NPR Takes On Six Days In Fallujah

NPR revisits the controversy behind Atomic Games' Six Days in Fallujah once again, presenting a strong argument in favour of the release of the "game-amentary."

The usual suspects line up in favour of the game, with Atomic Games' boss Peter Tamte and retired Marine Captain Read Omohundro explain that the game is meant to inform in an interactive format, present a unique view on war in such a way that will help communicate that war is not a game.

Karen Meredith is a member of Gold Star Families Speak Out, a group made up of families of soldiers who died in Iraq. According to the NPR report, this group "succeeded in getting the Japanese game publisher Konami to pull its support from the game." Meredith appears to be the sole speaker against the game in the NPR report.

Meredith's son Lieutenant Ken Ballard was killed in Iraq, and her argument is that a game is no way to take on such a serious subject.

"Because it's a game; because there can be different enemies; because Ken did not get that opportunity to reset and start over in the battle where he was killed..."

Meredith finds herself more comfortable with movies and books based on the war, as opposed to video games, especially one that Konami initially marketed as an entertaining look at the horrors of war.

Developer Susana Ruiz, creator of the browser-based Darfur is Dying, touches on one of the key reasons why those outside of the game industry view a title like Six Days in Fallujah with such disdain.

"Game makers haven't quite demonstrated this willingness and accountability to serve as sort of arbitrators or commentators or interpreters of the human condition or of the cultural psyche around these very important moments in history."

It's something I touched on in my feature on the subject, earlier this year, and it's an issue that won't be overcome until the game industry actually produces a game that does just that.

Gamers Can Experience Battle Of Fallujah [NPR - Thanks Zonrith]


    Don't wanna sound rude or anything... but seriously Meredith, the video game market is just as big as Hollywood & the Harry Potter books.

    Just because you don't play video games, doesn't mean they can't teach or show. Yes a lot of games are just an excuse to kill or run people over or shoot aliens from a different galaxy. But video games to GAMERS are important in their lives. And if a game like this can show people who think war is the next Call of Duty or Halo in the future, can learn from this game is they do it the way they say they are.

    Not all gamers are movie watcher or readers. So it makes total sense for a game like Fallujah to be a VIDEO GAME and not a film. Cause its pretty much saying... "Call of Duty is fun. It is based on war. But war is not fun. People die, for us. People who survive sometimes come back injured, limbless, or injured psychologically. This is what could happen, this has happened."

    Its a video game, teaching gamers, that war isn't that Call of Duty game you can in your DVD stand. So it makes a heck of a lot of sense that Fallujah is told as a video game.

    I understand that people like her son have died and no, they don't get a reset button. But if people like this woman, want others especially the young to know that war is not fun or something to joke about, they should embrace this game to teach the young who a lot are gamers and play shooting games what really war is.

    No one is going to get it right, Game, film or book. Everyone has a different view or opinion. Just at least embrace this game for what it obviously is going to become.

      While mainstream games are certainly not currently reaching their full potential as a medium for the discussion of sensitive global events, Six Days in Fallujah entirely sounded like a poor idea, poorly executed.

      I don't recall whether it was in a previous Kotaku report on the game or somewhere else, but I recall reading that the footage demonstrated was standard military shooter fare, with heavy emphasis on the entertainment side of things, and little adherence to realism.

      As games concerned with war are almost always presented as fun and entertaining and from a position of power and military dominance, as opposed to film and literature offering alternate perspectives, I'd think if Six Days in Fallujah was really interested in social commentary and education they'd be better served by allowing the player to experience the conflict from the perspective of an Iraqi civillian at the time.

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