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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
Game players can be John Kerry
Still from John Kerry Mission
Players can step into the shoes of Lieutenant John Kerry in Vietnam

A US computer games firm is offering subscribers the chance to re-enact John Kerry's role in his controversial Vietnam Swift Boat mission.

Kuma Reality Games says it has created the first-ever re-enactment of the events surrounding the Democrat presidential candidate's Silver Star-winning action.

It is one mission in a series of war recreations that also include the last stand of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Iraq and Operation Anaconda - a 2002 US military campaign in Afghanistan.

Mr Kerry's service in Vietnam - and President Bush's role in the Texas National Guard during the war - have been contentious issues during election campaigning.

The Kerry team has alleged President Bush backed ads by Republican-leaning Vietnam veterans which questioned Mr Kerry's record for bravery in the war.

But last month the president said Senator Kerry served "admirably" and called for attacks by external campaign groups to be banned.

Navy records

The Kuma\War game is a first and third-person, tactical squad-based military game for PCs.

Kerry character at helm of Swift Boat in Vietnam game
The war service of Bush and Kerry has been under scrutiny

Based on the navy's records of the encounter on 28 February 1969, players who subscribe to the Kuma\War service can take the role of John Kerry and lead three Swift Boats though the small tributaries deep in the Mekong Delta.

As the boats come under fire from Viet Cong hiding in the nearby brush, it is up to the player to decide a course of action.

Keith Halper, chief executive of Kuma Reality Games, told BBC News Online the game would "bring clarity" over the nature of Mr Kerry's mission.

"It is not our goal to make a political statement with the mission, but to present a lens with which to view the event, and the tools to enable people to make an informed decision.

"We hope people who experience the mission will come away with a deeper appreciation of Kerry's service and the service of all Swift Boat Veterans in Vietnam.

"For years, the military has used simulation tools to gain an understanding of complex events. We think it's time that civilians had access to the same tools."

When asked whether the company had any plans to bring out a mission involving the Texas National Guard, Mr Halper said: "We'd like to get a deferment on that question."

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