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With Centenary Square in Birmingham briefly resembling the Midlands’ answer to Baghdad’s Green Zone - thanks to the armed police presence and intensive security checks in place for the Conservative Party conference - this is a good week for the Birmingham Rep to be unveiling a new play showing how the terrorist threat has never felt closer to home, thanks to video games and the changing face of warfare.
At the lonely centre of First Person Shooter slouches Tom, a typically sullen, trigger-happy teenager. He’s so busy hunting down Al-Qaeda operatives and blasting insurgents, he can barely take his eyes off the screen long enough to acknowledge his concerned mum. So far, so grimly recognisable - and Paul Jenkins’s drama would be as dull as watching a computer-virus check if it simply focussed on Tom’s console-bashing lifestyle.

ut not only does the production, ably directed by Robert Shaw Cameron, allow us to peer into the gaming world he’s immersed in, thanks to smart video projections, it also uses his situation to explore a profound cultural shift. That shift is neatly embodied in the handful of Tom’s real-world relations. His mother and her geeky new boyfriend work for a technology firm that has developed a powerful new detection system for unmanned drones which they’d like to see put to civilian use - until the military offer becomes irresistible.

This is playing in my city for a while, seems interesting, im going on wednesday.
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