It’s been a little less than a week since Navy Seal Team Six killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. Since then, punditry and common opinion’s moved from exultation to worry to backlash to angst. Was Bin Laden unarmed? Was his burial in accordance with Muslim practices? Should the pictures of the dead terrorist leader be released? While folks were debating all of these questions, a modder named Fletch was making sure “Counter-Strike: Source” players could do the deed whenever they wanted.
Fletch’s efforts make a pretty accurate rendering of the Abbottabad compund available for “Counter-Strike: Source” competitors to shoot it out in. Valve’s long-lived shooter is one of the most ubiquitous and popular games in the world, meaning that the amateur designer’s work could find a huge audience very shortly. There’ve been other quick turnaround efforts at making the dispatching of Bin Laden playable–most notably KumaWar Episode 107: Osama 2011–but what makes this “Counter-Strike” map impressive is that it appears to be the work of one guy, and not a team of developers working around the clock.
They’re different experiences, to be sure. But, both speak to a morbid fascination with making this kind of military engagement without the kind of fictional gloss that other big-budget games lay over similar material.