Dean Evans is far from being a household name, but in certain gaming circles he’s revered as the somewhat warped brains behind the hugely popular Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. In other words – when it comes to video games, Dean Evans is a “somebody.” But, it turns out, Blood Dragon‘s “get the girl, kill the bad guys, and save the world” plot is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Evans’ gaming goals.
In an interview with Vox Media’s “Polygon” gaming site, Evans spills the beans on one of his other pet projects – One which, fortunately/unfortunately, never saw the light of day:
Evans’ second big pitch, which he acknowledges was “incredibly offensive,” was for an adventure game called So Jew Wanna Be a Thief? by a fake company named “Jewbisoft.” [Editors Note: “Ubisoft” is the company behind Evans’ “Far Cry 3”] Players would be put into the role of a misunderstood Hasidic Jewish man who snuck around stealing things.
“People think he’s a thief and they say, ‘Oh he’s just stealing shit, Jews, all about his money,’ but that’s not it at all,” Evans explained. “He’s got a serious problem, he’s got kleptomania.”
The interview goes on to point out that So Jew Wanna Be A Thief was to have been more than just a collection of crass jokes. Rather:
…its stealth mechanics were serious. The game’s inventory system would have been similar to that of Resident Evil or Silent Hill, with all items laid out on a grid, but with a strategic element to their organization. Players would have to be careful what items them put next to each other so they made no noise when they ran. For example, placing two bottles next to each other would cause a clinking sound that would alert security guards when running.
Given that the ADL was “overjoyed” at the cancelation of an early game which featured a Jewish protagonist killing Nazis during an escape from Auschwitz, I can only imagine they’re already sharpening their knives for Mr. Evans. Still, keeping in mind how how much fun the recently (re)released Shivah game turned out to be – who knows? – maybe, just maybe, So Jew Wanna Be A Thief would have been a pleasant surprise as well.
…Okay, probably not. A game wholly premised on a stale stereotype (even if it, supposedly, subverts that stereotype – “He’s got kleptomania”) sounds less offensive than it does entirely uninteresting. So he’s Jewish and also he’s gotta steal stuff? That’s a one-trick pony; A pony whose one trick is to be mildly off-putting while simultaneously boring.
Shock video games can be a blast if the offense is done in the service of something genuinely creative and fun. But if, on the other hand, the game is simply a vehicle for a dumb joke told poorly? Phhhbt. I’ll stick with Revolution X – at least that had Aerosmith.
[cover image via College Humor]