Is it okay to play a game about 911? Is it okay to make a game about 911? I came across the 2003 project 9-11 Survivor by accident. I was watching a lecture that Nonny de la Peña gave at the USC Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism on YouTube. She talked about the 9-11 game that “was created as an art-class project by three students at the University of California, San Diego, John Brennan, Mike Caloud and Jeff Cole. They said their goal was to reinterpret a historic moment by transplanting it to the medium with which they were most familiar: computer games.” (NYT) Does someone know if it is still somewhere out there on the Internet?
Strange piece of work
Anyhow, i was thrilled while looking at the small Screenshots. For me this has got nothing to do with Sensationlism but can be understood as an artistic way of coping with the incident. I remember an exhibition somewhere with a looped Video of the planes coming closer to the World Trade Center.
The Video was a cartoon and every time the planes nearly touched the Towers something different and unexpected happened. The Towers just moved to the right or moved to the left. The Towers were elastic and catapulted the planes away. It was a very strong piece of work. It is burned-in my memories as a despaired try to somewhat cope with the the unique incident. Does anyone by any chance know that piece of work and the artist who did it?
The old man
People turn to games for coping with complex situations. One of my strongest memories about 911 is an old man whom i saw on some german tv station days after September 11th. He easfully said that one had to have some sort of respect for the Terrorists because they had managed to hit the Towers. The man continued explaining, that he had spent hours and hours trying to hit the World Trade Center with a plane back at home playing a flight simulator. He said that he did not manage to make it. A bizarre moment for me at that time. But quite comprehensible if you think about it for a minute.
Reading an article about Jens Stober´s 1378km on the gamescenes blog i came across two further examples of games, that also have been accused of sensationalism and cruelty against the victims: Waco Resurrection (2004) by Eddo Stern, Peter Brinson and Brody Condon, a videogame about the siege of David Koresh’s ranch in Texas and Super Columbine Massacre RPG by Danny Ledonne about the Columbine High School massacre which took place in 1999.