Victura has issued a statement clarifying the politics of the upcoming Iraq-War based shooter Six Days In Fallujah after the mainstream video game press misrepresented statements given by creator Peter Tamte to claim the game would be ‘apolitical.’
The narrative that Six Days In Fallujah would be ‘apolitical’ first began in February, when after conducting an interview with Tamte, video game news outlet Polygon chose to publish their conversation under the headline “Six Days in Fallujah ‘not trying to make a political commentary,’ creator says.”
Subsequently, Polygon’s headline was soon seized upon by the mainstream video game press, as numerous outlets soon published their own articles announcing that Six Days in Fallujah would be apolitical (and in some cases, criticizing the developers for this goal), including Kotaku, TheGamer, and VG24/7.
However, Polygon’s headline, though accurately quoting Tamte’s words, completely misframed his position towards Six Days In Fallujah’s politics.
Far from claiming that the game would be apolitical, Tamte told Polygon that he and the development team were “not trying to make a political commentary about whether or not the war itself was a good or a bad idea,” but rather a game that would lead players to “understand the human cost of war.”
“For us as a team, it is really about helping players understand the complexity of urban combat. It’s about the experiences of that individual that is now there because of political decisions,” Tamte told Polygon. “And we do want to show how choices that are made by policymakers affect the choices that [a Marine] needs to make on the battlefield. Just as that [Marine] cannot second-guess the choices by the policymakers, we’re not trying to make a political commentary about whether or not the war itself was a good or a bad idea.”
He continued, “I don’t think players are going to be confused about the cost [of war]. I just don’t think that they’re going to walk away from this experience going, ‘We need more war.’ I don’t think that’s something that the Marines and soldiers want as a message. I don’t think that’s something that the Iraqi civilians want as a message. I think people do need to understand the human cost of war.”
“Perhaps playing the game will make them curious and they’ll want to learn more about all the things that have happened in Fallujah since the 2004 battle, and that will lead them to their own conclusions from doing the research,” Tamte concluded. “But right now, simply ignoring the battle is not going to cause them to think about all of its consequences.”
In response to the blatant misframing of Tamte’s words, Victura published a statement to their official Twitter account clarifying that the company understood “the events recreated in Six Days in Fallujah are inseparable from politics” and explained “how the game gives voice to a variety of perspectives.”
“The stories in Six Days in Fallujah are told through gameplay and documentary footage featuring service members and civilians with diverse experiences and opinions about the Iraq War,” wrote Victura. “So far, 26 Iraqi civilians and dozens of service members have shared the most difficult moments of their lives with us, so we can share them you, in their words.”
Victura continued, “The documentary segments discuss many tough topics, including the events and political decisions that led to the Fallujah battles as well as their aftermath. While we do not allow players to use white phosphorus as a weapon during gameplay, its use is described during the documentary segments.”
“During gameplay, players will participate in stories that are given context through the documentary segments,” the company added. “Each mission challenges players to solve real military and civilian scenarios from the battle interactively, offering a perspective into urban warfare not possible through any other media.”
The statement concluded, “We believe the stories of this generation’s sacrifices deserve to be told by the Marines, Soldiers and civilians who were there. We trust you will find the game – like the events it recreates – to be complex.”
Six Days In Fallujah is currently aiming for a 2021 release across the PlayStation 5, Xbox One X, and PC platforms.
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