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Konami Developing Iraq War Game

Konami are working with US Marines on a game based on the war in Iraq.Titled Six Days in Fallujah (or Fallouja), the game charts the battle of Fallujah that took place back in November 2004, which resulted in the deaths of 38 US soldiers and around 1,200 insurgents.The game is set to follow the events of the battle, focusing – at least in part – on the men involved. Atomic Games, the developers, spoke to the soldiers who were involved in the combat, and incorporated their retelling of the events into the game in order to give it a realistic feel.Konami’s vice president of marketing, Anthony Crouts, explained to the LA Times. “What interested us were the soldiers’ stories. Some of these soldiers came right out of high school. They went from boys to men in the span of weeks.”Interspersed with the action are video interviews with the soldiers who were involved, which reminds us of Band of Brothers.Another idea behind the game is to give players an understanding of how it feels to be in combat, and to make the difficult decisions that face soldiers. “Our opportunity for giving people insight goes up dramatically when we can present people with the dilemmas and the choices that faced these soldiers. It’s a chance to really give them a better understanding and empathy,” stated Atomic Games president Peter Tamte.”For us, the challenge was how do you present the horrors of war in a game that is also entertaining, but also gives people insight into a historical situation in a way that only a video game can provide? Our goal is to give people that insight, of what it’s like to be a Marine during that event, what it’s like to be a civilian in the city and what it’s like to be an insurgent.”The developers have made it clear that they don’t want to take sides in the conflict or make a statement about whether the war was justified, and instead stick with the stories as told by the soldiers. “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,” explained Crouts, to the Wall Street Journal.This sounds like the sort of thing that would normally be handled via books or TV or movies, like Black Hawk Down or the aforementioned Band of Brothers, but Mike Ergo, an infantryman in a Marine battallion that fought in Fallujah who now works as consultant on the game, clarified. “In an age when everyone’s always online or playing games, people’s imaginations aren’t what they were, sadly. For this group, books may not convey the same level of intensity and chaos of war that a game can.””For us, games are not just toys,” confirmed Tamte. “If you look at how music, television, and films have made sense of the complex issues of their times, it makes sense to do that with videogames.”Atomic Games have been using classified satellite imagery to recreate Fallujah, as well as using the notebooks of marines to get an overview of the battalion movements, in order to make the game as true to life as possible. “We replicate a specific and accurate timeline – we mean six days literally,” said Tamte. “You get to know what it was like from day to day.”The game itself, set to launch next year, will reportedly function like a third-person tactical shooter. We assume it’ll be on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, but we’ll let you know when we learn more.


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