinect-like console game for the sci-fi series.
Combining advanced tracking hardware of modern consoles with the exciting strategy gameplay of Starcraft II, Starcraft: Motion Overdrive will allow you to experience Starcraft like never before. Use gesture-based controls to direct your forces and out-move your enemies. Challenge your friends in intense multi-actor matches either locally via split screen or online. Wave your arms in the air like you do, in fact, care.
It’s a clever slight against Microsoft and their Kinect, which claimed it would revolutionize gaming as a profoundly physical, real-life experience — when in fact, it turns out that maybe you don’t even really need to play the Kinect… it plays for you!
Blizzard has been faithful to the computer gamers which made them so successful in the first place. This mockery of motion gaming shows that the industry still has a long way to go before they’ll impress hardcore gamers.
But then we saw this fake advertisement:
Sure, I appreciate the sleeveless shirt detail (to allow for maximum arm movement, of course), the serious expression, and the darting eye movements. And Korea has been recently worried about late-night gaming, so I’ll even concede that. But does his room have to be spartan and so eerily lit? And does he really have to be playing the Zerg, so viral and grotesque?
Might Blizzard be trying to reclaim Starcraft as an American-made game, and not the Korean phenomenon it has become? With no support for a casual LAN multiplayer game environment with friends, white guys have to sweat over potentially playing Koreans on Battle.net. I suggest you read this article on Ask A Korean!, which attempts to explain why the game is so popular in Korea.
But then again, how could this be anything but a joke if the Korean player loses?
(via Ashley Seto)
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TAGS: April Fools • Blizzard • gaming • Korea • Korean entertainment • Representations of Asians in media • Starcraft
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