All about Killbox
The true story (behind the game):
Since 2004, the United States government has brutally attacked thousands of people and hundreds of innocent children in Northwest Pakistan by using unmanned aerial vehicles a.k.a. drones. These drones are controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency‘s “Special Activities” Division. There exist plenty of pictures that depict the horror of this violence and every one of them is heart-rending. Adding to the cruelty is the fact that these attacks are carried out by soldiers in remote locations.
The horrifying drone strikes first began during the administration of Ex-United States President George W. Bush, and have significantly increased under his successor Barack Obama. Moreover, leaked military documents reveal that the huge majority of people killed have not been intended targets! This “drone war” has contributed to a negative view of the United States of America.
Death and Despair:
If you wish to virtually experience the horror of the Drone War, an innovative video game is here to show you exactly what all that damage and destruction really looked and felt like.
Killbox is an online two-player game named after the military term for an area targeted for destruction. This game serves as a critique of drone warfare and hopes to raise awareness among us all.
The basic gist of the game is this: One player is a helpless civilian exploring his/her surroundings with hardly any instructions. The second player is guided with task after task, leading up to the administration of a drone strike. Even if the drone pilot player refuses to set out the weapons, autopilot kicks in and carries out the attack for him. When it hits, the drone pilot can see the extent of the destruction on the ground but is completely helpless about it. And if in case the first strike doesn’t destroy enough, a second strike is carried out to stop rescuers from helping injured and retrieving the deceased. Then, the game asks you to guess the number of people killed. But there’s no right answer here, as it’s just meant to cause regret and sorrow. When the round ends, there is no time to think and reflect in remorse as the roles of both the players switch. The drone pilot is now a civilian on the ground and vice versa. Sadly, the mass destruction happens all over again.
Killbox programmer Albert Elwin says, “We were looking into all these different stories, like the psychology of the drone pilot, all the crazy, messed-up stuff that surrounds it. It’s all really dark and depressing. It’s absolutely in some ways a difficult project to work on because you get kind of consumed by the reality of it. People are now starting to realize that you can use games for more than entertainment.”