by nespresso

Political art experiment

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Number of Ratings: 38
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A monument to poor understanding, March 23, 2021

Till Lindman of Rammstein was once asked why he sang so many dark songs in the first person. His response, to paraphrase, was that if he was to sing about monsters and victims, it wasn't right to force you into that role, so he took it on himself. This is the exact opposite concept, except written like an episode of 24 that had a commercial for the Milgram experiment.

This is a very poor torture simulator. It has no conversational mechanics (even if you use Arabic) gives you no dossier or background other than "we caught him red handed with a suicide vest," and your only option is to hurt the prisoner despite not being able to understand what he's saying. It's the sort of fetishistic view of "interrogation" people get from watching any of the JB characters.

But wait, there's more. Since the author really wants you to hurt this guy, you need to change verbs every three actions, turning the game into simply guessing what pain the author wants you to inflict. And since you have no choice, there's no agency. You can't even feel bad that you made a poor decision because you never had one. It's basically just a snuff story with quess the verb.

Now, this could be missing some great plot twist once you've broken X bones, but after fifteen minutes of trying to talk to the guy, leave the room, or get the information in any rational way, I broke a few toes, got a message that I needed to try something new, then was told it didn't know what a shin was. At that time I had the Spec Ops:The Line moment and said, "screw it, I can walk away." You should, too. It is utterly devoid of intellectual, recreational, or artistic merit.

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- knockupwood, February 17, 2021

- Zape, November 28, 2020

- Edo, August 2, 2020

- Cory Roush (Ohio), June 3, 2018

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A game that requires you to torture someone, June 10, 2016

In this game, you have to torture an Arabic-speaking individual. Quite a few body parts are implemented, and you have to torture the individual 30 times, using each technique no more than 3 times, and affecting each body part some limited number of times.

I feel like it was attempting to be deep, but not very successfully.In the end, it just seems like it's trying to shock.

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- jakomo, March 30, 2016

- cabalia (Ohio), March 3, 2015

- Sobol (Russia), September 12, 2014

- Katrisa (Houston), December 6, 2013

- ramada, May 31, 2013

- Catalina, August 19, 2012

- bloodzeed, April 20, 2012

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), April 17, 2012

- Anthony Mueller, December 3, 2010

- Sorrel, July 5, 2010

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
How many ways can you torture someone?, June 9, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

Your job is to torture abdul, a terrorist from "the east". This is basically an attempt to come up with all the humiliating things you can do to a man, and do it 3 times to 3 different body parts. (IE- piss on his nose or hit his left eye).

I get it- it's supposed to bother you by showing how much you can hurt this guy.

The "game" seems empty. You have to do each humilitating action 3 times. (Hit him 3 times in 3 different places. Then slap him 3 times in 3 places) so it gets rather redundant. As you do so, the terroist becomes more removed from reality. Once you've done enough, you may leave.

The style is horrific, but there isn't much meat or plot involved either. It's just snuff- you torture a guy in a variety of different ways. Maybe if you could garner more information from him, or there was more of a point to the torture- or you could offer "kind" interrogation techniques or more conversation this would be "worth it", but as it sits, it should be listed under "abuse pornograpy" more than social experiment.

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- lupusrex (Seattle, WA), October 4, 2009

- GDL (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), July 31, 2009

- googoogjoob, May 24, 2009

- Otto (France), April 13, 2009

- sylvania, November 15, 2008

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
Subverting guess-the-verb for human rights, August 5, 2008

Do you want to torture foreigners in the name of the holy "war on terrorism"? Well, here is your chance. The range of conversation topics with the sole NPC (Abdul, a suspected "terrorist") is wide, but he will only reply in his own language (at least, initially...). If you are unwilling or unable to take the time to examine his responses (I discovered, with the help of some machine translation, that they seem to be genuine phrases that react to his current status and there is more going on than meets the eye), you will inevitably end up resorting to brute force and Lynndie England-style humiliation.

Here, the de-humanizing warlike aspects of the "war" are laid bare, with point scored for each and every creative use of abuse verbs applied to various parts of Abdul's shivering, naked body. It's an incredibly shallow approach to simulating a highly disturbing scenario, likely to be dismissed as "sick" by the easily offended. But look deeper to reveal the pro-humanist agenda. The "entryist" tactic is that of a torture simulator in which the PC enjoys his or her job (again, see Lynndie England), in which the parser begrudgingly rejects sexual abuse as being "sadly less acceptable", and in which the in-game help comes in the form of a "Memo from High Command" that regards the Geneva Convention as a minor nuisance. But disguised underneath is a bleakly funny role-playing game that asks the question: "How far are you willing to go?". And by extension, how far are you willing to let those in positions of authority, the ones that represent you, go? Does your meek head-in-the-sand acquiescence not vindicate and legitimise their warlike aggression?

Rendition never spells out it's affiliations: Abdul is simply from "the East". You are one of the self-proclaimed "chosen people". All we learn from About/Credits is that the game is a "political art experiment". Rendition, like the best contemporary art, makes the player think about the issues they'd rather not think about. Yes, the results are both disgusting and offensive... yet it somehow brings you closer to the truth than any number of "balanced" news reports could ever do.

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- zibahkhana, July 15, 2008

- Kariadne, June 10, 2008

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