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Most Broken Game: Stockholm Syndrome

Posted on 10th Sep 2010 at 11:32 by Phil Hartup with 12 comments

Phil Hartup
The mission is a pretty simple one – a bunch of natives being used as slaves at a plantation deep in the jungle need rescuing. The place is guarded, but it’s no Fort Knox. The enemy are toting small arms, grenades; nothing too heavy. The real threat is the surrounding jungle, which is full of bees, snakes and jaguars who like to spend their spare time flying through the clouds; any body of water larger than a puddle probably has some piranhas in it.

I’m not too worried about the enemies though – they’ll fall easily to my Desert Eagle lookalike and its mysteriously small five round clip. If worst comes to worse I’ve got a big, square jeep which, though it handles like a hippo on an ice rink, I’m relying on to take me and the hostages to safety. No, what I’m really worried about is the bugs.

Any diary of the actual assault would end up reading like an Andy McNab novel that’s been used for toilet paper and it’s pointless to recall the details anyway. Suffice it to say that my first attempt to sneak into the base ended when a levitating jungle cat cut me off on my way to the base. The second go was much the same; my gun jammed inexplicably, so after the first bullet I was only able to defend myself with cusswords and fierce glares.

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Killing is Fun

Posted on 21st Apr 2009 at 18:41 by Alex Watson with 12 comments

Konami’s recently announced Six Days in Fallujah rolls into town at the head of a of convoy of outrage over the fact it’s based on a very real and very contemporary battle of an ongoing war.

In a well-weighted editorial on Eurogamer, Rob Fahey nails why this outrage is nonsensical, and why it’s particularly unpalatable when it comes from the tabloid press:

“It's not just the fact that the [Daily] Mail and others are essentially calling for the worst form of censorship, the blocking off of an entire event and saying ‘this is off limits, and may not be portrayed’ - something which would stab to the very heart of the freedom of expression our media should be championing... the thing that rankles most about this situation is the fact that this is a tabloid newspaper telling another medium that the way in which it's handling current events is insensitive. I won't need to remind any reader who walks past a news stand on the way to work, or flicks on Sky News or CNN in the evening, just how ‘sensitive’ the news media is in its coverage of war.”

The whole piece is worth a read as it eloquently defends the right of games to portray reality. Fahey’s defence of games isn’t totally blind though – indeed, he challenges those making games such as Six Days in Fallujah to engage more fully with their subject material:

“If a game like Six Days in Fallujah is to have any value, it must come from adding something to that discussion [of the war]. This isn't about taking a pro-war or an anti-war stance - although both are valid starting points, there are countless others. It's about making people think, informing them through their entertainment experiences, and commenting, as creators, on the media we create and the events we portray.”

Killing is Fun

Games based on real combat aren’t uncommon – the Call of Duty series has been at it for longer than the duration of World War 2 – and Call of Duty 4 is the most notable depiction of combat in Iraq gaming has seen so far (although, bless its little corporate socks, Activision has decided to tell players it was actually set it in unnamed MiddleEastistan). What makes Six Days in Fallujah interesting is that unlike other ‘real war’ games, it’s not an FPS, or an RTS. Instead, it’s a third person ‘action’ game.

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