Konami's Fallujah game meets controversy

Written by Joe Martin

April 8, 2009 // 12:10 p.m.

Tags: #army #fallouja #fallujah #iraq #konami #konamis-fallujah-game-meets-controversy #war

Konami has, rather unsurprisingly, come under fire from soldiers and pacifist groups for announcing plans to create a game based on the Battle of Fallujah while the Iraq War is still on-going.

The game, titled Six Days in Fallujah, is apparently based on the stories of survivors from the battle which left 1200 insurgents and 38 US soldiers dead, with many more wounded. The game will apparently be a third-person, squad-based game with a gritty, tactical feel.

The game has had the support of some, with former US Marine Mike Ergo, who served in the town of Fallujah, saying that he believes the game will help communicate the atrocity of war to those who might not be interested in documentaries.

Six Days in Fallujah has met with fierce opposition from others however, especially the families of the deceased and some peace organisations involved with the war in Iraq.

"Considering the enormous loss of life in the Iraq War, glorifying it in a videogame demonstrates very poor judgement and bad taste," said Reg Keys, whose son Thomas was killed by a mob in Iraq told the Daily Mail. "It is particularly crass when you consider what actually happened in Fallujah."

"It's much too soon to start making videogames about a war that's still going on, and an extremely flippant response to one of the most important events in modern history," said Tim Collins OBE, a former Colonel. "It's particularly insensitive given what happened in Fallujah, and I will certainly oppose the release of this game."

Not everyone has been opposing the development of the game however; famed author and former SAS soldier Andy McNab has commented that he doesn't see how the game is any different to many other games, books or films. Amid arguments that the UK audience probably doesn't understand the Battle of Fallujah in the same as the US owing to a cultural gap, McNab said that war has been peddled as entertainment for a long time and that this is no different.

"In America it is not as if this is 'shock horror' - everybody has been watching it on the news for the last seven years," said McNab. "[i]The hypocrisy is in the fact that when the media wants a 'shock horror' story they will focus on something like this. In America a 90-year-old and a 12-year-old will know what happened at Fallujah. It's on the TV, there are books about it. The game is a natural extension to that; it is folklore. The only difference being that it is presented in a different medium."

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