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Killbox

Killbox is an online game and interactive installation that critically explores the nature of drone warfare, its complexities and consequences. It is an experience which explores the use of technology to transform and extend political and military power, and the abstraction of killing through virtualisation. Killbox involves audiences in a fictionalized interactive experience in virtual environments based on documented drones strikes in Northern Pakistan.


Statement

Over the past decade+ of the “war on terror", Western military and intelligence services have enthusiastically embraced the use of armed, unmanned aerial vehicles as weapons of choice against Al Qaeda in conflict zones which include: Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Pakistan. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan alone, between 2004 and 2015, 410 CIA operated drones have killed an estimated 3,926 people; of these, it is estimated that approximately 960 civilians have been killed, including 207 children. Drones have become cultural touchstones of sorts; made reference to in numerous media sources as representing the ultimate “gamification" of warfare. That said, it is curious that there are relatively few games or interactive experiences that actually attempt to address the subject of drones. It is ironic that a weapon system that is so conceptually connected to computer games has seen so little serious treatment in the world of computer gaming and interactive media. This is likely due to the asymmetrical nature of drone warfare – in most computer games, for the sake of dynamic and challenging game play, there exists a balance between opposing forces. A drone pilot faces zero threat from those on the ground – while those living under drones are completely lacking in agency. It is this very unequal and asymmetrical aspect of drone warfare that we plan to engage, through simulative gameplay and interactivity, to make for a compelling and meaningful artwork. This is a central tenet of the ideation process behind the development of “Killbox" – to develop a simulative interactive experience that focuses players upon the moral, ethical, human and technological conditions surrounding drone warfare.


Selected Articles

KILL BOX IS A TROUBLING GAME ABOUT DRONE WARFARE, Polygon

KILLBOX, A VIDEOGAME ABOUT THE TRUE HORROR OF DRONE WARFARE, Kill Screen

The game that makes drone warfare personal, Engadget

In This Game You Play a Drone Pilot, Then a Drone Target, Motherboard

The drone-strike game “Killbox” plunges players into the most dehumanizing aspect of modern warfare, Quartz


Team

Malath Abbas - Production, Design, Art @maltron3D 

Tom deMajo - Design, Art, Sound @tomdemajo  

Albert Elwin - Programming, Design @albertelwin_ 

Joseph DeLappe - Research, Concept @josephdelappe


Awards & Recognition

  • Politics and Games – Goethe Institute
  • BAFTA Scotland 2016 Nomination
  • AMAZE Berlin 2016 Festival
  • IndieCade 2016
  • IndieCade @ e3 2016
  • Bit Bash 2016 Selection
  • EGX Leftfield Collection 2015
  • GDCE 2015: Experimental Gameplay Workshop

More information

Published 30 days ago
StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, macOS
Rating
(1)
AuthorsBiome Collective, mal
TagsAction, indiecade, Multiplayer, serious, simulation, War
Average sessionA few minutes
MultiplayerAd-hoc networked multiplayer

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

killbox_v1.0_win.zip 51 MB
killbox_v1.0_osx.zip 63 MB
killbox_installation_guide.zip 90 kB