The Timothy Plan, a Christian mutual fund investment service in the US, has published information on "offensive" games from this year to help responsible parents in their gift buying for youngsters. It happens to think Army of Two
is totally gay, too.
Yes, 'Gay and Lesbian' is one of the categories that makes games offensive. The Timothy Plan says of Army of Two
"Homosexual Themes: Although never spoken of, undertones of homosexuality are present. Weaponry in the game can be decorated to be anything from diamond encrusted to gold plated. You share a parachute, and the riot shield system allows one player to use a shield or car door as portable cover while the other cuddles up close behind and dispenses 'lead' from his 'iron'."
If there weren't gay themes in the game before, there certainly are now.
Of course, Army of Two
does not come top of the list. That honour goes to (you'll never guess)... GTA IV
! What, you guessed?
So, why is an investment fund publishing such a list? Just because fund-amentalists need to know! It "employs specific moral screening criteria designed to avoid investing shareholders' money in any company that has a pattern of contributing to the cultural degradation of our society."
These "specific moral screening criteria" are of a Judeo Christian persuasion. On the list of groups it steers clear of are "companies involved in abortion and/or pörnography, non-married lifestyles, as well as companies involved in the production of alcohol, tobacco or gambling." (SPOnG is unsure how many companies involved in abortion have a sideline in pornography).
So, that explains it! Except... There still doesn't seem to be a good reason for an organisation that deals with finance to be publishing consumer guides, however Christian it is.
Don't think you're being told what to play, though! The site notes (in bold lettering) "This is not an attempt to ban video games, or dictate whether people should play them.
This is purely meant to inform parents who are concerned with the moral content/issues contained in video games and make available to them information which is not easily found."
So, it's more like a public finger-pointing. Since the Timothy Fund considers this information to be "not easily found", it obviously doesn't think the ESRB is doing a very good job with its ratings.
If you didn't feel insulted enough at the idea that a video game with homosexual themes was in some way bad, you can also feel patronised too, "We understand, with this being a controversial issue, that some may not agree with more complete information being made available to those without the time, temperament or even talent to completely research the content of the wide array of video games presently available", the Plan states.
"However, we hope all will respect the rights of everyone to raise their children in a way they feel best matches their values and beliefs."
We do too. Gay people, unmarried people, black people and white people... all sorts of people.
You can see the document for yourself over here