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, 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 and 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 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
Original Article: Playing it Old School: “Spec Ops: War on Terrorism” and the popularity of browser games after 9/11


About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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