Since the controversy over Six Days in Fallujah broke earlier this week, GamePolitics has reported on reaction from military veterans as well as from family members of soldiers killed in the Iraq War.
But the video game press has begun to weigh in as well. U.K-based gamesindustry.biz spanks coverage of the game by British tabloids, but reserves some criticism for Konami’s VP of marketing, Anthony Crouts:
Crouts [told the] Wall Street Journal… "We’re not trying to make a 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. At the end of the day, it’s just a game."
What a thoroughly depressing attitude for a senior executive… At its most basic level, it raises questions about how well some people in this market actually understand the concept of a "compelling entertainment experience". Compelling entertainment is compelling exactly because it does make people uncomfortable – because it challenges their perceptions in intelligent ways, because it makes them think…
At Sector Earth, scribe Mike Antonucci writes:
There is an obvious tone that is dismissive about a video game in a way that we’d be unlikely to hear if "Six Days in Falljuh” were going to be a movie, play or even, say, a graphic novel… much of the criticism of video games comes on two levels: There’s always a specific flash point — in this case, the Iraq factor — and then there’s also an underlying (and wrongheaded) contempt for video games as being without artistic or social value.
The Raleigh News & Observer quotes Alexander Macris, who heads the group which publishes The Escapist:
I think games are entitled to the same level of respect as other entertainment media. [Developer] Atomic is driving the dialogue forward by creating a game like this. It is showing that games can be relevant. The fact is, the consumer of this is not a young kid. The consumer for something like this is going to be someone interested in current events and interested in realistic military war gaming.
I don’t think Atomic is engaging in exploitation. I think it is a serious attempt to cover the fighting in Fallujah through a game.