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.
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.”
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.