‘new york defender’: wtc game still bothers some

'new york defender': wtc game still bothers somefrom gothamist: For the past few years, the French game and humor site called Uzinagaz.com has been featuring an online video game which challenges players to prevent jetliners from flying into the Twin Towers. As the game progresses, the planes arrive with increasing frequency and eventually each tower collapses in a plume of digital dust. The tagline for the game, called New York Defender, says “Go beyond your powerlessness and use your mouse to fight back.”

Many people, including survivors of the 9/11 attacks find the trivialization of an occasion of mass murder offensive. The Staten Island Advance quotes one man who escaped from the 81st Floor of one of the towers. “My brother — Scott — found the game and called me. I frequently play videogames and do a lot of online gaming, so I normally have a thick skin, but this game really struck a nerve. To hear planes hit, the crunching noise when the buildings fall. It’s just tasteless.”

Back in 2002, Clive Thompson, writing for Slate, found the game to be “a grim message about the hopelessness of anti-terrorism: Try as you might to knock every enemy out of the sky, one will always slip past.” One of the game’s designers said, “There are no ways to actually win. The winner becomes the last one to lose.”

There is a follow-up game called New York Defender 2, which shows a map of area airports and commercial airliners, which players are supposed to determine as hijacked or not and shoot them down accordingly. Uzinagaz.com also hosts a game called Baghdad Defender, where people have the ability to unsuccessfully defend the Iraq capital from cruise missiles.

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