The video game ‘New York Defender II’ found on a French web site under the chaos category uses the 9/11 tragedy as a playing field and offends on so many levels it’s hard to keep track.
There was a rule in entertainment that stated, tragedy plus time equals comedy. Unfortunately the time that our culture demands for a respectable waiting period is growing shorter by the day. There are some things however that should always be exempt from this reasoning and have the eternal respect of our nation and culture. Pearl Harbor and the September attacks on the World Trade Centers are just two of the many that come to mind.
Even as the popular Jon Stewart twitters and mugs at the camera with the sacrifice of our brave soldiers as the news backdrop for his comedy (and a source of his income) people still have to be abhorred by the gall of this game’s developers and their amoral approach to entertainment. The designer claims the game is structured to show that it’s impossible to fight terrorism. They offend twice in one statement. On one count, they don’t have the nerve, as some of the French in the past have, to show you garbage and call it art. No, they’re trying to be political or philosophical or some such tripe with their offering. On the second count, they offend the free world by suggesting that we lay down in the face of terror and tyranny.
In an article I wrote a short while ago, I pondered the ability of a futuristic computer or machine using artificial intelligence to make moral decisions. I also questioned the apparent amorality of teen and adult video games that are advertised as having the best A.I. available being sold today. This 911 web game is constructed of very simple programming; no artificial intelligence here and very little human intelligence seems to be involved as well.
The game has one positive output though, since it tries to perpetuate and deepen the desensitization of our culture to violence and tragedy, it may act as a warning. But if you visit a video game or movie rental store and look upon the shelves these days, it wouldn’t appear anyone is paying attention to the alerts already posted.