New Video Game 'Slaughters' Beck, Palin, O'Reilly

Wednesday, 07 Sep 2011 11:14 PM

By David A. Patten

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An angry backlash from conservatives is looming against a video game company in Brooklyn, N.Y., that has created a violent first-person shooter game targeting conservatives. Called “Tea Party Zombies Must Die,” the game enables users to bludgeon Bill O’Reilly with a crow bar, shoot Glenn Beck with a semi-automatic weapon, or stab former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with a knife.

The game was created by StarvingEyes Advergaming, and is the first video-game it offers to viewers who log onto the company’s website. The firm apparently creates online video games for promotional purposes, and its site says its clients include Pepsi, NASCAR, History Channel, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, and GM.

Some researchers contend that first-person shooter games, where the user wields weapons to attack human targets, encourage actual acts of violence by helping a potential gunman to visualize and practice an attack. Virginia Tech mass murderer Cho Seung Hui, for example, was a devotee of first-person shooter (FPS) games.

Lt. Col. David Grossman, a former West Point psychology professor who has written several books on violence in the media, calls FPS games "murder simulators."

Beck blasted the video game on his radio program Wednesday, stating: “This is one of the most violent things I’ve ever seen, where you’re walking in, you’re the zombie hunter and you’re walking in the front door of FOX News and you’re shooting me and Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann and Sean Hannity, you’re just shooting all of us or you’re cutting us in half with a machete.”

The Media Research Center (MRC) organization also blasted the game, with content editor Stephen Gutowski posting: “While it is disturbing to see that some people believe it would be fun to mow down your political opponents, it's also quite that odd that an advertising company with a diverse portfolio of high profile corporate clients from Meow Mix to Pepsi would create a game to allow those people to do just that.”

Other high-profile conservatives singled out for mayhem in the video game include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News commentator Brit Hume, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and the Koch Brothers.

According to MRC, the owner of StarvingEyes stated that the video game is a “personal project,” and writes that he is not worried it will affect his client base.

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