Spider-Man: State Actor, Palantir Contractor

Sony's New Game Turns Spider-Man Into A Cop And It's No Fun

So far the primary objective boils down to Help The Cops. Not just any cops, either, but the NYPD specifically, because the game takes place in a true-to-life rendering of New York City. It's dumb to expect video games to be responsible reflections of real life, but it is also impossible, for me at least, to not feel some ickiness about the game forcing me into cahoots with even a fictionalized version of the NYPD, an organization that routinely oppresses some of the most vulnerable residents of the city I live in.

I'm not grasping for as many straws as it may appear. Spider-Man doesn't just help the cops by catching armed robbers and putting deranged super villains in jail, he helps them maintain a high-tech, citywide surveillance network. [...] But it isn't strictly a game mechanic, it's also a narrative choice, and one that comes with some pretty obvious real-life parallels. The NYPD buying cutting edge equipment and software from a shady tech company owned by a billionaire with, uh, maniacal tendencies so that it can monitor and collect data on citizens is a dystopian yet sensible video game plot point. It's also literally something that happened in the real New York City. [...]

Again, this is how the first few hours of the game works, and maybe there is a forthcoming plot twist in which Spider-Man realizes that he no longer wants to be an agent of the state. All I know is that it kind of sucks to play a game in which Spider-Man, in the process of beating up some drug dealers, taunts them by yelling, "If you just got real jobs you wouldn't have to work so hard at being criminals!"

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4 Responses:

  1. Issac says:

    There is an eviction missing later in the game where all his stuff is thrown in the trash and he’s not even mad.

    All he wants to do is save one flash drive.

  2. Pavel says:

    I started reading this and began to roll my eyes, until I actually got to the meat of the argument, and started nodding along.

    I submitted this to a few cesspools online, and I don't think any of the commenters even got past the headline.

  3. ennui says:

    "The New York City Sheriff’s Office—a division of the Department of Finance—was using the technology to track illegal cigarette importation rings and “developing their own in-house intelligence team,” chief analytics officer Michael Flowers wrote."

    Is this the comic where Batman and Spiderman team up to take down those guys selling loosies on the street?

    Also, is Bloomberg, reclusive billionaire, actually Batman?

  4. Fyxzquist MacLuyrrican says:

    Spiderman, local artisinal superfood toast stockist and refillable apple juice carbuoy fans of New York.
    Spiderman, sensor repairperson for corporate operators of FD SaaS.
    Spiderman: Union and Non-Union Heavy Equipment Repair Safety Service; Limits To Growth Greenpoint.
    Spiderman: Just One Day When All News Editors In The City Orgasm.
    SpiderMan! The Cure Will Tear It Apart!
    ArachnidGuy: 1 Billion Dollar Raise; Get Schmidty In Here

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