Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" Controversy

April 11, 2009 -

Since the controversy over Six Days in Fallujah broke earlier this week, GamePolitics has reported on reaction from military veterans as well as from family members of soldiers killed in the Iraq War.

But the video game press has begun to weigh in as well. U.K-based gamesindustry.biz spanks coverage of the game by British tabloids, but reserves some criticism for Konami's VP of marketing, Anthony Crouts:

Crouts [told the] Wall Street Journal... "We're not trying to make a social commentary... We're not pro-war. We're not trying to make people feel uncomfortable. We just want to bring a compelling entertainment experience. At the end of the day, it's just a game."

What a thoroughly depressing attitude for a senior executive... At its most basic level, it raises questions about how well some people in this market actually understand the concept of a "compelling entertainment experience". Compelling entertainment is compelling exactly because it does make people uncomfortable - because it challenges their perceptions in intelligent ways, because it makes them think...

At Sector Earth, scribe Mike Antonucci writes:

There is an obvious tone that is dismissive about a video game in a way that we'd be unlikely to hear if "Six Days in Falljuh'' were going to be a movie, play or even, say, a graphic novel... much of the criticism of video games comes on two levels: There's always a specific flash point -- in this case, the Iraq factor -- and then there's also an underlying (and wrongheaded) contempt for video games as being without artistic or social value.

The Raleigh News & Observer quotes Alexander Macris, who heads the group which publishes The Escapist:

I think games are entitled to the same level of respect as other entertainment media. [Developer] Atomic is driving the dialogue forward by creating a game like this. It is showing that games can be relevant. The fact is, the consumer of this is not a young kid. The consumer for something like this is going to be someone interested in current events and interested in realistic military war gaming.

 

I don't think Atomic is engaging in exploitation. I think it is a serious attempt to cover the fighting in Fallujah through a game.


Comments

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah"

I cannot WAIT for this game to come out. Fallujah was one of the pivoltal moments for the U.S. in Iraq. That city was a warzone. This game will ROCK!

A little about myself. Was in the U.S. military. Serverd 2 tours in Iraq myself. Was SSgt.

LOVE video games. Love military themed video games.

Let me ask you, how is this different than Call of Duty? We have at LEAST 200 ddifferent World War Two themed video games. When I was in Iraq the kids there loved video games also. Hell they modded game concoles in downtown Kirkuk to play bootlegged games. Video games are world wide universal fun.

Killing is part of human nature. That is what happens when the most advanced intelligent predators on the planet climb to the top of the food chain. Embrace your genetic makeup. It is the reason that your eyes face forward and not to the side. The reason your ears are aimed the way they are. We grow claws on our hands. We have teeth designed to tare meat and flesh off of bone. We are the Planet Earths best predator. Video games are a way to express our human verocity without killing eachother

I for one would rather see people blowing eachother up in a virtual world than doing it in the real world.

Also PRO TIP there are games out currently where you can play as terrorists. Project Reality for Battlefield 2 lets you set IED's and throw molotov cocktails on British and U.S. troops as an Iraqi insurgent or an Afghan mujahideen. Controversy my ASS.

These scrubs are bitching and complaining because they have poor eye to hand coordination and will probably get PWNED like NUBLETS if they try and play this game.

 

L2P NOOBS.

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" ...

"We're not trying to make a social commentary... We're not pro-war. We're not trying to make people feel uncomfortable. We just want to bring a compelling entertainment experience. At the end of the day, it's just a game."

- Really people, stop taking it so seriously...

There's always a specific flash point -- in this case, the Iraq factor -- and then there's also an underlying (and wrongheaded) contempt for video games as being without artistic or social value.

- But, wait! Isn't that supported by them exploiting the event taken place by their first statement above?

I don't think Atomic is engaging in exploitation. I think it is a serious attempt to cover the fighting in Fallujah through a game.

- Oh, Oka...... WAIT, WHAT!? OK, Let's put this in the form of a question...

What is the primary goal of Six Days in Fallujah?

A. To build a good game, but non-controversial.

B. An artistic view of the horrors of war.

C. A tribute to our troops.

D. All of the above.

E. None of the above.

F. Fuzzy Pickles. (HELL, Like I know...!)

 

I guess like all things, It's really a matter of interpreting it yourself.

 

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" ...

I'm not passing judgment on the game or it's message, as it has only just been announced, and nobody has played anything close to it, but a suggestion for Konami to diffuse some of the controversy that is and will most likely continue to surround this game, is to donate a portion of the profits of this game to non-profit military support organization.  Just a thought.

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" ...

A donation to a Victims of War charity is always a good thing,

Sadly I feel that the cost of making a game like this could be too big of a risk to donate a portion of the proffit to charity.

This is what many people in the mainstreem media do, from TV shows, to Movies and other things.

Videogames have rarely ever been donating to charities, and perhaps this is why they are mostly a target for the masses to critizise them.

 

But who knows, perhaps a donation can help to cool down the controversy even though I sometimes wonder if that would ever be a good thing or not.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah"

Like I said in the previous story, play the game and THEN decide.

If not bothered to play the game or if you are no good at shooting when it comes to FPS games, then get your opinions from someone who has played the game. More likely a game reviewer who's job was to review the game after they have played it.

Most likely their opinion may not be about if the game should or should not be made, but rather about if the game was fun or engaging to play.

And if you want to make a point of the political issues of making such a game for the market, then get your views from someone who has played the game that has either "This game has made me feel like I was part of that war." / or / "This game is so bad that is glorifies the war and it is insulting how you could kill innocent people in the name of freedom."

 

Either way, if those opinions were from those who have played the game and felt that sort of emotion, then it could go either way for many people.

 

I will rather not pass judgement on a game I have never played, but I will always try to defend a game from those who refuse to play it but still talk trash about a game.

 

If I was a Games Developer, I would rather listen to the opinions of those who have taken the time to play my game instead from the opinions from someone who hasnt. So do onto others as you wish to do onto yourselves please.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah"

If you don't piss somebody off, you really haven't said anything.

Maybe... but if you aren't pissing somebody off with what you're saying, you're probably preaching to the choir anyway.

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah"

Which seems to be the expectation now. If it offends even one, person ban it.

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" ...

Some days you just have to stir the pot.

 

If the game is bad but true to life does that mean they were bad people for making it or that they were intimidated by the media into making the game more "real" to avoid appearing insensative?

If the game is good, and tells the story of the soldiers in it, are they being insensative to the Arabs who were killed?

If the game is good and tells the story of both sides, will the critics shut up or will they find some other reason to complain?

 

There is no win on this.  Either they make a great game and get boycotts from all quarters or they bow to the pressure and they sacrifice the quality of the game to silence them.

 

This is media trollbait.  Every crackpot yellow journalist to has an axe to grind or a point to make is going to score some easy points by making Konami a target of every bleeding heart group on the radar.

People who were there came to Konami to have them tell their story in their own unique way.  I can guarentee that if they had gone to Steven Speilburg or Tom Hanks and asked him to make their story we wouldn't be hearing Boo in the press about it until it won an Oscar.

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" ...

"Compelling entertainment is compelling exactly because it does make people uncomfortable - because it challenges their perceptions in intelligent ways, because it makes them think..."

If you don't piss somebody off, you really haven't said anything.

However, it would have been nicer if the controversy had spurred AFTER everyone had played it, and then judged how realistic is it, if and how it honors our troops. Right now, people just bashing it because it's a game. Games are irrelevant, irreverent, and childish. To think they can be deep, psychological, and mature is unconscionable.

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" ...

Of course, IF YOU DO piss somebody...

Free coverage and advertising!

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: Video Game Press Reacts to "Six Days in Fallujah" ...

Well, currently we can only judge by intent, not content, though I'll admit Konami could have done a wee bit more thought into presenting the product. So right now, I cannot judge the game, only the thoughts that led to it, and the mentality that controls its development, and any judgements I make about that are going to be mostly guesswork until I play the game, so its pretty much a catch 22 situation there ;)

 
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