Is "September 12" about Gaza?

Is "September 12" about Gaza?
by Foaad Khosmood

One of the first things that popped into my head during the recent Gaza massacre was September 12. The footage they showed on TV from the point of view of Israeli F16 fighters was eerily similar to the graphics in September 12.

September 12 is a simple flash/shockwave animation computer game. It can be played in your browser if you have the right plug-in for it. In gaming circles and game education, it is usually classified as "news game", just like the Bush Shoe Throwing Game since it's centered around a news event. But then again, the game clearly says in its opening screen "This is not a game."

The apparent object here is simple: kill terrorists. You are given a picture of what they look like versus what civilians look like. It's easy to tell them apart in the game.

September 12 was created several years ago by Powerful Robot games, run by the Uruguay-based game designer Gonzalo Frasca. I didn't want to trivialize the real-world tragedy by putting up a video game during the actual Gaza bombings. But now, I have put the game here and you can play it. Write about your reaction. It requires a browser plug in so I apologize in advance if you can't play it.

Play September 12.



As I predicted, they have a "problem" with reality

by Q on

According to every terrorism expert known to man, if you kill civilian populations, you produce more terrorists. The game is simple because this reality is simple.

Only hothead Israelis who believe in force and nothing else, refuse to understand this lesson, even after 60 years of murder.

Iranian Reader

On UN Gaza aid...

by Iranian Reader on

If anyone remembers Rwanda in the mid nineties they might remember that a lot of UN aid (especially UNHCR aid) ended up serving the political interests of whoever instigated and/or promoted the genocide of the Tutsies. I used to work for Unicef at the time so I followed what was going on closely. It is totally silly to think that humanitarian aid by organizations that are so much at the mercy of "donor" countries are not used to serve the political and strategic interests of those countries. Hamas is not falling for this politically motivated Trojan Horse. Who would blame them? And anyways, as my husband said, what are they going to do with shipments of blankets? Deposit them in their Swiss bank accounts?

And thanks, Foaad, for bringing such an interesting electronic phenomenon to our attention.   



Dear Foaad

by Zion on

Sure, this is a simple simulation designed specifically so that it gets the political message it wants out of it in all cases. Fine. I have no problem with that, its a political stance and the guys who developed it believe it to be true and want to show what they believe to others. But when you use such a simplistic deliberately designed toy simulation to claim that it proves something even under Israeli assumptions, that is where I begin to have a problem with such a claim.

[OK, You don't have any brothers there. Sorry, that was childish of me. You are right there. I won't do it again.]

Foaad Khosmood

dear Zion,

by Foaad Khosmood on

Sep12 only models the act of remotely killing "terrorists" in densely populated civilian areas. I think the simulation is pretty damn accurate for a small flash game. As I said below, it adopts the Israeli interpretation that the targets are terrorists to begin with.

You sound like you have all the basics for a different simulation game. Have you ever considered Game design? Maybe yours will do as well as this one. ;)

PS. I don't have any family in Gaza. My only brother is a lawyer in San Francisco. I appreciate if you could keep down the personal attacks.



by Zion on

Under Israeli interpretation? Really? All around a target get to become terrorists, and that immediately before the next round of fire in real life? And what happens to all those who fear the Hamas and are tortured or killed as traitors? Or those who are fed up with Hamas tactics that bring nothing but further destruction for them and their children? That does not have any "reverse" effect on the number of "converts"? Right! lol.

'The Game agrees with the Israeli interpretation of things. There are terrorists and there are civilians.'

That is not the 'Israeli interpretation of things. That is a fact. It is any decent rational human beings interpretation buddy that your brothers in Hamas and the likes are nothing but stinking murderers and terrorist scum bags.


oh GOD please have the pro-Israelis play this game

by Q on

This game is increadibly deep. I didn't realize games can be like this.

It should be required assignment for all die-hard Zionists and IDF commanders. Maybe then they'll finally understand why after 60 years of bloodshed they have no peace or security.

Good Job I'm glad you are on the right side on this.

Foaad Khosmood

Actually it's the other way around, IranParast

by Foaad Khosmood on

The Game agrees with the Israeli interpretation of things. There are terrorists and there are civilians. It agrees that terrorists should be killed and civilians should not.

Something sympathetic to Hamas would not label them terrorists.

What makes it powerful is that the lesson prevails even under that Israeli interpretation.


So you found a game sympathetic to terrorists?

by IraniParast (not verified) on

what is the big deal?

I get it. Kill terrorists, you create more. That does not offer a solution.


Unverified Misreporter - no doubt!

by Mehrnaz (not verified) on

Thank you Foaad.

Unverified Misreporter, Hamas has acknowledged that it has taken some of the delivered aid because it is the elected authority in Gaza. Hamas has argued that since the UN agency only distributes the aid amongst what it classifies as "refugees" this is not an equitable distribution because it leaves out so many others who are not of refugee status according to the UN classification and who are equally suffering and in need of aid.

So in the face of such a criminally man-made humanitarian tragedy, please try and respond humanely. Hamas, as the elected representative of the Gazans has been running Gaza and is exercising its legitimate right to act for the whole population. The UN agency, with all due respect, is anxious that Hamas' control of the aid would anger the Western leaders and would stop the flow of aid. So if you are concerned, criticise the blockade and the attack on Gazan's elected government.


غزه؛ حماس محموله های سازمان ملل را مصادره کرد

Reporter (not verified)

Wednesday 04 February 2009
غزه؛ حماس محموله های سازمان ملل را مصادره کرد
به گزارش خبرگزاری فرانسه، دفتر سازمان ملل در امور کمک رسانی به فلسطينيان (انروا) امروز اعلام کرد گروه حماس محموله کمکهای این نهاد برای مردم غزه را مصادره کرده است.

به گفته انروا، نیروهای پلیس حماس روز سه شنبه محموله ای شامل 3.500 پتو و صدها بسته مواد غذايی را که قرار بود میان مردم غزه توزیع شود، به نفع خود مصادره کرده اند.

خبرگزاری فرانسه نوشت یکی از مسئولان دفتر سازمان ملل در امور کمک رسانی به فلسطينيان در غزه در اظهاراتی شدیداللحن علیه حماس اقدام آنان را محکوم کرده و گفته است نیروهای حماس روز گذشته وارد یکی از انبارهای این نهاد شده و با زور محموله ها را مصادره کردند.

به گفته این منبع، به نظر می رسد حماس قصد دارد این کمکها را میان اعضا و طرفداران خود توزیع کند.


Thanks Foaad

by IRANdokht on

I can't load and play at work but thanks for the introduction and the graphic. At least I have an idea what it's about and that alone is scaring me!

I saw a footage of the war in Iraq and the soldiers who were pulling those triggers were laughing and commenting the same way I have seen boys comment on video games. Maybe that's why some go through a very tough time when they realize that was not just a game they were playing...

I'll check it out at home. Thanks again!



This is really interesting Foaad.

by Derakhshandeh (not verified) on

This is really interesting Foaad. I thought I had heard both sides of the story plenty, but this one is very unique. It best describes the situation, or at least the perception of reality on the ground - or in the air as was/is the case.

I hope this game becomes more widely known so people can better understand.