Friday, April 03, 2009

Teach your children well...

Shockwave has a website full of online games. I'm partial to the puzzles when I want to unwind. "Daily Diff" is two copies of one photo side by side with ten minor changes made. You click on the differences when you find them. Usually they're the kind of photos your aunt would send back from her trip to (insert exotic locale here).

Today (April 3) it's a barber shop with a mural on the facade. The mural is made up of portraits.

I was playing along until this one stopped me in my tracks:

Yes, that's Mumia Abu Jamal, aka Wesley Cook, death row inmate and convicted murderer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel J. Faulkner.

I stopped playing the game and sent an email to Shockwave asking if it was really necessary to use an obvious glorification of an unrepentant convicted cop killer in one of their games.

Then I started looking up some of the other names. That eventually led me to this: La Lucha Continua: a talking mural in San Francisco. You can see that the full mural includes Che (everyone's favorite t-shirt emblem), Madame Nguyen Thi Binh (friend of John Kerry and Ho Chi Minh), Leila Khaled (not a person you want sitting next to you on a flight to the Middle East), and a few others you might not glorify. You can get all the nifty bio info on the people in the mural at this site.

The caption of the photo on Shockwave says it's a barber shop in San Diego. If it is, it's an uncanny recreation of the mural in SF down to the construction of the building itself.

Meanwhile, I got an automated response from Shockwave:
Thanks for contacting Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Group!

We have received your email, and we'll get back to you as soon as
possible. All messages are answered in the order they are received.

Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Group, MTV Networks

So let me get this straight: A subsidiary of Nickelodeon puts up a puzzle on their web site that's made out of a photo of a mural of cop killers, socialists, communists, and terrorists.

Yeah, that's my idea of fun. /sarc

I don't honestly believe that any child playing this game will suddenly become a cop killer, communist, or terrorist because they spent 10 minutes playing a game on a web site. But I do believe that a web site that produces online games and caters towards young people should at least stick to cute furry animals and landscapes and leave the politics (and cop killers) out of it.

But then, it's not the first time Nickelodeon has inserted a political agenda into their programming.

If you go to the Shockwave site to see it, you have to be a member to see archived puzzles. If you hover your cursor over the 4/3/09 puzzle, you'll see that day's puzzle was of this same image. I've got other screen caps if you don't believe me.

I'll let you know if they write back.

~Code Monkey

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