Isn’t It Weird to Add Celebrities to a Game Where They Get Shot?

Wow, I just took out my favorite singer with a headshot
Isn’t It Weird to Add Celebrities to a Game Where They Get Shot?

Its just been announced that the latest skin to be added to cartoonish PlaySkool battle royale Fortnite is Billie Eilish. Which is good news for big Billie Eilish fans who want the chance to use her skin in the game. At the same time, I cant be the only one who thinks adding celebrity skins to shooters is a little weird, right? 

Yes, the new skin will result in thousands of virtual Billies running around the world of Fortnite, but that also means the Fortnite servers will be full of Billie Eilish corpses that were sniped from downfield. Will a reluctance to place a sniper round between the eyes of their idol cost some Eilish stan their victory royale?

Look, Im not going full Tipper Gore here. I dont care much about over-the-top video game violence. Re-release Manhunt on Switch for all I care! I think though, that we can all admit its strange for a celebrity to sign over the rights to their likeness in order for people to repeatedly turn their head into red mist. 

I realize that Fortnite is basically the NERF of shooters — and that it's not like Eilishs virtual counterpart will be spurting blood from a gut wound — but the same cant be said for some of Call of Dutys celebrity guests.

For example, in the clip above, you can see soccer icon Lionel Messi gutting fellow footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Junior like a fish —  omplete with blood spurting from Neymars throat. It feels especially weird with it being a sports star, almost guaranteed to be the hero of a whole lot of children. What happened to Wheaties boxes and Space Jam? Imagine kids begging their parents for their credit card number so they could sever someones spine as Michael Jordan in his flu game fit.

The latest people to be added are Cheech and Chong, which I guess are at least characters, but are still definitely two real people who you can virtually execute. They seem to have gone for a funny and bloodless finishing move for the duo, but its not like that isnt immediately preceded by Tommy Chong unloading a magazine of 5.56 ammunition directly into the back of a mans thorax, complete with clouds of blood puffing out of his lungs.

Again, Im not looking to make a moral judgment here; I just think we all need to admit that this is a particularly weird brand of licensing. If you put up art of a celebrity getting murked with a shotgun, youd probably get your door kicked down. But in video game studios, theyre perfecting death animations for the same people.


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