[-empyre-] Play with a Purpose: Politics and Art in Computer Games -- July on -empyre-

The violence of the computer game world is thrown sharply into relief when
characters do not represent the cultural hegemony typically seen in a
First-Person Shooter. "Play" does not necessarily equal "amusement" or
"humour" in these games; the opportunity to put on an identity that sees a
formerly friendly (?) world as oppositional can be shocking. Developers from
four recent games discuss their works on -empyre-.

Based on the struggles of a Palestinian youth during the Intifadah, UnderAsh
[ http://www.underash.net/edownload.htm ] and Under Siege [
http://www.underash.net/n_download.htm ] were created by AFKARMEDIA under
the direction of Syrian co-founder, programmer Radwan Kasmiya.  Kasmiya also
acts as media advisor for the Middle-Eastern publisher DAR AL-FIKR.

Depicting the plight of a foreign asylum-seeker in Australia, Escape from
Woomera [ http://www.escapefromwoomera.org/ ] asks a player to attempt to
break out of four refugee detention centers.  Melbourne-based Kipper is the
Creative Director from the development team.

Rafael Fajardo explores the complexity of the real-world US/Mexico border
situation through the paired games Crosser and La Migra [
http://www.du.edu/~rfajardo/juego/index.html ].  The games depict border
crossings from the point of view of the illegal immigrant, and as a border
patrol agent who attempts to prevent the crossing.

Collaborative group C-level has produced Waco Resurrection [
http://waco.c-level.org/ ]. Several of the developers will join us,
examining issues of colonialism, violence, and documentary versus fictive

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