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This Classic Mac Game About Terrorism Is Called 'Research Paper Writer'

Here's that Mac Classic Game about a plane hijacking we were looking for.
July 28, 2015, 8:15pm
From England's recreation of Research Paper Writer. Image: Jesse England

We recently wrote about artist Jesse England's search for an old video game about terrorism. A month later, England has found the game. As you can see in his playthrough video above, it's extremely close to what he described, but one reason it may have been difficult to find is its name: Research Paper Writer.

Desperate to find a Macintosh Classic game he remembered playing as part of a 7th grade social studies class, England created a video recreation he hoped another player might identify. He said that the game asked players how they would behave in case their plane was hijacked, a heavy, weird subject for a simple game of that era to tackle.

"I ended up searching for references to hijacking in public school software advisory lists from the 1990's (a surprising amount are scanned and available in PDF form)," England told Motherboard in an email. "None of the suggestions from article comments or reddit were accurate (I was hoping for instant recognition from someone who had played the game before; I didn't expect people to take it upon themselves to search for it.) I ordered a copy and it arrived last week, which was followed by several days of technical issues involved with getting data off the disks and making it run with emulation software before I could be assured that it was the right piece of software."

It turns out the hijacking scenario was part of a greater language arts lesson, and it's just as intense as England's recreation video suggested. At one point, one of the hijackers grabs a passenger by the throat and threatens to shoot her. In another, you, the player, are told you feel a gun pressed against your temple. The whole thing ends with interviews and guidance on how to write a research paper on the subject of terrorism and hijacking.

"In retrospect, the program was much more violent than I remembered," England said at the end of the video.