Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Gamers Can Kill Osama Bin Laden in New Video Game Recreation of Assassination

New York-based online game publisherKuma Games is allowing gamers to assassinate Osama Bin Laden and experience what the brave Navy SEALs went through in Pakistan through a new free PC video game. KumaWar Episode 107: Osama 2011will be available on Saturday May 7th for anyone to download and play.

The game’s website describes the newest mission: After months of stake outs and growing amounts of Intel, a US helicopter crosses Pakistan under the cloak of darkness. Seventy-nine Navy SEALs drop from the sky into a secret compound, designed for defense and manned by Al Qaeda killers. In forty minutes and a rain of hot lead, a decades-long, worldwide manhunt for Osama Bin Laden will be ended… by you.

The website promises that “after more than 100 ripped-from-the-headlines “gameisodes,” Kuma War puts you behind the trigger that finally takes down Osama Bin Laden. Storm his mansion. Kill his guards. Don’t expect him to come quietly.”

“At Kuma, we are very sensitive and respectful of American and coalition soldiers and the sacrifices they are making every day,” said Kuma Games CEO Keith Halper. “We hope that by telling their stories with such a powerful medium that we enable the American public to gain a better appreciation of the conflicts and the dangers they face.”

Halper said that looking back at the 106 previous gameisodes of the franchise, it was important to tell this last story in order to close the door on KumaWar. The game launched on February 28, 2004 with a two-part mission that sent put gamers in control of 101stAirborne and Special Forces to hunt down and kill Uday and Qusay Hussain, sons of Saddam and leaders of his most notorious military units.

From its very first downloadable missions, Kuma Games looked to blend the latest news around the War on Terror with video commentary from military experts like Major General Thomas L. Wilkerson (ret.) in the form of Kuma News videos. Players were then able to live through the most important battles of the wars in the Middle East.

Kuma Games builds re-creations of real-world events using advanced gaming tools. KumaWar is a first and third-person tactical squad-based game that provides multiple updates monthly to the consumer’s computer to reflect unfolding events in the real world. The game developer works with a decorated team of military veterans and U.S. soldiers returning from war.

On November 24, 2005,KumaWar allowed players to hunt down and capture Saddam Hussein, in Adwar. As some 600 soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division and Special Operations move into target areas Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2, gamers must first capture Saddam’s two associates that aid the fugitive ex-president and then track down the Butcher of Baghhad.

Over the years, KumaWar has virtually recreated other wars and key historical moments for players to experience first-hand. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis, Kuma released a mission that sent players in to rescue 53 American hostages in Tehran on April 24, 1980. Players were able to live through John Kerry’s 1969 Vietnam War mission in the Mekong Delta, which earned the senator a Silver Star.

KumaWar has even recreated controversial modern day combat like the Battle for Fallujah. Perhaps it was because the game is free and available online. Publisher Konami Digital Entertainment canceled Atomic Games’Six Days of Fallujah in April 2009 after the game came under fire from families of soldiers killed in the battle. That game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC was developed by the Raleigh, North Carolina studio in conjunction with Marines and other soldiers involved in the battle. The battle resulted in the deaths of 71 U.S. troops and 1,600 insurgents. Konami showed the game to media at a gaming event a few weeks before pulling the game amidst public outrage.

Killing Bin Laden shouldn’t bring any type of moral outrage, especially given the overwhelming sense of American pride and satisfaction that has gripped the nation since word spread like wildfire online on May 1 that the Al Qaeda leader was assassinated. The global reaction to his death has been positive. Allowing gamers to step into the virtual combat boots of the highly trained SEALs that took out Bin Laden will also give anyone interested a first-hand look at what transpired in those final hours. With only some bloody photos released, Kuma’s game engine will depict an accurate 3D recreation of the final hunt for the world’s most notorious terrorist.

Although they won’t be able to kill Bin Laden, gamers who want to experience the top secret missions that the brave Navy SEALs undertake at global hotspots can pick up Sony’s PlayStation 3-exclusive SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. That game, which supports both stereo 3D and PlayStation Move, recently shipped from developer Zipper Interactive. The game allows players to hunt down terrorists and complete missions with squads of friends online.

Name Platforms Developer
Postal III PCX360PS3MAC Running With Scissors
Fugitive Hunter: War on Terrorreleased on Nov. 18, 2003 PCPS2 Black Ops Entertainment

Appears in Fugitive Hunter: War on Terror. You fight Osama Bin Laden fighting game style!

Osama bin Laden is the founder of al-Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group known for orchestrating the September 11th attacks. He was put on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives following the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa. After going into hiding in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region for nearly a decade, he was killed in a raid on his compound on May 1, 2011 by U.S. Navy Seals.

In Video Games

Osama bin Laden made an appearance as the final boss of the low budget title Fugitive Hunter: War on Terror, a game in which the player takes on missions to hunt down notorious wanted criminals. Though the game is predominantly a first-person shooter, the boss fights are staged in a fighting game format, complete with health bars for each character. Thus, the game ends with the absurd scenario of the player and bin Laden engaging in a martial arts duel. If the player wins, bin Laden is subdued and handcuffed before being taken to a waiting helicopter. Rather than simply escort him inside the vehicle, however, the protagonist delivers a jumping knee to bin Laden, sending him flying into the aircraft in the game’s final cinematic.

Games cash in on Osama
 Online gaming sites and makers of video games haven’t wasted any time in cashing in on the drama surrounding the recent killing of Osama bin Laden by the US Navy Seals. Games that allow users to not just track but torture and kill the world’s most wanted terrorist are already hot on the circuit.  On Wednesday,  newgrounds.com rolled out Osama’s Revenge — a game in which users take on the terrorist’s ghost. ‘Osama is back from the dead to take revenge. Can you kill him again?’ reads the ticker on the game, which already has over 50,000 takers.On Monday, Indian gaming website ibibo.com is all set to introduce Osama’s character in their popular game Mumbai Underworld. “Users will be allowed to bombard Osama in the game. They can also invite their Facebook friends to do the same,” says Ashish Kashyap, CEO of the website. He explains that it is part of their business strategy to remain current, as people enjoy games with news connect. Another game, Kuma War Episode: The Death of Osama bin Laden, gives players a chance to play Navy Seals and re-enact his killing. “These tabloid games will capitalise on this event for traffic,” said Ian Bogost, professor of digital media at Georgia Tech in US, to Kotaku.com.Ironically, Osama’s death has breathed new life into old games on terrorism, too. Games such as Osama Gotchi (where you can maim Osama) and Mujahideen (the winner gets to have a drink with a caricature of Osama) are more popular than ever.

“Great games … the biggest thing is that the game came true, Osama is dead,” posts Redskill, about Osama Gotchi. “I’m revisiting the games I played around 26/11, it feels great to kill terrorists,” says Varun Khanna, 23.

It’s game on for the war on terror
The 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2009 inspired games which allow users to kill all the terrorists at the site
The capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 inspired games where users had to find a hiding Saddam.
Since 2001, the war in Afghanistan has inspired games worth billions

Online video games are the newest form of social comment

New York Defender– The game starts with a cartoon World Trade Center standing beneath an open, peaceful sky. Then planes begin zooming in, and you have to shoot them out of the air before they collide with the towers. But within barely a minute, the game becomes so difficult—and the planes so frequent—that you can’t catch them all. They break through your defenses and smash huge smoky holes in the buildings. The towers collapse. Game over.

Unlike most shoot-’em-ups, New York Defender doesn’t give players a sense of excitement or joy. Instead, it makes them feel powerless. It is, in essence, a grim message about the hopelessness of anti-terrorism: Try as you might to knock every enemy out of the sky, one will always slip past. “There are no ways to actually win,” Jonathan Pitcher, one of the game’s French designers, wrote when I e-mailed him. “The winner becomes the last one to lose.” Pitcher says more than 1 million people have played New York Defender, making it an unusually popular statement about the war on terrorism.

The online video game has become the newest way to mouth off about current events. Last summer, the pass-around hit was a Lizzie Grubman game in which you mowed down hapless Hamptons townies using a grinning Lizzie in her SUV. These days, there’s a parody version of the arcade hit Street Fighter—Downing Street Fighter, in which nine British politicians beat the crap out of each other in a quest to become prime minister, all the while yelling mangled Japanese-style Engrish taunts at their opponents. (“You are no match for my kung fu. Stop wasting my time!” William Hague snarls.) It’s a jab at the whole concept of party politics—where supposedly principled debate frequently turns into a cartoonish smack-down and, quite literally, a game.

Enduring Freedom: bombing everything in sightThe war, in particular, has inspired scores of similar titles, and their makers span the political spectrum from peaceniks to hawks. One designer crafted War on Terrorism, a game that allows you to gun down the Taliban with AK-47s and sniper rifles, then pummel Osama Bin Laden with your fists. (“No better way to kill time … er, Taliban,” the creator notes on his Web page.) Another designer created Al Quaidamon, a sardonic riff on both Pokémon and human-rights concerns over how we treat prisoners of war. (“Your very own war prisoner! How will you treat him?” the game asks. “Be careful, or you might just grow to love him!”) A grisly title called Kaboom!has you play as a Palestinian suicide bomber. (“I just think people who blow themselves up are stupid,” the game’s author writes.) Meanwhile, the French creators of New York Defender also produced a game called Enduring Freedom, in which you try to bomb Afghan military bases while avoiding peaceful settlements. But the cartoonish little bases look pretty much identical to the townships, and they all whip by so fast that you wind up indiscriminately wiping out innocents despite your best efforts. Call it Collateral Damage, the game.

This material would have been unheard of a few years back, when only corporations could afford to code video games. But online animation software like Flash has made the means of production easy to download. In an hour or so, angry young Webmasters can spin their political opinions into interactive editorials. Many of the games are hosted atNewgrounds.com, a portal where thousands of people post their creations; visitors vote for their favorites, and the best ones become part of the site’s permanent collection. The site has received so many games devoted to Sept. 11 and the war in Afghanistan that it has a special section just for it.

Mind you, the social commentary in these games isn’t terribly sophisticated. Most are made by disgruntled teenage boys and young men, so they’re often riddled with bathroom humor, sophomoric sexual antics, and misogyny. But some merely push the line of taste in a creative way, like Aaron Chapman, a 21-year-old atheist living in Texas. Annoyed by what he sees as omnipresent Christianity in government and society, Chapman began making a series of anti-Jesus games—including Messiah Annihilator, in which you blast away at phalanxes of attacking Jesuses. In the final round—when, in accordance with the conventions of video games, you fight the mastermind Big Boss—the game forces you to battle an Ultra-Mega-Jesus-Bot. (To start playing, you hit a button called “Begin the blasphemy!”) Like South Park, it’s puerile but acidly funny.

As a game, however, it’s pretty dull. Most of these political games are. You’d never find yourself pumping quarters addictively into them. They’re low-tech, 2-D, cartoonish, and the game-play in most is so painfully simple that you can master them after one or two sessions at the keyboard. Yet this is, weirdly, part of the point. These games aren’t trying to get you hooked or make your thumbs sore. They’re trying to make you think.

cool links

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/40095

These links will take you to games hosted by Newgrounds.com, which archives hundreds of thousands of games and animations. Many of those games (but not the ones Slate has linked to) involve material that is openly racist, sexist, and homophobic, and Slate doesn’t endorse them in any way. In addition, most of the pages, including the ones Slatehas linked to, feature banner advertisements for pornography.


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