The video: Less than a week after Osama bin Laden was killed, Kuma Games released a free, downloadable game that allows players to recreate the raid on the terrorist's Pakistan compound, and (virtually) slay him themselves. (Watch a sample clip below.) According to the website for KumaWar Episode 107: Osama 2011, players can also be assigned the roles of al Qaeda members defending bin Laden, but cannot play as the terrorist mastermind himself, according to David Murphy at PCMag. "At Kuma, we are very sensitive and respectful of American and coalition soldiers and the sacrifices they are making every day," says CEO Keith Halper, as quoted by Forbes. Hopefully our games give Americans a "better appreciation of the conflicts and the dangers they face."
The reaction: The only thing these games will give Americans is a "sense of false closure," says Ian Bogost, professor of digital media at Georgia Tech, as quoted by Kotaku. "They are 'tabloid games'" — "quickly created release valves that capitalize on this event for traffic or attention." Agreed, says Joel Achenbach in The Washington Post. "We live in an entrepreneurial culture... nothing is so tawdry or low that we can’t find a way to make a buck from it." If only the Navy SEALs had sponsored the game, "with the revenue going to the U.S. Treasury!" Sure, that would be "inappropriate" and "undignified" — "but have you seen our balance sheet?" Check out a video of the game: