Thursday, January 03, 2008

Exhbit of how the media engages in preserving and protecting the sacred myth

Video Games Based On 9/11 Spark Outrage

By Roseanne Colletti

NEW YORK -- A company has created a pair of online video games based on Sept. 11, much to the chagrin of those who lost loved ones in the terror attacks.

"I find it very disturbing," said Lee Ielpi, whose son was a New York City firefighter who died at ground zero.

In one of the games, "New York Defender II" ("New York Defender" is its predecessor), a handful of jets roar over a map of New York City. Circles around the planes piloted by terrorists change from green to red, and they dart toward some of Manhattan's most prominent landmarks.

If the player doesn't shoot them down in time, the planes pulverize the United Nations, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Wall Street and the Brooklyn Bridge. The majority of jets are friendly and fly across the screen and land at area airports.

In addition to the game's visuals, there are numerous realistic sounds embedded in the software. Users will hear the sounds of the departing jets as they roar into the air, explosions emitted as the planes strike their targets and the sound of bullets as the city's airspace is defended.

Ielpi said the makers of the games should be ashamed.

"This is what it comes to," he said. "You're going to use 9/11 as a gimmick to sell to make money. That's just tasteless."

The games may dredge up painful memories for many New Yorkers and other Americans, but they are not the only games that rely on death, destruction and the tragedy of others for entertainment.

The game "Grand Theft Auto," which portrays violent racial and sexual scenes for the player, angered many parent groups. "Under Siege" is a game that has people shooting at each other over the Palestinian territories.

Lance Ulanoff, the editor-in-chief of P.C. Magazine, said the shock value of an Internet game is frequently used to draw traffic and generate ads.

"There's a long and rich history of sometimes appalling video games," he said.

Nonetheless, he mentioned one case in which the game bothered too many people.

"There was a JFK assassination game that had to be taken down because of the public outcry," he said.

A New Orleans couple who had visited the Sept. 11 tribute site on Wednesday called the game tasteless.

"After coming out of there, it just feels wrong having anything that makes light of the situation," said tourist Ricky Matherne. "Remembering is one thing. Making an arcade game out of it is something else."

NewsChannel 4 was unable to reach the game company for comment.

Some people who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center didn't want to speak about the video games, saying they didn't want to give them any publicity.

Original article posted here

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