Simulations meet the US election: Kuma Reality Games is releasing a Web-based game simulating several of John Kerry's swift boat missions in Vietnam.
The company site says the game should be out by the end of the month.
Thanks to The Sims, they know how to make a budget, and how to read an income statement -- and to be worried when cash flow goes negative. They understand comparison shopping. They're also picking up some pointers on human interaction, though The Sims characters seem a bit dense in that department at times. (Then again, so do real people, now and then).
This might be a nightmare for some, computer games emerging as tools to hone good behavior. I'm reminded of Hakim Bey's insistence that art has effects:
The idea that art can be voided of political meaning appeals now only to those liberal cretins who wish to excuse "pornography" or other forbidden aesthetic games on the grounds that "it's only art" & hence can change nothing. (I hate these assholes worse than Jesse Helms; at least he still believes that art has power!)
Several sources report that three young journalists have been arrested for assisting the reformist websites, Rouydad, and Emrooz. Apparently security officials stormed their homes and took their PCs etc.
"They freaked out completely," Lazar, their spokesman, said happily. "They called in the bomb squad, the sniffer dogs, army security, the anti-terrorist squad, the serious crimes unit. They said it was skinheads or subversives. They got it on to national TV news. They hadn't a clue."
To be fair, until recently very few people did have a clue about La Mexicaine de la Perforation, a clandestine cell of "urban explorers" which claims its mission is to "reclaim and transform disused city spaces for the creation of zones of expression for free and independent art".
Huddled round a table in an anonymous Latin Quarter bar, the group's members - of whom only Lazar wanted to be named - relate past exploits: rock concerts for up to 4,000 people in old underground quarries; 2am projections in a locked film theatre; art and photo exhibitions in supposedly sealed-off subterranean galleries.
The subject line of this post feels like sp*m text surrealism.