Middle Eastern Ethics in Video Games and Movies Essay

Submitted By sullydonahue
Words: 2346
Pages: 10

Middle Eastern Representation in Movies and Video Games

The use of foreign and unfamiliar culture and content within cinema and various other outlets of the media have always raised interest within an audience. During WWII, various sketch comedies, movies, TV programs, and comics were using the current events taking place overseas in order to attract viewers. Producers, directors, and writers all realized that through basing their work off of the ongoing war, this would consistently provide a large audience due to the underlying psychological need that citizens felt within the US. Individuals in the US found comfort and relief in seeing cinema productions that used real enemies that were currently engaged in hostility with the US because it sparked a subconscious bond between all Americans, fueled by a common enemy and motivated by the hopes of their opposing side’s defeat. Today, with the impact of the internet, media has never been this powerfully influential on society as anyone able to read and type can access an infinite amount of information on current world events taking place just through the click of a button. This is important, because chances are once that person does access current events, they would be exposed to the horrendously generalized enemy of the US and various other countries; the majority of the Middle-East. Middle Eastern influence on media prior to 9/11 was miniscule in comparison to the amount produced through movies, comics, and the latest; video games of today. This paper will analyze the various ethical issues and theories involved with the use of Middle Eastern influence within movies as well as video games, and the overall feelings and views that manifest within society towards Middle-Eastern cultures and lifestyle through the use of other media outlets and religion. As stated before, the people of nations will always unite against a common enemy. Through the use of various media outlets that are provided in today’s society, it is not hard to manipulate the beliefs and views of one nation towards another. This is not to say that directors, writers, and producers always deliberately create biased views and representations of enemies within their productions, but rather because citizens enjoy the ability to relate to a certain story, and using real-world enemies provides just that. Unfortunately the current enemy that is anything but in short demand within the mainstream media as well as Hollywood is the Arab. The use of these individuals within movies provides a deceived sense of realism that provides viewers with a fabricated or falsely informed opinion that is primarily negative. The primary ethical issue that surfaces when turning a nation against another is of Kant’s first categorical imperative; is it okay for any and all individuals to create a biased production knowing that to a certain extent it will skew the opinions and views towards another society? Many would argue that it is not, and that it violates the minimal conception of morality regarding equality and the other side of a society not being heard or learned of. Various examples within the movies today consistently depict Arabs to be the primary or secondary antagonist(s) within the story, constantly recycling the role of a terrorist hell-bent on the destruction of other societies. Middle-Eastern influence on movies finds itself in all sorts of subgenres involving global affairs, whether that be in the fictional comic-based movie such as Iron-Man, or the true story of Marcus Luttrell and his team of 3 other SEALS killed in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. Though these movies utilize the common enemy of Middle-Eastern terrorism, their effects on the US society regarding these people can differ greatly. Because the Iron-Man terrorism organization known as the “Ten Rings” based loosely off of the Taliban, was only a secondary enemy and only involved in the plot for a minimal time, reactions from society were neutral,