On the eve of the 41st anniversary of John F Kennedy’s murder, a dramatic new ‘docu-game’ brought the tragic assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald to life for a whole new generation. However, a spokesman for the president’s brother, Senator Edward Kennedy, called the game ‘despicable’, but has not commented on whether the family was taking any action to stop the game’s release.
JFKReloaded ($9.99, ~€7.70, ~£5.40), recreates the last few moments of the President’s life and challenges participants to help disprove any conspiracy theory by recreating the three shots that Lee Harvey Oswald made from the infamous sixth floor of the Dallas book depository.
The game promises to accurately recreate the surroundings and events of 22nd November 1963 in downtown Dallas, using information from the Warren Commission report, and has taken a ten-man team seven months to research and six months to program. The reconstruction enables players to examine the challenges that faced Oswald.
‘This new form of interactive entertainment brings history to life and will stimulate a younger generation of players to take an interest in this fascinating episode of American history,’ commented Kirk Ewing, managing director of Traffic and the creator of JFKReloaded. ‘We’ve created the game in the belief that Oswald was the only person that fired the shots on that day, although this recreation proves how immensely difficult his task was.’
Regardless of the continued passion in the US surrounding the death of one of America’s greatest heroes, Traffic is determined to promote the title respectfully whilst encouraging as many people to play the game as possible. The company has also offered an incentive of up to $100,000 (~€77,000 ~£54,000) for the first person to most accurately recreate the three shots made by Lee Harvey Oswald. A cash reward of this size is the first of its type for a game.
“We genuinely believe that if we get enough people playing the game we’ll be able to disprove once and for all any notion that someone else was involved in the assassination. The computer ballistics model says it’s possible, but players will discover just how hard it is to place those three bullets in exactly the same way that Oswald did.” The site goes live at midnight on the 22nd November 2004 and will run for 3 months.
It’s more than likely that this game will raise the issue in the press of video games containing violence, as was last seen with ‘Manhunt’. Last time the press got the wrong end of the stick and blamed a killer’s obsession with the violent computer game ‘Manhunt’ for the death of a schoolboy, although it actually turned out that the game was present in the victim’s home, not the killer’s. Some are wondering if the release of JFK game around the anniversary of the incident was a calculated move by the development company, Traffic, after watching the sales of Manhunt go through the roof during the last press frenzy.