We occasionally bend the definition of “sports” to take a look at video games here, and today the off-topic focus is on Atomic Games and Konami, which are making Six Days in Fallujah, a third-person shooter in which players adopt the roles of real Marines who were in the battle of Fallujah in 2004. From the LA Times:
The idea for the game… came from U.S. Marines who returned from the battle with video, photos and diaries of their experiences. Instead of dialing up Steven Spielberg to make a movie version of their stories, they turned to Atomic Games, a company in Raleigh, N.C., that makes combat simulation software for the military… “The soldiers wanted to tell their stories through a game because that’s what they grew up playing,” said John Choon, senior brand manager for the game at Konami Digital Entertainment.
One is Mike Ergo, who was in a Marine infantry battalion during the battle in [Fallujah] and is a consultant on the game. “Video games can communicate the intensity and the gravity of war to an audience who wouldn’t necessarily be watching the History Channel or reading about this in the classroom,” said Ergo, now 26 and a junior at the University of California at Berkeley. “In an age when everyone’s always online or playing games, people’s imaginations aren’t what they were, sadly. For this group, books may not convey the same level of intensity and chaos of war that a game can.”
I dunno. As much as I keep reading compelling essays about how video games are the next great platform for story-telling — the new wave to unseat books/movies/TV — I’m still not really comfortable with people getting entertainment from a battle where people I know (for example) lost an eye to an RPG and got shot in the arm. But then, maybe that’s just a sign I’m getting old.