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[PATV] Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - Extra Credits Season 3, Ep. 13: Call of Juarez: The Cartel

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited June 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
image[PATV] Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - Extra Credits Season 3, Ep. 13: Call of Juarez: The Cartel

This week, we further examine the "lazy design" we discussed last week by picking apart a specific title: Call of Juarez: The Cartel. <br /> Come discuss the topic with us in the <a href=""; target="_blank">forums</a>!

Read the full story here

Dog on


  • chavezheraschavezheras Registered User
    Having just discovered Extra Credits, I've been working my way though its backlog and I have to say: this is one of the best episodes I've seen yet. Very well researched and surprisingly earnest in a way that is often lost even in specialised media. As a Mexican gamer I feel weirdly vindicated.

  • patuconpatucon Registered User
    excellent 2 episodes.. your thoughts can be applied to all mass media, only through advice like this can we create a more critical consiousness and maybe a more in touch public

  • DAISHIDAISHI Registered User
    This is amazing. A real note of the racism that still pervades the gaming industry. As a third generation Mexican American with a PhD living near the border, I am witness to the realities of gaming, of the drug war, of racism, and the products (such as this game) that come out of all this mess. It's a shame that so many approaches to race come down to "Minority = Bad" .

  • shoedynnshoedynn Registered User
    edited July 2012
    Very well spoken and insightful. The subject of racism in video games is a prevalent issue that needs to be brought to light more often. I thank you for bringing the subject up, because it needs to be said, and heard

    shoedynn on
  • aleatharheaaleatharhea Registered User
    This is really, really good review and commentary. I'm going to watch previous episodes now.

  • KyronicKyronic Registered User
    I've never wanted to punch a video game in the face before. And I don't feel too fond of the developers either.

  • BenDogg30BenDogg30 Registered User new member
    Dude, what the fuck is this shit?? Why can't people just enjoy a game for a) the work that goes into it, and b) the fact that it's JUST ENTERTAINMENT!? You want facts, you pick up an encyclopaedia and learn yourself to death! You think this game is racist? Go try a little game called Grand Theft Auto! You think this game desensitises violence? Play fucking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and see how many bodies litter the ground after 2 minutes of play! Don't quit your day job, retard!
  • kingcethkingceth Registered User regular
    @BenDogg30 This game is based on real events. Modern Warfare isn't, and what can be related to fact is researched. Grand Theft Auto is a humor game. Call of Juarez puts forward these points as if fact, despite it being a huge real world problem.

    Dropping the "n" word in GTA isn't a real world problem. It is not stating a fact. It never said the in-game mexican cartels (this is as far as my knowledge goes) were "kidnapping american women and selling them to mexican men" which as the video stated, was completely and blatantly wrong and entirely propaganda based. That's the kind of crap that you hear on FOX News, not what we want to see coming from a product of our medium.

    Mowing people down in a Russian airport in MW2 is not a real world problem. It was not stating fact. That event in the game was also not "just because," but was setting a tone in the game and was used as a major plot point for the rest of the series. That was not pointless massacre, it was a key plot point, and *you were not required to shoot them*. You did not fail if you did not kill civilians. There also wasn't an achievement for mowing down 40 of them, meaning an argument can not even be made for killing them. And at no point did they state incorrect information about any topics they dealt with, mostly because the topics were not real.

    And to put it in short, the reason this topic specifically deserves a certain level of honor is because of the things that happened to the two brave men massacred in the following video. The deaths start at 3:08 in the video. I know the title bar is off putting, but scroll down to the video and listen to the guy with the knife death, you can still hear him breathing through his trachea:

    That's why this game is so incredibly offensive. These men died brutal deaths trying to bring the truth out on the topic, and the little bit they did were disgraced by the thousands who bought this game. If you're looking for extra disgust, look at the comments and some of the things they said about it. I don't ever get emotionally affected by videos or games like this (exclusion of killing Mordin in Mass Effect 3) but this one made me sick to my stomach the rest of the day. Not for the gore, but for the fact that the threat of this occurring even exists.

    Call of Juarez more or less belittles this by not taking the time to get things right and it's offensive. If your game is about an event, you need to do your research.

  • kingcethkingceth Registered User regular
    Want to amend my last: The link is VERY NSFW and VERY gruesome. Not recommended for those with weak stomachs. It's incredibly upsetting, I don't think any game has been able to depict such an experience before (although a bit morbidly, I await to see the day where games as a medium can push these emotions).

  • Alighieri71Alighieri71 Registered User new member
    Not trying to dogpile on @BenDogg30 but I gotta agree with @kingceth and the Extra Credits team here.

    We call these games but honestly, there is a lot more at stake here. If I made a movie framing the same lies that this game perpetuates, I'd have my ass handed to me by the public at large. Same if it was a novel, if it was a comment on a radio show. We, as consumers, have a duty to call out bullshit.

    When a game comes right out to feed us bigotry and misinformation like this, we need to judge it with the same standards that we hold any other art or media form. "It's just a game" shouldn't be our defense.

    I may not like CoD or GTA but at least the violence came with a reason, whether it was to forward the plot or it was a part of the tone. This is just plain laziness. It's obvious that Techland approached the research of this Drug War with the same attitude of an 8th Grader with a paper to submit the very next morning.

    I hope that when people google for this game, this page and this video show up first, just as a warning for everyone else to turn and never come back.

  • DrShotgunDrShotgun Registered User new member
    After watching this I hope the guys that made Spec ops make the next game on the Mexican drug wars.It will probably be the EXACT opposite of this.
  • rainbowhyphenrainbowhyphen Registered User regular
    @DrShotgun: I am literally salivating at the very idea.

  • BugsinspaceBugsinspace Registered User regular
    I was brought here by cracked, and have left a post there thanking them for it. I am LOVING this show, making my way through it atm. Keep up the great work guys! Here, have a bucketful of undying praise.

    Quoting Alighieri71 below

    "I hope that when people google for this game, this page and this video show up first, just as a warning for everyone else to turn and never come back."

    We should definitely try and make sure this is exactly what happens.

  • CaptainBearpuncherCaptainBearpuncher Registered User regular
    Wow BenDogg30, you're quite the pariah. And with good reason. What you have written is the biggest load of horseshit ever. The fact that you would defend a game like this speaks volumes about you as a human being. I hope you don't go around calling yourself a gamer because frankly, you don't deserve the tag. Especially not after the statement "Who cares, it's just a game?" And yes, I am attacking you because I will NOT sit idly by while you spout your nonsense. I do not tolerate stupidity. Especially not the type where you attack others due to it. I am tired of us real gamers getting a bad rep because of people like you. People who settle for mediocrity in games. People who will not defend games as the true art that they are (or at least can be.) People who don't demand honesty from their games. People who drag our reputations through the mud by being lazy, reactionary, bigoted or bullying.

    The rest of you can do as you wish, but I do not condone BenDogg's words. He has every right to say whatever he wishes, and I have every right to call him out on it.

  • mr.tanenmr.tanen Registered User new member
    even though i don't totally agree with the points put forward on the video, i appraise the people that made is written with a very mature mind, which sadly is not the standard in the game industry, and, as it's stated, is mainly because of sheer lazyness and utter disrespect for both the players and the people and the matters it depicts
    i share part (and only part) of BenDogg30's opinions. i'm not so in favour of dealing with real-life issues while trying to kick back and relax when playing games...i mean, i'm not saying these aspects shouldn't be approached at all and overall avoided (that'd be really, again, immature and lazy, e.g. sexuality in gaming), but i wouldn't like it to become ANOTHER way of getting across certain ways of thinking or viewing things. you'd guess we have plenty of it with the film and music industry, and that's great, and a few games would be fine, but it strikes me that it'd be too easy for it to become ridden with such
    what i'm trying to say is that it's high time for the game developers to realise that they are responsible for all sort of aspects regarding to their products...and that means no oversimplfying real-life events, especially when they deal with suffering and wrongs. they are still entitled to have opinions on certain subjects, but they aren't journalists or professors, they should stay as far away from propaganda as possible

    if tl/dr: In brief, they don't have to teach (they can try), but they definitely mustn't misinform!

  • hackersremixhackersremix Registered User
    I have to say, while its not a fun or easy subject, you talked about it in a mature and informative way. I expected less coherency and more rage, but yall all made it through and well done for that.

  • skippy1121skippy1121 Registered User
    my first video and totally off topic but does he sound like a south park character to anyone else

  • MistressKanaMistressKana Registered User regular
    THIS is why I watch Extra Credits. For thier smart and reasonable methods of taking apart absolute vile and disgraceful trash like this, without destroying thier own argument with tons of rage propeled ranting. I hope the developers of this game are shamed out of the industry.

  • MastaDacoMastaDaco Registered User new member
    Wow.. seriously?!?!.. i do agree with BenDogg30 (and i am hispanic/black myself)

    i find it utmost ridiculous that people are going to whine about a game.. i mean they are just pixels being shot.. COLORED PIXELS!.. and would it be good if you get the achievement if you shot mixed people?.. or a white gang?, then probably some other people would make a problem out of it or maybe no one would say something but then again.. it would be just pixels.. sigh..

    the moment this becomes a problem is when the people make a problem out of it!

    a game should just be made to kickback and relax and i don't need to be told a real life story everytime i buy a game, cause in this case i honestly don't feel like learning the history of the drug trade of mexico if i start my xbox, if i wanted to do that i would probably go on the internet and watch some documentary's.

    you see, stuff like this is what ruins the game industry, people getting offended because of stuff that they shouldn't be getting offended in the first place!.

    i call this Politically Correct non sense ;).

  • erecktshawnerecktshawn Registered User new member
    I've been doing a back to back marathon of you guys for a week now since the beginning and you're only getting better and better as I go. I love the fact that you tackle games and the real issues/responsibilities they carry. Keep on going!

  • XanKortalXanKortal Registered User new member
    edited March 2013
    You must be new here.
    "Giving games more attention to detail is not going to make them worse"
    "The biggest threat to games is not people caring too much. But rather people not caring."

    XanKortal on
  • WarpZoneWarpZone Registered User regular
    They're not saying "Call of Juarez should be taken off the market." They're saying "Call of Juarez should have told it like it is, instead of making up a bunch of bullshit that sounds okay to an uninformed audience but grossly distorts the meaning of the actual conflict if it were true."

    As a hispanic/black individual, wouldn't you RATHER play a game LIKE Call of Juarez except featuring a heroic hispanic/black lead character who fights to save his family, free his country, and protect his way of life against all comers, whether it's criminal gangs, a corrupt government, or invading foreign troops? I don't even know which side of the border you live on, but it doesn't matter. The basic ideals I just described work either way. It's kind of a fucking universal human motivation.

    You can HAVE a hispanic/black heroic lead who does the right thing for the right reasons. You can HAVE enemy factions who are basically good people, but they have bad intel or have corrupt leadership. You can HAVE a game that talks honestly about what's actually going on in the Mexican drug war without outright REVERSING THE ROLES just to make America blameless in the conflict.

    A good writer can make this stuff work. And he could make it work whether the hero of the game is American or Mexican. Soldier or regular dude caught in the middle. That's the game you and all hispanic/black gamers DESERVED to be able to play.

    Why the fuck would you settle for just another half-assed Call of Duty knockoff where everything is twisted around so that hispanic/blacks are the BAD GUYS?

    You deserve better man.

  • dead.juicedead.juice Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I've always avoided Extra Credit until now, figuring it for something more pretentious and less informative.
    This is an amazing first episode for me, and I will be checking out more Extra Credit from now on.

    dead.juice on
  • ManuelManuel Registered User new member
    I am an ex soldier in México, thanks for what you said here, trust me, is worst, the corruption and the impunity is horrible, I saw and made things I can´t change, but I try to make a difference, but at the end we still in war and we don´t see an end on this. Is hard, I wanted to be a soldier, but in this war and in this country there is no hereos.

  • tombombodiltombombodil Registered User regular
    It's great to read comments of people watching for the first time. James is brilliant (he does the writing for the episodes) and I have never read or listened to a show that is simultaneously as accessible, intellectual and evenhanded as this show. They never make any assumption and just, yeah. I could talk for hour about why this show is one of the greatest things on the internet, but you can already see it :)

  • tombombodiltombombodil Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    @dead.juice welcome aboard, all the episodes are like this: brilliant, down to earth and even handed. Also the forum community over at is really great.

    tombombodil on
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