Families of U.S. War Dead Join Outcry Against Konami’s Six Days in Fallujah

A group representing the families of U.S. military personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan has expressed its dismay over Konami’s upcoming Six Days in Fallujah.

Via press release, Gold Star Families Speak Out suggested that the war game will cause additional pain for those who lost loved ones in the conflict:

We question how anyone can trivialize a war that continues to kill and maim members of the military and Iraqi civilians to this day.

The war is not a game and neither was the Battle of Fallujah. For Konami and [developer] Atomic Games to minimize the reality of an ongoing war and at the same time profit off the deaths of people close to us by making it ‘entertaining’ is despicable.

GSFSO member Joanna Polisena, whose brother was killed in Iraq in 2004, said:

When our loved one’s ‘health meter’ dropped to ‘0’, they didn’t get to ‘retry’ the mission. When they took a bullet, they didn’t just get to pick up a health pack and keep ‘playing’…they suffered, they cried, they died. We – their parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends – absolutely find it disgusting and repulsive that those so far detached (and clinging to denial of reality) find it so easy to poke fun at such a thing.

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  1. londinio says:

    I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to call your game crappy before I even played it. I never said they should change the title. I just said had they changed it no one would have cared about this game. We could be killing people in Fallujah no problem.


    And…I was also making the point that since many gamers didn’t get a letter in the mail saying, "your daughter died in fallujah", they can’t truly understand where protestors are coming from.

    I’m all for the game. I just played devil’s advocate for the sake of understanding what might be going through parents minds. This is America. You can make a videogame/movie/book about whatever you want so long as no one sees it…jkjk


    Why the short tempered response ?


    MASH came out about during Vietnam. Didn’t take place in Vietnam but people made the connection subconsciously anyway.

  2. Wormdundee says:

     But don’t you understand? Gamers have no idea that you can die in real life from a gun! Before she said this I thought that all those casualties simply respawned back at the camp and went out again.

    To posit that we don’t understand people dying in a war is highly insulting. I guess it was laughable as well.

  3. rsaddy15072 says:


     I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I agree that a great game could be made about Fallujah and deliver the right message to educate and inform players of the events during the battle, but I don’t think Konami or Atomic Games will deliver. IMO, they’re only a few developers capable of making such a game. Infinity Ward and Kojima Productions to name a few. Hopefully they prove me wrong.
    I disagree with the people saying that it being a FPS (has this been confirmed?), it will have to be focused on action. Games like COD2 and COD4 gave me a sense of what war is like more than any other game. I’m not naïve and think that war is exactly like it is displayed in games, but scenes like in COD2 when a NPC vomits because of nerves right before invading the beach or playing as Jackson in COD4 after the nuke’s explosion add realism and make you think about the events of war and the soldiers involved and the emotional impact it has on them. Another example in COD4 is when you play as the gunner on the AC-130 Gunship. That mission is amazing and it made me wonder how much I really enjoyed this particular part of the game. I felt guilty for attacking troops who were basically defenseless from my weapons.
    Games can’t just be “fun”, but they do have to be entertaining… and gameplay doesn’t just cut it anymore. The great games nowadays are great because of the technology behind them, the story telling, and the gameplay. A good game can’t survive with just great gameplay, our standards have changed and so have the demands for the quality of content in games.  
  4. Aliasalpha says:

    As I said in a previous thread, the game would work best with psychological events and needing to care for your soldiers mental health as well as physical. Its the kind of element that could make a war game really stand out from the massive crowd and maybe make the player think about the subject a bit more.


    Also, isn’t the game supposed to be survival horror rather than an FPS? That would imply some possibility of gameplay other than "kill the rabid enemy horde"


    Then again, resident evil 5…

  5. Doom90885 says:

    I have to go and say as many have pointed out that if this was a book or movie that the complaints would be at a minimum but because its a game….its bad. Also with the countless games from past wars out on shelves, who truly decides when its too soon to make a game about a given conflict? Just like any game that comes out I’ll see how its rated before I make a decision to purchase, the topic at hand won’t influence my decision one weay or the other.


    In Scapegoats We Trust

  6. shihku7 says:

    Naw. If anything, they seem to try put more gravity behind these events than most people do. I’d argue that the average American doesn’t really care when an American soldier gets killed in the war. It’s simply too distant an event, like when thousands of central Africans get killed in a week. But the news goes out of its way to create sympathy.

    Also, I think you could claim that news networks merely pretend to care about such events, with anchors putting up false emotions to sell themselves as patriotic, sympathetic people.



  7. shihku7 says:

    Are you suggesting I have omniscient abilities ? I’m flattered but I heard about these incidents on the news. Where did we hear about this Fallujah game story? In the news.



  8. hellfire7885 says:

    I think it tends to be more alogn the lines of "video games are for children, thus this will bte trivialized."

  9. hellfire7885 says:

    Now that I think about it, I think the news networks do a far better job trivializing such events than a video game ever could.

  10. hellfire7885 says:

    I think the point is we didn’t hear about those incidences, yet we’d be hearing about it if a game was even proposed.

  11. shihku7 says:

    Are you really comparing the pain of losing a son in a war… to the pain of not being able to make a video game?



  12. shihku7 says:

    There’s something funny about what you wrote. "I died in battle… and I’m so frustrated someone made a terrible game about my death.."

  13. shihku7 says:

    What the heck are you talking about? Merchandise designed to exploit the 9/11 tragedy was widely panned by anyone with half a brain. A guy wrote a 9/11 movie script soon after 9/11, walked into a restaurant with Robert Deniro in it hoping to get Deniro to sign onto the movie, and Deniro shoved the guy out onto the street. The restauraunt crowd applauded.


  14. Deamian says:

    Although this kind of game is being made too soon after the events it wants to take the players to…

    "When our loved one’s ‘health meter’ dropped to ‘0’, they didn’t get to ‘retry’ the mission. When they took a bullet, they didn’t just get to pick up a health pack and keep ‘playing’…they suffered, they cried, they died. We – their parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends – absolutely find it disgusting and repulsive that those so far detached (and clinging to denial of reality) find it so easy to poke fun at such a thing."

    Soo.. we have to hide it? We have to prevent people from knowing first-hand the true horrors of war? Maybe if we did show’em, nobody would’ve bothered to make this game…

    Besides, it’s the whole point of a war-video-game ; to have a health meter drop to 0 and retry the mission, since it’s impossible to do in real life. What are you gonna learn from the story if you die before it’s over anyway?

    Denial of reality has nothing to do with it since it can be done with less needs than a video-game, I.E.; Drinking, Using drugs, exhausting yourself near hallucinations, Listening to politics, etc…

    Also, will anyone complaining wait till the game is out to see what it is really all about? It’s probably has a lot more within than just Six Days in Fallujah.

  15. V4nI114 Ic3 says:

    what about people that lost a father or uncle or brother during world war 2?  do film and gamer makers need to pander to every feeling they may have regarding such?

    or is fallujah "off limits" because it is happening to a current generation?

    why is the name "six days in fallujah" unacceptable?  titles are supposed to capture the essence of what a particular medium is covering.  would it have been better to call the game "six days in hell?"  or "week -1 in a bad place?"

    did you get in an outrage when mel gibson made "pa$$ion of the Chri$t?"  or when paul greengra$$ made "united 93?"

    so youre right, free speech does go both ways.  but i guess in america exploited sympathy box office gross is more acceptable than virtual depiction retail gorss.

  16. GM ace says:

    I’m seeing a lot of people ask ‘how would the game be trivializing war’, etc, etc, etc. It seems rather simple, so I don’t know why you can’t see it, but people obviously feel that someone paying money to enjoy a reenactment of an event that very recently killed their loved ones is trivializing their suffering and turning it into a commodity.

    I’m not hopping on the ‘ban that game’ bandwagon, but a lot of people here are acting just as thick-headed as the folks who are on the banning bandwagon.

    Anyways, I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I know a guy who got both his frigging legs blown off in the fighting, but this one doesn’t sit right with me. They can make whatever they want, that’s their right, but unless it turns out to be some some analytical/deep masterpiece, I’m not going near it.

  17. Mech says:

    I’m not gonna lie, I really don’t care if it offends them. They can complain all they want about it though.

  18. Ryno says:

    I’d also like to say that I think a lot of people here are taking the bizarro-Jack stance: it’s a game, so it must be fine. Just because there’s a game made about something doesn’t mean every gamer shoud support it. Why can’t we have standards? Why can’t we, as gamers, simply say that a game is bad on its own merits? 

    Look at the Onion’s "game". Would any of us here really want to pay money for it? But if it were a computer game we’d have to support it simply because it’s a game?

    I think gamers need to begin to take a more vocal stand about what we like and don’t like, and why, especially here. We hear that somebody doesn’t like a game, and everybody’s on the bandwagon hating those who hate it. But, sometimes, maybe the opposition has a point.

    There’s nothing wrong with disliking a game for one reason or another. In fact, I’d say it’s what this site is about. So let’s stand up and have a healthy debate about this, instead of coming down on the hate/love sides these articles seem to be constraining us to: it’s as if we’re back in the Bush years of "You’re either with us or against us." Gamers can have differing oppinions about what is an acceptable game without it being for or against censoring all games.

    I should probably go to sleep now. G’night.


    Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They’ve got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however…

  19. chadachada321 says:

    You know, I’ve thought about that. I think making a realistic and unbiased depiction of 9-11 would be a fantastic thing to have. It would be more of an interactive-movie-type thing anyways, because there isn’t much that can be done gameplay-wise, but I think that it would be a fantastic idea. Portray the story from many different angles. Office-men, civilians on the street, a person on flight (I can’t believe I forgot the flight number, was it flight 90? the one’s that fought back), a fireman, a cop, there are sooo many angles that can be portrayed.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  20. chadachada321 says:

    +10 to you. Very well-written, and very true. Number 5 is both true and scary, 100% true.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  21. Cecil475 says:

    "Not only movies about 9/11, but also music(more specifically, country music out of Nashville)."

    Cant believe I forgot that one. Thanks.

     – Warren Lewis




    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  22. BearDogg-X says:

    Not only movies about 9/11, but also music(more specifically, country music out of Nashville).

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  23. DanHoyt says:

    Actually I did, and it was bad. Not so bad that it dishonored the soldiers who died there, just bad. The single player was confusing, not in a good chaotic war sense, and the graphics were terrible. I never really got the sense that any of the guys who died in the battle would be angry at people for portraying their experiences in the game. I just thought they would have been frustrated that the game was terrible.

  24. Ryno says:

    I truly think Konami stepped in it this time. If they manage to pull this off, they could make one of the greatest games ever made, one that makes everyone look at games and gamers in a whole new light, much like Saving Private Ryan made people look at war films differently, or, heck, even the first great movies made people accept film as a useful, artistic, new medium.

    But it’s not gonna happen. This game isn’t being directed by artists, it’s being done by accountants and CEOs, the most loathsome, uncreative scum of the universe. It may be done by artists now, but  the others will step in soon enough, because there is no equivalent of Spielberg in gaming. So we’re gonna get some action-packed Doomified (the movie) game that features action over substance.

    Had this been an RPG, I think it could do the job, but as an FPS there’s no way in Hell it could work, not if the accountants have anything to do with it, and they do.

    An FPS just can’t convey the horrors, traumas, and amazement of war. Sure, you can show your buddy being blown up with blood and guts flying everywhere, or trying to hold his inestines in as he slowly dies, but that’s not going to do anything to the player. He’s not going to sit down and hold the guy’s hand, or put his head in his hands and weep. And if there’s a cutscene showing this, it’s just going to come off as plain stupid, detracting from the story/game.

    A movie or book can convey this very well. But in an FPS it just becomes, "I’m crying again. Time to go get something to drink. Why can’t I press escape to skip over this stupid cut scene, I’ve seen it a dozen times before?"

    This is what I believe those condemning this game are upset about, even if they don’t understand all the subtleties of a game. They haven’t spoken out about a myriad of books about Fallujah, because they understand that books can convey the whole story. I think they wouldn’t worry about most movies if they were presented as a serious story, not just something starring Arnie, Bruce and Stallone shooting guns and killing dirty A-rabs. On some fundamental level they seem to know that a game will reduce it to an action film, bent on killing as many enemies as you can, not a true drama that encompases everything that a war, or even battle does.

    So unless a miracle happens, Konami will put out the next COD instead of a truly genre-defining game that sets new standards for story telling within the medium.


    Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They’ve got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however…

  25. Cecil475 says:

    Not long after the tragic events of 9/11, films about the event came out. people selling commemerative 9/11 themed money came out. I don’t think anyone complaned.

    Now lets say a year or two from now someone makes a game about the event. Maybe about a survivor, or a cop, or a firefighter who has to make it out of the WTC with as many survivors that he or she finds before it colapses. People would complain. BIG time.

    But come on. 9/11 themed money? Commerating the event? They make it sound like something we should be celebrating.

     – Warren Lewis

    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  26. londinio says:

    As interested as I am in this game, the haters can’t really understand what it’s like to lose a son or daughter to this war. Free speech goes both ways you know. Konami could have said "$orry,uh, I mean…..Sorry"

    I imagine had they just changed the title no one would have cared.

    And furthermore judging by the official statements released it seems like lawyers wrote them. I wonder if the actual game is going to be good though or is this the Manhunt 2 tactic? Shitty game makes for controversial press to up the chance of sales.


    Maybe they SHOULD make a realistic war game that does make a statement.



  27. DanHoyt says:

    Has anyone seen the movie "Blackhawk Down"? That movie is an excellent adaptation of the book "Blackhawk Down" by Mark Bowden.

    It is because of watching that movie when it first came out that I read the book, and since then have read several other accounts of the battle. I’ve written papers on the subject in college and to this day I’ve read "Blackhawk Down" about four times. It is the difinitive work on The Battle of Moghidishu.

    That movie inspired me to branch out into historical fiction. I own all the Stephen Pressfield books and have read them all at least twice, except "The Legend of Bagger Vance" I just read that because he’s a great author.

    COD: WaW encouraged me to read "With the Old Breed" by E.B. Sledge. I’ve now become more interested in finding other accounts or written works on the Paciffic campaign and in a few years I’ll probably know just as much about Pelelieu and Okinawa as I do about Moghidishu.

    If any form of "entertainment" can encourage me to learn more about people who lived and died during WWII or in Africa, then I think they deserve another serious look. There is no way Konami can convey all the complex emothions and chaotic events that happened in Falujah, but they might make someone interested in reading about it or give someone a greater understanding of what the soldiers felt. I’m not saying they will walk away experts on the battle, but just because I’ve read "With the Old Breed" doesn’t make me an expert on The Battle of Pelelieu either.

    Do people get angry when the History Channel runs things about the Iraq War. I saw an episode of "Shootout" going over a firefight that happened in Iraq. There is no way that show conveyed everything that happened at the battle, but people were fine with it because it was on the History Channel.

    Asking Konami to make something great would be impossible. Just let them try. Even if they accidently convey 1% of the thoughts going through a soldiers head, anyone who plays that game will have a better understanding of what was happening. And just maybe it will encourage other gamers to actually do research on the Iraq War and learn.

  28. V4nI114 Ic3 says:

    killing nazi germans or cooking japanese people with a flame thrower is fine and dandy, but cant touch the iraq war because the participants are still alive to talk about it?  the soldiers are worried they will be depicted badly in the video game, but i bet they are all sitting at home playing nazi zombie mode on call of duty.


  29. AutomaticZen says:

     The problem is Konami went in the wrong direction.  Instead of trying to make a serious political comment with this game, marketing said "screw it".



    ["We’re not trying to make 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," Konami‘s VP of marketing, Anthony Crouts, tells the Wall Street Journal.

    Atomic Games president Peter Tamte says to the Los Angeles Times that the developer’s goal was to bring to Six Days in Fallujah "the horrors of war in a game that is also entertaining." The team is reported to have consulted with some three dozen or so Iraq War vets who were in Fallujah.]

    Ah, Konami.  You could’ve been a contender.  Grow a pair and stand behind your developers.


  30. Stealthguy says:

    Excuse me, I’m going to scream the words "Double standards for videogames" and then cry myself to sleep.

  31. Crashus Maximus says:

    Now, if the Konami execs are smart they’ll follow in the Rockstar example. Don’t avoid the controversy, give it your middle finger and publish the damn game anyways. Offensive or not, controversy SELLS. If they are really so offended by this, then why are they bothering to pay attention. The same country that loves to show off its hard won freedom of speech sure does seem to have a problem with people using it.

    I mean, seriously; WTF.. is there going to be a puppy throwing mini-game or something? …. actually HEY now I kinda hope so! Then PETA can jump on the bandwagon and help drive up the expectations for another military based shooter that will still probably be mediocre!! HA! HA! I love it..

    The only difference between the Sane and the Insane, is IN and yet within this world, the Sane have the power to have the Insane locked up.

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

  32. Valdearg says:

    Oh god.. Im going to hell..

    "When our loved one’s ‘health meter’ dropped to ‘0’, they didn’t get to ‘retry’ the mission. When they took a bullet, they didn’t just get to pick up a health pack and keep ‘playing’…they suffered, they cried, they died."

    Did anyone else laugh at the sad attempt at relating to gamers?

    Not that I don’t respect thier opinions, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at that sentence..

  33. Saxy says:

    Wait a minute. How long has the news about this game been out there? A few days? Dang, nobody would even know this game existed if the press people would just stop being so insensitive by barging in on people and twisting facts just to irritate them and make a good story. I wouldn’t even know the game existed.

    Sarcasm time…

    Of course the game pokes fun at death. Every time anybody dies, even an ally, your partner snickers and says "Tag, you’re it!"

  34. Neeneko says:

    It is interesting contrasting what these people are saying compared to the interview with an actual soldier earlier.


    The soldier made some exelent well reasoned points and I think gave some very good reasons for why this game will probably be a bad idea that will most likly be disrespectful.

    While these people sound like hurting parents looking for other people to inflict pain on.

    The former I have the utmost respect for.  The latter.. not so much.

  35. MaskedPixelante says:

    Did I miss what makes THIS game evil, when there’s been a whole bunch of OTHER games set in the war on terror? Is it because this one admits to taking place in Iraq, while the others are "Well, it CLEARLY takes place in Iraq, but we never actually SAID it so it’s not TECHNICALLY based on the war on terror."

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  36. nightwng2000 says:

    Reprinting my comment from there in case it’s censored.


    The interesting thing here is:
    1.  There are little to no details about the game itself.  So this is a "shoot from the hip" response to something these folks know nothing about.

    2.  Video/computer games are not merely for the purpose of entertainment.  They are either used for: entertainment, education, expression.  Or any combination of the three.  To ignore this fact is another level of arguing against something they know little to nothing about.

    3.  Repeated arguments from soliders and their families to those who oppose the war have been "We’re over there fighting for your Rights!".  Yet, here we have individuals who wish to DENY other individuals their Rights.  Facinating.  Either this war is about fighting for the Rights of others, or it isn’t.  Which is it?  Are the soldiers fighting for the Rights of Americans or are these families dishonoring their own families by attempting to take away the Rights of other citizens?

    4.  Efforts to "glorify" the military, to encourage people to join, didn’t start with the advent of personal computers or video game consoles.  "Join the Army, see the world!"  How about, if you don’t die in the military, they’ll pay for some of your college?  How about the patriotic rant?  If you don’t join the military, you must HATE America.  How about books, music, TV shows, movies, whether they are fiction or non-fiction that "glorify" war?  "Hogan’s Heroes", "MASH", even "China Beach".  And many others.  They made things look "entertaining".  But they were also educational to a degree.  And presented an expressed view as well.  Where are the protests for all those media products that "glorify" war?

    5.  Desensitize?  The day we no longer could look our enemy in the eye when we killed them, THAT’S when we became desensitized to killing.  Make no mistake, the day we could flick a switch and dozens, hundreds, even thousands or more of our enemies could be wiped out, that’s when killing became unimportant.



    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  37. a_pink_poodle says:

    If you want to see trivialization of a war, you only have to look at Battlefield Heroes.


  38. MaskedPixelante says:

    Boy are THEY gonna feel stupid when it turns out that Six Days in Fallujah is really a Iraqi theme park simulator.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  39. Conster says:

    So it’s okay to "trivialize" the war that left over 60 million people dead, but not this one?

  40. ZippyDSMlee says:

    If there was a moive there would be as much outcry…people decrying no matter the mediuim it can’t do it justice….so meh


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  41. londinio says:

    At least the right wing is bragging about the opprotunity to shoot arabic people. That would truly weaken their argument.

  42. Aliasalpha says:

    And here’s another example that will of course be overlooked.  The Darkness.  Your time spent with Jenny (provided you didn’t just rush through that section) made witnessing her death that much more painful.

    YES! That was one of the shining moments of my recent gaming, the fact that I actually managed to be pissed off at the guy that killed her rather than think "Oh well, at least I don’t have to watch TV with her and she never put out a anyway".

    Sure the rest of the game was pretty shit but character wise it was gold. The only other game that sparked a deeper emotional reaction than a laugh or frustration at shitty design was the ending of Grim Fandango


    His comment didn’t mean Nazi Sorcerers riding mechanical catfish will play a major role in Level 8

    Yeah thats just nuts, its on level 12!

  43. sheppy says:

    This opinion seems to be written from the perspective that FPS’s in general are still Doom.  Sorry, old boy.  Progress has been made.  The days where the biggest threat to the player was two Spider Masterminds in a single room have long been over.  The genre is no longer Red Key = Red Door and it’s about time the attitude and acceptance of the media grows up a bit too.

    You CAN spend time on the characters in a story.  Take, as an example, Half-Life 2.  Despite being combat focused, you learn the characters various roles well.  So when something happens to them, you feel it.  Call of Duty 4 did this well too.  You spent many frantic moments with those marines only to witness their death.  Creating emotional attachment to characters isn’t as tricky as people like yourself make it seem.  After all, Shadow of the Collosus made us care about a mode of transportation (Argo the horse).  And here’s another example that will of course be overlooked.  The Darkness.  Your time spent with Jenny (provided you didn’t just rush through that section) made witnessing her death that much more painful.

    Fact of the matter is, even in FPS’s, games have been growing up in the ways that they tell their story.  It is entirely possible that, with proper scripting, they could make you feel empathy and sorrow from within the battlefield.  Hell, this could even get the message out about what those dead families members went through.  But instead you’ve trivialized any efforts or progress the game medium has made.  Saddest part is if this company just would have made the exact same game and named it "Six Days in Balekistan," you wouldn’t care.  Same events, same story, same death… we’ll just make up a new name for the place so you people won’t have to think about it.

    And finally, the comments the CEO made were commenting on the challenge of telling a story like this while still being entertaining.  THAT’S offensive?  Your goddam newspaper has the exact same concern.  Whatever media you consume has to be entertaining otherwise it has failed.  His comment didn’t mean Nazi Sorcerers riding mechanical catfish will play a major role in Level 8.  His comment meant he needs to present this story in a way that people will complete it.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  44. chadachada321 says:

    *Warning, Call of Duty 4 spoiler*

    I don’t know…Call of Duty 4’s scene where you are the marine that dies from the atomic bomb, THAT scene created a huge "whoa…that is fucking horrible" moment for me, actually gave me goosebumps just thinking about it. I thought that CoD4 did a great job of combining cinematics with addrenaline, and throwing in some political meaning with it too.

    And also, the main reason I watch movies is for the action, and the story should be *just* behind it in importance, even if it’s meant to be a more political movie. I like seeing the evidence straight in front of me, and then I may derive the meaning from it afterwards.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  45. gamegod25 says:

    That’s my question. Unless they are cracking jokes and filling it wilth pro war propaganda, then I don’t see how it’s any more offensive than making a movie about it or a book.

  46. NovaBlack says:

    absolutely find it disgusting and repulsive that those so far detached (and clinging to denial of reality) find it so easy to poke fun at such a thing.

    um.. again.. like i keep asking all of these critics… uh.. what exactly do they know that we dont?

    Where does it ‘poke fun’ at those who died?

    where does it glorify it?

    where does it trivialise it?

    Sorry… but these are baseless assumptions, based on no other evidence except that the medium is a video game, and it utterly winds me up, as that isnt evidence of anything.

  47. shihku7 says:

    Really? For me it’s the opposite. 

    For one, none of the troops in these games are particularly human in any real sense of the word. They’re very two dimensional characters, easily killed and forgotten. You shoot them and they die a silent, meaningless, instantly forgettable death. The fact that I kill a thousand of them in the course of a 10 hour campaign doesn’t help. They’re not particularly intelligent or memorable either. They curse a lot and generally seem like brainless barbarians when they speak without cursing.




  48. Im_Blue says:

    "I must ask yet again. Why is it when someone wants to make a politically charged game, it automatically means they creator is trivializing or glorifying the event?"

    Because in this case every single other game about war has trivialised or glorified war to an extent. So unless you have a problem with induction, its entierly rational to argue this game will do the same.

    Then of course this particular war is still happening, and has involved thousands of innocent deaths, so its only reasonable that people would be upset about this.

    "Also, why is it when someone makes a movie or writes an article/book about the same event noone really cares?"

    Well for one people do complain when movies trivialise or glorify events.

    But yeah games probably do get more attention, but thats because in all seriousness they simply don’t approach these issues in the same way films do. Games have to be fun. Therefore when you go and make a fun game about an issue such as war, you are…. well gloryfying it to some extent.


    you can argue that films also have to be entertaining, but its clearly in a different way to how a video game must be fun. A film like Apocalypse Now for example is enteraining because it delves into deep issues of war and shows it for what it is. Fucked up. The same thing simply does not happen when you play a video game because you have fun.

  49. Monte says:

    The difference is that FPS games are geared towards being fun and entertaining; this generally involves focus on the gameplay and keeping the game action packed, keep players in the heat of the battle. Movies and Books on the other hand only need to captivate an audidence and this can be done in many ways.

    A movie can take the time to show how terrible war is, it can spend several minutes wactching a person die, or have a soldier spend like 10 minutes reflecting on everything he has seen. Movies can go deep into the politics of the war, into the deeper characteristics of the soldiers… Movies are able to use the element of subtlety, that can really help generate emotion… games do not tend to do this as much as such moments are considered to be too slow paced and are not as fun. All those things that would been seen in movies can only be done through cut scenes which many FPS games tend to keep to a minimal as to get the player back into the action; RPG game players tend not to mind cutscenes that are like 15 minutes long, but FPS players tend to want to get back to the action.

    A difference could be seen in a portrayal of D-Day… you look at saving private Ryan and you will see and pay attention to allall the soldiers that die in that fight, noticing how they die and what not… in a video game, they could do the same thing but it’s hardly worthwhile as the player is unliekly to pay attention to all those details going on around him… The player’s primary focus is looking out for the enemies and killing them… because the player pays less attention to all the other soldiers suffering and dying, he does not feel the sense of "War is horrible"; not as good as a sense as someone watching a movie…

    Essentially, the difference between games and movies/books in this case is that movies have their heaviest focus on character, story and development, where as the primary focus for FPS games is action; story and so forth tends to get a back seat to making the game fun and challenging… Only time movies and Books could be compared to games in this respect is when they are just action flicks where, like most FPS games, the focus is on the action and the story and what not is treated as an after thought.

  50. NickArnett says:

    As a survivor of a Marine killed in the battle for Fallujah, the horrible thing isn’t so much the game itself as the insane things that the CEO of Atomic Games says about it. He trivializes the reality of violence by pretending that a game can reproduce it. All it reproduces is the appearance; no game can show what it is like to be in a chaotic, out-of-control situation where lives are on the line. Ask any combat veteran, cop, firefighter, paramedic, dispatcher, etc.

    I am also a member of the group that put out the press release.

    Nick Arnett

  51. JustChris says:

    I must ask yet again. Why is it when someone wants to make a politically charged game, it automatically means they creator is trivializing or glorifying the event?

    And if an action-packed game isn’t being "serious", the game gets critisized for lacking any educational value. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…


  52. wrench says:

    Movies, books are generally used to convey a story, oppinion, etc… While conventional thinking still takes video games as just that a game. I think Most people still see games as Pac Man. Mindless fun when a game takes on a complicated story such as this one. I think people don’t see it as an attempt to convey the story of what happened. Atleast Konami’s take on the events.


    Still though. If I had a family member die there. I don’t think I’d be preordering this game anytime soon.

  53. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I must ask yet again. Why is it when someone wants to make a politically charged game, it automatically means they creator is trivializing or glorifying the event?

    Also, why is it when someone makes a movie or writes an article/book about the same event noone really cares?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  54. Michael Chandra says:

    World War 2. Vietnam. Cold War. Troy. Rome. Gaul. Need I go on? The argument given applies to all games about all struggle, whether real or fictional. Then how come all those others are allowed, yet this one isn’t? Are all games about Vietnam and world wars disrespective of the fallen, victims and survivors of those struggles?

    Paschendaele alone, over half a million dead. Operation Overlord, over half a million dead. Vietnam War, a million and a half.

    I do not find the information so far to be trivializing the dead, the pain and sorrow of Fallujah. I find, however, groups like yours to be trivializing all the dead that have come before. Their sacrifices, their legacy, all matter not, because you yourself were not involved. Only the struggle where you were matters.

    You all disgust me.

  55. NovaBlack says:

    no game can show what it is like to be in a chaotic, out-of-control situation where lives are on the line. Ask any combat veteran, cop, firefighter, paramedic, dispatcher, etc.

    may i ask therfore, why a book or a movie can do this and a game cannot?

  56. cpt crunchie says:

    don’t worry…as soon as all the baby boomers are dead/not in power, this kind of crap won’t happen. maybe. more than likely, we’ll just find something else "objectionable" to get up in arms about.


    It is not murder; I am merely advancing the hands of the clock, just a bit.

  57. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    The game industry is getting some very mixed messages lately…

    "Video games need to grow up!"

    "But don’t try to tackle any serious subjects!"

    "But do more than adolescent male power fantasies!"

    "But don’t include any mature subject matter!"

    "But GROW UP!"

    …etc, back ‘n’ forth it goes, wheee.

  58. lumi says:

    I think Dan Rosenthal actually addressed this pretty well in the previous 6DIF article on GP.  A game simply isn’t going to recreate the experiences that the Atomic CEO claims it will, and to suggest that it can or will is insulting.

    BUT! That’s NOT what this article is about.  This is about a group of families/survivors claiming that a game about the war shouldn’t be made at all.  And that is wrong.  Why is the fact that the war is ongoing matter?  Why is it somehow more objectionable than WWII- or Vietnam-era games?  What is the problem with making Yet Another Pseudo-Historical FPS Game that happens to be set in Iraq?

    Dan’s objection has been the only valid one to date.

  59. axiomatic says:

    I still disagree.

    They are making these comments under the pretense that Midway is going to "trivialize a war that continues to kill and maim members of the military and Iraqi civilians to this day."

    How can anyone make these comments without at least seeing a treatment for the story line or some kind of proof of concept?

    All I see here is people pressing the "hot button" because its a game. And as far as these famlies are concerned, (or at least what I can tell of their reactions) no game can be made that is (tasteful?, respective?) to the events that have transpired in Fallujah.

    We’ll forgoe the fact that there are many game developers who have handled war games with the utmost respect (Infinity Ward, Treyarch, etc.) and accuracy deserved of a game based on a wars that killed so many people.

    So to these famalies I ask, when is it ok? When is it "too soon?" Does a decade have to pass before its ok? Two decades? Five?

    When did just the mere idea of a game become offensive? Oh thats right, when the subject matter hands you a soapbox to stand upon.

    (I apologise if this sounds insensitive, but it’s a free country and a free market. When did appropriateness start to matter in capitalism?)

  60. Monte says:

    If it were made into a good movie then it likely would convey just how terrible battle is by showing how the soldiers suffered, cried, and died. Generally players don’t get a real feel for how horrible war is through a video game as developers focus on making the gameplay and making sure players will have fun… with a movie, the goal is to captivate an audience, and they can do this in many different ways, but with games the main goal is generally to make the game fun. 

  61. Saxy says:

    She probably would have said: "When our loved ones dies, they couldn’t just flip back a few pages or hit rewind…(continue with rest of regular quote".

  62. hellfire7885 says:

    "When our loved one’s ‘health meter’ dropped to ‘0’, they didn’t get to ‘retry’ the mission. When they took a bullet, they didn’t just get to pick up a health pack and keep ‘playing’…they suffered, they cried, they died. We – their parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends – absolutely find it disgusting and repulsive that those so far detached (and clinging to denial of reality) find it so easy to poke fun at such a thing."


    I know this will sound heartless, but, would she have said anything if this were a book or a movie?

  63. JustChris says:

    Should I dial nine-waaah-waaah? :p

    They’re jumping the gun too soon, there’s not enough information about the game’s story or how it unfolds. And it’s pretty much relatable to any game involving death, because the attack is on the mechanics of starting over when you make a deadly mistake.

    Actually, some games do have permanent consequences for dying. You can’t get your party member back, or even worse, you lose your entire saved game (in Steel Batallion).


  64. Anthrax says:

    Time to call the Waaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance again. Geez.

    It’s the same thing as making a movie, just because it’s made into something playable instead of watchable doesn’t mean it’s being trivialized or glamorized. I can understand them being upset that their son died but someone needs to RTFA.

  65. Kuros says:

    It will send you to a "Mission Accomplished" screen, but nothing actually happens and you have to keep playing from where you left off.

  66. gamadaya says:

    A lot of veterans complained then too. But nobody cared, because those verterans were old and old people are icky.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  67. hellfire7885 says:

    I was gonna say, if anything games like Call of Duty give you a greater respect for those who have given/give their lives in such conflicts.

  68. Vake Xeacons says:

    And never even stopped to think that this might actually be trying to HONOR our troops? Trying to encourage empathy for our brave fighters?

    No. All video games are evil, and if they relate to real life, they dishonor us.

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