ARTISTKevin Wilkinson
MATERIALJava game designed to run on Web
DIMENSIONS500px x 700px
LINKShooterGame - Download (~6MB)


"ShooterGame is small computer game that represents the reality of death and destruction that most video games shy away from or blatantly ignore. The gameplay demonstrates the extremely boiled-down version of all shooting games in our day and age ó kill anything without thinking much about it. MORE... The idea of only being able to make a decision once in video games, somewhat simulating real life, has always interested me. In this piece, the entire game can only be played once.

The player moves a crosshair to look around at the game environment: a dark alley lined with shops and a couple of phone booths. The only thing moving is a single man pacing up and down the street. Is he a dangerous criminal waiting to mug someone? Or is he just dawdling around in an alley. The decision remains up to the player. If the player chooses to shoot the suspicious man, he will fall to the ground dead and he will remain dead. Even after the game is exited and restarted, he will still be lying on the ground where the player shot him. Or, the player can continue to allow the man go about his business and loiter in the alley indefinitely.

I think the fact that this consequence to shooting/killing a virtual person isnít seen as normal or expected tells a lot about video games. Death isnít seen as a consequence to anyone. When players kill virtual entities, it is viewed as simply solving a problem. When the playerís virtual entity is killed, it is seen as an inconvenience or a temporary setback.

I really enjoy experiencing what video games have to offer but I would love to see them be used more for critical work. I hope that an attempt to focus on decisions being made in a game would encourage the 'what' of the game to be taken more seriously and not just as entertainment.