Game about hostage-taking draws flak

Posted at 08/24/10 3:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A crudely developed flash game based on the dramatic hostage siege at the Quirino Grandstand on Monday drew the ire of several Internet users, who called it "shameful" and "insensitive."

The game, aptly titled Bus Hostage by Policeman, was created hours after the hostage crisis ended by a user named Keybol and was uploaded on Newgrounds.com, a website that accepts user-produced Flash games and animation.

The main objective of the game, which was supposedly "brought to you by the Philippines Tourism," is to "shoot the amok policeman hostaging a bus full of Asian hostages" within a minute.


Screenshots of flash game "Bus Hostage by Policeman." Credit: Techie.com.ph.


"Seeking to arm-twist authorities into reinstating him back, a dismissed policeman has taken a bus with 25 passengers hostage here. Can you stop him and blow his brain?" Keybol wrote.

The creator was referring to dismissed police officer Rolando del Rosario Mendoza, the hostage-taker, whose picture appears on the screen with the words "I want to be reinstated back to my job so I hostage these people" when the game is over.

Police said Mendoza was shot dead by a sniper after he used his captives as "human shields" in the final moments of the 12-hour standoff.

Eight Hong Kong tourists were also killed during the siege.

A 'bad' game

Just hours after it was uploaded, Bus Hostage by Policeman was flooded with more than 80 comments and reviews from different users.

The game drew flak not only for its "awful graphics" and "sucky gameplay," but also for "making fun of" an event that claimed innocent lives.

Most users gave it a score of 0 out of 10, with 10 being the highest.

"Horrible gameplay. It's like whack-a-mole but with people and (it's) based on real life. Are you sick in the head? Please go away for a very, very long time as I don't like you and based on the ratings before me, most people don't like you either," said user CaptMorganNU.

Added user ResidentSociopath, "Honestly, this is probably the worst rendition of a video game concept idea. It's a shoddily thrown together game, with it being virtually impossible to hit any of the targets...You picked a current event that was so recent, that people are still mourning and in terror treatment facilities."

User ericgespiritu, meanwhile, remarked, "This was too soon, man. The same way that the cop wanted to gain attention by doing something insensitive was the same way you got attention (when you) make light of a horrific event in our country. Just think about it. Can't we wait before doing something that makes fun of people losing their lives?"