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kuma\war mission 24: john kerry's silver star

 john kerry's silver star image
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artist(s): Kuma Reality Games
country of origin: USA
technology: PC (Windows 98, 2000, XP)

WARNING Please be aware that particular Games Lab works may disturb some visitors. Kuma\Wars Mission 24: John Kerry's Silver Star includes medium level animated violence. Opinions expressed in all games are those of the artist/s

You play 2004 USA Presidential Candidate John Kerry on his Silver Star mission on the Swift Boats of the Vietnam War. It is one of the many games based upon real US military engagements available on subscription from Kuma\War game developers who respond to current affairs. Most of their titles are based upon and produced with six to eight weeks of events in Afghanistan and Iraq, John Kerry's Silver Star mission was produced when Kerry's Vietnam service became an election issue.

There are issues with the nature of the work in relation to traditional media and video games. John Kerry's Silver Star is conceptually more interesting than it is to play. The bulk of the important discussion and information about the event itself is held in the eight minute mission trailer which provides context and background information for the playable scenario. The gameplay within the mission is not particularly engaging, which is perhaps a reflection of the fact that real warfare does not resemble the dramatic construction of video gameplay.

In offering playable scenarios of recent events, the work of Kuma Reality Games presents an interesting new kind of media format. It is, however, a problematic one in its focus upon US military action. There has been recent controversy in the US regarding the appropriateness of packaging the conflict in Iraq, for example, as a form of entertainment.

Kuma\War offers a provocative new paradigm for new media, but is it a place that we want to go?

artist statement
Kuma Reality Games builds re-creations of real-world events using advanced gaming tools. Kuma\War, the first Kuma Reality Game, is a first and third-person tactical squad-based game that provides multiple updates monthly to the consumer's computer to reflect unfolding events in the real world. Each month Kuma\War subscribers receive new playable missions, video news shows, extensive intelligence gathered from news sources around the world, and insight from a decorated team of military veterans.

There are over 30 playable missions online available for download. Many of the new missions are being developed in cooperation with the US military and soldiers returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Kuma Reality Games, headquartered in New York, New York is a privately held company.

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