Ah, controversy.

In class on Tuesday, I remember there being a ton of discussion about whether the dead-in-iraq film was really a memorial to the soldiers, or if it was disrespectful. Well, when I was searching for links relevant to class, I discovered an even bigger version of our class argument– the game Six Days in Fallujah. The battle of Fallujah was an important and intense battle in Iraq, and the video game company Atomic was working with a group of soliders before they left for Fallujah. When the soldiers came back, they asked Atomic to make a game to portray their experiences in the battle. Atomic agreed, and for a while, so did their publisher, Konami. However, when the game was announced, a ton of controversy and criticism popped up. Parents of soldiers who died in that battle were outraged, saying that it was belittling their children’s deaths by making them into a game.

So the discussion begins again– what is a memorial? Can a game be a memorial, or should the two categories never be mixed? This article explains some of the controversy of the game, and there’s also a an animation that touches on the Six Days in Fallujah game.

It seems as if people are very adamant about what kinds of things games can and can’t do. It’s so difficult for a game to break out of the standard mold and be something different, whether it be a memorial or a way to tell a story.

One thought on “Ah, controversy.

  1. Carly

    I was unfortunately unable to make it to Tuesday’s class, so I missed out on a lot of what seems to be heated discussion. I talked to Calvin about some of the discussions and in-class topics. I found the controversial ‘memorial’ attempt in a videogame to be quite intriguing.
    I looked into it and found the situation quite uncomfortable. Although I may be biased because I only discussed the video with Calvin, I also found the attempt misguided and not entirely respectful.

    Brandy’s link however seems to be a much better attempt. Because the soldiers “asked Atomic to make a game to portray their experiences in the battle” I believe it could be a much more respectful attempt to memorialize soldiers. The game could even be used for educational purposes. When students watch movies and documentaries, they may not be fully involved in class. With a videogame however, they stay focused and intrigued.
    Unfortunately, the definition of a game, as we have discussed weeks ago, often involves some sort of concept of ‘fun’. The mother of one fallen soldier remarked, “By making it something people play for fun, they are trivializing the battle.” It makes me wonder, can something fun be used as a memorial and honor those we have lost?

Comments are closed.