I first came across this in a newspaper article, and I was shocked. The idea of this game is you assassinate John F. Kennedy. You play as Lee Harvey Oswald.

The developers say they aren't exploiting anything but current technology. According to them, the game was created to prove the findings of the Warren Commission, that there was not a second gunman. On the website, they champion the realism of the game's bullets compared to other first person shooters. You can even watch them in slow-motion as they enter JFK's skull. Also, you can win $100,000 if you can match Oswald's shots.

I'm not so sure about this. The premise is about as tasteful as a can of cheap dog food.

www.JFKReloaded.com

Simpleton says: Apparently its release was "timed to coincide with the 41st anniversary of Kennedy's murder" (msnbc.com). Very reverential, I'm sure.

Released to a firestorm of criticism from the American media, “JFK Reloaded” purports to be an “interactive recreation” of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Created by Traffic Games, a British development studio, the makers claim that the point of the program is to try and reconstruct the crime as part of the forensic investigation that is still occurring today, 41 years after JFK was killed.

Anyone who downloads the game is treated to a view of the Presidential motorcade from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. You can zoom in with the scope on your rifle, seeing everything through the eyes of Lee Harvey Oswald. However, you have no bullets in your gun, in order to get that you have to pay $9.99 to Traffic Games. Once you have put up the cash, you can try your best to recreate the events of November 22, 1963, or play around and see how things could have been done differently.

After you are done with your rampage you can watch a movie of your assassination run from several different angles, such as the POVs of Abraham Zapruder or Orville Nix, a view from the infamous grassy knoll, even a bullet-cam following the bullets as they fly through the air. After the movie there is a detailed ballistics analysis showing the trajectory of each shot and the wounds that it did (or did not) cause. Played over these views are recordings from the police radios on that fateful day and the effect is rather chilling (of course, it will only play the report of Kennedy's death if you manage to kill him).

This is where the “game” aspect of the simulator comes in. The player is assessed point value for how close they get to recreating the exact sequence of events and wounds that occurred on November 22. If a person is able to achieve the perfect 1000 point score, they will receive a cash prize from Traffic Games. The prize starts out as $10,000 and could scale up to $100,000 depending on how many copies of “JFK Reloaded” are sold. A player is initially able to make 10 “competition runs” in the game, but more can be purchased. You are allowed unlimited “practice runs.”

The graphics in the simulation are not cutting edge, but they do get the job done. This Dealy Plaza game level is packaged in two .WAD files, meaning it uses a graphics engine based on one created by id software. Judging by how the character models look and that there is location-specific damage skins for the models, I would guess that “JFK Reloaded” uses the engine from the groundbreakingly violent 2000 FPS game “Soldier of Fortune”. Obviously Traffic Games tried to keep the system requirements low in order to sell as many copies as possible.

Another interesting note come from when you open up the .WAD file in a text editor and examine the section detailing character animations:

// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Special-cased character's killed action
// ---------------------------------
// This is the action that a character takes when they should die
// if there is a specific animation for them doing so
// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[ACTION]

<NAME>
SpecialPersonKilled

<DIE>
0
0

// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Jackie cradling JFK before the money shot
// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[ACTION]
<NAME>
JackieCradleJFK

<CONCERNED>
0
0

// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Nelly shoving Connally's bonce down into her minge,
// in a last desparate attempt to get oral sex out of
// him before he croaks
// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[ACTION]
<NAME>
NellyShoveConnally

<CONCERNED>
0
0

// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Jackie being a yellow-bellied tail-turning COWARD
// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[ACTION]

<NAME>
JackieBottlingIt

I think that the source code comments left by the programmer probably accurate depict the feelings at Traffic Games. This game is not a serious examination of one of the saddest days in U.S. history, it is merely a cheap way for Traffic Games to get loads of publicity and to sell morbid consumers 20 seconds of gameplay for $9.99. Honestly, the media is playing right into their hands by their coverage and indignation. I wouldn’t have even heard of it if it hadn’t been plastered on several news websites and television newscasts. I also seriously doubt that anyone could win the prize, as the unique trajectory taken by the second shot (the so-called magic bullet) would be almost impossible to recreate, much less doing it while also having a perfect run with the other two shots.*

I admit that I paid money to experience this “simulation.” I’ve been interested in the Kennedy assassination for several years now and my interest was piqued by all the coverage. The ability to view things from all angles and see the trajectories taken by different shots at different places aroused my curiosity. Playing around with the different settings and set-ups gave me my money’s worth.

*I am not saying that I don’t think Oswald made those shots, it’s just that perfectly recreating every shot and every trajectory at the exact perfect time cannot be done.

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