Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bad Day L.A. - The Redux

American McGee = Kathie Lee Gifford?

Nearly one year ago, Spare Change News wrote a story on a game being developed by American McGee, called Bad Day L.A.

In the game, you play as a homeless man named Anthony Williams, who happens to be a former Hollywood producer that, becoming disenfrancished with life as it was, takes to the streets.

One day, as he is crossing the freeway with his cart, a plane crashes overhead, releasing a zombie gas that begins affecting people around him, turning them into maniacal fiends. It becomes Anthony's mission to move throughout the city, putting out fires, killing terrorists and any other number of tasks that help preserve calm (there is a chaos meter in the game nearly identical to Homeland Security's; as the terror level is elevated, all the characters in the game act more insane).

See the reprint of the article for more information.

A year later the game has "gone gold," meaning it is nearing release, and a demo was made available to the public last week, to mostly negative reactions. When the fact came out that McGee produced the entirety of the game's art using the cheaper labor of China, even more negative sentiment emerged. American has been defending both the quality of the game and the use of Chinese labor in his blog:

If you are uncomfortable with the concept of cheap, off-shore labor being used to produce the games you play, then I suggest you start making your own. We’re heading towards a world where %40 (or more) of a typical game budget is being spent on outsourcing. This money goes to places like China and India. That’s the reality of the world we live in. (Same goes for the majority of cartoons you watch, products you buy, etc.)

It's a fascinating discussion, if you're so inclined. Slightly similar to (albeit a much fairer concept than) online game farming,a concept whereby young Asian twenty-somethings spend 20 hours a day playing online games (earning 1 dollar an hour if they're lucky), acquiring gold and armor and the like, which they then sell to fat white teenagers in the states who just happen to have daddy's credit card lying around and want to get the +3 Diaper of Might, without having to spend all day working for it.

But that's an aside. Check out American's blog, and our reprint of the SCN story, which included an in-depth interview with the man himself.

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