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Drive Deserted Streets in North Korea's Super-Depressing New Video Game
Slate ^ | Dec. 20, 2012 | Fruzsina Erdgh

Posted on 12/20/2012 7:00:12 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster

Drive Deserted Streets in North Korea's Super-Depressing New Video Game

By Fruzsina Eördögh

Posted Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at 6:31 PM ET

North Korea has made its first video game! Well, kinda.

The browser-based Pyongyang Racer is too old-school to appeal to gaming aficionados, but it’s not exactly supposed to compete with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Made by a North Korea-based IT company and a British-owned travel agency that arranges tours of the country, the game is a marketing stunt, plain and simple.* It hasn’t made me want to visit North Korea any time soon, but the Internet is going gaga for the virtual racer, perhaps because this is the closest most will get to driving through the nearly empty streets of North Korea.

Web-based video games as marketing gimmicks are nothing new. Sometimes they work: Old Spice's “Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World,” a browser-based game in which you save the world from the Mayan apocalypse, is actually fun to play.

In contrast, Pyongyang Racer is just depressing. One of the very few objectives is to collect barrels of petrol—so your car can keep running. Given the poverty rate in North Korea and the horrific prison camps in which as many as 200,000 languish, I experienced some Western tourist guilt while cruising for fuel. Moreover, there are absolutely no people to be seen in the game, neither on the street nor in occasional car you have to swerve around. (The cars are stranded in the middle of the road, perhaps because they ran out of petrol.) Combined with the computerized, propaganda-sounding music, the game is at best eerie. The occasional sighting of a North Korean traffic lady does brighten the mood a bit, though.

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: nkorea; pyongyang; videogame
Try this Youtube link for the video game in action:
1 posted on 12/20/2012 7:00:29 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster

One of my Playstation ! games has a scenario where you drive in Habana, Cuba and Amman Jordan. BTW, you get to pick old cars to drive in Cuba and it is kind of interesting racing a 1967 GTO on the streets of Amman.


2 posted on 12/20/2012 7:08:02 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: Nowhere Man

I think that level was on one of my old Gran Turismo PS games back in grade school.


3 posted on 12/20/2012 7:40:28 PM PST by max americana (Make the world a better place by punching a liberal in the face)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

What’s the point of a video game if you don’t get to lop off heads and have blood gushing out?

Do they really think any normal person will be interested in this?


4 posted on 12/20/2012 7:43:56 PM PST by BobL (Agenda 21...Agenda 21...Agenda 21...Agenda 21...Agenda 21... (whatever the hell that is))
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To: TigerLikesRooster; AmericanInTokyo; Steel Wolf; nuconvert; MizSterious; nw_arizona_granny; ...

Youtube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3IMwhoAMcs&feature=player_embedded


5 posted on 12/20/2012 8:07:05 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: max americana

Yeah, that’s it, Gran Turismo. I also like “Road Rash 2000 - Jailbreak” even though the game takes physics liberally like jumping 200 feet into the air and surviving slamming into a building at 150 MPH om a motorcycle. When my buddy and I get together, it provides us with a lot of laughs. I got a big kick out of the policeofficers’ names like “Ponch” and “Purco,” meaning “pig” in Spanish.


6 posted on 12/20/2012 8:07:08 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

The car looks lime my Mom’s Hyundai. BTW,can I run over Dear Leader with a 1975 Pontiac Bonneville? B-)


7 posted on 12/20/2012 8:10:27 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: BobL
To me, games are like a book. Good ones can transport you to another time/place for a little while. So whatever floats your boat -- if cruising PyongYang amuses you for 1/2 hr on Saturday night, so be it.

Call of Juarez (the cowboy ones, not the cartel) are excellent, IMHO.

8 posted on 12/20/2012 8:16:50 PM PST by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd
To me, games are like a book. Good ones can transport you to another time/place for a little while. So whatever floats your boat -- if cruising PyongYang amuses you for 1/2 hr on Saturday night, so be it.

Yeah, just like the Gran Turismo, it is kind of nice to just bum around Habana Cuba in a '57 Chevy or Amman, Jordan in a '67 GTO. I'd love to do some bummin' in real life, at least it would be kind of cool. My father bummed around the U.S. in his '52 Hudson Hornet after his Army days. I want to try this game but the server is down. I can pretend I'm driving Mom's 2004 Hyundai Sonata in North Korea. B-) It is a good time waster if you have the time or a good "beer and pretzels" game if you and your buddies enjoy it.
9 posted on 12/20/2012 8:27:08 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Aren’t most streets outside the capitol mostly dirt roads?


10 posted on 12/20/2012 8:53:03 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Nowhere Man

“Yeah, that’s it, Gran Turismo. I also like “Road Rash 2000 - Jailbreak” even though the game takes physics liberally like jumping 200 feet into the air and surviving slamming into a building at 150 MPH om a motorcycle.

I still have those in my garage, including Karnage about a crazy clown running all over everybody. I miss Gran T and the old PS1 driving games.


11 posted on 12/20/2012 11:12:07 PM PST by max americana (Make the world a better place by punching a liberal in the face)
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To: max americana
I still have those in my garage, including Karnage about a crazy clown running all over everybody. I miss Gran T and the old PS1 driving games.

Sounds like the first "Twisted Metal." I have that too.
12 posted on 12/21/2012 11:03:00 AM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

BTW, the chick is hot too.


13 posted on 12/21/2012 11:05:50 AM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: Nowhere Man; TigerLikesRooster; AmericanInTokyo; GeronL; All
13 posted on Fri Dec 21 2012 13:05:50 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time) by Nowhere Man: “BTW, the chick is hot too.”

Good grief.

My wife is Korean so I'm not going to disagree with your point — and yes, Korean women in Class A dress uniforms do have a certain “dragon lady” allure, whether the uniform is from the North or the South — but there's just something **WRONG** about a country that starves its people letting a tourist promotion group use its female traffic police as sex objects in a video game.

On the other hand, I think several hostile Asian governments, whether the North Vietnamese, mainland Chinese, or North Koreans — figured out long ago that the attractiveness of Asian women can be an effective tool to blackmail Western men. I guess from a North Korean perspective, it makes sense to use their “beautiful traffic lights,” as someone else on Free Republic put it, as a marketing tool to separate Westerners from their cash in a tourist trap.

I guess for me, knowing what the North Korean government does to its people, and what low-level North Korean officials need to do in order to get ahead in their careers, pretty much eliminates any sex appeal. That country is thoroughly and systematically evil, and anyone who rises to any level of power in it must cooperate with or actively participate in the evil.

Those people are dangerous and their government needs to be crushed. Virtually anything else would be an improvement.

14 posted on 12/28/2012 5:43:31 AM PST by darrellmaurina
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To: Nowhere Man; TigerLikesRooster

If you want to see an example of utter silliness with female North Korean traffic police, watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-hyVzTVDLg


15 posted on 12/28/2012 6:13:32 AM PST by darrellmaurina
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