Recently it became known about the relaunch of the controversial shooter about the Iraq war Six Days in Fallujah. Two days ago, the creators of the game, in an interview with Polygon, said that their project would not become a political statement. The interview caused a strong reaction on Twitter. They also talked about whether the games should even touch on political topics.
The position of the developers of Six Days in Fallujah
The plot of the military shooter is dedicated to the second battle in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which took place at the end of 2004. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that about 100 American soldiers and at least 800 civilians were killed during the battle.
The gaming community reacted ambiguously to the “resurrection” of Six Days in Fallujah. After the announcement of the relaunch, Highwire Games studio and publisher Victura, in addition to positive comments, also received a barrage of criticism. They were accused of justifying war crimes and political propaganda.
We wrote more about the beginning of the story here.
Last Monday, the authors of the shooter tried to explain their vision of the game. They stressed that there will be no politics in Six Days in Fallujah. The developers are not going to assess the causes of the conflict. They want to talk about people, try to make players sympathize with both the US military and the unarmed population of Fallujah.
I think some sane people might disagree with this. But it's more important for us to help explain to the players how difficult city battles are. To help you understand what it's like to be a person who ended up there because of political decisions. We want to show how the choice of politicians affects the choice that a marine should make on the battlefield. Just as Marines cannot challenge the decisions of the authorities, we will not make political statements — whether the idea of war was good or bad.
Head of Victura Publishing House
The creators of Six Days in Fallujah decided to bypass all the contradictory moments in the game. For example, the use of white phosphorus by the US Army near the city. As Tamt explained, the war veterans interviewed by him did not say anything about such weapons. In addition, in his opinion, such details would only distract gamers.
But despite everything, Tamt is sure that the players of Six Days in Fallujah will have no problems understanding the “price of war”.
It is assumed that 90% of the time in the shooter will be given to American Marines. Moreover, the images of the soldiers will be based on the appearance of real military personnel who have visited Iraq. The authors will devote another 10% of the game to the residents of Fallujah. Among other things, gamers will be able to play as an Iraqi who is trying to take his family to a safe place. Tamt believes that this way developers will be able to honor the memory of all those who died, regardless of the side of the conflict.
How did the gaming community react to this
The explanations of the creators of the title only added fuel to the fire. Indie developer Rami Ismail wrote a long thread on Twitter, in which he analyzed the interview of Tamt line by line.
According to Ismail, the authors of Six Days in Fallujah are not entirely honest when they talk about the apolitical nature of the shooter. He is sure that war is politics. Therefore, such games cannot do without a political context.
War *is* political machinations. That’s the entire thing about war. It’s politics that leads to people killing each other. The entire point is political gain or the diminishment of the other party’s political power.
In the case of Iraq, it was neither: the US made up a reason. pic.twitter.com/bxPy1VLZeT
— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) February 15, 2021
По словам инди-разработчика, компании Highwire Games и Victura хотят показать не больше, чем «голливудскую» версию битвы в Фаллуджи. За это Исмаил обвинил их в лицемерии, американской пропаганде, замалчивании важных для понимания ситуации вещей, бесчеловечности по отношении к иракцам и переписывании истории.
Tamte finds war crimes “divisive”, not horrifying. Iraqi suffering isn’t human to Tamte. It is not recognizable.
Tamte is a person trying to make money off of real human suffering that extends to this day.
— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) February 15, 2021he noted that up to this point he was not too against the authentic game that the studio promised to make.
В комментариях к треду Исмаил также But he no longer expects anything good from Six Days in Fallujah.
Ismail’s statement eventually led to a discussion about whether there is a place for a political agenda in the games. The only problem is that Six Days in Fallujah does not fully reflect the real events, or is everything much more complicated?
Neil Druckmann, who is at the helm of Naughty Dog studio, pointed out that all projects affecting serious topics can be called political in fact. And if so, then their developers should qualitatively immerse themselves in the topic and treat the story as honestly as possible. Or not to do them at all.
If your game deals with serious subject matter then it is inherently political. If that’s a problem, make a different game… otherwise you owe it to your game to lean into it, doing your damnedest to treat as honestly, completely as possible. Warts and all.
— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) February 15, 2021The Last of Us: Part II, which was not very warmly received by some players.
К слову, далеко не всем понравилось мнение Дракманна. Многие написали, что зачастую серьезные истории даже близко не относятся к политике. Заодно ему припомнили недавно вышедшую Most of the disputes also revolved around what could be called politics at all.
Twitter users have noticed that games are one of the art forms. Therefore, they have the right to show any events from any point of view, as for example a movie does. Another thing is that the players may not like the final product.
If video games are art, it’s imperative that games like this exist. If people don’t like it, that’s fine.
— Kyle (@mystery1932) February 15, 2021Spec Ops: The Line and This War of Mine.
Были и те, кто предлагал говорить в играх о политике с антивоенной точки зрения. В качестве примеров они привели Some even suggested that if you make games with an agenda, then without reference to reality.
The release of Six Days in Fallujah will take place during 2021. The game will be available on consoles and PC.