Six Days, over ten years later
February 19, 2021 4:40 PM   Subscribe

First announced in 2009, but pulled by then-publisher Konami after public backlash, controversial tactical shooter Six Days in Fallujah has resurfaced with a new development studio, publisher and trailer.

In an interview with Polygon, publisher Victura's CEO claims the game, set during the Second Battle of Fallujah, will be a thoughtful and authentic depiction, based on first-hand testimonials from U.S. military personnel and Iraqi civilians (but none from insurgents, although their contributions were alluded to in a 2009 interview). Critics say it is unlikely to tell the whole story, and seems to have government involvement (Unrolled thread here) despite claims to the contrary.
posted by subocoyne (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:22 PM on February 19, 2021 [16 favorites]

”Instead, their first-person shooter will try to engender empathy for American troops in the field, for their work destroying the insurgents that dug in throughout Fallujah, and for the civilians trapped in between.”

Does it allow the option to play as a Blackwater/Xe contractor? /s
posted by sudogeek at 5:36 PM on February 19, 2021 [8 favorites]

I guess the game got pardoned by Trump along with the other Fallujah civilian murderers.
posted by benzenedream at 5:43 PM on February 19, 2021 [6 favorites]

We already have American Sniper and Zero Dark Thirty if you want warm feelings about war crimes and torture. There's lots of media for those enbubbled people. They have an entire parallel universe they adhere to with the devotion of cultists, of course they have games!

If you want a realistic game about living in a warzone, try This War Of Mine, where survival depends on rolling an unbroken chain of natural 20s.
posted by adept256 at 7:10 PM on February 19, 2021 [13 favorites]

It looks like Konami is doing a 180 on their police of basically not caring about video games and focusing on gambling - see also the rumors about a new Silent Hill game.

This can easily by tied in, by people who believe the following, to the theory that Konami switched focus to gambling and became a 'black corporation' because they ended up being owned by a Yakuza organization - which would explain the sudden change in behavior, as the Yakuza are in a state of decline.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:10 PM on February 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's also possible that pachinko and health clubs don't rake in the money the same way they did pre-pandemic.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:17 PM on February 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

To quote Frankie Boyle again:
"Not only will America go to your country and kill all your people, they'll come back twenty years later and make a movie about how killing your people made their soldiers feel sad."
posted by happyinmotion at 8:14 PM on February 19, 2021 [62 favorites]

This is fucking nauseating. Do we really need to platform or discuss this murderporn here? The comments on the YT video alone are bad enough.
posted by loquacious at 8:38 PM on February 19, 2021 [5 favorites]

in fact I'd be 1000% behind a 1St Amendment carve out on this kinda bs
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 10:23 PM on February 19, 2021

in fact I'd be 1000% behind a 1St Amendment carve out on this kinda bs

Here's what that would look like:
In December 2006, just one month after the Emsdetten school shooting, Bavaria and Lower Saxony proposed legislation, to be presented to the national parliament, that would make even playing any game that featured “cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters” punishable by fines and up to a year in prison. [32][33][34]

§ 86a outlaws the use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations, § 130 Volksverhetzung (agitation of the people), and § 131 instructions for committing crimes. In the official lists, these three sections are always bundled, so any game that contains swastika flags and/or any depiction of Adolf Hitler is listed alongside racist propaganda pieces. This law was lifted 8 August 2018.

§ 131 outlaws representation of excessive violence in media "which describe cruel or otherwise inhuman acts of violence against human or humanoid beings in a manner which expresses a glorification or rendering harmless of such acts of violence or which represents the cruel or inhuman aspects of the event in a manner which injures human dignity".[35]

§ 130 and § 131 make it a criminal offence to do the following with corresponding scriptures:

distribute/sell them
issue in public, demonstrate or otherwise make them available
leave them to a person under the age of 18
produce, buy, deliver, store, offer, announce, praise, import or export them within the meaning of points 1 to 3.
Then you look at the banned games... you see how it gets silly. Many of those games were allowed to be sold after they changed the color of the blood from red to green (the zombie games).

I'm broadly supportive of Germany's anti-nazi censorship, but you need to go in with a scalpel, and there will always be edgelords trying to shift the line of decency.
posted by adept256 at 10:42 PM on February 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

what makes it so is the testimonial from both sides angle incorp...fuck it your right.

Though shooting photonic Nazis in Bavaria can get one a year as kriegsgefangene.
posted by clavdivs at 12:28 AM on February 20, 2021

This game is a hideous rewriting of history.

Fallujah is an icon of the word excesses of the US war on Iraq. The whole war was a tragedy based on a deliberate lie. But it's Fallujah where the Americans massacred civilians. And possibly committed warcrimes, including using white phosphorous as a weapon.

Into this terrible backdrop a video game company wades in wanting to make some entertainment. Their whole premise is problematic
we’re not trying to make a political commentary

So how do they plan to keep this war game about one of America's most shameful war events fun and light?
Like the cause of the war itself, another bit of context that won't appear in Six Days in Fallujah is the use of white phosphorous by US forces, long criticized as a war crime.

"So, players can not use... We're not asking players to commit atrocities in the game," he says. "Are we effectively sanitizing events by not doing that? I don't think that we need to portray the atrocities in order for people to understand the human cost. We can do that without the atrocities."

Tamte repeatedly emphasised that this game is "not a political statement either way,"
And yet this same man has the gall to claim to be writing important history
But I will tell you that from my experience and conversations that I’ve had over 15 years on this project [...] nearly all want people to know what happened in Fallujah.
So which is it? Are you whitewashing a shameful event of Iraqi history to make for a fun game where you are cravenly avoiding controversy? Or are you telling the story of what happened in Fallujah?

The stupidest thing about all this is "avoiding controversy" was never the plan. You'd have to be really, really dumb to think you could make any videogame about Fallujah and think there's no controversy. No, you embrace that controversy because it gets you and your dumb game idea some publicity. And then you lack the spine to stand up for what you're actually doing. Instead you whine and say "it's just not fair I'm just making games here why do you have to make this political?"
posted by Nelson at 6:52 AM on February 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

One of my favorite Twitter follows has been Rami Ismail, a game developer (Nuclear Throne!) of mixed Egyptian and Dutch heritage living in the Netherlands, who strongly identifies as a member of global Muslim culture. He's poignantly hilarious calling out shitty Arabic writing in videogames; most companies never bother to hire anyone who reads or writes Arabic so they put gibberish as decorations in games. (Seriously, how do you have a staff of 500+ people and none of them even recognize Arabic script?!)

Anyway, he's one of those folks I read for a different perspective on culture. He's often posting takes on things that are very simple and clear and totally different from what I'd ever thought of, solely because he's coming at it from a Muslim perspective.

He's been hugely critical about this game and with very sharp insights. Unfortunately all his good commentary has been on Twitter and I can't find a summary of it elsewhere. And that all blew up and he's deleted his Twitter, at least temporarily, so his words are gone. (Gee, a Muslim man criticizing Americans getting harassed offline? What a surprise!) I hope he comes back to the public sphere again soon, he's taught me al ot.
posted by Nelson at 6:56 AM on February 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

Then you look at the banned games... you see how it gets silly.

Is it silly? It doesn't look like a bunch of innocent games that inadvertently got lumped in. It's pretty consistent.

Now if somehow e.g. Splatoon were on that list, I'd be in agreement.
posted by explosion at 7:16 AM on February 20, 2021

Ram Ismail's Twitter thread about the interview was the original inspiration for making this post, but while it was being composed he deactivated his account. I have found some of the thread archived here.

Apparently in a later tweet (not archived from what I can tell) he made a misguided analogy that drew responses from many black games developers. I'm missing the details but in the end he left Twitter. It seems to have become its own story, but the parts I actually saw were an impassioned condemnation of the game.
posted by subocoyne at 8:45 AM on February 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Mr.Encyclopedia: At first, I liked my theory better. Then I realized that psychological facts like this and this may be in play.
posted by BiggerJ at 5:35 PM on February 20, 2021

Thanks for the update, rewil. I wish I could re-frame the post around his thread, but ah well. Looks like I just have unlucky timing.
posted by subocoyne at 7:59 PM on February 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

2nding "This War of Mine" - it is deep enough that Poland has added it to their recommended school reading list.
posted by rozcakj at 8:51 AM on February 21, 2021

"Tamte repeatedly emphasised that this game is "not a political statement either way,""

I wonder what what are the two sides here, pro or anti crimes against humanity?
posted by mikek at 3:08 PM on February 21, 2021

Oh god fuck this imperialist garbage. Games are the worst.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:46 PM on February 23, 2021

IGN: Six Days in Fallujah is Complicated and Painful For Those Connected to the Real Events
"What they're doing in Six Days in Fallujah is actually using the [stories] of Marines...and having the player act out scenarios in which real Marines were actually involved. So now, you've made a promise, which is something that films don't do, certainly not something that Saving Private Ryan did. You're making a promise to transport people to the battlefield. You're making a promise to gamers to let them experience what it was like in Fallujah. It doesn't matter what the battlefield is -- that's empty, that's a hollow promise. You can't do that. There is no way you are going to portray anywhere near what it's like to be on a battlefield digitally. And if you somehow figure out a way to do that, you need to get rid of it because it's, quite frankly, a product that I wouldn't wish on anyone."
posted by subocoyne at 11:40 AM on March 19, 2021

« Older Aftermath of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War   |   Iceberger Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments