Canadian Manufacturing

Pipe Trouble video game does not advocate eco-terrorism: creators

Game "clearly intended as over-the-top satire," according to producer Pop Sandbox



TORONTO—The maker of a controversial web-based video game that includes images of a pipeline bombing is crying foul over “rampant misinformation” and claims of eco-terrorism advocacy.

Pop Sandbox, which produced Pipe Trouble, says the game “is clearly intended as over-the-top satire” and is being unfairly labeled as an advocate for attacks on oil and gas infrastructure.

The comments come after the game, which Pop Sandbox says is an awareness tool, was pulled from the TV Ontario website after critics voiced opposition.

“The game was created to drive awareness about the Six Island Productions documentary film ‘Trouble in the Peace’, and prompt a larger discussion surrounding natural gas production,” Pop Sandbox said in a statement, referring to the documentary about opposition to pipelines and the bombing of pipelines in Peace River, B.C.

In a bid to defend the game, Pop Sandbox said pipeline bombing is “one of the extreme game ending outcomes players must expressly avoid in order to win.”

In Pipe Trouble, players must successfully build a pipeline while balancing environmental and financial factors in “overtly cartoonish situations.”

Pop Sandbox says players are also faced with obstacles like fines, injunctions and protests.

“At no point does a player assume the role of an ‘eco-terrorist’ or engage in any act of vandalism or bombing as has been reported,” the production house said.

The game’s producers also refute reports that Pipe Trouble is linked to the David Suzuki Foundation.

“The DSF had no role in producing the game,” Pop Sandbox said.

The game’s producers had planned to donate a percentage of any future profits to the DSF, but has since rescinded the offer due to the circumstances surrounding the game.

Pop Sandbox says it has not given the foundation any money to date.

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