Iraq War Video Game Killed After Fierce Protest

Dennis Faas's picture

Gamers love war simulators. The chance to virtually step into the shoes of American troops storming Normandy, Iwo Jima, or Sicily is hard to pass up for fans of shooters, but it seems it's still too early for a similar game based on the Iraq war.

Legendary game publisher Konami has announced that it recently decided to kill its upcoming title "Six Days in Fallujah," a game based on the famous Iraq battle. Developed by Atomic Games (well known by PC gamers for their much-praised Close Combat strategy franchise), the game was to follow characters into the Second Battle of Fallujah from a third-person perspective (similar to Xbox 360's Gears of War).

Game Too Intensive

Given Atomic Games' past commitment to realism in its war games, there's no doubt that Six Days in Fallujah would have been an immersive, and perhaps for some, disturbing experience. (Source:

It didn't take long for veterans and the families of troops lost at Fallujah to begin protesting that the game was insensitive and inappropriate given the United States' continued struggle in Iraq.

In a statement, a representative for Konami announced, "After seeing the reaction to the videogame in the United States and hearing opinions sent through phone calls and email, we decided several days ago not to sell it... We had intended to convey the reality of the battles to players so that they could feel what it was like to be there."

Cancellation "A Shame"

Game critics, including PC World's Matt Peckham, feel Six Days in Fallujah's cancellation is a shame. Peckham feels that it could have been an incredible title and should not have been abandoned a year prior to its release. Of course, it makes sense that if Konami was concerned about bad press, it's better to have killed it now rather than after months of development and marketing. (Source:

Peckham's main problem is that the game seems to have attracted more negative attention that other media based on Iraq. HBO's "Generation Kill" often portrayed the men fighting the war in Iraq as less than savoury individuals, something Six Days in Fallujah almost certainly would have avoided.

Guilty Unless Proven Innocent

Those who have played other war titles, including Call of Duty or Medal of Honor, will note that games more often than not bestow great respect upon troops and commanders. There's little wiggle room for critical political commentary when one is pinned down by a (virtual) enemy.

That's all besides the fact that gamers tend to learn more about historical events like Normandy and Operation Market Garden from the games they truly enjoy than the textbooks and high school lectures that put them to sleep. Maybe, just maybe, we're not supposed to know more about the war in Iraq.

In the end, we have a title killed long before anyone even took the time to play it. That's a lot like finding someone, or something, guilty before proven innocent.

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