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China Is Both Too Scary and Not Scary Enough To Be Video Game Villains

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The North Korean bad guys in the upcoming video game Homefront were originally going to be Chinese, but the people making the game changed their mind for two reasons.

First, Danny Bilson, one of the executives of the game's publisher told Kotaku in an interview, "They're just not that scary."


Homefront needed a scary enemy, a nation that gamers could believe would be capable of invading the United States in a decade or so. Russians? No, too 80s. Chinese? The Chinese seemed like good candidates for this and were initially going to be the ones development studio Kaos used as their villains. Except: "China is like America's factory," Bilson said. "Everything you buy is made in China. It's all friendly. Everything's made there, from games, to every toy to everything. So they're not that scary."

Well, there's also the other problem with our un-scary friends across the Pacific. They may not be the kind of guys to laugh off some fun American video game about the Chinese invading and oppressing the U.S. of A.


Bilson recalls getting a word of caution from some of the personnel at his company. "The guys in our Chinese office said: Did you know that everybody on the exec team will be banned from coming into China for the rest of your lives? They were afraid the ministry of culture was going to wipe us out."

So China's off the hook. North Korea, you'll be our enemy in Homefront. You'll be the ones unifying the Korean peninsula, sneak-attacking the U.S., rounding up citizens, killing parents in front of wailing kids and then receiving the vengeance of insurgent Americans, as featured in this spring's Homefront video game.

We must admit that the North Koreans do play the part of scary bad guy nation pretty well. Maybe too well.

PIC: Members of a Chinese military honor guard marches during a welcoming ceremony for U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Bayi Building on January 10, 2011 in Beijin, Getty Images