Muslim Civil Rights Group Calls For Microsoft, Sony, And Valve To Deplatform Six Days In Fallujah

Illustration for article titled Muslim Civil Rights Group Calls For Microsoft, Sony, And Valve To Deplatform Six Days In Fallujah
Image: Victura / Kotaku

Calling the controversial first-person shooter that aims to recreate the events of the Second Battle of Fallujah an “Arab murder simulator,” Muslim civil rights and advocacy group CAIR, the Council on American–Islamic Relations, is requesting that Microsoft, Sony, and Valve avoid hosting or distributing Six Days in Fallujah.

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No matter how developer Highwire Games and publisher Victura try to spin it, Six Days in Fallujah is incredibly problematic. The upcoming game is a first-person tactical shooter that recreates the real-world events of late 2004's Second Battle of Fallujah. Players are cast as U.S. Marines in an operation said to be the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War. Though the developers have said their intention is to represent all sides of the conflict, how do you make a video game like this without glorifying the U.S. war machine? Or create an interactive experience based on modern real-world events in which the enemies are mainly of a specific nationality or religion without villainizing them, spreading fear and hate? These are some of the issues that led to Six Days in Fallujah being canceled in 2009. Those concerns are just as valid now as they were then.

CAIR issued a press release yesterday, condemning the upcoming game for glorifying the violence the took the lives of more than 800 Iraqi citizens.

“We call on Microsoft, Sony and Valve to ban their platforms from hosting Six Days in Fallujah, an Arab murder simulator that will only normalize violence against Muslims in America and around the world,” wrote CAIR research and advocacy coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz in a statement included with the release. “The gaming industry must stop dehumanizing Muslims. Video games like Six Days in Fallujah only serve to glorify violence that took the lives of hundreds of Iraqi civilians, justify the Iraq war, and reinforce anti-Muslim sentiment at a time when anti-Muslim bigotry continues to threaten human life.”

Illustration for article titled Muslim Civil Rights Group Calls For Microsoft, Sony, And Valve To Deplatform Six Days In Fallujah
Image: CAIR

Plenty of people have been questioning the developer and publisher’s plans to revive the game, but if they’re determined to go ahead, maybe not selling it on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Marketplace, or Steam is a step in the right direction.

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DISCUSSION

Look.. I come from a military family, I understand the importance of acknowledging the deeds of veterans and remembering them... but it shouldn’t be done in the form of ENTERTAINMENT .. which is what a video game is. It’s compounded by the fact that the soldiers who fought, died or were wounded there were “following orders” for effectively what would’ve been described as an illegal war / war crime had any other nation other than the US lead it.. the same excuse nazi soldiers used to commit their war crimes. Just because US soldiers died, and died because the US government told them to, doesn’t make them heroes or heroic. You can fight unjust wars... The war in Iraq was unjust, the dead US soldiers were no heroes.. they were partly victims of their own government, but partly responsible as well since they were the ones pulling the triggers.

We don’t need to celebrate unjust wars or the men and women who fought in unjust wars. Acknowledge they died with memorials, yes certainly that... but don’t glorify the fucking thing by making video games around them, by making it a form of entertainment. Imagine if German developers created a video game glorifying the “heroic” sacrifice of German soldiers who were killing allied forces who were there to LIBERATE an entire continent from Germany’s invasion and massacre of jews. Germany was obviously in the wrong in WWII - The US was in the wrong in Gulf War 2 / Iraq and you don’t need to glorify that damn war, it was wrong and unjust, much like Vietnam.