Playing it Old School: “Spec Ops: War on Terrorism” and the popularity of browser games after 9/11 – 5/5/2011

specopsIt may have only been a few days but articles proposing “kill bin-Laden”-games are beginning to feel overdone. Yet as stated in, What game will recreate the death of Osama bin Laden, the internet was flooded with an abundance of kill bin-Laden-browser games in the aftermath of 9/11.

Back in 2001; the concept of revenge was so popular that peoples emails were flooded with “kill bin-Laden” jokes / images while websites had special pages dedicated to browser cartoons and games that were about killing bin-Laden. Yet most of these games pale in comparison to Spec Ops: War on Terrorism.

Published by Tech-Radium and hosted on Miniclip.com, Spec Ops: War on Terrorism was a FPS arcade style shooter that put gamers in the role of an Army Ranger fighting in Afghanistan. The missions included hostage rescue, sniper mission and fighting bin-Laden.

So what made Spec Ops: War on Terrorism stand out? Its most notable quality was the arcade style action in a well detailed environment. Each of the four levels offered a different game-play to avoid repetition. What is even more surprising was that this game was made and released in 2001.

To appreciate the significance of Spec Ops: War on Terrorism, it helps to look back and remember that the internet had just become a major cultural force. Most browser games / cartoons lack any real quality. At best only JoeCartoon.com and StickDeath.com really stood out.

Spec Ops: War on Terrorism was one of the first browser games of its quality. The effort was worth it; Spec Ops: War on Terrorism became one of the most popular browser games in 2001 and again during the 2003 Iraq War. Other shooter browser games were developed and many of them have borrowed elements that made Spec Ops: War on Terrorism a success.

Basically; Spec Ops: War on Terrorism was the 007 GoldenEye of browser games.

Browser games have improved since 2001. On social networks like Facebook, they have become very profitable for developers. Websites like Miniclips.com and [adult swim] have developed a verity of original games.

Despite the advancements made, Spec Ops: War on Terrorism still remains a must play classic that has influential in the progression of browser games.

More Playing It Old School will be coming soon.

Written for Bitmob
05/5/2011
Original Article: Playing it Old School: “Spec Ops: War on Terrorism” and the popularity of browser games after 9/11

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Playing It Old School: How Steven Spielberg created the war-shooter genre – 5/1/2011

Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential directors in cinema history. In a long career; his films have touched a verity of elements while setting new standards in the cinematic arts. Like James Cameron or Stanley Kubrick; everyone has at least one Spielberg film on their top ten lists.

However for all the praises he has received for this contribution to the cinematic arts; his contribution to electronic gaming has barely been recognized. This is an embarrassment for gaming culture because Spielberg contribution is significant on the same level as Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, and John Romero (minus the career death).

Besides having an admiration for cinema, Spielberg has been an avid gamer. Unfortunately his video game contribution has been very limited (with the most recent titles being puzzle games). Yet when he first dabbled into electronic gaming, he not only started a successful series but created a new genre.

It all started during the filming of Saving Private Ryan; during which Spielberg was inspired to create a WWII-themed videogame. After the success of Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg gathered the same creative team together for the WWII-themed game, Medal of Honor.

Set during the final years of WWII, gamers take on the role of Lt. Jimmy Patterson who has been recruited by the OSS (the forerunner to the CIA) to participate in covert operations against Nazi Germany.

Released exclusively for the PlayStation in 1999, Medal of Honor was well praised by critics and gamers. Joe Fiedler of Gamespot.com called it, “The closest thing you’re going to get to GoldenEye 007 on the PlayStation” while GamePro called it “Saving Private Ryan: the game.” In 2002, IGN ranked Medal of Honor as #21 on its list of Top 25 PlayStation Games of All Time.

The success of Medal of Honor was followed by Medal of Honor: Underground in 2000 for the PlayStation. Than in 2002, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault was released for the PC while Jimmy Patterson returned that same year in Medal of Honor: Frontline for the PS2.

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault had officially set the standards of what has become the war-shooter genre. By creating a realistic war experience, it paved the way for games like Call of Duty, Ghost Recon and Battlefield to enter the market.

It is because of Spielberg that a lot of gamers are now playing Call of Duty: Black Ops or Medal of Honor (2010). Despite being one of the most respected artists, it’s only right to acknowledge his contribution in the development of the FPS-genre.

Written for Bitmob 
05/01/2011
Original Article: Playing It Old School: How Steven Spielberg created the war-shooter genre