Social Justice Warriors are deeply triggered this week on news that the new Spider-Man game for Playstation 4, “Spider-Man,” has the web-slinging hero teaming up with the New York Police Department and helping out the cops instead of battling against oppressive and trigger-happy members of law enforcement.
The game, which was released last week, features Peter Parker in his eponymous role, of course, but also adds a side job for the gawky-teen-turned-Marvel-superhero, “Spider-Cop” — a joking alter-alter-ego that has Peter Parker helping the NYPD locate and capture criminals terrorizing the streets of New York — and features levels of game play where Spider-Man activates a series of surveillance cameras designed to help him keep better track of where evil-doers are lurking on the city streets.
Spider-Man, as he’s done largely as a rule since his first appearance in comic book form, also leaves his captured foes for the New York Police Department to book and prosecute.
This week, video game journalists zeroed in on poor Spider-Man, calling him a “narc” and suggesting that his alliance with cops — and specifically the NYPD — feels “out of touch” in our woke era.
Deadspin was the first, declaring that “they turned Spider-Man into a damn cop and it sucks.” Author Tom Ley declared that he felt “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,” and that “Spider-Man deserves better than to be allied with such forces.”
The Ringer declared that the video game had fallen prey to “the Spider-Cop problem.” Action Button director of games Tim Rogers slammed Spider-Man as an “UNPAID PIG” and a narc. Kotaku Australia called Spider-Man “out of touch,” and “accepting of state power” — apparently a clear indication that Spider-Man is a crypto-Fascist, hiding in plain sight in a spandex costume.
Much of the criticism centers around a fake “security web” based on technology created by Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis at OsCorp that provides the NYPD with some form of blanket surveillance. While increased state surveillance is a modern concern, it’s important to note that Spider-Man is a work of fiction and is in no way intended to become a commentary on the expanded police state nor designed to brainwash children into accepting intrusion on their Constitutional rights.
It’s … a game.
The fact that OsCorp created the web also indicates that perhaps Spider-Man’s cheerful police assistance might provide an avenue for one of the hero’s foils to infiltrate Spider-Man’s network. Call me crazy, but Spider-Man doesn’t typically work for OsCorp to mutually beneficial results.