JFK: Revolution

Remember JFK: Reloaded?

It was the game by the company Traffic in which you became Lee Harvey Oswald and shot Kennedy. Well, Gamecloud.com had a news story about it the other day (here) and in it Traffic’s Kirk Ewing said “We did not expect that the game would have that kind of reaction,” and I believe him. In this day and age where more virtual World War II soldiers have been killed than there are real ones left alive, who cares if we kill Kennedy a few more times? Apparently many people as the game caught massive flack not only from the mainstream, but from gamers also, who on the news linksite EvilAvatar.com said things like:

“Tasteless.””Who even thought this shit up?”

“Apparently this company is run by a bunch of crack whores and druggies who give nothing they do any forethought.”

“Heck while there[sic] doing that they should create a sidescroller about gassing innocent people and then incinerating their bodies! The faster you can get the chlorine gas cannisters[sic] from storage, the more points! And remeber[sic] folks, PITCHFORKS work great against dead people, when it comes to cleaning up fast.”

And this gem: “The fact that they launched it around the anniversary of the JFK killing and offered 10,000 dollars to “whom ever” could reproduce the event closest to the actual killing is in fact tasteless.” I point that one out because it could almost be taken seriously if not coming from a guy who calls himself ‘SATAN’.

But why would people get so angry about this? Well, okay, maybe the Kennedys have a right to be a bit disconcerted, but that’s it! Traffic had an idea that Oswald did it, and that a lone gunman could have easily done it, and wanted to share that idea in the form of a game. Oliver Stone took the exact opposite idea, that there was a larger governmental conspiracy, made a movie of it, and won a metric shitload of awards. (Yes, a shitload is a metric unit. Go metric system!) Of course, Stone also made assloads of cash. (Assloads are a standard unit of measurement.) Because this guy makes it for a different artistic medium, we crucify him. So what if he wanted to cause a little controversy with it? You think Stone didn’t?

I not only think that they should still offer the game (that they took down, due to legal threats from the Kennedys,) I want an updated version of the idea with a multitude of famous historical events. I want the ability to become anyone there, and try to interact any way I could. I want to be a bystander at JFK’s assassination and trying to run and take the bullet for the President! Could you make it in time, or would the secret service take you out first? Would Oswald still get the shot off? What if someone modded it to give an alternative idea, that of there being a ‘second gunman on the grassy knoll’ and you were able to be him or take him out?

Yes, it all builds up to the eventual goal of a reality simulation (and the unreality simulation,) and the limitless things that can be done within. But far before we get to that point, we as gamers need to acknowledge the simple idea that games can be used to exhibit and share ideas/arguments, even if we don’t like the ideas, the artists behind them, or their execution. Otherwise we’ll end up as “Comic Books II,” a beautiful medium with amazing potential that is almost completely looked at as childish. We’re damn near there already. But hey, maybe other gamers want our artistic pinnacles to be Madden and 50 Cent: Bulletproof.

Y’know, I think this would be a fantastic game for the Nintendo Revolution. It would be great beside my fishing sim, matador sim, and kayaking sim.