Opinion: “Does Six Days In Fallujah” hold potential to expand gaming or doomed before launch (again)?

Content of the article

Sorry, the test form was incredibly long and I’m not going to post a link to the video test because we all know why.

TLDR: I think Six Days in Fallujah has the POTENTIAL to open up a new genre of gaming (I call it docu-gaming, documentary + gaming), but Mr. Tamte’s bad press and lack of PR tone has the potential to bury the game before we have a chance to see if it works.

Mouth of Peter Tamte and return

  • 15. February 2021 Peter Tamte, lead developer of Highwire Games, has insisted that the recently announced and relaunched Six Days in Fallujah is not a political statement and will not deal with the machinations that led to the war in Iraq.
  • The studio wanted to focus the game on a small tactical conflict between the U.S. military and Al Qaeda and the insurgents and civilians caught in the middle.
  • …We don’t want to show how the decisions of politicians affect the decisions that have to be made on the battlefield. Just as he cannot question the decisions of politicians, we do not seek to make political commentary on whether the war itself was a good or bad idea.
  • Tamte mentions (paraphrasing): I can’t sell a game over an Iraqi citizen. Nobody’s buying it.
  • I don’t think the players will be confused about the value, Tamte said, but I don’t think they’ll come out of this experience saying: We need more war. I don’t think that’s the message the Marines and soldiers want. I don’t think that’s the message the Iraqi citizens want. I think people need to understand the human cost of war.
  • …I don’t want sensationalism to detract from this experience.
  • The eighth. In March, Victura Publishing posted a tweet that began with the words: We understand that the events that took place in six days in Fallujah are inextricably linked to politics. It’s the exact opposite of Tamta, which means it’s either a pure PR move or they’ve taken the time to review their direction, mature and make a more mature and meaningful piece. We’ll have to wait for their decision.

What are the six days in Fallujah?

  • A cooperative, multiplayer first-person shooter that forces the player to make decisions and tactical choices while being addressed before, during and after missions by dozens of Marines, soldiers and coalition members, as well as 25 Iraqi civilians.
  • The start of the second battle for Fallujah in 2004 between US forces and Black Flag and al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq. There is so much room for struggle that a half-hour video is dedicated to it. It was ultimately the largest urban conflict since 1968, killing more than 100 coalition soldiers and 800 civilians.
  • Tactical shooter in the military sense of the word, rifles and grenades, fire teams, squadrons, up to battalions. But most of the conflict was fought in small sections, led by a sergeant, a corporal and the next.
  • The story of an Iraqi father trying to get his family out of the city, caught between two heavyweights.

That’s not a game, a multiplayer chaos game like COD.

  • Six Days in Fallujah is not set up as a multiplayer versus player or team battle game like COD.
  • It is not the intention to show all the facets of the conflict, which seems a bit short to us. By potentially dismissing the rebels as the big bad guys who will die at the wheel, the game gives no reason for their actions and thus creates a barrier to understanding the overall conflict at play.
  • Don’t show the pods or mention why the war started, as I said elsewhere in the post, read Cobra II, which is an excellent read on the subject.
  • Six Days in Fallujah does not require the player to commit atrocities like shaking cookies or shooting civilians.

What is the potential of the game for future play.

  • By creating a new genre of games that we call Documentary Gaming, Highwire is expanding the scope of video games and the reach of the genre in the same way that Mouse did for graphic novels, Ken Burns for historical documentaries, and the printing press for books that were not records or bibles.
  • (No, it will NOT reach the level of Ken Burns’ documentary, but he wasn’t the first to make one either).

How High Wire Games and publisher Victura took steps in the right direction.

  • Using the example of an Iraqi father and his family, he tells the harrowing story of a civilian caught between two warring factions and confronted, utterly helpless, with the increasing use of an ever more powerful weapon of destruction. As parents, we have no greater fear than not being able to help and protect our children, and if Six Days in Fallujah succeeds, the message and human cost of war will become clear and unmistakable.
  • Using primary sources to record and tell the story is an absolute necessity. And also to use Iraqi soldiers and civilians and tell the story from their point of view so that they contrast. History is usually only written by the victors, we have the opportunity to hear and experience the horrors of the oppressed.

Where things can still go wrong or find themselves on slippery ice.

  • Developing empathy for service members and making life and death decisions by the second is good in theory. But in practice, it is very difficult to replicate the anxiety, excitement, insomnia and other factors that bother young men (and women).
  • It does not describe why people and cultures were so willing to fight the American-led forces, so much so that they were willing to disregard the innocent human life that stood between them and their enemy. This is not to arouse empathy or mimic the fundamentalists, but asking what drove a jihadist to fight such an overwhelming battle would help future generations understand that this terror was not just caused by Americans fighting for imperial expansion or against a vast unknown evil, but by real people with real motives.
  • Without going into the political arguments for going to war, by the way, if you’re interested in that topic, you should read Cobra II, which was recently released by Audible and which I highly recommend the studio may know how to whitewash the whole battle in favor of the troops, but not the mentality of war.
  • Usually the anti-Iraq war crowd will insufferably loudly claim that this game is just a tribute to Support the Troops, or that it’s not about the conflict but about the people, but merely patriotic rants about the conflict to build goodwill (see Imran Khan’s fanbase editorial, or half-red or more). And that may be so, that’s their point of view and good for them, but I think they’re missing the bigger picture of the people and companies that make up the whole story.
  • Would it be perfect? No, absolutely not. As you can see from the presentation above, the studio and publisher seem to have realized they made some mistakes and are taking the time to correct them before sinking their own ship.

Where he may go in the future.

  • We at Ridir Gaming would love to see what the game really looks like, make a demo, play a full level to the end to give our honest opinion. It is a game we are very interested in, if you know why, you will understand, if not, well, sorry, but it is not a club, I suggest you join to see if you like it.
  • If it’s well-crafted, tells a story that’s midway between good and great, evokes empathy and carries emotional weight, we’ll be happy to see the game continue to be updated and push the boundaries.
  • This design and the ability to experience another person is very similar to another book we read recently, Ready Player 2. In short, with only minor spoilers, thanks to significant advances in VR technology, players were suddenly able to smell, hear, touch, taste, and experience personal moments in the lives of other individuals, whether it was skydiving, riffing, sex (yes, I know, the industry will always be there), or surgery. While this technology is not yet very advanced, even in VR, it is moving in that direction and could allow future generations to better understand the human cost of war.

Summarized

  • Peter Tamte said some stupid things, there’s no doubt about that. War is an extension of politics, and saying it’s not politics is like saying I eat two gallons of ice cream at every meal and still don’t gain weight.
  • The game has the potential to innovate and tell very hard and real stories.
  • We keep our thoughts about the game to ourselves until we can play it. We recommend that you do the same.

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