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Konami Announces a Game Based On a 2004 Battle In Fallujah 644

Posted by Soulskill
from the tread-lightly dept.
The LA Times reports that Konami has announced Six Days in Fallujah, a video game due out next year that is based on an actual battle fought in Iraq in 2004. Quoting: "The idea for the game ... came from US Marines who returned from the battle with video, photos and diaries of their experiences. Instead of dialing up Steven Spielberg to make a movie version of their stories, they turned to Atomic Games, a company in Raleigh, NC, that makes combat simulation software for the military. ... 'The soldiers wanted to tell their stories through a game because that's what they grew up playing,' said John Choon, senior brand manager for the game at Konami... More than a dozen Marines are featured in documentary-style video interviews that are interspersed with the game's action. The Marines reappear in the game itself, doing pretty much what they did during the war. One tells the story of how he furiously wrote a letter to his wife and begged a chaplain to give it to her if he died. Another, Eddie Garcia, talks about how his right leg was shredded in a mortar attack, and how he suffered survivor's guilt after he was taken out of combat."
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Konami Announces a Game Based On a 2004 Battle In Fallujah

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  • This is sick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epiphani (254981) <epiphaniNO@SPAMdal.net> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:02AM (#27487841)

    I've spoken to some people that were at Fallujah. I guess everyone sees it differently, but they saw it as a massacre. Over 1300 "insurgents" dead, less than 100 Americans.

    They told me stories of teams of people that would go into apartment buildings and shoot every single thing in it. These people were all "insurgents". Entire families of insurgents.

    I'm sure I'll get modded down for this, but screw it. What if someone made a game glorifying Rhwanda? Cambodia? I realize its not the same thing, but there are certain "battles" that shouldn't be immortalized as heroic actions.

    • Re:This is sick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by yincrash (854885) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:05AM (#27487873)
      Isn't that what happens in most war video games? The side you play on rarely dies, and the other side gets massacred. Sounds like an accurate example to make a video game of.
    • Re:This is sick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bistromath007 (1253428) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:07AM (#27487895)
      Depiction is not glorification. The devs have been labeling this title "survival horror," which basically makes it the most accurate depiction of war I've ever heard of. These Marines want to tell their story, as many veterans have before them, and they want to do it in a way that they know will reach their own generation. Kudos to Konami for giving them a place to do that.
      • by bitt3n (941736) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @10:24AM (#27489043)

        These Marines want to tell their story, as many veterans have before them, and they want to do it in a way that they know will reach their own generation

        the problem is that their generation gets to play out the story in the only way they know how:

        "yo dude, I'm like, totally teabagging the corpses of your entire family of displaced persons"

        "goddam wallhacking AWP whore!"

      • Re:This is sick (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @10:27AM (#27489087) Homepage

        We have to wait and see how it turns out, but so far pretty much any depiction of war in video games was a glorification, because they are always extremely one sited, never have civilians in it and you are always in the winning team. And when they are labeled "accurate" that pretty much only means that they will fill you with straight American propaganda.

        Now of course, there are some rare exceptions, such as Operation Flashpoint: Resistance, which starts you as civilian, then your little island gets invaded by the Russians, many of your friends get executed or die and you end up basically the insurgence fighting back the invasion. You also happen to die at the end. But such exceptions are very rare.

    • by meringuoid (568297) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:13AM (#27487971)
      Over 1300 "insurgents" dead, less than 100 Americans.

      I see what you mean. That kill ratio is pretty extreme.

      You can't have the player getting killed one encounter in 13. They'll have to tone it down a whole lot, I reckon. Something nearer 100:1 would be nearer the typical FPS ratio.

    • You seem to be under the delusion that wars are meant to be fair. That, somehow, an equal number of people should be killed on both sides and that's the good way to do a war.

      That is stupidest thing imaginable.

      The fact is, we spend 500B a year on the military so that when we do fight people, it is a massacre. We do not want our guys to die. We want their guys to die.

      If you don't want massacres, then don't fight the USA. That the USA can massacre its opponents is a GOOD thing, as it brings more American soldiers home alive.

      Now, if you don't want this, then don't send soldiers off to war, but that's a different debate. Once they are there, you want Americans to be able to kill enemies like a Power'd up dude in a video game.

      • by Peter Simpson (112887) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:37AM (#27488349)

        "If you don't want massacres, then don't fight the USA."

        Ummm...they didn't "fight us", we invaded them, based on our president's dislike of their ruler and a bunch of trumped up "evidence".

        Yes, they fought back, but think of what would happen if some foreign power invaded us. Certainly, there would be some who would choose to fight back.

        Guerilla war is like that...the innocent die along with the insurgents, who shelter among them.
        But, let's remember who started it, and not place *all* of the blame on the opponent.

      • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:43AM (#27488437) Homepage
        From a military point of view, yes. If they want to fight, rock their world. But the calculus changes when you are talking about operations in an environment where substantial numbers of civilians are present. You have serious and substantial obligations under military law and you cannot ignore them just because it is convenient. A great deal of what supposedly went on in Fallujah falls under that.

        Western militaries are still tooled and trained to fight WWII. We need to wise up and move on and recognise that blindly teaching the doctrines that won the last war may not win the next one.

        • by McKing (1017) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @10:02AM (#27488691) Homepage

          I was there in 2004 alongside the Marines (Army Infantry), and coalition psyops basically blanketed the city for weeks prior to the invasion with the message that all civilians needed to leave the city and any male over the age of 15 who stayed would be considered a combatant. We all but told them exactly when we were coming and "you want to fight, let's fight...you want to live, get the hell out of the town".

          The civilian casualties that I saw were caused by bombing the city prior to the attack and bombing/artillery on specific buildings that insurgents were using as strong points that couldn't be taken any other way.

          At no time did I or anyone in my company fire upon any civilian. In fact the only civilians that I saw were after the fact when they came out of their hiding places and surrendered. We sent them on their way with the MP's, safe and sound.

          What I did see was a lot of AK and RPG's fired at my Bradley Fighting Vehicle. I took 4 within the span of 15 minutes. Thank $DEITY for that reactive armor.

    • Re:This is sick (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:24AM (#27488111)

      I've spoken to some people that were at Fallujah. I guess everyone sees it differently, but they saw it as a massacre. Over 1300 "insurgents" dead, less than 100 Americans.

      As opposed to every other wargame in history that glosses over war crimes and touchy topics?

      I mean how many D-Day games were there that never even mentioned the fact that the Allies were under orders not to take prisoners for the first 24 hour of the invasion and that they were often killing 16 year old German reservists.

      And to be fair Germans, Japanese, and Soviets did far worse things...

      Yeah, sometimes war is really brutal and people do bad things and have to do bad things in order to survive (at least they think they do).

      And then sometime in the future someone will make a game about it, but they are probably not going to include the really bad parts.

      I mean in Silent Service series... Do you get to machine gun the Japanese sailors after sinking the merchant ship?

      No.

      But did it happen sometimes in the real war.

      Yes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AppyPappy (64817)

      Epiphani

      When you get back from fighting in Fallujah, come back and tell us what really happened, Until then, stick to playing games.

    • Re:This is sick (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lifyre (960576) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @10:26AM (#27489067)

      You do realize we made it very public in and around Fallujah that we were going to attack the city before hand right? We encouraged people to leave the city before we took it. These were no unenlightened individuals struck by a surprise attack.

  • by Anonymusing (1450747) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:04AM (#27487861)

    FTA: "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." ... "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."

    Seems like this is more of a "real" first-person-shooter: it's not only based on history, it's actually built with living combatants in mind.

    Some folks are going to call it tasteless to "present the horrors of war in a game that is also entertaining," but how is it any less tastless than playing a fictional character in such a game??

  • by meringuoid (568297) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:06AM (#27487885)
    ... don't we really mean something like 'too soon'? After all, Fallujah was a fairly trivial battle by historic standards. Surely it's in far worse taste to make fun videogames out of World War 2?

    Anyway, I just hope there's an option to play as the Iraqi resistance. I remember once playing one of the Call of Duty games - it began with a pretty well made Pearl Harbour, and I was terribly disappointed to learn that you had to be the Americans.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:11AM (#27487951) Homepage Journal

    I think its good that Americans who fought Fallujah get to tell their story. We've had plenty of insurgent friendly lefties tell theirs for long enough, indeed, some are posting here. The fact of the matter is that Fallujah was the one place where insurgents tried to make a pitched battle rather than hit and run as normal. Urban fighting ensued, and the insurgents ultimately lost.

    • by Leafheart (1120885) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:26AM (#27488169)

      I like how "defending your country from a foreign invading army" suddenly becomes "insurgents that needs some killing".

      War sometimes is a necessity, invasion, hardly.

  • by olddotter (638430) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:12AM (#27487963) Homepage
    We haven't really evolved much since the days of the Roman Colosseum. At least we are not flying "insurgents" here to be killed live before large audiences. Its a small step forward. Still RE is a lot of fun, and the enemy there is always some unfortunate zombie creature.
  • by Tgeigs (1497313) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:18AM (#27488033)
    As a former member of the military, and someone who spent time in the Gulf, I can tell you that NOTHING is as cut and dry as civilians try to make it. When you're a twenty year old stuck half way around the world in a dessert city and people are literally trying to kill you everyday with road side bombs, sniper attacks, and suicide bombs as they HIDE AMONGST the innocent public, it is very easy to cross the line and hurt/kill the wrong people. It's also just as easy to get a limited viewpoint of what happened and say things like, "The military is bad", or "Fallejuh was a massacre", or "What happened there is sick". No, it wasn't bad, a massacre, or sick...It was war. Label the politicians with those monikers, not the war itself. Along those lines, I think that if this game accurately depicts both the good and bad sides of war, the internal struggle of the soldiers as they tell their stories and follow orders they might not like, the reactions of ALL the towns people, favorable and unfavorable...Well, dammit, I think that would be a great game and one that US Citizens might actually be better off having played it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Em Emalb (452530)

      Very well said. It's one thing to sit on the sidelines and spout your views, it's another to go there and be "in the shit" and try to deal with it.

      Some of the people responding here are acting like these Marines went in, killed everything in sight and then sat back drinking a beer laughing about it.

      WTF? They're human just like you and I. (I should know, I was in the Corps) This crap affected them the same as it would anyone else. This is an attempt at telling their story, and people want to treat it li

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:25AM (#27488127)

    hundreds of games exist whee you murder people for fun and profit. you even kill prostitutes o take their money in GTA.

    now, finally, actual soldiers want to make their own game, and slashdotters think it is 'sick'.

    what is truly sick is the utter disconnection of slashdotters with reality. the site is replete with stories on 'cool new weapons', the video game reviews and mentions are legion, star wars is almost a religion.... the political and history and philosophy discussions are strictly on a high school level.... this article is a perfect example of that.

    people who sit around pretending to be soldiers for hours a month, are 'discomforted' by the real stories of actual soldiers. they find it 'sick' and 'disturbing' that actual soldiers want to tell a story.....

    but if anyone protests against video game violence, they are instantly shouted down as 'prudes' or 'against freedom of speech' by the slashdot legions.

    it is no wonder the the USA makes bad decisions, its own people are apparently repulsed by reality, and prefer to live in a fantasy world.

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:30AM (#27488229) Homepage Journal

    The only thing that would make this game interesting would be for both factions to be playable.

    Better yet, make the entire Iraq war an MMORPG.

  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:55AM (#27488609) Homepage

    If they had made a movie would it have been not so tasteless? If you think the game is tasteless but a movie isn't then it's a matter of the limitations you think of games as a medium to convey some human experience. Also, why is a game about a recent war tasteless but WWII is a very popular theme for most games? Do you think WWII was somehow cleaner or easier? From what I gathered WWII was pretty gruesome too, as is any war.

    How the battle was is a foregone conclusion as is any historical battle. Putting 50 years in between or showing it in a different medium doesn't change the nature of war itself. So before making up your mind about it, how about giving the production a chance to do something meaningful? It could end up tasteless but it could be transcendental but that has to do with how they make the game, not the era they're depicting. If nothing else, how recent the battle was gives us more information about its actual nature rather than some glorified account that we often see about past wars.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bickerdyke (670000)

      If they had made a movie would it have been not so tasteless? If you think the game is tasteless but a movie isn't then it's a matter of the limitations you think of games as a medium to convey some human experience.

      A game is by definition about "winning". In movies its probably much easier to show that "sometimes the only way to win is not to play" or that in a war, both parties are loosing, no matter who might be "winning" in the end.

  • Atomic Games (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rpillala (583965) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:59AM (#27488661)

    They developed Close Combat, which was an innovative game in the war genre. This suggests to me that the game won't treat the subject like an arcade shooter or a Michael Bay movie. So that's good, at least. I don't see how this production is different from, say, the tv miniseries Generation Kill, which was based on a book about the invasion. When you watch (or read) that, you see a lot of conflicting viewpoints about the war, even among the military personnel themselves. If this game preserves that feature, it can only be good. That is, unless you're a war cheerleader who doesn't want anyone saying anything about the inherent evils of war.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by smooth wombat (796938)

      Unless I'm mistaken, aren't they also the same company who produced the V for Victory series of games way back when? I have the original boxes, discs and documentation stored away and up until a few years ago, still played them on my W95 machine.

      Great stuff they were. Allowed for an overall view of the combat area, tried to depict real-life supply situations, aerial attacks, armor vs infantry, etc.

      I was able to demonstrate that in some cases, the Germans could have stopped and repelled the allied forces.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rpillala (583965)

        They are and they aren't. After only a cursory examination of their www site, I posted my post from earlier, but it seems that the company was "re-formed [atomic.com]" in 2006. There's no way to know if these people simply want to cash in on the company's name reputation or want to continue the tradition of war games with depth.

  • Thanks /.!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BigDork1001 (683341) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @10:39AM (#27489253) Homepage
    As an Airman on active duty who has been to Iraq I want to thank many of you from the bottom of my heart. You clearly believe that every last service member is a blood crazed, baby killing monster. You think that we wake up every morning Hell-bent on going out and killing as many civilians as we can. We don't even shoot at insurgents. If given the choice between taking out someone shooting an AK-74 at us or hitting their granny, we're taking the old lady out. Give me a fucking break!

    Thank you for honoring (not at all) the sacrifice of over 5000 men and women. Thank God I know there are many out there who truly do appreciate what we do and what we sacrifice for you all to pretend to know what happened in Fallujah. Were you there? No... well then you have no fucking right to say how it was a massacre of epic proportions, pure genocide, or the next holocaust. I have so much respect for those who do go into combat and risk their lives daily. I could never do what the soldiers and Marines do daily over there. I am so thankful for them because I don't have to. And guess what, because of them you don't either.

    I have been coming to Slashdot for years now because I enjoy a level of intelligence that isn't found on many other websites on the Internet. Clearly that intelligence has fled from this particular discussion. Mod me troll because that's 100% what it is. But I couldn't sit back and watch as every service member serving and who has served was demonized by people who don't even truly know what they are talking about.

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

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