Euro Truck Simulator 2's vaccine trucker event causes offence to anti-vax moronsPlatforms: PC
SCS Software had a hell of a PR mess on their hands yesterday after announcing the "Hauling Hope" in-game event for both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator. The special event challenged players to deliver COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
Naturally, because the world is a bonfire of idiocy, this announcement was met by some outrage from anti-science dickheads claiming SCS were injecting "politics" into the game and promoting putting "poison" into people's arms. Such moronic claims barely warrant a dismissive scoff, let alone a full response, but SCS attempted to put out that fire and did a terrible job of it.
In a follow-up press release, that has since been deleted, SCS said "We salute to the real truckers out there tirelessly working and facing the very difficult challenge of distributing vaccines around world these days! We do not take a stand neither for or against vaccines," emphasis ours.
Anyone with a brain raised an eyebrow at this muddled attempt to pander to dangerous ignorance and, yet again, the studio had to send out another press release to clarify their previous clarification.
"The statement we tried to express in the previous press-release should have always been this: 'No matter if you stand for vaccines or against them, these truckers still have to work really hard and we wanted to give them their well-deserved 15 minutes of fame."
Once again, some weird capitulation to people whose opinions are misinformed and can cost lives, so SCS producer Tomáš Duda went to Twitter to once again try to clear up any confusion.
This is going well so far. At this stage, there is still no visible stance against anti-vaxxers. These people are a threat to our society at a moment of unprecedented danger, the roots of this movement go beyond COVID and dig into anti-autism hate groups. These people are hateful, ignorant fools. They have always been hateful, ignorant fools. They should not be treated like their views are valid and respected, these sort of backwards attitudes should be challenged and shamed.
Finally, in an email to outlets such as PC Gamer, SCS took a firmer stance and issued an apology for any confusion on their position on vaccines.
"We would like to clarify that we fully recognize the threats posed by COVID-19, and the effects and turmoil that the pandemic has caused around the globe. We firmly believe that the way forward is to have faith in science, to adhere to recommended COVID guidelines and to practice good personal hygiene," a studio rep said.
The studio claimed their original announcement was an attempt to celebrate the truckers responsible for delivering the vaccine while respecting the politics of some members of their player base who disagree with the vaccines.
"We are cognizant of the diversity of our player base, numbering tens of thousands each day, and how their personal and differing opinions may stir controversy on social media. As such, we communicated to our players to focus on the intent of the event and called for calm, given that participation in the event was entirely voluntary."
Getting to the offence caused by the first response, they make a firmer stance on the importance of vaccines right now: "However, an accompanying press release that followed the initial announcement of the event carried an unfortunate rephrasing of the original message on our blog. This message may have given the wrong impression that we are denying responsibility by avoiding a clear stance on COVID vaccines. Our position is as such: We created this event to recognize the sacrifices of truckers and logistics staff in these difficult times. We are resolute in our belief that vaccines offer a glimmer of hope for normalcy once again, and we are proud to stand behind sound policies and good research."
They got there in the end but, christ alive, that was a PR mess. A well-intentioned gesture became muddled because the gaming industry once again made the mistake of trying to "both sides" an issue where one side are dipshits.