Protesting in a virtual world


Joseph DeLappe is an active artist protesting the war in Iraq.

On March 20th, the date of the US invasion of Iraq, DeLappe will enter America’s Army, peacefully.

America’s Army is an MMORPG designed by the US military which also functions as an active reqruiter. for the army.

He’ll be using the login name “dead-in-Iraq” and well…I’m almost tempted to download America’s Army to witness the action. But quite honestly, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. Would I be supporting America’s Army or would I be supporting Joseph DeLappe?

“As of 1/17/08, I have input 3745 names. I intend to keep doing so until the end of this war. As of 1/17/08 there have been 3929 American service persons killed in Iraq” – Networked Performance

So he’ll be manually(!) writingthe name, age, service branch and date of death of each service person who has died to date in Iraq.

Does it all sound familiar? Well, it seems he started dead-in-iraq in 2006. It kinda gives you a perspective on matters when an artist repeats his protest 3 years in a row. That’s interesting.

I have to admit I’m feeling a tad sorry for the poor MMORPG players – I mean what are they suppossed to do? Hmmm – maybe they should join him somehow? Maybe he should invite them to. It would be lovely if someone documented the discussions this sparked in-world. It seems he doesn’t engage in any social conversation…well…who could blame him with 3745 US soldiers to memorialise.

It certainly made an impression on me. I think it would be cool if they could stream the protest but I worry about the privacy rights of the players.

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