A new game has recently come under the spotlight due to it's controversial topic - the 9/11 Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.
The new virtual reality game titled '08:46' focuses on the victims of the 9/11 bombings. You play as one of the victims in the North Tower just as the attacks commence. The name of the game is actually an exact reference to the precise time that the North Tower was hit. The game describes itself as:
A narrative driven experience designed for virtual reality, which makes you embody an office worker in the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 events.
Given that this is only available on Oculus Rift DK2 headsets (or later models), it's not surprising that this may have had a bigger impact on some people more than others. It's not a game where you can sit comfortably whilst controlling a character on-screen. This is virtual reality. If you move your head, the game follows, meaning you are fully immersed in this game and the tragic events that surround it. You feel scared even when you shouldn't.
Anthony Krafft, who was the creative director on the project, said that it was produced “as a tribute to the victims of our generation-shaping experience.”
He also said that the team wanted to approach the historical events from an individual's perspective. It was to:
“Remind that 9/11 was, for the victims, first and foremost a workday like every other workday.”
Krafft also stated quite clearly that:
"It was essential to us to be accurate, as we could never be obscene or sensationalist out of respect for the victims"
“We worked with a lot of references, from an interview with a survivor to plans of the floors or journalistic works ... to be precise about the events and the human dynamics in the towers,”
The reality game was actually a school project where a group of adults in their twenties decided over the next three months that they would try and develop the most realistic and 'true to the event' game ever. They worked closely with two different voice actors (Kevin Roze & Alice Kudlak), whilst also using motion capture technology.
It's also said that the game will never be developed for a commercial release. This is why it's currently free to download for anybody over the age of 18. Needless to say, some players may find some scenes disturbing.
If you haven't watched the video, Krafft has described the imagery:
As in real life, you can’t witness the first crash as you are on the south side of the North Tower and the plane hit the north side. You can witness the second crash on the South Tower later. [But] being on the 101st floor, you can’t escape the building (all stairs are blocked). It ends either with a slow fade to black representing suffocation or by the jump of the player.
9/11 is regarded as one of the worst terror attacks in history, with almost 3,000 people killed in such an unexpected attack, the world and it's security has changed forever.
But the big question is, is this immoral? We have many different games that cover the period of the Second World War where over 61 million people died! Why can't this game be as popular as games like Call of Duty or Medal of Honour? What's stopping it!
It can be argued that this game has you experience the tragedy of that day in much more depth than ever before, the question is that why would you want to re-experience how those people felt in their final moments? I mean most war games have you fighting and giving you a feeling of proudness and heroism, whereas from the looks of things, this VR game really does not.
Where do your thoughts and opinions stand with this? Let me know, I am keen to find out.