Marvel’s Spider-Man has been criticized for forcing players to work with the NYPD and fix city surveillance in the game.
A lot of the gameplay in Marvel’s Spider-Man involves working with the NYPD and fixing city surveillance in the open-world New York City setting. Deadspin writer Tom Ley has criticized the game for featuring these elements in an overly positive and unrealistic light. Ley also goes on to write that the game is aggressively promoting a pro-police and pro-surveillance agenda:
“Granted, I am only a few hours into the game, but so far the primary objective boils down to Help The Cops. Not just any cops, either, but the NYPD specifically, because the game takes place in a true-to-life rendering of New York City. It’s dumb to expect video games to be responsible reflections of real life, but it is also impossible, for me at least, to not feel some ickiness about the game forcing me into cahoots with even a fictionalized version of the NYPD, an organization that routinely oppresses some of the most vulnerable residents of the city I live in.”
“I’m not grasping for as many straws as it may appear. Spider-Man doesn’t just help the cops by catching armed robbers and putting deranged super villains in jail, he helps them maintain a high-tech, citywide surveillance network. One of the ongoing missions in the game is to have Spider-Man repair NYPD operated (and Oscorp-constructed) surveillance towers that stand atop various buildings throughout the city. When these towers are repaired they allow the NYPD to monitor all citizens within a certain radius of the tower, and for Spider-Man to get real-time updates on happenings within the city via an uplink with the towers.”
Do you think the game is pushing a pro-police or pro-surveillance agenda? Comment below!