Playing with fire(arms): Explaining police militarization using video games

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In conjunction with the Ferguson project, Empathetic Media is also creating combing through hundreds of pages of hand-receipt records of surplus military equipment turned over to police departments to research a a news video game.

The game will address the debate on police militarization and the 1033 military surplus requisition program. Users will act as law enforcement entities seeking surplus equipment. They will go through the 1033 process to receive the equipment, and gain a more comprehensive understanding of just what that process entails. After gaining access to the equipment, users will be placed in situations that prompt them to use the equipment decisively under high pressure.


A mock-up of one situation is below: In this riot-response scenario, police need to hold off rioters using appropriate force, but in night mode, the action speeds up and the pressure increases.


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