The much-anticipated South Park computer role-playing game, to be released next month, aims to put the player inside an episode of the venerable and cheeky animated TV show, and does not shy away from the edgier aspects of the franchise: the game includes “Jew” as a playable character, alongside the traditional fantasy tropes of “Fighter,” “Mage” and “Thief.”
A video preview of the game’s opening sequence, released on Friday, breaks it down: the player is a new kid in South Park, having moved to the “quiet” Colorado town with his parents under mysterious circumstances. The first quest is to go out and make friends, which leads to the discovery of a widespread Live Role Playing Game (LARP) being played by the local children.
(For those who don’t know, LARPing is basically running around in costumes doing make-believe, except with rules and a moderator, and stuff. People spend a lot of time and effort doing this. Really.)
The new friends lead the player to meet Cartman, the primary antagonist from the show, who also happens to be a notorious anti-Semite, which is often used to humorous/offensive/satirical effect. Here, he plays a wizard, the leader of one of the factions in the game, and functions as a guide to teach the player the ropes of game-play.
As mentioned previously, the player is asked to choose a character class — basically the main role or abilities for the game — and in the promotional video, the player chooses “Jew,” which outfits him in a yarmulke and ritual fringed player shawl.
“So, I guess we’ll never really be friends,” Cartman the Wizard says upon the choice, and adds: “Welcome to the KKK, Douchebag the Jew, who can probably also handle our finances.”
The video reveals that the Jew class wields a shepherd’s crook as a melee weapon, and a “Sling of David” — really an old sock — as a missile weapon, which, when an opponent is struck, causes him to bleed little Stars of David.
The rest of the video sets up the main conflict in the game: kids dressed as Elves vs. kids dressed as fantasy Humans fighting for control of the Stick of Destiny, which is… just some stick. Or shtick.
South Park is, of course, well known for poking fun at nearly everyone, and this game, to be released for Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 in the USA on March 4, skewers the geek-RPG and gaming culture worlds, some of the very people who will likely purchase the game — which, by the way, is for mature audiences only. Which won’t stop legions of 13-year-old boys from getting their hands on it.
Of course, Jewish folks will get it also, despite, or perhaps because of, the Jewish-oriented satire. South Park’s legendary drive to poke fun at everyone and anything seems only to endear the series to its fans all the more, most of the time.