Monday, January 02, 2006

Capture Saddam Hussein in a game

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- With the troops in Iraq being the top story every night, it was bound to happen -- why not have a video war game based on the actual events that takes place in Iraq?

Military game maker Kuma Reality Games has created an ongoing war game based on incidents from the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The game is updated as events on the ground dictate it. Currently, there are more than 62 different missions that you can choose from. The missions include the capture of Saddam`s sons Uday and Qusay. In this mission you are the U.S. military and are going from building to building, trying to avoid enemy sniper fire, and must gain entry into their hideout without killing civilians.

'We are utilizing advanced game technology to recreate the historical events at the center of Saddam Hussein`s trial,' Keith Halper, CEO of Kuma Reality Games, said in a news release. 'These games allow people to educate themselves on critical events shaping history using powerful interactive tools, while also providing a dynamic forum for exploration and discussion.'

Playing this game is like learning history or playing the 'news' -- it`s a fun and unique experience. During one mission you can help John Kerry earn his Silver Star by playing a recreation of the 1969 Vietnam War mission where he saved members of his Swift boat team by plowing through rivers in the Mekong Delta while preparing for a deadly Vietcong ambush. This mission was fun and it was just weird playing a war game where you get to control John Kerry. In another mission you can be a member of the Iraqi police force. In this mission you try and protect recruitment sites, police the war zone, and try and help the American forces as much as you can, while avoiding being attacked by insurgents.

One of the neat things about this entire project is, not only do you get to actually play these missions, but each mission has a page that sums up the events it`s portraying with some facts figures, and more. This gives the each level a unique context. For instance, Kuma`s newest mission is based on the Saddam Hussein trial as it attempts to recreate the events of Saddam`s alleged mass execution of villagers in the Iraqi town of Dujayl.

In this mission, Users enter the Iraqi town of Al-Dujayl on the very day Hussein purportedly ordered the brutal attack that resulted in the public execution of 143 villagers, the deaths of 15 additional citizens and the imprisonment of more than 1,500 innocent people. For all of you military strategists, there`s a mission where you can execute a military strike on Iran`s nuclear facility.

This just really stood out for me because A. It glamorizes The War and makes it cool. B. It shapes public opinon through blatent use of propaganda. I mean, the news seems to be losing even the pretense of objectivity, so why not write the winning side of History before it even happens. C. It seems to be preparing us mentally for the next conflict in our Eternal War. News from the Future.

I personally want the game where I get to attach electrodes to a suspected terrorists genitellia or extract their teeth. Later, I can use my Executive War Powers to spy on Americans and put PETA on my Terrorist List.

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