Mujahideen, Us Or Them! is a videogame in which you play an ISIS operative in Europe. Your goal is to stay under the radar and build a terrorist cell so you can eventually attack a major city. It claims to be a “story rich” game, and an RPG/stealth hybrid.
It’s also clearly a ludicrous attempt at trolling people after the bombings in Brussels earlier this week that left 34 dead.
The first clue is the timing, obviously. It went up on March 24, only two days after the ISIS attacks in the Belgian capital. The more subtle sign is the complete lack of any information on the page. I’ll save you the time of looking at the page yourself and post a picture of the entirety of the campaign below.
That’s all there is to it. There’s no gameplay footage, screenshots, a financial breakdown, information about the developer, not even concept art or custom title headers. Supposedly the developer, who goes simply by Jamie, has 10 years of experience designing games but doesn’t go into specifics about any of his work. His profile doesn’t give much more information either.
“I am a 27 year old soon to be 28 male (WOW getting old!) from the UK and have always enjoyed making light of something that is considered “WAY OUT THERE” I have worked for a few small independent Dev companies over the year not all for games.”
What makes this developer qualified to give us this kind of game? Why did he put it up so soon after the bombings? Was it planned for a long time and the timing is a horrible coincidence, and he didn’t want to change the release date? We could be here asking questions all day, but none of them will ever get answered.
This is a very sensitive issue, but it’s important we have this chat, however brief. A game in which you play a member of ISIS and you have to kill innocent people is not inherently awful. Well, the concept itself is awful, but if someone were to make a serious attempt at it, they would have every right to do so.
It’s a lot like when EA allowed you to play as the Taliban in Medal of Honor’s (2010) multiplayer. There was a backlash, but EA had every right to include that feature. EA eventually caved and removed the feature, but the gaming community rallied around a company they normally hated for the sake of free speech and art.
Truth be told, if this campaign came out a month from now, or a month sooner, it would have been fine. It would still be a bad campaign since it doesn’t have any information about the game itself. It’s definitely the kind of game that would likely have to seek crowdfunding, as a publisher wouldn’t go near it. Maybe it is just poor taste, bad timing, or lack of awareness on the part of the developer. However, with the context of the Brussels bombings, one can’t help but see this as some attempt at a “joke.”
It’s hard to say if Kickstarter will allow the campaign to continue, or if the game will get funded. It could go either way, or it’ll just disappear into obscurity and no one will ever care except the idiot online who dedicated 550+ words to a troll.
Update : Kickstarter has suspended the Mujahideenm, Us Or Them! campaign in their typically mysterious way.