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TECH SPACE
Osama bin Laden hideout a videogame battleground

by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) May 9, 2011
Images of the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden made his final stand have been turned into a videogame battleground.

A software map named fy_abbottabad in reference to the city where a US military team killed the infamous Al-Qaeda leader in a May 2 raid was available Monday as a setting for play in online computer shooter game "Counter-Strike."

The map program described as a creation by "Fletch" had been downloaded more than 6,400 times from gamebanana.com website as of late Monday.

The setting is a virtual version of the compound where bin Laden was shot dead in the raid by US Navy SEALs, but does not feature interiors of buildings. Players battle it out on the grounds of the compound.

Fletch dismissed some online criticism that the bin Laden slaying was too fresh to be made light of in a videogame.

"What a lot of people don't seem to understand is that the only thing this map has in common with Osama is location," Fletch said in a blog post at gamebanana.com.

"I can see how people would think it is in bad taste, but honestly if that's your opinion you may as well protest the whole game (as well as many others)."

"Counter-Strike" games made by Washington State-based Valve Software let people play online as members of terrorist or counter-terrorist groups with "maps" for missions such as assassinations or the saving of hostages.

Fletch indicated the map made available was an interim creation and the "real update" was nearly completed.

"I find it a lot more enjoyable than this (fy_) version," Fletch wrote.

"The idea is that the T's (terrorists) have returned to destroy sensitive information before it can be located and taken away."



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