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Hamels involved in video game controversy

Nov 10, 2009, 12:50 AM EDT

The biggest hit of the holidays won’t be a Roy Halladay trade. No, it will be “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”, a new shoot-em-up video game with rockin’ graphics and a great multiplayer feature set to hit store shelves on Tuesday in PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 formats.

It’s expected to bring in half a BILLION dollars in the first week alone. So yeah, Roy could buy the Blue Jays with that kind of cash. So what does any of this have to do with baseball? Plenty, actually.

There is some controversy around the game, all of it outlined nicely below by my colleague Todd Kenreck.


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Among the issues creating a stir is a viral video that was released by the game’s creator featuring none other than Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. In the video, a pixilated Hamels emerges from a humvee, dressed in military gear and a Phillies cap.

He goes on what seems like a light-hearted rant against “random grenades”, but then drops a couple of curse words as he is blown up by some of the very items he despises.

The language in itself doesn’t seem like much of a big deal unless you let young children play these games and surf the web at will, which would be your own fault.

But then the video ends with a “brought to you by” message that contains a thinly veiled homophobic slur. As Kenreck reports, the video was pulled amid concerns that it “promoted hate speech in the gaming community,” but it of course lives on at YouTube. (Watch it here, unless your ears are sensitive)

Not sure what I think about the seriousness of this. The video is light-hearted in tone, but does it go too far? One thing for sure: this isn’t the kind of publicity Hamels needs. Not after his performances in the playoffs.

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  1. Chris - Nov 12, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    This has morphed well beyond the original issue. The only people this will offend are the hypersensitive troublemakers who make everything an “issue”. Bottom line those that are offended aren’t playing the game anyway…..they are just looking to keep everyone else from playing it. WHile we are at it, lets ban all acronyms that happen to spell “G.O.D.”, “African”, “honky” “spic” or any other distasteful word you can think of.

  2. Vikingfan84 - Nov 12, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    Some people need to get a life. I don’t know why they would put Cole Hamels in the game as he is the most overrated pitcher in the game. But I’m pretty sure he gave them permission to put him in the game if he was in it.

  3. IDK - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Is this the reason they made that episode of South Park where they changed the meaning of the word f*g? I mean, seriously, all these people who are complaining about this should go watch that episode. It actually makes sense.

  4. Chris w - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    Uh, who is he and why should anyone care?

  5. robogiff - Nov 15, 2009 at 8:22 PM

    Please don’t tell me that this is viewed as a thinly veiled homophobic comment. You are certainly entitled to a misguided opinion but to shove it down the throat of the general public is unthinkable. Shame on you for deciding the intention of someones free speech. Do you even know where the term “p@$$^” came from. I thought not. Please feel free to e-mail me for a third grade explanation. Never mind, Here. A cats tendency to be jumpy and or skittish in abrupt situations led to the term pussy. ( pussy cat )

  6. natalie cahew - Dec 3, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    Simply true! I read it twice. While I am not as versatile on this issue, I match with your determinations because they make sense. Gives Thanks and goodluck to you.

  7. Free PSP Game Downloads Mike - Dec 5, 2009 at 6:25 PM

    Have you heard of the new dual screen psp that’s supposed to be coming out next year? I read an article about it on some website online but now I can’t locate that site.

  8. Larry Armijo - Jan 14, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    i found this very thought prvoking, I need o come back soon , well done

  9. Garth Annino - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Hey I was just wondering do you do all the writing yourself or do you have guest writers. I’m loving your blog. Thanks.

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