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REALITY PLAY: DOCUMENTARY COMPUTER GAMES BEYOND FACT AND FICTION BY JOOST RAESSENS

Description: Computer games such as JFK Reloaded and 9-11 Survivor not only aim at an accurate documentation of particular events—such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Twin Towers attack—but also at the playful re-enactment of these traumatic events. In this article, I discuss whether the phrase “documentary computer games” is useful in defining these games. These “docu-games” try to combine the facts of documentaries and the fiction of computer games—elements that seem hard to reconcile at first sight. Do these games create a harmonious “space of communication” in which feelings of mutual understanding occur between designers and players?