Banned Until 9999
Since I’m on a ban streak, you should know that a Forza Horizon 5 player has just received a game ban for 8000 years after applying the above livery depicting North Korean dictator Kim Yong-un next to the familiar KFC logo. He also added a hashtag, SendNukes, a Pirelli style logo encompassing the city Pyongyang and some other additions to the livery related to North Korea. Bad taste or simply a bit of fun? In my book, the latter, and from what I’ve read, the instigators of the ban are Turn 10 and Microsoft (no surprise there), not Playground Games, the actual developer of the game. It’s called parody, folks, but it seems that parody, satire, and humour are now things of the past, with 2021 shaping up to be the tip of the iceberg for what is to come in terms of who’s next to be offended?
Dissent Is So 1989
1989 was an important year. The Berlin Wall came down and university students protested in Tiananmen Square. Soon afterward, the Soviet Union dissolved and the world took on a completely different political shape. These all came about through dissent. People wanted change and in most cases, they got what they wished for. Maybe not Utopia, but change all the same. Unfortunately, some countries regarded and still do regard dissent as treason, resulting in a long prison sentence, disappearance, or a bullet in the head.
Today, in the virtual world, it’s a similar story. You don’t get sent to prison or receive a bullet for dissent, but you do disappear at the whim of an algorithm or a disgruntled corporation. This extraordinary ban of 8000 years is clearly a warning to other Forza Horizon players, that parody, satire, and humour in any flavour, will not be tolerated. Forza Horizon has always encouraged players to design liveries and races, many of which can be downloaded by other players. It’s all part of the game’s inclusive environment where caring is sharing and vice versa. However, this ban smacks of overreaction, poor judgment, and severe wokeness.
It’s not clear whether the player is banned from online play, single-player, or both. I’d really love to know this because the game is not cheap to buy at $60, so if he wants to play again he’ll probably have to fork out another $60 and then play as a different person. But hey, there are more than nine ways to skin a cat, and hiding behind a VPN nowadays is de rigueur, surely?
Woke? Just don’t get me started, okay?