[short review for neural]
Molleindustria’ s games have traditionally aimed to put the player in a rather uncomfortable or unusual position. Previous games have asked users to run McDonald’s businesses, to hide church scandals in Italy, or to supervise child labour in Congo. The team of radical Italian game designers have launched their latest challenge: ‘Unmanned‘ invites you to become a UAV pilot and follow the character throughout his daily routine. Players attempt to not cut themselves shaving (and that’s the only ‘real’ blood you will see) and to be a good husband while talking on the phone; to try not to miss a moving living target via a radar at work and play first person shooting games with sons at home. Every time you succeed in your role different medals await you. But as with all Molleindustria’s games, this is not the point. Unmanned is not about checking or developing your skills and competencies but rather about realising your indifference and tolerance to an existing reality. The game will remind you of the Collateral Murder video, leaked by wikileaks two years ago and it will most likely freak you out. It will make you wonder about the sense of playing it in the first place. But that’s only because Unmanned shows the power video games have as a medium for addressing human sensibilities. Games are about choices, just like life itself. Imagine what happens when fiction and real terror come so close.