Canadian "pipeline" game enrages humourless oilpatch blowhards

Adam Young sez,

A developer made a game that's a spin on the old "waterworks"/"pipe mania" type game with an oil pipeline theme... complete with pixel-art anti-pipeline protesters. Like most indie developers, they were eligible and applied for funding from a variety of sources. They are donating a portion of the proceeds to the David Suzuki Foundation.

Apparently this made some blowhards angry, who think that "tax dollars funded the game" and shouldn't fund a game about blowing up pipelines, and that the developer donating to a non-profit charity somehow constitutes an ethics violation, having received so-called "tax-dollar funding". Tax breaks and grants and things are available to all sorts of content and media producers in Canada. Game development and film production and the like are industries that are very active here. It's also not illegal to donate proceeds to non-profit charities.

Pipe Trouble


  1. Looking at some of the comments on the original National Post article, it’s pretty clear that a lot of people have trouble differentiating between a game and reality. A game does not cause people to blow up pipelines, no more than it causes them to build them. Well, duh…

      1. Sounds like the National Post is a waste of time like FOX “News” is.  Just the FUD instead of just the FACTS.

    1. Even stranger, the game isn’t about the blowing up pipelines. The object is to build a pipeline that comes in under budget and is built along a root that doesn’t affect the wild life, so that the cartoon lobbyist and the cartoon protester are kept happy. 

  2. While this does all seem a lot of hullabaloo about nothing, the quoted summary is inaccurate based on the source and seems designed to incite instead of inform, which makes me sad.

    Based on the linked National Post article, TVO is taxpayer-funded, not the game developers.

    Also I don’t see anywhere on the NP article that says “tax dollars funded the game” as the summary inaccurately quotes.

    The source article also doesn’t say anything about donating to charity being illegal – only that “Vic Fedeli said it’s not appropriate” – big difference between illegal and inappropriate.

    1. I checked out the news article on CBC.CA

      The headline here is sensationalist and seems to be factually wrong.  I’ve left a comment there also.

      It seems that someone heard something about someone seeing something about this game and it had the words Pipeline and Bomb included somewhere.  Therefore PANIC and IDIOCY!

      It’s sad how media tends to fail to do any original research and only parrots the sound-bytes of whom they are reporting on as though they were facts and truths.

      Edit: Just checked the CBC article and it’s headline has been updated to be less of a sensationalist falsehood. I wonder how many people it takes to comment/complain before they changed this?

  3. It’s amazing how a game that’s objective is to actually build, not destroy oil lines could get such a bad wrap from the conservative press. 

    So where do we canadians threaten to move if this shit keeps going on?

    1. There is however the implication that pipeline companies have a responsibility to balance environmental and social harm against pure profitability.

      And if you were bloody-mindedly impervious to understanding of both satire and video game mechanics, you could even take it to imply that oil companies are the ones fully responsible for bombing campaigns against them – the actions you control are solely those of the oil company, therefore that’s the only means you have of preventing bombing campaigns, therefore the developers must believe (rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb) that oil companies are solely responsible for the actions of bombers.

  4. One of the key points that has been missed is that the game was made as a companion piece for a documentary call Trouble in the peace. Well worth checking out.

    So it is an ethical game, that compliments the theme of the movie.

  5. No Canadian should get an out of jail free card when  they are uttering threats, promoting terrorism, recruiting people and training them in how to “blow up” infrastructure, no organization should be accepting monies solicited from promoting death and destruction.

    Anti-terrorism Act
    S.C. 2001, c. 41
    Assented to 2001-12-18

    An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Official Secrets Act, the Canada Evidence Act, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act and other Acts, and to enact measures respecting the registration of charities, in order to combat terrorism

    AND WHEREAS these comprehensive measures must include legislation to prevent and suppress the financing, preparation, facilitation and commission of acts of terrorism, as well as to protect the political, social and economic security of Canada and Canada’s relations with its allies;

    Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act
    S.C. 2012, c. 1, s. 2
    Assented to 2012-03-13

    An Act to deter acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians

    [Enacted by section 2 of chapter 1 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, in force on assent March 13, 2012.]

    Whereas Parliament recognizes that terrorism is a matter of national concern that affects the security of the nation and considers it a priority to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians;

    Whereas Canada ratified the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism on February 15, 2002;

    Whereas hundreds of Canadians have been murdered or injured in terrorist attacks;

    Whereas terrorism is dependent on financial and material support;

    Whereas certain states that support terrorism should not benefit from state immunity in this regard;

    And whereas Parliament considers that it is in the public interest to enable plaintiffs to bring lawsuits against terrorists and their supporters, which will have the effect of impairing the functioning of terrorist groups in order to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians;

    Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

    3. The purpose of this Act is to deter terrorism by establishing a cause of action that allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators of terrorism and their supporters.

    1.  Have you actually read anything about the game or anything, or is your copy and paste just a kneejerk reaction after you heard the name ‘Suzuki’?

      1. Thank you for the reply, yes I checked out the propaganda before verifying our anti-terrorist laws and yes I am now on the list of potential terror suspects for doing so. However it is the actual facilitators, financiers, charities, and perpetrators of anti-pipeline terror that have finally been caught, it only has taken the Reynard Project about five years to do so. 

        Data Mining Report

        1.  Say what?  As far as I can tell you link to an intelligence report about data mining, which has zero to do with a video game about pipeline building.

          Anti-pipeline terror?  Where?  Charities?  Who?  Can I have some of what you are smoking?

          1. Thank you for your courteous reply and questions of curiosity.

            The developer continues to solicit and has allegedly told  a radio 1130 news reporter:

            “He says the game reflects the real-life scenario of bombs being planted along Encana natural gas pipelines in the Peace several years ago.”

            ““When we were developing the game, we were looking at taking these various real-world experiences and integrating them into the game,” he explains.”

            In regards to Data Mining as being part of an inexpensive, effective tool kit for Canadian Peace Officers to use, only time will tell how effective it is. 

  6. Does anyone else have a hard time commenting?  It took me 7 tries over several hours to get so that I could actually post a comment (not that I was trying that hard, but I’d come into the thread and the comment box would say ‘please wait’ forever and then I’d leave). 

    And it’s a frikkin video game.  This is just something for people to hyperventilate about, particularly those that have no idea about video games and what they are/how they work.

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