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Play The Killer, Then Ask Yourself, 'What Kind of Person Am I?'

Jordan Magnuson is travelling the world, crafting experiences based on what he finds.

Boom.

Does a game have to be fun? What constitutes a game, anyway? And what's a nongame?

These questions are more weighed after finishing Jordan Magnuson's The Killer (play it here). About a minute in, I died. A mine had killed me, something I had no control over. It's one of three endings to The Killer, an interactive...experience? The pixel artwork will remind you of a video game, and you are a controlling a character from left to right, but it's...well...

The Killer isn't about defeating an alien menace or terrorists or resurrected Nazi zombies. Set in Cambodia, The Killer involves a lot of walking. I'd recommend you just go play it, actually. I'll wait.

Done?

Powerful, right?

A photo snapped by Magnuson and his wife, while travelling through Cambodia this year.

"I was lying in bed one night listening to Jonsi's 'Tornado' when the idea for The Killer came to me," explained Magnuson, writing to me over email as he makes his way through Europe. "I was traveling in Cambodia at the time, reading about the Khmer Rouge, and I had just been to visit Toul Sleng: a prison camp in Phnom Penh where 10,000 people were killed between 1977 and 1979. As I listened to Jonsi's lyrics, and those haunting vocals, I imagined myself marching someone to the field where I would shoot them, or bludgeon their head in (as was more typical). Imagined getting to the field, and having that simple choice to make, of whether to carry out my purpose...or not. Once anything is in my head that way, it's only half a step to my imagining it as some kind of computer game, or notgame."

Magnuson has no problem with the term "notgame." When you say "game," that saddles certain expectations. Games have an ever-expanding history, compounded by a struggle with the very term of "video game," and having definitions is problematic.

I touched on this idea when writing about L.A. Noire a few weeks back, asking for game experiences that better reflected the broader range of human emotion. As someone who is paid to play and write about video games, however, I often wonder whether my colleagues and I are the only ones who'd like to see more of this. When you're exposed to a random violent military shooter number for the thousandth time (like this year's E3), you crave more. For the vast majority of players who use video games as escapism, the exhilaration of the power fantasy may be enough. Even if that's true, why limit the medium?

But I digress. Magnuson puts it much better, anyway.

"The Killer, as far as I see it, is something like a short interactive poem, and it doesn't intend to be anything more," he said. "I call it a notgame to try and spark a little bit of realization that not everything interactive has to be a game, and also to try and prepare the player for encountering something that won't be fun."

The Killer is a spiritual successor to Walk or Die, another Magnuson experiment.

It's best to know as little about The Killer before playing it. The surprise, especially if you encounter the random element that is the mine, has an exponentially greater impact. And the point of game vs. nongame may be moot, as The Killer is simply using the interactive possibilities of software to make a point, and having barrels of fun while making a point is not required.

"In some ways it's an experience to be 'endured' rather than 'enjoyed,'" admitted Magnsun, "which some people may find odd or objectionable, as the idea of 'interactive experience' outside of the realm of software tools has become conflated with entertainment for most of us."

One of the most recent snaps of Magnuson on his GameTrekking trip, this time in England.

There are three ways The Killer may end: encountering a mine, choosing to kill the person or firing into the sky, not killing them. The epilogue, explaining how the game was inspired by the horrors faced by the Cambodian people past and present, is the same no matter what.

Magnuson has made nongames in the past (play them all here), but The Killer's one part of a more ambitious, world-spanning project called Gametrekking, whose mission statement is to make games influenced by seeing the world. The Killer is just one example. Following the same path as so many others these days with a concept they're hoping people will love, he funded the idea through Kickstarter. He's been "trekking" for months now, moving through Taiwan, Vietnam, and others.

As mentioned, The Killer was inspired by Magnuson's stay in Cambodia.

"GameTrekking project is not about attempting some objective presentation of Cambodia, or any other place that I've been to," he said, "but rather about my trying to express something of my own particular encounters with places as I travel in the twenty-first century. [...] It was because of this project that I was studying the Khmer Rouge, and it was because I was in Cambodia that I saw how much its past history is still affecting the country today. I strongly doubt that I ever would have had the particular idea that turned into The Killer if I had not been able to actually visit Toul Sleng and the Cheong Ek killing fields."

I've spoken to Magnuson before, as part of a piece for EGM, not long before he hit the road. He's a man who takes the potential of games very seriously, frustrated by today's most popular games (read: Call of Duty) coming to define the medium for a great many people.

We're in agreement there, even if I understand the precarious balance, as ultimately games need to make money. It comes back to this notion of fun for me, and whether fun is part of the equation that makes up an experience, game--or nongame.

Playing with this notion can lead to extreme reactions, as the comments on The Killer at Newgrounds underscore. Magnuson said most of the ratings are either one or ten, basically a love or hate reaction.

Take this one, for example.

"I came here to play a game, not wasting my time with this sentimental sob story crap," said a user named xzibition8612, not pulling any punches. "Who gives a shit what happens in cambodia? I don't care what happens there as long as they keep making my shoes and sushi. Don't waste everybody's time under the pretense of a game."

It doesn't phase Magnuson, but he worries about what it means.

"I think if we're afraid of 'losing fun,' we're going to severely limit our potential for exploration where this medium is concerned, and that would be a shame," he said. "Games are going to be around forever...I don't think we have to worry that our grandchildren are going to end up in some kind of grayscale world where they're forced to play boring notgames all day long. So my feeling is, let's not worry about it 'working.' Let's experiment, and see what's outside the box. I think there's plenty of room for all varieties of fun and emotion and meaning to exist together, and side by side."

Patrick Klepek on Google+
285 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek

Boom.

Does a game have to be fun? What constitutes a game, anyway? And what's a nongame?

These questions are more weighed after finishing Jordan Magnuson's The Killer (play it here). About a minute in, I died. A mine had killed me, something I had no control over. It's one of three endings to The Killer, an interactive...experience? The pixel artwork will remind you of a video game, and you are a controlling a character from left to right, but it's...well...

The Killer isn't about defeating an alien menace or terrorists or resurrected Nazi zombies. Set in Cambodia, The Killer involves a lot of walking. I'd recommend you just go play it, actually. I'll wait.

Done?

Powerful, right?

A photo snapped by Magnuson and his wife, while travelling through Cambodia this year.

"I was lying in bed one night listening to Jonsi's 'Tornado' when the idea for The Killer came to me," explained Magnuson, writing to me over email as he makes his way through Europe. "I was traveling in Cambodia at the time, reading about the Khmer Rouge, and I had just been to visit Toul Sleng: a prison camp in Phnom Penh where 10,000 people were killed between 1977 and 1979. As I listened to Jonsi's lyrics, and those haunting vocals, I imagined myself marching someone to the field where I would shoot them, or bludgeon their head in (as was more typical). Imagined getting to the field, and having that simple choice to make, of whether to carry out my purpose...or not. Once anything is in my head that way, it's only half a step to my imagining it as some kind of computer game, or notgame."

Magnuson has no problem with the term "notgame." When you say "game," that saddles certain expectations. Games have an ever-expanding history, compounded by a struggle with the very term of "video game," and having definitions is problematic.

I touched on this idea when writing about L.A. Noire a few weeks back, asking for game experiences that better reflected the broader range of human emotion. As someone who is paid to play and write about video games, however, I often wonder whether my colleagues and I are the only ones who'd like to see more of this. When you're exposed to a random violent military shooter number for the thousandth time (like this year's E3), you crave more. For the vast majority of players who use video games as escapism, the exhilaration of the power fantasy may be enough. Even if that's true, why limit the medium?

But I digress. Magnuson puts it much better, anyway.

"The Killer, as far as I see it, is something like a short interactive poem, and it doesn't intend to be anything more," he said. "I call it a notgame to try and spark a little bit of realization that not everything interactive has to be a game, and also to try and prepare the player for encountering something that won't be fun."

The Killer is a spiritual successor to Walk or Die, another Magnuson experiment.

It's best to know as little about The Killer before playing it. The surprise, especially if you encounter the random element that is the mine, has an exponentially greater impact. And the point of game vs. nongame may be moot, as The Killer is simply using the interactive possibilities of software to make a point, and having barrels of fun while making a point is not required.

"In some ways it's an experience to be 'endured' rather than 'enjoyed,'" admitted Magnsun, "which some people may find odd or objectionable, as the idea of 'interactive experience' outside of the realm of software tools has become conflated with entertainment for most of us."

One of the most recent snaps of Magnuson on his GameTrekking trip, this time in England.

There are three ways The Killer may end: encountering a mine, choosing to kill the person or firing into the sky, not killing them. The epilogue, explaining how the game was inspired by the horrors faced by the Cambodian people past and present, is the same no matter what.

Magnuson has made nongames in the past (play them all here), but The Killer's one part of a more ambitious, world-spanning project called Gametrekking, whose mission statement is to make games influenced by seeing the world. The Killer is just one example. Following the same path as so many others these days with a concept they're hoping people will love, he funded the idea through Kickstarter. He's been "trekking" for months now, moving through Taiwan, Vietnam, and others.

As mentioned, The Killer was inspired by Magnuson's stay in Cambodia.

"GameTrekking project is not about attempting some objective presentation of Cambodia, or any other place that I've been to," he said, "but rather about my trying to express something of my own particular encounters with places as I travel in the twenty-first century. [...] It was because of this project that I was studying the Khmer Rouge, and it was because I was in Cambodia that I saw how much its past history is still affecting the country today. I strongly doubt that I ever would have had the particular idea that turned into The Killer if I had not been able to actually visit Toul Sleng and the Cheong Ek killing fields."

I've spoken to Magnuson before, as part of a piece for EGM, not long before he hit the road. He's a man who takes the potential of games very seriously, frustrated by today's most popular games (read: Call of Duty) coming to define the medium for a great many people.

We're in agreement there, even if I understand the precarious balance, as ultimately games need to make money. It comes back to this notion of fun for me, and whether fun is part of the equation that makes up an experience, game--or nongame.

Playing with this notion can lead to extreme reactions, as the comments on The Killer at Newgrounds underscore. Magnuson said most of the ratings are either one or ten, basically a love or hate reaction.

Take this one, for example.

"I came here to play a game, not wasting my time with this sentimental sob story crap," said a user named xzibition8612, not pulling any punches. "Who gives a shit what happens in cambodia? I don't care what happens there as long as they keep making my shoes and sushi. Don't waste everybody's time under the pretense of a game."

It doesn't phase Magnuson, but he worries about what it means.

"I think if we're afraid of 'losing fun,' we're going to severely limit our potential for exploration where this medium is concerned, and that would be a shame," he said. "Games are going to be around forever...I don't think we have to worry that our grandchildren are going to end up in some kind of grayscale world where they're forced to play boring notgames all day long. So my feeling is, let's not worry about it 'working.' Let's experiment, and see what's outside the box. I think there's plenty of room for all varieties of fun and emotion and meaning to exist together, and side by side."

Staff
Edited by JakeLogan

The least you could do is leave your "First" up here, make me NOT look like an asshole 
Posted by Adziboy

Wow, I seem to get closer to this 1st comment thing every day.

Posted by JakeLogan

If it wasn't for some dick who didn't have the guts to leave his obviously already achieved "First", you'd be even closer
Posted by Mikular

@JakeLogan Why the hate, bro?

I played this a while back, and took the "firing into the air" ending. Didn't even know the mine option was there. I enjoyed it, for what it was. Some haunting shit.

Edited by boku

As always, great read!
Played(?) "The Killer" again just this morning (about 6hrs ago), and I have to say I was impressed again by the whole project.

Posted by JakeLogan
@Mikular - Because it's a dick move.  I wouldn't have minded he took the first, except it went like this: 
 
(Jack-Sauce) First 
 
*edit* Sorry 
 
*deletes comment* 
 
You knew you where being a dipshit, so you bailed. Ergo, Dick move.
Posted by Keen_12

I tried to shoot myself, no dice.

I enjoy gaming experiences that make you think or want to go out and change the world. Sometimes I wish more large development studios would do something like this.

Posted by Napalm

Man, I am excited and intrigued by this project and concept. I will definitely check this out after work.

Posted by PatPandaHat

"Who gives a shit what happens in cambodia? I don't care what happens there as long as they keep making my shoes and sushi. Don't waste everybody's time under the pretense of a game."

It's great to know I share a universe with this waste of a person.

Posted by Vampir

People really need some perspective. Not only in understanding that The Killer represents what is actually happening in some parts of the world, but also in not complaining about their time being wasted, when they're already on newgrounds.

Posted by ruffedgz

I played the game and was moved by the whole experience. 
 
As much as video games are a bit more about entertainment with focus on children, why couldn't people use games to express their concerns, motivate others speak their mind in a way that doesn't involve them speaking in public. I for one am happy to see those who take the idea of video games to that next level above entertainment. 
 
Like most art, it might be rejected and refused by society but that doesn't mean it isn't art. I don't fully understand the reasons behind a painting and this might be the same for a politically driven video game but thats ok.  
 
Great article Patrick and hope to read more from you soon.

Posted by Rattle618

I guess a better executed form of this type of thing would be interesting, but this was just lazy.  
I simply placed my phone on top of the space bar and moved on to other things once I realized that there was nothing else to what I was seeing/doing, then I shot the air once the dude knelt, and I feel absolutely no desire to do it again to see the other outcomes...

Posted by Kraznor

The song didn't really appeal to me, but if it was kind of what inspired it, can't fault him on implementing it (though the option to not have it playing is much appreciated). Definitely an interesting little experience, would definitely not mind games going in this direction more often and I shall surely check out his other stuff. Thanks Patrick.

Posted by itsjoncharles

The user comment was disgusting. 
 
I shot into the air. Don't fancy killling people.

Posted by Kyreo

Almost ALL sores on Newgrounds are either a one or ten.

Posted by ztiworoh

While gaming for escapism will always have its place, recontextualizing historical events and human experiences into the medium is really where games need to go as an art form. Unlike other art forms, video games allow the viewer to also be the agent, opening up a range of emotional and intellectual opportunities not found in outer media.

I'd love to see more things like this on Giant Bomb, and other gaming press. While I'll always enjoy a good dumb action game, there's a place for this sort of thing and it needs to be explored and highlighted.

Posted by cap123

You should get xzibition8612 on giantbomb as a staff member.

Posted by Vigil80

Good write-up, neat "game." I fired into the air. Kind of wish that there was some representation in the game of the fact that, as the epilogue stated, soldiers who showed mercy were themselves killed. That would provide a tougher decision at the end.

And congratulations to xzibition8612, you have been singled out as one of the most heartless shitbags on the planet.

Posted by DeeGee

I shot the dude.

It was a nice little experience, and I understand the message it's trying to get across. But it wasn't a real person and I wanted to see the ending (which I totally called, as soon as the body started falling I knew there'd be a mass grave or something)

Didn't make me think about myself or anything, I know I'd never kill anyone.

Posted by Adziboy

I shot into the air and that was my first thought. I feel genuinely moved to be one of the people that didn't shoot, haha. 
 
Very moving and interesting

Edited by Gizmo

Accidentally shot the dude due to the game not telling me how to control my person. 
 
 
Very moving experience...  
 
not.

Posted by simian

They weren't kidding about the random aspect...

It's harsh and callous but at least the commenter quoted in the story is (brutally) honest.

Posted by Sjupp

Jesus christ Patrick I love your articles. Played The Killer when it was linked to from the LA Noire article before. That's a great piece evoking emotions rarely brought up by anything else. The interaction adds to the experience rather than subtract as I completely agree with games don't need to be fun.

Posted by MEATBALL

I took your advice and played the "notgame" before continuing on with the article, I'm glad I did. I attempted to shoot my own character to no avail, but I appreciated that you could at least opt not to follow your orders.

This was a great read, and I might have to keep an eye on the Gametrekking project. I appreciate the way Magnuson embraces the term notgame, using it to help set aside any normal expectations for interactive software and expressing that the medium is capable of something more. Particularly when you consider that such a term would normally be used by internet trolls as a blanket derogitory name.

I really appreciate having this brought to my attention.

Posted by DharmaBum

Sigur Rós makes everything more beautiful.

Posted by Vonocourt

Disappointing to see the first couple posts are nothing more than attempts to get that retarded quest.

But yeah, never saw this nongame before and running into the land mine was quite startling. The fact that I was also pushing the defenseless person ahead was also disconcerting.

As for the exploration of the medium, I think we still have a long way to go before we can associate being "entertained" by a video rather than having fun with it. How that would happen, I don't know. I mean, take the film Che: Part II. A large part of the film is Che being frustrated in a jungle as the revolution is failing. You are supposed to feel his frustration, and Soderbergh did this by having a blander color palette and making the film, in a manner of speaking, tedious. How would a video game be able to do this and not be criticized for it, get slammed for the bland graphics or repetitive(boring) gameplay. I'll admit it, I'd probably dog the game if I found myself getting tired of the gameplay, I usually do nowadays.

Edited by TrashMustache

urgh, what's up with these stories, i'm actually an oversensitive person but even I think this kind of lame. anyway i was bored when walking and laughed when the guy exploded. you're gonna tell me Jeff and Vinny are gonna like this while not liking flower?  
 
i liked flower a whole lot. not this.

Edited by PKHilson

Great article, Anthony Birch! 
 
 
"YYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUOuououOUUOUOUUouOuouUOUOUOUOUoUuuOUOUOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" 

Posted by FluxWaveZ

I felt disconcerted in the beginning, when I played this a while back, but it just kept going on and on and I just got bored, not really caring when my dude shot the other dude. I did feel a sense of tragedy when he kept on falling and the number of corpses in the ground kept on growing. 
 
I don't like the term video "game". I feel that because of the name of this medium, "games" such as these are rare and often badly received just like that Newgrounds comment.

Posted by 911forpeace

I personally didn't find this "notgame" emotionally disturbing. It was just a simple flash animation that gives you like a paragraph of info about Cambodia. You're not really making a serious choice, you're just choosing whatever you feel like. For instance, I accidentally shot the guy my first time playing. I didn't realize it until I saw the paragraph. Whoops. Guess what? I wouldn't have done that in real life. For me, games aren't real. Mario isn't real, Drake isn't real, and playing a game that doesn't even look real is not going to make me upset when I'm playing what looks like a game that took very little time to make. Seriously, there's so much more about Cambodia, and I learned it in history class, where it was actually emotionally disturbing, because we heard the whole story, and not in 8-bit form with a couple of paragraphs. I actually think this belittles the Cambodia genocide.

Edited by Mumrik

Alright Patrick, I just played through The Killer as you asked.
Honestly, I didn't find it powerful. I found it extremely tedious just being forced to walk forward for minutes while a song looped. The game just kept pushing me towards those damn fields every time I stopped. There was no twist, surprise or emotional impact there for me. Just a predictable ending and a lot of walking. I let him go BTW. Well, I trying to shoot myself in the head, but it seems the bullet just went into the air.

Posted by bybeach

I thought the interactive would try to compel me to shoot the guy, so I hit x at the top when 'aim' came up. Aiming is commitment to a large degree, and I wanted out. so I never saw the kill or sky option.

Posted by DeeGee

@911forpeace said:

I personally didn't find this "notgame" emotionally disturbing. It was just a simple flash animation that gives you like a paragraph of info about Cambodia. You're not really making a serious choice, you're just choosing whatever you feel like. For instance, I accidentally shot the guy my first time playing. I didn't realize it until I saw the paragraph. Whoops. Guess what? I wouldn't have done that in real life. For me, games aren't real. Mario isn't real, Drake isn't real, and playing a game that doesn't even look real is not going to make me upset when I'm playing what looks like a game that took very little time to make. Seriously, there's so much more about Cambodia, and I learned it in history class, where it was actually emotionally disturbing, because we heard the whole story, and not in 8-bit form with a couple of paragraphs. I actually think this belittles the Cambodia genocide.

You worded my exact thoughts better then I did, followed.

Edited by CitizenKane

As with any entertainment medium, it takes a while for that medium to realize it's full potential in that it can not only entertain, but also educate about the world around us. It has just taken video games a little longer than, say, movies or music due to the interactive aspect, where you yourself are actively engaged in the motions, and not just simply watching or listening.

Edited by Detrian

Great. Except you mentioning the mine made me actively look for the mine and rendered the whole interactive experience thing moot as I videogamed it up. 
 
Put the PLAY THE GAME link first, Patrick.
 
Edit: And Magnuson could use some more hours trekking the internet if a comment on newsgrounds of all places worries him.

Posted by coakroach

While I get the intentions, I found the experience itself to be a little... shallow. 
I guess it was aimed at people with zero knowledge of Year Zero, but i'd love to see a 'nongame' that looks at events like this with a bit more detail or at least gives a bit more of a perspective.  
Because as it stands I thought the game only showed the events in the context of 'bad guy has gun' and 'innocent guy has no gun', what if the two figures were randomized? Would the choice to kill or not to kill be so simple if you were controlling a child in a baggy uniform walking behind a fat catholic landowner?  
Maybe the history nerd in me just cant stand the thought of a maoist revolution being only glanced at as opposed to properly dissected but hey, I guess it was better than another tower defense game.

Posted by lockwoodx

@JakeLogan said:

If it wasn't for some dick who didn't have the guts to leave his obviously already achieved "First", you'd be even closer

Yeah this community keeps getting worse and worse. It's like Giantbomb is mainstream now...

Posted by FLStyle

The first thing I did upon completing this game was research it all. I hope more releases like this bring other things to light.

Online
Posted by LethalKi11ler

Another great article, keep them coming!

Posted by Xpgamer7

I believe a game is an interactive experience in which you achieve something. It's a wide range but I think it allows games like this to exist as games. On the game itself I felt it was barely a game, but that it was more a question. It begged you to say what you'd do in that scenario and would even stop you(the mine ending) to show you that you might not even get to be asked that question.

For me I started to question why I was killing the person, whether they deserved to die, or what purpose it led to. I decided not to kill him as I had nor real reason to other than the gun in my hands.

In the words of Shindler(I don't think he actually said this, but it's still a good quote): "Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don't."

I didn't feel anything afterwards but that's more of the virtuality of the game. Overall I don't think it's a hugely important game, but I think that more games should ask questions like it did.

Posted by JesseCherry

I understood what he was going for, but I felt no emotional. I felt bored. I disconnect my playing of games from reality. I did not know either of these characters. I did not know the person I was supposed to shoot. More so, it was a stick figure. I feel no emotion to a faceless and emotionless character. Maybe it's because I am dead inside, but I felt nothing but boredom.

Edited by MrOldboy

Played it. Wanted more from it. As far as touching interactive experiences goes I feel the subject matter used can cloud the players judgement over their final thoughts of the "created experience". Not every film about an atrocity (e.g. Holocaust movies) is actually deeply emotional, yet after watching one you feel you should feel a certain way. After playing The Killer I cant honestly say I felt any deep emotion in my thoughts. I cant pinpoint why, but other experiences have created emotions in me, including games.

Posted by Stubee

So the message was what exactly? Pol Pot was bad? No shit!  
 
Im sure families of the victims will be comforted by the combination of sprites and emo music. 
 
Not that this is anything new, anyone who spends some time at Newgrounds know these "edgy" or "emotional" games crop up a dime a dozen.

Posted by paulunga

Of course it's either 10 or 0, it's Newgrounds. Also I'm hoping that Mr. xzibition there might be young enough to still be able to adjust his worldview. I really enjoyed experiencing Magnuson's notgames. If anything they inspired me to travel more and see more of the world.

Also, personally, I find the version of The Killer with just ambience to work way better than some unrelated sappy song.

Posted by CornBREDX

This kind of encompasses how I felt about Heavy Rain. It's kind of interesting no one really brings that up. I know the acting was poor for the most part but if you set that aside the concepts are very similar. Make difficult choices in order to receive a message from the story.

While I do appreciate and would love to see more of this kind of exploration of story telling, I have mixed feelings about the presentation from "The Killer".

In one hand I had no idea what the point was and it seemed just like I was walking forever only to finally get to a point where I stopped and was given a task. Having been given no reason to know this person I was marching was good or bad, being me I assumed he did nothing wrong so I shot into the air.

For me it's actually more interesting people's reaction to this (even within these comments). It speaks for what kind of people they are in how they choose to take this in as well as what choice they make.

The song kind of kills it for me, though. The song was really bad- I regretted playing with the song.

As for the message, the way of delivering that message feels like it's tricking you. Like they're hiding in the bushes then pop out "AH HA WE'RE ACTUALLY TRYING TO SMACK YOU WITH REALITY!"

I know the fate of parts of the world, I've seen a lot of it having been in war. I'm not an activist and I also don't condone the terrible lives some people live. I feel for these people, but there is never enough. There will never be enough done to help any of them.

I don't know; I don't have the answers but such is the power of thought provoking experiences.

Posted by NubMonk

If you want to inform people then write an article, make a documentary, write a book. Don't make a "game". Yeah it's horrible that such horrible things happened to these people but there are better ways to tell people about it than through a barely interactive, barely emotional experience. Games are meant to be a fun escape from the real world. I don't play games to get a "deep message maaaaaaaaaan"

Edited by PenguinDust

It wasn't hard to get the lesson the creator was trying to impart (about as subtle as a sledgehammer).  I shot in the air and my prisoner ran off.  I was already familiar with the Khmer Rouge and the war crimes committed under their rule.  "Notgame" is an appropriate description of the interactive experience, because I don't feel it is a game.  It's closer to interactive performance art.  I can't say I liked or disliked it but I did pull the trigger to finish the process, so I guess the creator provoked something which was his intention. 

Posted by Harmonican

Really effective. Reading the comments makes me sad though (they always do).