Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wired Magazine's Pirate Game; Good or Exploitation?

Amver received a Tweet from one of our followers about a new game Wired Magazine is promoting. It's called Cutthroat Capitalism and, according to the site, "You are a pirate commander staked with $50,000 from local tribal leaders and other investors. Your job is to guide your pirate crew through raids in and around the Gulf of Aden, attack and capture a ship, and successfully negotiate a ransom."

What do you think of the game? Do you think this is responsible or irresponsible?

Photo credit: Fotolia

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Peter A. Mello, Sea-Fever blog said...

The folklore of pirates has always presented PR challenges for the maritime industry. I was the executive director of the American Sail Training Association which is a nonprofit that supports sail training vessels and which organizes Tall Ships events in North America. Many ASTA member vessels were very concerned about the pirate persona while others played it up. I can tell you from experience that when a family of four attended one of our Tall Ships events, the only thing that kids see are pirate ships.

Pirates in mainstream media, like Captain Feathersword on the popular kids show The Wiggles and Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, reinforce the myth that pirates can be good. Several years ago the Heath brothers wrote a business best seller called Made to Stick wherein they discussed why ideas have resonance and staying power. Unfortunately, their theories might apply to pirates as well.

There are so many games out there that glorify things that in real life will give you trouble with the law. Grand Theft Auto is just one that comes to mind. These games don't appeal to me and I will try to keep them away from my kids consciousness as long as I can. However, no matter how offensive or irresponsible we may find Wired's pirate game, I believe that it's probably fruitless and unnecessary to worry too much about it. It's tough to stem the tide of centuries of folklore.

On so many levels, pirates and piracy is a very complex problem without an easy answer.

Amver Maritime Relations said...

Thank you for your comment. Your experience with large sailing vessels and tall ship events gives you a unique perspective on the piracy issue.

I agree that many people have a romantic affinity with pirates. Our children do watch Captain Feathersword and Jack Sparrow. Even Chris Brogan, the Boston based social media expert, considers himself a "pirate".

Perhaps through blogs such as Sea Fever and Amver we can work to share the true story and cost of piracy. Making a game out of hijacking ships, holding mariners hostage, and disrupting commerce doesn't seem right.

pirate game said...

Thank you! So many options we’re really spoilt for choice. I think if people can just choose one thing and take the first steps towards doing it then that will be progress.