“There are two big reasons Activision needs to get a real tight grip on its joystick.”
Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega is suing American game maker Activision Entertainment for allegedly using his image in its massively popular game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Noriega is suing from a Panama prison where he’s likely to die while serving a 20-year sentence that began 2011. Noriega was previously imprisoned in France, and that was after his incarceration in the US in the 1990s. He’s a bad guy.
But the lawsuit is no joke. In it Noriega accuses Activision of using his visage to “heighten realism in its video game.” If the company did model its operative on Noriega in order to add scary intrigue, it couldn’t have picked a better man. The pock-faced Noriega was on the CIA payroll for decades while he freely butchered anybody in his path, before being taken down by the same US government that had propped him up. There are two big reasons Activision needs to get a real tight grip on its joystick. First the similarities: Noriega was a career soldier who studied Psyops under American tutelage at Fort Bragg. And second, the team: Noriega is represented by Thomas Girardi, the first attorney to win a $1 million award for a medical malpractice case, back in 1970. He’s also the Erin Brockovich guy. Girardi has dealt with Central American trouble before, too. According to Wikipedia, he tried to get the US to enforce a judgment by a Nicaraguan court against Shell and Dole Food. It didn’t work. But this one might have better legs: you have to admit the Black Ops guy does look like Noriega.