Mario Greco, a candidate for Canada’s People’s Party, has defended his “culture shootout” video game that includes shooting a Pride parade.
Grego is a candidate in suburban Ontario who works as a high school computer teacher and previously studied video game design at university in Ontario.
While there, he courted controversy creating his “Happy Culture Shootout” video game, a Space Invader style game that has players shooting lasers at caricatures of different identity groups.
His intention was to “end global war and discrimination”, but notes that some were offended by the game.
Greco spoke to PressProgress about the caricatures in the game, saying “They’re not dying in the game, no one’s dying in the game, there isn’t a single person that dies in the game.
“They’re beams of light, no one’s dying, they’re being sent to Happy Land because the goal was to end war and discrimination.”
Greco disputes the game is discriminatory.
“People can believe what they want of pieces of art,” he told PressProgress. “These days anything could be perceived as racist.
“I just picked up stereotypes on the fly. I put in Italian stereotypes, Canadian stereotypes, it’s like how Russell Peters would make fun of different cultures.”
In a video presentation from his time at university acquired by PressProgress, he drew parallels to the game Super Columbine Massacre RPG based on the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
“When it comes to art,” he told PressProgress, “art is in the eye of the beholder.”
“If someone has a napkin and fixes it up a certain way and they find it to be emotionally evoking, then that to them would be art.”
Today, the People’s Party candidate disputes that the game is far-right.
“I don’t see any kind of right-wing or far-right-wing or extremist views from that because you’re trying to unite humanity,” he said.
However, on social media he appears to echo far-right sentiment.
In 2017 he shared an image on Facebook in which students had drawn an image of Pepe the Frog – a known far right symbol of white supremacy.
The People’s Party of Canada was set up by former Conservative Party member Maxime Bernier. It’s been described as populist and nationalist and generally considered to be right-wing.
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