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Anti-war protest in America's Army

Kyle Orland

While pro-war propaganda and military recruitment tools are nothing new, using them as the medium to broadcast an anti-war protest is. Yet that is just what University of Nevada art professor Joseph Delappe is doing with his small bit of "performance art" in the military-funded game America's Army.

Instead of playing the game as it was intended, Delappe logs in and runs around without firing a shot, eventually getting killed by his fellow players. As his character dies, Delappe broadcasts the name of a real American soldier killed in Iraq, an act he's performed 1,273 times so far, according to Salon.

Some anti-war activists are obviously sympathetic to his cause, but one America's Army player and military recruit compared it to "crash[ing] a Girl Scout meeting by yelling through a megaphone that they should vote his candidate in to office." Are online games an appropriate place for protest, or should Delappe take his message someplace else?

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