Black Ops game draws fire from Cuba over Castro target

Source Independent (UK)

Cuban leader Fidel Castro is known to have a rather dry sense of humor when it comes to the myriad of unsuccessful assassination attempts that have been carried out against him. "I think I hold the dubious record of having been the target of more assassination attempts than any politician, in any country, in any era," he once remarked in a speech. "The day I die, nobody will believe it." But his regime has taken a dim view of the latest Call of Duty game in which players take part in an imaginary attempt by a US special forces to hunt down and kill the Communist leader. The island's state run media today launched a visceral attack on the game, claiming America was trying to initiate a virtual assassination of the Cuban leader through a game that would turn children into "sociopaths". "What the US couldn't accomplish in more than 50 years, they are now trying to do virtually," was the opinion of Cubadebate, a state-run news website. "This new video game is doubly perverse. On the one hand, it glorifies the illegal assassination attempts the United States government planned against the Cuban leader ... and on the other, it stimulates sociopathic attitudes in North American children and adolescents." The target for Cuba's ire is Call of Duty: Black Ops, the latest game from the highly popular first-person-shooter franchise by US publisher Activision which had its global release on Tuesday. The game is set at the height of the Cold War with players taking part in covert missions against Communist enemies of the United States such as the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos. The opening level is set in the hours leading up to the Bay of Pigs invasion, the disastrous 1961 attempt by Cuban exiles and the US military to topple the Castro regime. Gamers take on the role of a member of an elite CIA assassination squad sent into Cuba before the invasion to try and decapitate the regime.