One of my major complaints with videogames is that never seem to tackle serious subjects that are taking place in the present. Now, that is of course a problem with the medium itself; it takes a while to create a game. However, it’s also an issue with the industry, who usually shy away from tackling serious subjects for fear of people getting angry at them. For instance, we can’t talk about genocide and warlords in Africa unless zombie creatures are involved. This is why the announcement that Konami would be releasing Six Days in Fallujah, a game based on the real-life 2004 US Marine-lead battle for the central Iraqi city that attempts to recreate the battle on a day-to-day basis, I got really excited that a big company might actually be trying to do something important.
I got more excited when I read it would be a third-person shooter coming out next year for the 360, PS3 and PC that actually will follow the real time line of six days. In fact developer Atomic Games brought in dozens of US Marines from Camp Pendleton’s 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment to consult on the game. “We replicate a specific and accurate timeline — we mean six days literally,” Atomic Games president Peter Tamte said. “We track several units through the process and you get to know what it was like from day-to-day.” Doesn’t this sound like a fantastic way to tell a powerful and emotional story that makes people think and reconsider videogames as a potential medium for actual thought?
Not according to Konami’s PR guy. “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. At the end of the day, it’s just a game,” Konami’s VP of marketing, Anthony Crouts, said. That’s a great attitude to have. This could be so much more than “just a game” and here Konami is debasing the entire experience. Bravo, good sirs.
New screens too, though I’m to livid to see anything but red.