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Where is Six Days in Fallujah?

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Harrison Lee

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Many people have forgotten the existence of one of the most hotly debated video games this generation, Six Days in Fallujah. Developers Atomic Games recreated the events from the Battle of Fallujah as accurately as possible in this survival-horror shooter. However, the timing of the game's release wasn't right and Six Days was placed on indefinite hold. A couple of years ago, reports surfaced that Atomic was still developing the game despite a drop in publisher support. Two years later, there hasn't been a single mention of the game anywhere, aside from an interview with one of the soldiers who helped with the project. What happened to Six Days in Fallujah?

 

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When last we heard from the developers, Six Days was finished. Konami, the publisher that had actively taken an interest in releasing the game, dropped support after a firestorm of controversy surrounding the game. You might wonder what sparked debate around a Middle East-centric wargame when there's Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. Quite frankly, the difference is that neither of those games actually portrayed real events as they happened. Six Days went the opposite direction and portrayed the events in Fallujah exactly as they were reported, even down to the names of the casualties. This real-life portrayal of war in a video game promptly put the ambitious project to rest, silenced indefinitely and trapped in a limbo state.

 

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I think it's time the public finally saw Six Days in Fallujah. With documentaries like Restrepo and Battle of Marjah, Six Days deserves every bit the chance to impact the American audience as those powerful films have. To me, Americans have a fundamental disillusionment with the realities of war. There aren't respawn points where dozens of terrorists toting RPGs pour out. There's no censorship of the brutalities war does on the body. War is bloody, filthy, and it needs to be shown the way it really is. If we're uninformed of the truth, how can we sympathize or help those returning with PTSD, TBI, and other disorders and injuries? We need to put ourselves in their shoes, and Six Days wanted to do exactly that.

 

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Six Days in Fallujah was also co-developed by soldiers themselves. Atomic went straight to those who had taken part in the battle and asked their advice. After hearing the soldiers' sides of the story, Atomic set about developing an accurate portrait of the conflict. The soldiers even stated that they wanted the game released so that the American public could understand what that hellish nightmare was like! Atomic also stressed that politics and disrespectful portrayals were not part of the game. Combat followed the rules of engagement and never sought to improperly portray and side of the conflict. So why is America so resistant to Six Days in Fallujah?

 

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While I can understand the natural sensitivity to a game portraying such a recent conflict, I actually think it will help us to understand what really happened. The Iraq War was something not many Americans invested the time to research and examine. As such most couldn't grasp how horrifying and disturbing the war truly was. Six Days in Fallujah is the kind of media we need in order to dispel some of the ignorance surrounding the Iraq War. It's high time someone stepped up to show what really happened on the ground. But this is just one point of view. Do you guys think it's a good idea to release Six Days in Fallujah, given the nature of the Iraq War and the controversies that surround the game?

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I think it would be a PR nightmare to release the game. Way too many people are against it. I also wonder how accurate the game actually is. I have yet to play a video game that was just like real combat, so I wouldn't go into the game expecting that.

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I think it would be a PR nightmare to release the game. Way too many people are against it. I also wonder how accurate the game actually is. I have yet to play a video game that was just like real combat, so I wouldn't go into the game expecting that.

 

Very true. They claimed absolute realism but there hasn't been much of the game revealed. That makes it difficult to say whether or not they actually succeeded in creating an accurate representation of the Iraq War.

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I think games and movies like these are such a sensitive topic because we as a society (especially in America) feel that war is a necessity and it's an honor to serve, but that it's something so reverent that we don't talk about it outside of the situation or the environment. This game being controversial reminded me of another film I have not watched but saw on a documentary called This Film Is Not Yet Rated. The film I'm referring to is called Gunner Palace and in the interview, the director was discussing how this documentary met a lot of opposition because it was just "too real", and included real-life events of soldiers such as foul language, some drug use, and violent or hostile environments. The argument was made however for the film that this is what it is truly like, and men and women should not be sent off to war without understanding what it's really like once you get there.

 

I personally feel that information is a positive thing, even if the topic is controversial or taboo. It's important for us all to be aware and knowledgeable, even if we don't like what we see, hear, or learn. Knowledge is what helps us make better decisions.

 

I would play this game not so much for entertainment, but for information and awareness. I do not however believe it is right or appropriate to include the actual names of those individuals killed, out of respect for their memory and families. The story and events however should remain true to form; it just feels too disrespectful to actually include the names rather than create pseudonyms.

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I think games and movies like these are such a sensitive topic because we as a society (especially in America) feel that war is a necessity and it's an honor to serve, but that it's something so reverent that we don't talk about it outside of the situation or the environment. This game being controversial reminded me of another film I have not watched but saw on a documentary called This Film Is Not Yet Rated. The film I'm referring to is called Gunner Palace and in the interview, the director was discussing how this documentary met a lot of opposition because it was just "too real", and included real-life events of soldiers such as foul language, some drug use, and violent or hostile environments. The argument was made however for the film that this is what it is truly like, and men and women should not be sent off to war without understanding what it's really like once you get there.I personally feel that information is a positive thing, even if the topic is controversial or taboo. It's important for us all to be aware and knowledgeable, even if we don't like what we see, hear, or learn. Knowledge is what helps us make better decisions.I would play this game not so much for entertainment, but for information and awareness. I do not however believe it is right or appropriate to include the actual names of those individuals killed, out of respect for their memory and families. The story and events however should remain true to form; it just feels too disrespectful to actually include the names rather than create pseudonyms.

 

 

I agree that the indentities should be changed. I believe this measure was actually taken due to internal and external pressure. It's also funny that you mention Gunner Palace. I watched that film not too long ago. It was a decent expose sort of thing but it was also sanitized in some ways.

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