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Raid Gaza!

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Raid Gaza!
Developer(s)Marcus Richert
ReleaseDecember 18, 2008
Genre(s)Real-time strategy

Raid Gaza! is a short real-time strategy Flash game by Marcus Richert which satirizes the Israel–Palestine conflict from a pro-Palestinian perspective.[1][2] The game was uploaded to Newgrounds on December 30, 2009, three days into Israel's Operation Cast Lead,[3] and was also released for Android phones through Google Play.[4] It has been referred to as a newsgame and an "editorial game" by Ian Bogost, and as a "journalistic game" by Piotr Kubinski.[5]


The game puts the player in the shoes of the Israeli Defence Forces, responsible with retaliating against the Gaza Strip after the opening cutscene where a lone, meandering Qassam rocket eventually lands on the Israeli side of the border.[6] The player is bluntly tasked with the mission of killing as many Palestinians as possible by a crudely drawn Ehud Olmert.[4] Once the game starts, the player finds themselves ridiculously overpowered with access to "missiles, Merkava tanks, F15I Eagle fighters, and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters," and access to what amounts to unlimited financial assistance from the United States whenever requested through a simple phone call.[6][4] The computer-controlled opponent, Gaza, on the other hand, continues to send its lonely Qassam rockets, which only occasionally cause any Israeli deaths. All the while, a muzak version of The Carpenters' "Close to You" plays in the background.[7] On occasion, the player "unlocks" random achievements like "Bonus: Hospital hit!"[8]

While there is no true loss condition, the player is "rewarded" with an approving message from Ben Ehud Olmert if they manage to maintain a ratio of more than 25 dead Palestinians per 1 Israeli casualty.[4][9]


Video game academic Ian Bogost called the game "headstrong" and "one-sided" but also remarked he found it editorially effective both as "an opinion text and as game."[3] Tony Fortin of French gaming website Merlanfrit said the game did a better job than the news media of describing the "perfect reality" and injustice of the conflict.[10] Stephen Petrina at the University of British Columbia said that the game "strikingly communicated" the "unpalatable horrors of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" in a "very real way."[11] Dora Kishinevsky of Israeli business website Calcalist said that regardless of what one thinks of the political viewpoint of the game, one must recognize its "impressive effectiveness" as a work of political art.[12] Others were less forgiving: Mike Fahey of Kotaku said it left him feeling a "bit ill," while Matt Peckham of PC World called it "noisy oversimplification" and "music to the choir" and later included the game on a list of "The 15 Most Offensive Video Games Ever Made".[7][6][13] Jonathan V. Last of the conservative The Weekly Standard "confessed" that the game "had an effect quite opposite the intended one" on him.[14]

Among users on sites like Newgrounds, the overall reaction has been described as divided but one of shock, despite the site at the time frequently featuring both pornographic and ultra-violent material.[12] The Jerusalem Post reported that "most [comments on Newgrounds] seemed to support Jerusalem's position."[15] Whether ironically or non-ironically, it was reported that young Israelis actually took a liking to the game.[12]

Raid Gaza! was followed by several other games dealing with the conflict from other independent game developers, such as Save Israel and Gaza Defense Force.[10][5]


  1. ^ "Gaza-Israel video games cause controversy". BBC News. 5 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Google Removes 'Bomb Gaza' Game From Play Store". Time. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b Bogost, Ian. "Raid Gaza! Editorial Games and Timeliness". Newsgames Georgia Tech Journalism & Games Project. The Georgia Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Hudson, Dale; Zimmermann, Patricia R. (2015). "Tactical Engagement through Gaming and Narrowcasting". Thinking Through Digital Media: 149–150. doi:10.1057/9781137433633_5. ISBN 978-1-349-49270-1.
  5. ^ a b Kubiński, Piotr. "Gry zaangażowane na tle innych gier wideo" (PDF). Res Publica Nowa (in Polish). Nr 3/2014 (23/2014): 145–150. Retrieved 29 July 2021. {{cite journal}}: |volume= has extra text (help)
  6. ^ a b c "Raid Gaza! Flash Game Oversimplifies Israel-Palestine Conflict". 13 January 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Gaza Strife Reflected Poorly In Raid Gaza Flash Game". Kotaku. 30 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Raid Gaza game satirises Israeli military action". the Guardian. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  9. ^ Spiess, Kevin. "Political satire and flash mix in Raid Gaza! game". Neoseeker.
  10. ^ a b "Raid Gaza ! (Raid Gaza !) - Merlanfrit".
  11. ^ Petrina, Stephen. "Flash game as a vehicle of social protest? | How We Learn Media & Technology". University of British Columbia. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  12. ^ a b c קישינבסקי, דורה (18 January 2009). "משחק מלחמה בשטח עוין". כלכליסט. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  13. ^ "The 15 Most Offensive Video Games Ever Made". 29 September 2010.
  14. ^ "Killjoys for Change". 14 June 2010.
  15. ^ "War games". 15 January 2009.

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