Lessons from Rendition: Guantanamo

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Half my family lives in Israel. They may be in the thick of it. I ask you to spare a thought for them and hope for their safety.

However, while I may live in the UK, and have family in Israel, when people ask “where you from”, I say the Netherlands. 

There will be elections in the Netherlands upcoming November. This, is why Total Rendition matters. So much in fact there have been numerous attempts to disrupt Total Rendition’s development. 

Lesson from Carl Schmitt?

While my words appear to be blatantly political, I do not intend Total Rendition to be overtly political at all. Total Rendition’s message should really not be that controversial or even spectacular in a genuinely free society for the same reason Wolfenstein 3D wasn’t. However, games with a story will almost always be political to some extent, because they are likely to have a friend-enemy distinction. Beyond Good & Evil had it too. Even Myst has it.

This idea that all politics is about friend-enemy distinction came from Carl Schmitt, a card-carrying Nazi. Yet, despite him being a Nazi, he was right that all politics is about distinguishing friends from enemies. The fact that Total Rendition is offending people who frankly had it coming means that the world needs Total Rendition as a cultural phenomena. 

Now almost 15 years ago, another Scotland-based company made a game with a name rather similar to Total Rendition.

Believe it or not, I only learnt of it when pre-production of Total Rendition was well underway. Still, the similarities do not end here.

The story of an ill-fated project

Rendition: Guantanamo was likewise plagued by disinformation campaigns. Its developers were falsely accused of having ties with Al Qaeda.

And so it was Rendition: Guantanamo got cancelled, the devs ultimately threw in the towel, which doomed the project. The disinformation campaigns plaguing Total Rendition are more subtle, yet perhaps no less ferocious.

Perhaps Total Rendition has the potential to become the most important Single-player title in video game history, that is, provided we are allowed to complete it, of course.

Not so niche after all

While there are a couple of people who will take offence at the prospect of Total Rendition being completed, these are hardly numerous enough to render Total Rendition “niche” because of it. Quite the opposite in fact.

The most important lesson learned from Rendition: Guantanamo is to not give up and stick to your guns (pun intended). Instead of giving up, we debunk false information. One. By one. By one.

Thank you for reading!

See also

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