game screenshot

Pipe TroubleThis computer game lets players connect with their inner pipeline-loving capitalists.

You can now tap into your inner evil capitalist and lay virtual oil pipelines through meadows and fields while trying to avoid conflicts with virtual farmers and virtual environmentalists. Sounds like fun, right?

Well, not according to a number of government officials in Canada, where the game has been kicking up controversy since its release last month. Their big complaint is that the game includes pipeline bombings. From CBC News:

[W]hen the game play gets too heated, a level is sometimes ended with the bombing of the imaginary pipeline, which brings to mind several unsolved bombings that took place in B.C. in 2008 and 2009.

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Oh, and they’re also not happy that the game was developed with taxpayer funds. From CTV News:

The game, called “Pipe Trouble,” was released by TV Ontario, the province’s public broadcaster. …

The game is described on a TVO blog as a “companion ethical game” to a documentary called “Trouble in the Peace,” which addresses local opposition to pipelines and the bombing of pipelines in Peace River, B.C.

screenshot from game

Pipe TroubleA virtual farmer issues a virtual warning.

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In Pipe Trouble, you race against a clock to clear plots of land and connect pieces of oil-carrying pipeline to earn money. Lay a pipeline too close to wildlife or livestock and the animals flee. Bulldoze a tree and a protest ensues. Piss off a farmer and you’re in real trouble.

TVO has removed the game from its website while it is being independently reviewed.

More from CBC News:

Alberta Premier Alison Redford said it is disappointing for a taxpayer-funded game to depict the blowing up of pipelines, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she’s looking into the matter.

B.C. premier Christy Clark said there is no place for positions that advocate violence.

“In British Columbia, we have a long history of strong, vigorous debate on issues and it is always done in a respectful way,” she said.

“There is no place in debate for positions that advocate violence and it is disappointing this video would even suggest that approach is appropriate.”

According to the Canuck killjoys, the only real fun begins when you remove “virtual” from the scenario and start moving around actual bitumen that causes actual environmental catastrophes and makes actual evil capitalists richer.

Just wait ’til these boring old spoilsports learn what happens in Grand Theft Auto. Hooboy, once they find out about the computer games that kids are actually playing these days, their heads will explode like a tar-sands oil pipeline passing through a quiet Arkansas neighborhood.

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