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JFK assassination 'game' stirs up controversy

Scottish studio angers former president's family.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

A PC game produced by Scottish firm Traffic Games has come under fire from the family of former US president John F Kennedy for allowing gamers to play through his assassination as sniper Lee Harvey Oswald.

The game, which is rather insensitively titled JFK Reloaded, was released today to coincide with the 41st anniversary of Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, and has been made available over the Internet for $9.99.

It features a 3D recreation of the scene at the assassination and challenges players to fire three shots at the president's motorcade from the Texas School Book Depository, with points awarded for matching Oswald's fatal shots exactly, and deducted for "mistakes".

The player can also view the scene from a number of angles, including the infamous "grassy knoll" where a second gunman was situated according to certain theories about the killing.

According to Traffic Games managing director Kirk Ewing, the team has "enormous respect for the Kennedy family", and the game is designed to "re-ignite people's passion for history."

"This is a unique insight into the assassination," he told the BBC News site. "We think there's a whole generation of people who have no experience of the Kennedy assassination. The game is effectively a reconstruction of the event using video game technology. I hasten to add that we don't regard it as a video game because there's no imagination been used to create the scene."

However, the Kennedy family doesn't appear to be impressed with this explanation - with a spokesperson for JFK's brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, describing the game as "despicable."

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