Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
20 February 2006
Weird stuff in Black trailer
Are game trailers just slapped together? Like filled with stupid misspelled words and backgrounds that don't make sense? I checked out EA's shooter Black, in particular Black Official Trailer 4 (30 January 2005) on this GameSpot page and I found some things that puzzled me.

The trailer contains lots of news clippings that are supposed to make us think ripped-from-the-headlines terrorism thoughts. At about 0:25 into the trailer a text flashes up. I've highlighted words of interest:
BERLIN, GERMANY. Reports from an unnamed militray source today reveal that weapons stored in the fromer Soviet Union may be at risk. A spokemans for the Central Intelligence Agency has suggested that they cerrtain soviet issue weaponry may have been involved with a series of recent terorist attacks. CIA Director Rodis denied today that covert military activities known as "Black Operations" are...
They speak English in What? That's at least five errors in two sentences for crying out loud. Is this some sort of diabolical watermarking to prevent some other game company from stealing their flimsy backstory?

Two newspapers are seen directly in the trailer: The New York Times and The Washington Post. The former actually has part of its front page shown in the trailer, with the ominous date Wednesday September 11, 2000. At least, I think it's the year 2000, since the year is never perfectly clear. The problem I have is that September 11 was a Monday in the year 2000. It was a Wednesday in 2002 and it won't be on a Wednesday again until 2013. See for yourself:At least they spelled everything correctly this time.

Additionally, some weird review of a children's play appears on the same page as the international terrorism stories. Here's a snippet from about 0:22 into the trailer:
This revelation is of little solace to Wuzzy who wails "I don't want to be a chicken. I want to be a T-Rex." That's a huge laugh line for 5-year-old boys.

To help convince Wuzzy that his mom still loves him, Valeri seeks advice from the audience. And there's lots of it. "We could sing him a song," offers one girl. Another boy...
It's not unusual to find this kind of cheap hack. In the movie Silence of the Lambs, Agent Starling is researching some old murders on microfiche and the story she's interested in is apparently surrounded by the same text pasted over and over again. That is, it's clearly a prop and we're not supposed to look too closely.

It is just a trailer, and I suppose it's too much to read something about the game itself in this hodgepodge of images, but it's certainly bizarre.
--Matt Matthews at 20:51
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