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JFK: Reloaded
Developer(s) Traffic Software
Designer(s) Kirk Ewing (Marketing Director)
Platform(s) Windows
Release date(s) November 21, 2004
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player
Media Download
Input methods Keyboard, mouse

JFK: Reloaded is a controversial edutainment first-person shooter video game recreating the John F. Kennedy assassination. The game was released November 21, 2004 (the day before the 41st anniversary of the event) by Scotland-based Traffic Games, JFK: Reloaded puts the player in the role of Kennedy's alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The player is then scored on how closely one's version of the assassination matches the report of the Warren Commission. According to the company, the primary aim of the game was "to establish the most likely facts of what happened on 1963-11-22 by running the world’s first mass-participation forensic construction", the theory being that a player could help prove that Lee Harvey Oswald had the "means and the opportunity to commit the crime", and thus help support or disprove the Warren Commission's findings.

Contents

Playability

The main problem facing a player wanting to recreate the assassination accurately was that, since each bullet reacted "realistically" (including a certain amount of random probability), it was impossible to predict precisely where the bullet would go once it had hit its target.

This meant that there was a large element of luck involved in getting the perfect score, especially with regards to the magic bullet.

Game or simulation?

Many people have argued that JFK Reloaded is not a game as such, but rather a historical simulation based on a controversial event. Traffic Games claimed one of the reasons they made the 'game' was to try and increase social awareness and inspire an interest in history in a young audience.

Critics maintain that it is tasteless, and that if Traffic Games truly wanted to show how the assassination was attempted, they could have easily just released a 3D rendition of the event, allowing people to see for themselves what had happened, or indeed, at the very least, included one in the game itself.

Critical reaction

A majority of gaming websites and publications have not reviewed JFK: Reloaded; however, some have, and the game has received both negative and positive reviews. Some people argue that JFK: Reloaded should be considered a complex simulation rather than a video game because the point of the game is to question historical controversies, while others have argued that this could have easily been achieved without making money and/or a game from it, and as such it is in extremely bad taste.

A spokesperson for Senator Edward Kennedy, the late President Kennedy's brother, called the game "...despicable. Why would someone make this game, this should have never been allowed on the market."

Competition winner

On February 22, 2005, a user living in France named "Major_Koenig" won the competition prize of $10,712 with a score of 782 out of 1000. The player's user name was based on Erwin König, a famous sniper. His real name is Stephane Krupa.

Second and third place went to the users "Flux" (779), and "ArrogantB" (777), respectively. No prizes were awarded for anything other than first place.

After the competition had officially closed, the cost of the simulation was reduced to $4.99 and the "competition run" option was disabled within the game.

Sometime in early August 2005, the official website closed, but not before offering version 1.1 to the public for free. Version 3.0 was in the making when they closed the website. In version 3.0, the player can play the "controversial side"; that of a shooter on the Grassy Knoll.

Outcome

Despite claims from Traffic Games that JFK: Reloaded was designed to help prove or disprove the Warren Commission's findings, no result for their 'experiment' has been posted on their site.

Traffic Games' 3D version of events indicate that the deadly shots, which killed Kennedy and wounded others, most likely originated from the Book Depository Building, however the accuracy of this 3D model has not been independently verified.

Community

There is a small community for this game who are creating mods for this game. One of the mods places a crowd observing the motorcade into the game, while another has several options, such as disabling reloading, disabling the bullet-drop effect, and allowing you to shoot from either the Grassy Knoll or the Dal-Tex building.[1]

References

External links

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