Avatar in the App Catalog for the Palm Pre

This blog isn’t intended to be political–at all. However, in this case, I’m making an exception.

Avatar, the game by Gameloft based on the movie by the same name, has been released in the App Catalog. Normally, I’m excited to see new apps–particularly advanced games–released for webOS and the Palm Pre. More apps mean more webOS devices sold, which means a larger and more attractive market, whicn in turn means even more apps, and so on. A game of the stature of Avatar is even more significant in this respect.

However, as a movie (and, I’m assuming, as a game), I find Avatar to be absolutely horrible. It’s anti-man, and in particular anti-Western man. Besides being entirely derivative (it’s basically Pocahontas in outer space), its message is essentially that civilized man is evil. It can also be read as anti-American, with the alien protagonists being Iraqi insurgents fighting against an immoral American occupation. One doesn’t have to be for the war in Iraq to find this latter possibility offensive.

Film critic Scott Holleran says it best in his review:

“Man is a great evil”, someone declares during the 3-hour tour of Pandora. This sums up Avatar’s philosophy, though, as with radical Islam, it’s really Western Man that’s regarded as evil. In the end, watching a dim, foul-mouthed, handicapped Marine become a bowl of emasculated mush while trying to drag everyone human down to his level is less than uplifting. Avatar’s grating anti-civilization theme, rigged with the screen’s campiest stereotypical villain—a white male with a Southern accent dubbed “Poppa Dragon”—in years, trolling around the jungle in something leftover from Transformers, is at least largely consistent, though the clan’s pacifism quickly turns to bloodlust.

This is one Palm Pre game I won’t be buying.

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