Wednesday, March 3, 2010

getting what you wish for

Abbot's argument that a realistic war game centered around the battle of Fallujah should be released because of its “potential” strikes me as hilariously misguided. He gives the game the benefit of the doubt, that this game will be an artful, delicate discussion of war and its consequences. I think we can all see this coming: Six Days in Fallujah will be Modern Warfare, but with the main character shooting at actual Iraqis instead of pretend-Iraqis.

Assuming a first-person-shooter war game will treat combatants with respect and artfulness instead of targets in a shooting gallery is just a hilarious way of framing the history of the genre. Even the comparisons to Hurt Locker don't faze me - in a movie, it is possible to work in a genre other than action. Maybe you haven't noticed, but every video game since the death of adventure games have been entirely dependant on "action" as a genre - the way we classify games is not the subject of the game, but by the mechanic with which we are experiencing the action. "Drama" doesn't really suit the existing paradigm for games. In order to argue Six Days in Fallujah will be a Hurt Locker instead of a Call of Duty, you literally have to argue it will completely repurpose the entire medium.

I have nothing to say about the morality or wisdom of releasing such a game. To do so would force me to address every FPS game that was set in a non-fictional circumstance.