The Anti-Defamation League issued a report on a disturbing development in videogames. A company that nobody had ever heard of put out a game that nobody had ever heard of and made it available to ignorant losers that no one will ever hear from.

The game is called Ethnic Cleansing. The production/distribution company is called Resistance Records. They made their program using a freely available source code used in an open source project for first-person shooters.

We don’t like the idea of someone creating a video game that encourages people to take pleasure in violence and mayhem against Jews, Hispanics and Blacks. We don’t like the idea that such a video game was created using the goodwill of hundreds of programmers in the open source movement. We don’t like the idea that hate is a profitable industry.

However, ignorance is the worst crime of all. Before the ADL decided to start talking to the media, they should have made sure that they were smarter than their enemy. This advice would have been particularly useful to their national director, Abraham Foxman.

In a report published by C-Net, Foxman voices his concern that people might actually play a game called Ethnic Cleansing and not realize the true purpose of the game until they were too far into it.

The real doozy, however, came from Foxman’s statement about the nature of these kinds of video games. “It piggybacks on something that is very legitimate and popular and perverts it,” he said. “It can attract people who aren’t necessarily going to look for this kind of material.”

The term first person shooter says it all. Using assorted weapons, players can destroy graphics that resemble other humanoids until they get nauseous or bored.

Is there a sliding scale of moral relativity between pretending that you are pumping bullets into a space marine and doing the same to Blacks and Jews? There’s no question that first person shooters are popular but do they become legitimate as long as the characters portrayed are not explicitly labeled as ethnic minorities?

In the final blow to ADL credibility in the area of software, Foxman declared that programmers have a certain responsibility to make sure that their patents aren’t perverted for reasons of hate.

The open source movement will not cease because some crackpot made a video game and another crackpot didn’t like it.

There is so much software on the Internet that nobody cares about or will ever hear about. By software industry standards, the ADL just gave Resistance Records and their stupid little trophy, Ethnic Cleansing, about a billion dollars in promotional coverage.

Here’s a bit of advice for the ADL to follow: never again.

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