Spamming at a New Level

Gamespy posted an article about an associate college professor at the University of Nevada Reno who spends his spare time logged into America's Army. Not to play, but to protest. He spams the chat channel with the names of soldiers that have fought bravely and given their life for our country and it's beliefs.

Mr. Joseph DeLappe also claims it's a memorial as well, but I disagree. After all, if he wanted to memorialize them, there are better ways then grief-ing other players in a video game…but his agenda is clear. He admits a beef he has with the game America's Army…I advise reading the article.
I'm sorry, but if I ran a server that he attempted this on, he would be perma-banned. Spam is spam. Don't spoil my game time by making me read your thoughts and opinions on a subject that is more important then trivialized chat buffer spam in a fucking video game.

This story just convinces me that the higher educational system has some weak links.


~ by roca on May 24, 2006.

7 Responses to “Spamming at a New Level”

  1. That’s pretty strange. I have a feeling that he has a serious misconception about multiplayer computer games if he thinks his actions have any useful purpose. People aren’t going to be receptive to any outside info when they’re worried about getting fragged. He may as well walk into their gameroom and tell them they need to take out the trash.

  2. Where’s the purty lady on this post 😦

  3. I am the one creating this project. First off, it is important to say that this work is, indeed, intended not only as a protest but also as a memorial. You comments are very similar to other blog postings by others that have focused on this project over the past few weeks(there has been a roughly 50/50 split in regard to the support or disdain for what I am doing). The ones that always surprise me the most are from righteous gamers such as you – “don’t interrupt my entertainment!”, “this is rude and disruptive”, etc. I cannot accept this game as somehow being magically separate from the culture from which it has emerged. AA is, unavoidably, part of a larger dominant cultural ideology that subtly (and perhaps not too subtly) inures us to violence and war. It is also, arguably, the first game with the implicit goal of recruiting young people into a situation where they may actually need to kill. I find this problematic to say the least. By labeling my act as “spam” I suppose this might make it easier to dismiss. This is not spam, the names, dates and ranks of these soldiers are intrinsically linked to the phony representation of war that is available through this game. If it is ok to play such a game while real soldiers are dying, isn’t it appropriate to remember these soldiers in this context? I suspect that some of the anger expressed towards my work is misdirected guilt – how can one play this particular game without making a connection to the war that is going on in our name? This game is the perfect forum for such an act of civil disobedience and remembrance. The project is also intended as a creative act that encourages thought and dialogue. I appreciate your comments and thank you for considering an alternate opinion. Peace.

  4. There are very specific areas of the brain being used while playing interactive games and they don’t lend themselves to a decent consideration of the realities of war. Perhaps the articles about your antics will, but certainly the actual act doesn’t.

    I believe you WILL, eventually, have to accept that war games are “magically separate from the culture from which [they] emerged”. I play many wargames of various types (strategic, tactical, and first-person) and I have total disconnect from the actual wars in the same way as I did playing cowboys and indians or chess.

    I can spend a large portion of my time entertaining myself through wargames and still hold my same positions towards violence and war. To me, war is nothing but metal tearing flesh. There is no inherent honor or glory. People earn honor by what they do in life, and living for an ideal is much more credible than dying for one. However, reality will always triumph over ideality. The reality is that war is metal tearing flesh, and the reality is that people play wargames for entertainment.

    To create memorials for (or post the names of) only those who have died in war, and only for one side of the conflict, convinces me that it’s those doing the honoring that “inure us to violence and war”. Memorials, 21 gun salutes, and funerals do much more for a psyche of war than any game.

  5. Awesome! I flamed Delappe on my blog and received the same canned response you got. So it appears he’s ego searching technorati and pasting the same retort to anyone who questions his “project”. Maybe he’s in the wrong business? Perhaps pimping home loans and all natural penis enhancements are more up his alley.

  6. Mea culpa, yes, I did post a similar response to another on a different blog. That said, the objections to my activities expressed on this blog are nearly identical those from many other blogs I have been attempting to engage over these past few weeks – there is only so much time in the day. My sentiments are sincere and directed towards engaged dialog (or shall I say virtual dialog as blogs are in and of themselves a very peculiar and largely anonymous form of communication).

    Again, I would categorically deny the implied disconnect between “entertainment” and war. If one looks at cultural artifacts, whether film, television, art, advertising, etc. from any era you will find direct connections to the dominant cultural and political ideologies of the time period in question. The “game” America’s Army has consequences beyond your desire to escape “reality”. You do not live in a vacuum. As a gamer, I do, seek question the nature of our desire to descend for hous on end into a virtual world of escapist entertainment – particularly when it involves an “entertainment” and recruiting product produced by the US military.

  7. First off let me thank you for injecting some life into this conversation and expressing, what I believe to be, your candid thoughts on this.

    Now, as far as denying the implied disconnect between entertainment and war: I think if you actually talked with gamers who play the games, or movie goers who spend their money on the entertainment you mention, you will see that an overwhelming majority DO have a disconnect, and can tell fantasy from reality. AA is only a fantasy, based on real world elements. I don’t think there is one player who wouldn’t tell you that killing/fragging someone in AA, or any game for that matter is far more benign then ending someone’s life in Iraq, Afghanistan or on the streets of L.A.

    Your project implies that most folks are imbeciles and can’t think for themselves. Not only that, but you stomp on “my” ability to partake in a form of entertainment that I have paid for and have controlled access to. I hate to put it this way, but you are infringing on my pursuit of happiness. Your protest is akin to someone buying a movie ticket to go see “X-Men”, then standing up in the middle of it and shouting “Mutants are people too!” as opposed to pciketing in front of the theater. (I am talking about the action and not the motive…two different things here.)

    I think it’s great that you would like to memorialize those brave soldiers, but spamming in a chat channel of a game produced for the exposure it brings to the US Army is not a way to do it. Like Lance pointed out, the message falls on deaf ears, and you only alienate those folks that you claim you are trying to reach. Besides, in the end you are spamming, and spammers get banned. I think you tried to come up with a way to give you the most attention in the fastest time. I think your protest has less to do with the troops and more to do with your beef with AA.

    I am curious as to why you do not use your time and open a website for those fallen troops. Memorialize them that way, allowing folks to send donations to their families? That seems a more fitting tribute if you ask me. Hell, if you dislike AA that much, you could post your thoughts on the subject right there on the site.

    Yeah, I have to say that I am not yet convinced of your sincerity in regards to our troops.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

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