The Paranoid Guide to Better Living: Killing bin Laden - The Game
And now your host, Paranoia:
Ever since the death of bin Laden, there has been celebrating by the American people. While celebrating one man's death is a question better asked of a morality expert and is still being hotly debated, a game allowing you to participate in that death opens up debate on a different type of morality. The game is called "Raid on Osama bin Laden Compound" and was posted May 7th. Game creator Jeremy Alessi, tweeted: “Can games be created quickly enough to be relevant in the news space? I think so. Look what we did.” He quickly became an internet sensation, even being interviewed by Wired.
The game took 25 hours to make, and it should be noted that it was not the first game to take aim at bin Laden. A mere ten days after September 11, 2001 this game was posted at Newgrounds.com. It's short, it's sweet, you get to shoot bin Laden in the head. So what is our fascination with death in this sense? Do we really need to replay the action taken by our Navy SEALS? Is this some sort of closure? Or are we just obsessed with death in such a way that the only way to express that is with dealing death ourselves?
But think about that. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 there is a scene where you play a CIA plant in a Russian gang. Your mission? Gun down innocent citizens at an airport. The game offers you the chance to opt out, but really, who does that? So why do we play that and not find it a tough moral issue for ourselves? You are killing innocent civilians. "It's just a game" you might say. Sure. But there may be a deeper psychological reason you don't think twice about it.
Over at The Cross and the Controller, a gaming website centered around morality and religion in relation to video games, Benjamin Wallis says that perhaps, it's less a morality issue and more that of simply playing the classic childhood game "Cops & Robbers."Continued on the next page