New Video Game Kill Box Is A Philosophical Powerhouse

New Video Game Kill Box Is A Philosophical Powerhouse

I’ve been talking about the independent video game potential as psychological and social commentary for a while now. But I’m thinking that everyone else’s attempt at out psychoanalyzing everyone else just fell flat because DANG… Killbox is here.

What is a Kill Box Taylor?

So glad you asked random internet denizen. Let me tell you! Per wikipedia, in weaponry, a Kill Box is a three-dimensional target area, defined to facilitate the integration of coordinated joint weapons fire. It is a joint forces coordination measure enabling air assets to engage surface targets without needing further coordination with commanders and without terminal attack control. Right? So basically, if you value your life, you need to desperately and diligently make certain that you stay out of all kill boxes. No? Yes. This is your goal… whether you are actively pursuing this goal or passively pursuing this objective. STAY OUT OF KILL BOXES.

If a Kill Box is the coordinates that define a zone of death, how is this a game? Well, that is another great question denizen. Basically Kill Box was created to give voice to America’s growing propensity to create said Kill Boxes and target individuals via drones and remote strikes from the safety of cubicles thousands of miles away. The game begins with you, as a happy bright ball, bouncing across the landscape. You are free, as a villager to do really anything you want. Explore the homes. Pick up glowing white balls. It really is a scene straight out of a VeggieTales video. Bouncy happiness. All kinds of love happening here.

Until the first missile hits the landscape that is.

Damadola, PAKISTAN:  (FILES) In this picture taken 25 January 2006, a Pakistani tribesman sifts through the debris of his collapsed home after a 13 January, US air strike in the remote village of Damadola,in  Bajur Tribal Agency bordering Afghanistan.  Al-Qaeda deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri escaped death in a US missile strike last month on a remote tribal village bordering Afghanistan, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said. The January attack killed a close relative of al-Zawahiri and four other militants, Pakistan military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan quoted Musharraf as saying 12 February.  AFP PHOTO/Tariq MAHMOOD/FILES  (Photo credit should read TARIQ MAHMOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

And then you are a stunned, shellshocked bunny running for cover wherever you can find it from the omnipresent death falling out of the sky. Once your happy little bouncing ball life existence is snuffed out, you then are given the opportunity to switch roles and play as the drone operator. And this is where things get really hardcore. From miles and miles away, you are given control of a drone that is circling above. This time though, you are told exactly what to do. To calibrate your systems. Target your weapons. To count the dead.

Killbox is a mind job of a game. And it works to make the player think. It works to make you consider what it is that our country is doing around the world. I mean, if Russia were randomly killing people in the Middle East, would you be ok with this? Or worse… what if China started targeting individuals in Japan? Seoul? Should we be ok with that? Extreme examples, but why exactly are we killing random people in the Middle East again? Not that I am specifically against this… but I also haven’t seriously considered the problem either. And that is what the game does. It makes you think critically about this policy and tactic that has shortened the lives of so many.

After playing, I was curious, and decided I wanted to know the real numbers behind the United States’ drone strikes and the results. And so I headed over to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism where I found an enormous stock pile of data on our drone efforts:

Total strikes: 424
Obama strikes: 373
Total killed: 2,499-4,001
Civilians killed: 424-966
Children killed: 172-207
Injured: 1,161-1,744

I really don’t know what to do with those numbers. They are too big, and to abstract to really comprehend them. I’m not that naive that I think that we’d be safer with the strikes happening. But I’m not that lily white so as to think that we actually need them to protect ourselves. Personally, it feels like they bomb us with suicide bombs and what not. And we bomb them with “surgical” airstrikes. And if I were the son of a man that was killed by a drone strike, I’d probably make it my life’s work to send a message to those drone operators. Right? I mean, wouldn’t you? So you can’t fault them too much for being ultra-pissed off at the sky, and America. Dunno. But I’m sure this post will triple my time through the next passport check I go through… that’s for sure.

Anyway, if you’d like to try the game out – which is good as a think piece, but only so so as an actual game, you can do so here. And good luck with that passport line.