Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
07 April 2009
Fallujah? No.
Konami is making a game about the 2004 battle in Fallujah, Iraq. From Joystiq's article (emphasis added):
Unfortunately, for all the realism touted by the game's developer, Konami's VP of marketing, Anthony Crouts, gives the impression that the publisher's still playing it safe, saying, "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."
I just finished listening to Fiasco by Thomas Ricks. It covers the first few years of the second U.S.-Iraq war* as well as some 1990s background of some of the principals. Frankly, you can't come away from the facts of the second war, and that Fallujah battle in general, without feeling a sense of profound dismay. It is one of the culminations of many critical botched actions that preceded it. (It's at this point that I usually come back to the picture of the 3-year-old Iraqi boy whose leg was blown off completely. Thanks, Mike. I'll never forget that one.)

Fallujah is a fat, nasty reminder of how screwed up things were -- and still are -- and I have a hard time believing that it will be treated appropriately. Compelling entertainment? No. Not at all.

* Ricks concludes that historians may eventually consider what we see as two U.S.-Iraq wars as a single longer one: hot war in 1991, followed by containment, then another hot war starting in 2003, followed by more containment.

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--Matt Matthews at 09:29
Comment [ 3 ]

Comments on this post:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. This from the guy who enjoyed (at least initially) Manhunt?

So far, I've found Manhunt to be an entertaining, if modestly flawed, game. Most of my gripes have to do with controls, although I am wishing for a bit more nonlinearity in the game's structure. One could also criticize it for stealing shamelessly from other (often good) games, with very little innovation, but I'm willing to hold off judging it on that count just yet. Oh, and it's bloody, but I'll address that, and the inconsistency of the gaming public with regard to violence, at the end.
Now, about all that gore, I'd like to say that there isn't anything here that I think is that much worse than the flying gouts of blood that you can see in some parts of Metal Gear Solid 2. For that matter, if you've seen some of the Metal Gear Solid 3 videos you'll notice that blood spurts from some enemies like happy fountains of red Kool-Aid. Yet, no one seems to be railing against those games and the gore contained therein. ... I haven't seen anything in Manhunt yet that I thought was positively over the line, and I'd be interested to know just what people think is so unwholesome about Manhunt that hasn't already been done in other beloved games

I remember reading parts of that fimp and thinking that the game was well over my line. Things like, "Furthermore, the director of the movie, Starkweather, will talk you through various parts of the city via the earphones. I nearly jumped out of my skin when he shouted "Kill him!" just as I was sneaking up behind my first victim," or, "I'm beginning to expect to hear him and his twisted little comments, and that interaction provides one more layer which helps the game rise above the level of "just another murder simulator"." It's still the only fimp I've read from Matt that continues to haunt me a little. Seems like we talked a bit about the gangs and killing at some point, which only made the game more deviant in my mind, as I recall. Something about smilie-face masks or some such? Anyhow, I would like to think I couldn't play that game.

So what's the line that can't be crossed? That the Fallujah game is historical fiction? Is there something that makes it that much worse than a good game of Rainbow Six:Kingstree (which I'll admit I haven't played)?

On an unrelated note, you doing a lot of audiobooking now too? I'm actually somewhat embarrassed that my old book-a-day reading habit from HS has been remediated so poorly as an Audible account in my old age. On a more related note, to see Bush II's war as a continuation of Bush I's would be to let W & the axis of evil off of the hook. /politics

By Blogger ruffin, at 07 April, 2009 20:27  

It would not be too surprising for the two Iraq wars to be considered as a single conflict, because the first war did not resolve the reasons for the conflict. Some even consider World Wars I and II to be an extended conflict, because the resolution of WWI set the conditions the lead to WWII. That's not so different from what happened after the first Iraq conflict.

By Blogger EastwoodDC, at 21 April, 2009 19:54  

looks like this has been canceled

By Blogger cgm, at 27 April, 2009 21:15  

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