By way of warning, most of this post was written while running a fever so if anything seems more off the wall than usual, just blame the Tylenol. There’s also a major “political correctness” issue in this episode which I will want to talk about after the gameplay. I already know the pitfalls of bringing 2018 ideals into a 1992 game, but in this case I think there’s a good debate and I’m honestly curious for your views. I’m not quite as upset about it as the fake-Portuguese, but I’ll let you try to figure out what “it” is before I get to the end. Ready? Let’s save another U.N. ambassador!
|I hear the drums echoing tonight, but she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation.|
|She's coming in, 12:30 flight. The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation.|
|I stopped an old man along the way, hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies.|
|He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry girl, it's waiting there for you"|
|It's gonna take a lot to take me away from you. There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.|
|I escaped a crane down in Africa.|
The comic book geek in me had to know if there was really a “Captain Magnet”, but honestly I am still not sure. There apparently may have been such a hero in the pages of a 1940s UK comic book series, “Super Duper Comics”, but I’m not convinced that is a “real” 1940s comic and it may just be a modern comic done in a “golden age” style. All of the references I can find to it are recent and none from reputable sources. If anyone knows anything about this so-called “Captain Magnet”, or if he was ever mentioned in Inspector Gadget the series, I’d love to know.
|Gonna take some time to do the things we never had.|
|The wild dogs cry out in the night.|
|As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company.|
|I know that I must do what's right.|
|As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti...|
|I seek to cure what's deep inside…|
|Frightened of this thing that I've become.|
Before I talk about the environmental message, I want to talk about the thing that is bugging me about this episode: racism. Or rather, how carefully the authors did or did not tiptoe around that. Am I viewing this game through a 2018 lens when I should be using a 1992 one? More than likely. But here’s the thing: there are no black people anywhere in Kenya. One of the U.N. delegates, the one that we found in L.A. was black, but absolutely no one in this episode. As this game doesn’t really have background characters, there may not have been much chance, but it seems strange that neither the man with the ape, the construction worker, or the zookeeper were of African descent. What do you make of that?
On reflection, I suspect the developers were in a bad place either way. Given that the only people that Gadget interacts with in this episode are ostensibly M.A.D. agents, making any of them black might have been worse than none at all. We can also reasonably expect that as an “evil” Russia/Germany-style organization, they naturally would have mostly Caucasian agents. Does that make it okay that an episode that takes place in Kenya would have no Kenyan characters? Not really. But like the Rio episode, the developers aren’t thinking even moderately in depth with any of these locations. I consider that a negative mark in a supposedly educational game, but it is what it is. We’ll see how they deal with the fall of the Cold War next week.
Time played: 1 hr
Total time: 4 hr 40 min
Gadget Inventory: Flashlight, Bandsaw, Binoculars, Drill, Coat
Penny’s Computer Book
|Endangered like the entirety of New Zealand?|
Within the game itself, there was very little to connect Gadget’s adventures to extinction problems. Vladimir’s desire to feed his elephant to prevent it getting sick could potentially be connected, but in that case it seems that M.A.D. might be on the side of the angels for once. In fact, zoos (even M.A.D. zoos?) are a great source of environmental education and conservation programs for kids. Was it the construction site that was the problem? Is the idea that building more destroys habitats? Perhaps, but the site was in the middle of the city and hardly prime real estate for grazing. Unlike with the deforestation episode, I really don’t see how these events connected at all with the problem they were ostensibly trying to discuss. It’s still a valuable environmental lesson, but it seems like the developers could have done a bit more to link it all together.
Next week, I’m off to Moscow for some “C.I.S.”-style espionage!