Kotaku 'Shop Contest: Time Travelers Winners

We sent readers on a 'shopping spree back in time last week. Three-hundred and seventy-two Hitler entries later, what did they bring back for us?

Kidding, but the German chancellor was a favorite of many in last week's challenge, which asked readers to pair off iconic historic photographs or images with video game equipment or scenes. So let's get right to it: BigDikJohnson (4) took the GameBoy to the depths of the Depression; Duck45 (9) had the best of the Iwo Jima entries. A few skinned Spy sapping the Hindendburg, but EdificeComplex (10) went in a different direction and gets rewarded for his originality.

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Faces of death: Nerf Herder (14) walks the line; Cleesox (7) took a flying leap across it with one I secretly laughed at but could never publish; this submission isn't much more tasteful, but the inclusion of Asshole Dog makes it a straight up winner in my book.

Others: DEVOlutionSpud (8) shows a fast idea and simple execution can deliver a barrel of laughs. Zoom in on Snake56 (18), it's worth it. Hitler playing Angry Birds, by SolidGoldChimp (19) is especially fitting and the best of anything featuring him.

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But this week's overall winner is andrejolicoeur (2), giving us Bison's first Street Fighter bout in recorded history. It was a reader favorite, and mine too.

Congratulations all, and we'll see you in here for a new challenge tomorrow. I promise it won't be time travel related.

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DISCUSSION

pathrifter-old
PathRifter

I am somewhat perturbed by the constant crying of offense at some of these images. Saying they are inappropriate, unacceptable, should not be considered winners because of their potentially upsetting content. That potentially upsetting images in themselves should somehow be barred from positions of recognition.

To this viewpoint I say: Bah! and then wave my hand dismissively at those who claim it.

I can go through all 20 and find close to half of them offensive if analyzed in the right perspective. Because that's all that an offense is. One person *choosing* to analyze something from a perspective and then choosing to be offended by it.

Let's go ahead and do this, just for the sake of exercise.

Image #6 is offensive.

It is offensive because the base image is that of a segregated Black and Whites Only drinking fountain. The Civil Rights movement and strugle of African Americans for equal rights was a turbulent time in America. Many African American men and women were victims of verbal, physical and emotional abuse, as well as the outright assassination of the great Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. To devalue that period of American history, is to devalue the sacrifice that so many men and women fought and suffered for. Not to mention the offense of comparing it to that of waring alien species, one of which looks like a giant beetle.

Image #9 is offensive.

It is offensive because the Battle of Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Pacific Campaign. The Japanese fought and died almost to the last man. Of the 22,785 Japanese soldiers stationed and hunkered down on the island, 21,570 died either from fighting or by ritual suicide from their fear of what their propaganda spoke of American soldiers. To take that image of the soldiers raising the flag, and comparing it to a simple MW Objective based game as if the Japanese soldiers could simply *respawn* and attempt to stop them is to trivialize the tens of thousands of casualties on both the Japanese and American sides of the conflict. Our fallen heroes deserve better. For shame!

Image #10 is offensive.

It is offensive because the Hindenburg disaster was a terrible accident that took the lives of 13 innocent passengers, 22 crew members doing nothing but their job, and one poor soul on the ground as the blimp crashed. A tragedy like this is *mocked* with the silhouette of Alec Mason, the protagonist of Red Faction: Guerrilla raising his mining hammer in victory as the blimp falls, wreathed in flame in the background. Alec Mason fought against the oppressive regime of the Earth Defense Force and would not take innocent lives. The implication in this image, that those aboard the Hindenburg were somehow human rights violators and oppressors of the worst sort, and that we should feel *victorious* about such a tragedy is offensive to the highest degree. Also, this is Earth, not Mars.

Image #11 is offensive.

It is offensive because it depicts the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar. Caesar was one of the world's most impressive generals and responsible for expanding Rome's empire to the north seas as well as invading Britain and subduing much of the lands of Europe and expanding Rome. Upon his return to Rome he found the empire largely impotent, it's political figures corrupt and fat, and had his achievements thrown in his face. For this, he retook Rome by force and began a series of sweeping legislative changes. For all the good the man had done, he was assassinated. And here, we have that despicable betrayal by those who lusted for power not only thrown in our faces, but to have it implied that the Roman Senate was acting in LEAGUE with the Covenant, an alien race who seeks nothing more than the eradication of the human race, starting with one of it's greatest generals. This is both intellectually and historically offensive as human kind at this point is far beneath the notice of the Covenant, and we ALL know that first recorded contact of humans with Covenant took place on February 3rd, 2525 and not March 15th, 44 B.C. srsly...

Image #12 is offensive.

It is offensive because in this image we see a young man, stationed in Vietnam wistfully playing on his Guitar Hero guitar. Let me be the first to tell you, as a man who's uncle fought and served in the Vietnam war who came home to be spit on by the same people he fought for, this image is no laughing matter. The men and women serving overseas did not have outlets such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band to let them bond with their fellow soldiers in this way. They died in foxholes, experimented with drugs and were ordered to do things that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. Pvt. Jimmy did not get to "bust a rhythm" on Rock Band's fancy refreshingly addictive drum set. No. Jimmy stepped on a landmine deep in the jungle, and died crying for his mother. To show these soldiers playing with something that brings so much joy that they could not have, in a place that brought so much pain is an insult to everything they fought for, and a mockery of their suffering...

Image #16 is offensive.

It is offensive because we have Hitler, giving his Nazi Third Reich salute to an enthralled audience while, opposite him, Phoenix Wright, the Ace Attorney counters the salute with his trademark "Objection!" pose. We should all take offense to this image because the sad truth of the matter is that no one stood so defiantly to Hitler and objected to his beliefs, his policies, his practices and eventually, his slaughter of 6 million people. The whole world had turned a blind eye to his evil until it was far too late to prevent anything. The implication that only a video game character has the courage to stand up to an evil dictator, where the rest of the world failed to do so is a sharp critique of human decency and morality, and we should all be offended at the failures of a generation.

Image #17 is offensive.

It is offensive because it perpetuates that if Hitler were somehow resurrected into a mechanized body mounted with machine guns, that the people of Germany would have STILL rallied behind him and threw in their support for the Third Reich despite everything is an affront to the people of Germany and their sense of morality and human decency. They should be offended at that notion and you should be ashamed in thinking that about such a proud people who were mislead by a smooth speaker with new ideas.

Image#20 is offensive.

I'm sure it's offensive I'm just so tired at this point I really can't point out the specifics but just figure it out. War. Soverign. Normandy. Death. Etc etc, someone's offended somewhere.

What's the point of this rant besides tl;dr?

The point is that we have two roads to walk down right now. The first road leads to a hypersensitive society where everyone walks on eggshells about everything because of the constant fear that someone will be somehow offended by something somewhere and you will Owe Them.

The second road is where all of us can sit back, have a few laughs and realize "Hey. This is a picture. And it's related to video games. Let us lol together and relax, because we are mature, calm, rational and do not have sticks up our asses."

I, my fellow Kotaku-ites...shall opt for the second road. Ironically, the road less traveled...