As war and violence continues in Gaza, new technologies are not only facilitating more dangerous weapons, but also new kinds of responses to political circumstances. Now, it seems, some people choose to express their take on the conflict through gaming. A number of titles themed around the war have been spotted on the Android Google Play store over the last few weeks.
“Bomb Gaza”* sees the player fly across the screen in a jet, tasked with dropping bombs avoiding rockets shot from below. Points are deducted for hitting civilians, which I guess at least shows a vague nod towards the sensitivity in perhaps the crassest game of the year.
It isn’t clear when the game was first posted, but it appears to be on July 29th when the game was last updated.
“Bomb Gaza”* isn’t alone. “Gaza Assault” seems to take a similar approach, with the player piloting an Israeli UAV to shoot missiles from Gaza out of the air. Intriguingly, this title was also last updated on July 21st – with reference in the description to how to the first five levels are free for a “promotional event”. Well, that’s one way of describing a war.
Perhaps the biggest game in this “genre” though is the more sophisticated “Iron Dome”, which has not only received the most downloads – somewhere between 1000 and 5000 – but also boasts the snazziest graphics in a game reminiscent of arcade classic Missile Command.
The apps aren’t all one sided either. One title on the Google Play Store, which Google Translate tells me is called “Game Missile Pride” sees the player instead play the role of Hamas – shooting down Israeli missiles from the rooftops of Gaza.
Perhaps most interestingly, for a game made by someone with such different views to the person behind “Bomb Gaza”, the two share something incredibly similar: Absolutely hideous graphics.
This barely scratches the surface. A quick search of the app store reveals tonnes of games themed around the conflict. The developer of “Game Missile Pride” has also made a game set in Syria (above), in which you have to play as the Free Syrian Army defending against the army of Assad.
What all of these apps mean is a wider question, and one that I’m probably not qualified to answer. But it is interesting that despite the political differences in the world, with different groups scrapping over territory… ultimately both sides are reliant on the mighty Google to get their message out.
(*Hat-tip to @BrianWhelanHack for flagging this game up on Twitter.)