Just yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported an upcoming war title by Konami and North Carolina-based Atomic Games: Six Days in Fallujah.
Atomic's intentions seemed kosher, an admirable attempt to capture the horrors of war rather than glorifying it. And what better backdrop than the ongoing war in Iraq?
For us, the challenge was how do you present the horrors of war in a game that is also entertaining, but also gives people insight into a historical situation in a way that only a video game can provide? Our goal is to give people that insight, of what it's like to be a Marine during that event, what it's like to be a civilian in the city and what it's like to be an insurgent.
Cue controversy. The first wave comes from a variety of British sources, including ex-colonnel Tim Collins OBE and a UK peace group. The Daily Mail quoted Collins, who served in Iraq as colonel of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment:
"It's much too soon to start making video games about a war that's still going on, and an extremely flippant response to one of the most important events in modern history.
"It's particularly insensitive given what happened in Fallujah, and I will certainly oppose the release of this game."
Tansy Hoskins expressed similar sentiments over hearing about this game, speaking to TechRadar UK:
"There is nothing to celebrate in the death of people resisting an unjust and bloody occupation. To make a game out of a war crime and to capitalise on the death and injury of thousands is sick. There will never be a time when it is appropriate for people to 'play' at committing atrocities. The massacre in Fallujah should be remembered with shame and horror not glamorised and glossed over for entertainment."
Other opponents of the game -- many being relatives who lost loved ones in the war -- are trying to ban it from the UK. Once word gets out, Six Days in Fallujah will probably start hitting roadblocks in the States as well.