Game Plan

Here’s an idea I had for a video game…broad bean flower

You are an elderly peasant, standing in a garden, picking beans and tomatoes for the evening meal. You hear a strange sound and look up. Something is coming toward you from the sky. You try to run away, but there is nothing you can do. It follows you, and you are blown to pieces.

How do you feel?

You are a child, playing in the yard of your house. An elderly relative is in the garden, picking vegetables for the evening meal. You are going to help them when you hear a strange sound. You look up, and see that your elderly relative is frightened and trying to run away from something that is coming very fast from the sky. There is nothing you can do. Your elderly relative is blown apart, all over the family vegetable patch, and you are spattered with their blood.

How do you feel?

You are in the kitchen of your house, mixing together flour, water and oil to make a dough. You knead the dough, and break off balls of the dough and roll and pat it into discs ready to be cooked. Your elderly relative is in the garden picking vegetables for you to cook for the evening meal. Your child is playing in the yard, just outside the door. You hear a strange sound, and look out the door, just in time to see your terrified elderly relative blown to smithereens all over your vegetable garden. Your child is splattered with their blood and screaming in terror. You begin to wail yourself, even as you try to comfort your child. There is nothing you can do.

How do you feel?

You are sitting in a room in Nevada, looking at a screen. You are guiding a missile towards a person whom you believe to be an enemy, on the other side of the world. There is a camera on this device. You can see where it is going. It is headed toward a black-clad figure, standing in a garden outside a house. You see the face of a terrified old woman, moments before she is blown to shreds in her garden.

How do you feel?

It is your job to counter terror, but are you?

You log off, and drive home. There is a child playing in the yard, its mother is in the kitchen preparing the evening meal.

How do you feel?

It’s a game. How do you feel?

It’s a wheel of suffering. There’s nothing you can do. How do you feel?

What can you feel?

I wish I thought this story wasn’t substantially true. The child’s name is Nabila Rehman. The name of the game is “Empathy”.

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