War on Terrorism 2


Perhaps in all of our talk of representation, history, memory and extension, it is just fine that we discuss this video game that I discovered this week. Literally the name of the game is “War on Terrorism 2.” It is a small, Flash format game that can be played by anyone online- mixed in with pleasure games as well.

Let’s look at the totalizing discourses representative here. This game is a point-and-shoot kill terrorists game. The terrorists are all masked and look the same, we are un-killable and heroes to the end. As we skulk and shoot our way through historic landmarks of terrorism, some might say that we are healing ourselves by ‘fighting-back’ and not being afraid. Games like these quell our fear of feeling close the enemy and the source of our War on Terror occupational violence by distancing real lives, cultures, and figures into 360 bit processing and pleasing color palettes.

Yet we are all still very afraid, we are all still scared that we might be attacked or hurt or killed or something equally as bad. The terror is persistent in Americans, at least what I can perceive, even because our media is at once attempting to quell fears by resorting to a singular national identity under which we can all unite (All Hail the Commander in Chief!) yet also continuing to terrorize us with “orange threats” and the ambiguity of terrorists in their grey, masked, everywhereness such as in this game.

We so desperately wish to be in control that we are willing to point and shoot and kill and take that as a semblance of victory. I don’t know anything about the virtual men I have just killed in Britain’s subway system, I wont be able to, its just a game. Then again, I won’t be able to know if I really killed them. I won’t know and can’t know that I am safe unless I continue, in an effortless point and click, mindless pursuit of calm, continue to point and shoot, point and shoot, point and shoot. Well, it’s just a game. Yet how am I to know the difference now?


~ by 1womanarmy on March 11, 2008.

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