The battle for Mosul will streamed live with emoji. That was the headline across Twitter today as the Rudaw network used live video to show the offensive against IS.
While the thirst for those whove had their homes and lives destroyed by the terror organisation can be completely understood, at what point do those further afield really need such ongoing interaction with the converage. Do we put smiley faces when a convoy of IS members are blown sky high and sad faces when a suicide bomber drives at government troops? Do we see killing live? Whereas in the past pre-recorded footage would have been selected on merit and with suitable sensitivities, that simply can’t happen on a live feed.
While I don’t think there is anything wrong with bringing the reality of war to the screen, it does concern me when it becomes a media event. It raises therefore all sorts of questions which got me thinking what future war might be like.
I ended up writing this press release….this of course is a parody!
A media giant has announced today that ordinary members of the public will be able to help take part in the battle for Mosul.
A new app for Android and IoS will allow users to search through military images in order to select targets themselves. Users can then submit the location to an official military command reviewer and if they agree will send in strike aircraft and let you watch live as they blow it up.
Players will be able to win points based on the number of jihadis killed, with extra points for convoys and military vehicles.
In order to fund the project, military officials have organised a deal with the said media giant who in return for delaying major operations until prime time, will be able to broadcast the strikes live. Viewers on the show will be able to join the action on live cameras fitted to the soldiers.
While concerns have been raised about delaying operations until prime time, military officials say while there is an increased chance of the enemy knowing the time they will be coming the media giant is funding new tanks and equipment in return for the troops.
It won’t just be hands-on warfare for viewers though, viwers will also be able to bet on the outcome of operations.