Monday, November 22, 2004

THIS IS NOT HISTORY

Scotish company Traffic Games, released a new video game today entitled 'JFK-Reloaded.' Simply put, the game allows the player to re-create the events in Dallas of November 22, 1963 and attempt to kill the president again.

Not suprisingly the Kennedy family has called the game 'despicable.'

The producers of the game defend themselves:

"What we are hoping to do is re-ignite people's passion for history. This is a unique insight into the assassination. We think there's a whole generation of people who have no experience of the Kennedy assassination.

If this is the way they want to ignite an interest in, and teach young people about, American history I've got a few ideas for new video games I expect we will be seeing soon:

Virginia Plantation Re-born
A sim style game in which the player operates a cotton plantation in late-18th century Virginia. Starting with just a few acres of land and only two slaves you have to manage your crop, and your slave labour to become the wealthiest plantation owner in the state. Choose between different styles of slave management, from benevolent paternalist to brutal... slave driver. Bonus points for freeing all your slaves just before the game ends, but after you have the high score.

Trail of Tears Marches Again
This would probably be a top-down role playing game. Its the summer of 1838 and you are a U.S Army lieutenant under the command of General Winfield Scott. Your mission: Round up 10,000 Cherokee from North Georgia and march them to Oklahoma, pronto. Make sure you get all of those Indians out of Georgia, and use as little food and resources as possible in getting them to Oklahoma. Remember, you're not too concerned if the Indians don't make it to Oklahoma, just don't leave any in Georgia. High score goes to the player who completes the mission causing the least hassle for the federal government.

United Airlines Flight 93 Re-fought
A first-person action game/flight simulator. Its the morning of September 11, 2001. You are one of the lead highjackers on United Flight 93. Your fellow highjackers have already flown their jet-missiles into the Trade Towers and the Pentagon. The passengers and crew of your plane, however, are giving you some trouble. Your mission: Subdue the passengers and crew, take control of your plane and crash it into the Capitol Building, the White House, or another side of the Pentagon; your choice. Highscore for the most damage caused to whichever building you choose to hit.

Are you getting the point?

A video game re-enacting the Kennedy assassination is not a means to study history, or honour history, or stimulate interest in history. Its an exploitation and glorification of a tragic and despicable crime of history. Justifying a video game like this as promoting interest in history is like burning books to promote an appreciation of literature.

Posted by Matthew @ 4:14 PM